§ Mr. Brittan
My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry and I received 37 applications for pilot project licences. We have given them careful consideration with help of an evaluation carried out by EIU Informatics Ltd. based on the criteria set out in the White Paper on the development of cable system and services—Cmnd. 8866—and of advice from an independent advisory panel appointed to consider whether the EIU report represented a sound and proper basis for decisions as to the grant licences. We now propose holding discussions with 11 applicants to explore further some specific points in their applications. Provided that these discussions are concluded to our satisfaction, we shall issue pilot project licences to them. Those applicants are as follows:
- Aberdeen Cable Services Ltd.—Aberdeen.
- CableTel Communications Ltd.—Ealing.
- Clyde CableVision Ltd.—North Glasgow.
- Coventry Cable Ltd.—Coventry.
- Croydon Cable Television Ltd.—Croydon.
- Merseyside CableVision Ltd.—South Liverpool.
- Rediffusion Consumer Electronics Ltd.—Guildford.
- Swindon Cable Services Ltd.—Swindon.
- Ulster Cablevision Ltd.—Belfast.
- Westminster Cable Company—City of Westminster.
- Windsor Television Ltd.—Windsor, Slough and Maidenhead.
It will, of course, be open to those applications not selected at this stage to put forward applications under arrangements to be operated by the cable authority whose creation will be the subject of cable legislation to be introduced in another place early next month.
Additionally, as also foreseen in the White Paper, I have received applications for licences from 11 existing operators to provide new programme services over established systems in 166 areas. Consideration of these is not yet completed.