The Digital Economy Bill is the culmination of the Government’s plans to drive the UK’s creative and digital sectors to boost economic growth and jobs in the digital economy. The Digital Economy Bill has had its third reading in the House of Lords and now awaits its second reading in the House of Commons.
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The Digital Economy Bill is likely to get its second reading before Prime Minister Gordon Brown dissolves parliament later this month (or early April) in readiness for the General Election. This will mean the bill will be eligible to be rushed through to royal assent via a series of backroom deals called “wash up”.
In broad terms the Digital Economy Bill covers an extension to OFCOM’s powers to include reporting on communications infrastructure and media content; tackling online copyright infringement; support the provision of news nationally, regionally and locally; and enhance digital security and safety and manage the distribution of internet domain names.
The 50p/month levy to support broadband infrastructure improvements requires new tax legislation and so was moved in the Queen’s speech to the finance bill. More will probably be announced on this on Wednesday 24 March’s Budget statement.
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