Ofcom is inviting consultation on the interpretation of requirements relating to the regulation of conditional access and electronic programme guide services in the UK.
Put in place by Oftel, the predecessor to Ofcom, the current conditions only apply to Sky Subscribers Services Ltd, which operates the BSkyB digital television platform.
The UK communications regulator is proposing to issue new guidelines on how it intends to interpret these conditions that require fair, reasonable and non-discriminatory access to certain aspects of their platform. These technical platform services include the provision of conditional access, access control and electronic programme guide features.
Ofcom is inviting interested parties to comment on proposals for a new set of guidelines. This would include a new charging policy intended to provide increased transparency, based on a rate card for encryption and channel listings.
The BBC and ITV have previously been involved in disputes with Sky over the charges for the encryption and regionalisation of their services.
Ofcom is looking for feedback on its proposals by 25 January 2006.