Government’s Digital Economy Bill


The UK Government, apparently still functioning and making decisions at least at the time of writing, has unveiled its latest Digital Economy Bill.

Launching the Bill, Digital Economy Minister Ed Vaizey (pictured) said: “We want the UK to be a place where technology ceaselessly transforms the economy, society and government. The UK has always been at the forefront of technological change, and the measures in the Digital Economy Bill provide the necessary framework to make sure we remain world leaders”.

The Bill sets out an ambition for the UK to become the most digital nation in the world – this includes everyone having the right to fast broadband, automatic compensation for consumers when telecoms suppliers don’t deliver as promised and tougher penalties for nuisance callers.

It covers a broadly similar remit to the previous Digital Economy Act in 2010 and also puts forward some amendments to copyright law, including a proposal to increase the possible sentences for online copyright infringers to bring them in line with the penalties for those who bootleg CDs and DVDs.

The Bill will have its first debate at the second reading stage, and it is expected to complete its passage through the Commons and move to the Lords in autumn 2016 subject to parliamentary timetabling, meaning it could gain royal assent and become law by spring 2017.

In the meantime, the Government probably has bigger fish to fry, with the near implosion of the two major political parties and all of that but at least we’ll all have superfast broadband in the event of complete social collapse.

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