To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport, pursuant to the Answer of 9 September 2014 to Question 206821, what assessment his Department has made of the risk of PMSE market failure if PMSE users are not allocated alternative spectrum in which to operate before the 799 MHz band is cleared; what discussions his Department has had with Ofcom regarding mitigating that risk; and if he will make a statement.
In its consultation on the future of the 700MHz band, Ofcom highlights the important benefits that PMSE delivers to the UK. Ofcom sets out a clear objective, in case of a change of use of those frequencies away from existing services including PMSE, to continue to secure those important benefits. Its plan to achieve this includes improving the way current use takes place as well as securing access to alternative frequencies and Ofcom is working closely with stakeholders through its regular engagement with the British Entertainment Industry Radio Group.
I welcome Ofcom’s recognition of the significant value that PMSE delivers and we fully support their work on mitigating the effect of loss of access to the 700MHz band. This is an integral part of any change to the 700 MHz band and the DCMS will continue to monitor Ofcom’s work in this.