Digital Economy Bill laid before House of Lords

digitalbritainThe next stage of the Digital Britain Report was the inclusion of the Digital Economy Bill  in the Queens Speech and the introduction of the Bill to the House of Lords on 19 November.

The Key points of the Bill are

  • Confirmation of a digital radio “upgrade” with national and local services currently on DAB to migrate from analogue.
  • Confirmation that small ultra-local stations and community radio will have an analogue future if they cannot upgrade to DAB

Latest news on the Bill

  • First reading took place on 19 November. This stage is a formality that signals the start of the Bill’s journey through the Lords.
  • Second reading – the general debate on all aspects of the Bill – is yet to be scheduled.

Summary of the Bill
To make provision about the functions of the Office of Communications; to make provision about the online infringement of copyright, about licensing of copyright and performers’ rights and about penalties for infringement; to make provision about internet domain registries; to make provision about the functions of the Channel Four Television Corporation; to make provision about the regulation of television and radio services; to make provision about the regulation of the use of the electromagnetic spectrum; to amend the Video Recordings Act 1984; to make provision about public lending right in relation to electronic publications; and for connected purposes.

The Process
The following diagram explains the process of the Bill through the House of Lords and then the Commons.  We anticipate that the Bill will get Royal Assent by April 2010.