Govt wants big media regulator, promises little stick

Believe them? No, we didn't think so

The UK Government said it will not try to regulate content on the Internet as it took yet another step forward to create a new all-encompassing single regulator for the media and telecoms industries.

Publishing the draft Communications Bill today the Government said the legislation was designed to overhaul and simplify the legal framework for the media industry.

Top of the list is the creation of a single regulator - the Office for Communications (OFCOM) - to replace five existing regulators including Oftel.

On the issue of regulation, the Government claims it is increasingly important to take a more strategic view of matters encompassing the whole communications sector.

In some cases, it maintains that greater competition should mean that there will be less of a need for regulatory intervention.

However, it will be used to curb abuses of dominant market positions and to ensure fair access to dominant network systems and platforms.

Elsewhere, the Bill will not give OFCOM any powers to regulate content on the Internet.

Instead, the Government says it is keen for the industry to regulate itself and for OFCOM to work alongside industry to develop systems that would continue to provide safeguards online in areas such as child pornography.

The draft Communications Bill can be found at communicationsbill.gov.uk. ®

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