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Radio Frequencies: Licensing

Volume 458: debated on Thursday 22 March 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what statutory powers he has to direct Ofcom in the implementation of a decision by the EC Radio Spectrum Committee allowing 2G spectrum to be reframed for 3G use. (127679)

My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State can direct Ofcom’s management of spectrum for security, international relations and public safety reasons under Section 5 of the Communications Act 2003, or more broadly under Section 156 of the Act.

To invoke Section 156, Ofcom must be consulted, and other Departments would be consulted on the merits of any particular case through the Cabinet Office Official Committee on Spectrum Strategy. Any direction would then be laid before Parliament and subject to an affirmative resolution of each House.