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PRESS INFORMATION

6 October 2006

Joint industry lobbying campaign underway to prevent spectrum sell-off

UK - A major government lobbying campaign is about to be initiated to address Ofcom's proposals, as part of the planned TV switchover from analogue to digital, to sell-off the radio frequencies currently used by the UK entertainment industry.

BEIRG - the British Entertainment Industry Radio Group - is fighting to maintain access to a sufficient quantity and quality of radio frequencies to ensure that the UK live events sector can continue to deliver the world-class theatre productions, concerts, festivals and events that it has become known for worldwide.

If BEIRG is not successful in persuading Ofcom to review the situation, the entire RF Spectrum from 470-862MHz will be auctioned to the highest bidder, most likely operators of mobile telecommunications networks, leaving the UK entertainment industry without a licence.

Thanks to a strategy suggested by PLASA and its political lobbyists Ranelagh, BEIRG now has an opportunity to lobby the Government to highlight the damage that the spectrum sell-off will have to a sector that currently contributes almost £15 billion annually to UK PLC, a figure which increases dramatically when worldwide sales of content produced in the UK are factored in.

The key objective of the campaign is to initiate contact and correspondence with Members of Parliament and Peers - from all political parties - to secure interest in and support for BEIRG's concerns and for the solutions it proposes. Central to the campaign will be a meeting of PLASA and BEIRG representatives with MPs at the House of Commons on December 14 to allow BEIRG to draw political attention to the unintended consequences of OFCOM's proposals.

The campaign will also secure face-to-face meetings with key decision-makers and opinion formers on the backbenches, together with letters to MPs who have an existing interest in this area. Ultimately the campaign will ensure that relevant Parliamentary Questions are asked in both the House of Commons and the House of Lords, with the possibility of future actions including the initiation of an Adjournment Debate, the initiation of an Early-Day Motion to secure cross-party support, the monitoring of relevant Select Committees and active involvement in Departmental consultation documents.

BEIRG is urging everyone in the industry involved in the sale, hire or use of radio microphones, in-ear monitoring systems, talkback systems or wireless links to get on-board and support this campaign.

Notes to Editors:

PLASA is the lead professional body for businesses that supply technologies and services to the event, entertainment and installation industries. Operating from offices in Europe and North America, the Association provides business support services to its growing worldwide membership, writes industry standards, leads the development of qualifications and focuses on improving the business practices adopted by the industry. With over 1100 members worldwide, it represents one of the largest member networks in the industry.

PLASA also runs successful media and events divisions and is responsible for the industry-leading magazines Lighting&Sound International, Lighting&Sound America and Protocol and the PLASA Show in London, together with the European and North American regional PLASA Focus events.

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