§ Mr. Viggers
To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry if he will make a statement on Her Majesty's Government's policy on the current discussions within the European Community relating to D2 MAC transmission of television signals and their possible imposition on broadcasts in EC countries.
§ Mr. Redwood
The Government are playing a constructive role in the continuing discussions on the European Commission's proposals for a directive on technical standards for satellite broadcasting. However, the Government cannot accept the current proposal that all satellite services launched after the implementation of the directive should be obliged to use the D2-MAC standard. This is anti-competitive because with so few D2-MAC receivers in the market, new services would not be able to reach sufficiently large audiences to compete effectively with existing services. The Government believe that regulations in this field should not be retrospective but should be focussed on new opportunities such as wide screen satellite transmissions. It should then be a matter of voluntary effort to implement.