On 5 September 2012 Ofcom released a statement confirming that they have made two sets of regulations which extend the ability to transfer Wireless Telegraphy Act 2006 (WT Act) spectrum licence products in the maritime and satellite sectors as well as removing the need to secure Ofcom’s consent to a transfer of rights to use spectrum in most instances.
There are two elements to the new Regulations. First, the ‘Trading Regulations’ extend the ability to transfer all or part of the rights to use spectrum under a WT Act licence to the maritime and satellite earth station licence classes. The changes allow licensees the flexibility to transfer unused or underused elements of their spectrum holdings to a third party who could make use of it. However, this does not permit the new licensee who has been transferred the rights and obligations of the licence to use spectrum for an alternative purpose. The new licensee will still be bound to the terms, conditions and restrictions of the original licence.
Second, the ‘Register Regulations’ extend the ability for Ofcom to publish certain information necessary to support the transfer process and provide information to the market to the newly transferable licence products.
Ofcom’s decision may bear several advantages. Not only it does not impose any additional burden on the licensees but it also simplifies the procedures; the removal of the need for Ofcom to consent to a trade is likely to reduce the time and resources necessary to complete a transaction. Finally, the Trade and Register Regulations revoke and replace multiple legislative provisions by two sets of consolidated regulations which will make easier for stakeholders to find the relevant information about licence transfers.
For more information please go to: http://stakeholders.ofcom.org.uk/consultations/wireless-telegraphytrading/ statement/