Ofcom will be conducting a public consultation on proposals from BSkyB and National Grid Wireless Limited to replace BSkyB's free channels with pay TV services.

In February 2007, BSkyB announced its plans to replace its free channels with pay TV services on the digital and terrestrial (DTT) platform.
Following BSkyB's announcement, Ofcom stated that it would be consulting publicly on any approval for the necessary licence variations. The announcement of BSkyB's proposal was also one of the factors taken into account by Ofcom in its decision to investigate the pay TV market to consider whether there were grounds for making a market investigation reference to the Competition Commission under section 131 of the Enterprise Act 2002.

In its consideration of BSkyB's proposal, Ofcom will need to consider how it can best ensure fair and effective competition for the benefit of consumers and it expects to issue a consultation document in relation to the proposals in the autumn. The consultation period (which is usually ten weeks) will be followed by a statement which Ofcom hopes to publish early 2008.

Press release