The regulation is in place to ensure Sky offers third parties access to its set-top boxes in reasonable terms, allowing them to offer provide interactive services to end-users, such as ‘red button’ services, and voting and gaming services.
Ofcom wants to know whether it should set replacement conditions or drop the regulation altogether.
The conditions were initially imposed in 2000, when Sky’s set-top’s were considered the main gateway for customers to access interactive services, but subsequently a number of internet-connected devices including smartphones and games consoles, have emerged as a possible alternative.
Sky says there has been a reduction in the interest for Access Control services from 30 just a few years ago to just nine today. The broadcaster believes the regulation has become a administrative and financial burden.