Broadcasting Act 2009

61.

Emergencies.

61.— (1) In this section “network provider” means a person providing or operating an electronic communications network which is used for the distribution, transmission or retransmission of broadcasting services to the public.

(2) During the continuance of any national emergency, the Minister may suspend any broadcasting licence or multiplex licence as defined in section 129 and, while any such suspension continues, the Minister may operate any service which was provided under the suspended licence or require such service to be operated as he or she directs.

(3) The Authority shall have the power to require broadcasting contractors and network providers to co-operate with the relevant public bodies in the dissemination of relevant information to the public in the event of a major emergency.

(4) If and whenever the Minister shall exercise the powers conferred on him or her by subsection (2) the broadcasting contractor or multiplex contractor shall be entitled to receive from the Minister, with the consent of the Minister for Finance—

( a) such sums as are required to defray any expenses which, regard being had to the nature of the emergency, have been properly and necessarily incurred by the broadcasting contractor or multiplex contractor and for meeting which revenue is by reason of the exercise of such powers not otherwise available to the broadcasting contractor or multiplex contractor, and

( b) compensation for any damage done to any property of the broadcasting contractor or multiplex contractor, being damage directly attributable to the exercise of such powers.

(5) At the request of the Minister, the Authority shall direct a broadcasting contractor to allocate broadcasting time for announcements for and on behalf of any Minister of the Government, in the event of a major emergency, in connection with the functions of that Minister of the Government. The broadcasting contractor shall comply with the direction.

(6) At the request of the Minister, the Authority shall direct a network provider, in a manner to be specified by the Authority, to carry broadcast announcements for and on behalf of any Minister of the Government, in the event of a major emergency, in connection with the functions of that Minister of the Government. The network provider shall comply with the direction.

(7) In complying with a direction under subsection (5) or (6) a broadcasting contractor or network provider may broadcast an announcement that it has received such a direction from the Authority.