Telecoms tops agenda at party conference events


Telecoms tops agenda at party conference events

Telecoms will be the key topic of discussion in the Parliamentary IT Committee's fringe meetings at each of the three main political party conferences.

The impact of Ofcom, the new combined independent regulatory body embracing telecoms networks, wireless and satellite services and commercial television and radio, will be debated by a spokesman from each of the three parties (see box).

Not only is the political party conference season almost upon us, but to judge from a growth of activity in preparing IT-related policies, the run-up to the next general election is beginning to get underway.

Issues to be discussed this autumn in Pitcom meetings, and in closed workshop sessions run by its sister organisation Eurim, include smartcards and privacy policy, e-crime policy, intellectual property protection issues, the use of open source software in government, NHS medical records and IT systems, e-skills, modernising government and communications regulation.

What is Pitcom?

The all-party Parliamentary IT Committee (Pitcom), established in 1971, meets regularly to inform Parliamentarians of the economic and social impact of IT. With well over 100 MPs and peers and more than 100 corporate user and supplier members, Pitcom is related to but separate from its sister organisation Eurim, which was established 10 years ago.

Pitcom meetings

22 September

Brighton. Liberal Democrats. Brighton Metropole, 12.30pm. Competition or competitiveness? - the role of Ofcom. Vincent Cable, shadow DTI secretary.

30 September

Bournemouth. Labour. Highcliff Hotel, 12.30pm. Competition or competitiveness? - the role of Pitcom. Stephen Timms, e-commerce minister.

7 October

Blackpool. Conservatives. Winter Gardens. Ofcom - communications for all in the 21st Century. Tim Yeo, shadow secretary of state, trade and industry


Westminster. Regime change - the need to transform attitudes in central and local government.

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This was first published in September 2003


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