Ofcom auctioned radio spectrum needed for 4G mobile devices in 2013, raising £2.34 billion (less than Treasury forecasts). This briefing summarises the details of the auction, potential interference with digital television and future plans for the 700 MHz lot of spectrum.
This book examines the key issues facing the House of Commons over the course of the 2015 Parliament - from the public finances to the UK’s membership of the EU and from school places for children to climate change.
This note sets out the current arrangements for party political broadcasts including their allocation, frequency, scheduling, length and content. Details are given of the BBC’s final allocation criteria for party election broadcasts (PEBs) in 2015 as well as Ofcom’s rules on PEBs for commercial broadcasters.
This note provides pointers to the developments since publication of the report. It does not attempt to summarise the complex arguments involved or differences between the various proposals for draft legislation that have been brought forward.
The UK’s first local TV channel began broadcasting in November 2013, with others scheduled to launch in 2014. This note describes the background to the policy, how the channels are funded and the licence conditions imposed on them.
The Government has published an Action Plan setting out its intention to see radio broadcasting switch from analogue to digital audio broadcasting (“DAB”). The target date, which the industry considers is achievable and the Government says it would support, is 2015.
This note provides brief details about the ongoing inquiries and investigations associated with phone hacking and the various reports produced. It also gives details of the legislation regarding relevant offences and provides links to timelines of events.
This Note provides a brief overview of systems of press regulation in a number of foreign countries. Where possible, it details the sanctions available to the regulator in the event that a newspaper breaches a voluntary or statutory code of industry practice. If there is an established mechanism for the arbitration of press complaints, this is noted.
Following the discovery of widespread “phone-hacking” by journalists at The News of the World and other British newspapers, the Prime Minister, David Cameron, established in July 2011 a multi-part inquiry into the culture, practices and ethics of the press. Lord Justice Leveson was appointed as Chairman of the Inquiry. The first part (or “module”), which concluded its public hearings on 9 February 2012, concentrated on the relationship between the press and the public. Much of the material quoted in this Library Note comes from the evidence presented to this module (the first of four), but the Note will be updated periodically to take account of evidence presented at later modules.
The BBC is looking to make cost savings of 20% in the years to 2017. For English local radio, their main proposal is to focus spending on peak-time programmes, with increased sharing of content between stations.
The BBC World Service has a global audience of some 180 million people and is widely considered to be an important instrument of British “soft power”. This note provides background to ongoing parliamentary debates on recent decisions to cut the World Service’s budget and, in the longer term, to fund it by the licence fee.
The Digital Economy Act 2010 received the Royal Assent on 8 April 2010 following accelerated debate in the House of Commons as part of the pre-election "wash-up". The present Government has confirmed that there are no plans to repeal any of the Act's provisions
The Government has decided to cancel three pilot schemes in favour of developing broadband infrastructure and promoting local TV stations. This comes at a time when local newspapers face competition from the internet and local authority newspapers and have difficulty in maintaining levels of funding from advertising.