Digital Economy Bill

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 12:49 pm on 13th September 2016.

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Photo of Karen Bradley Karen Bradley The Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport 12:49 pm, 13th September 2016

If my right hon. Friend will allow me, I will come on to that later in my speech.

As well as reforming land rights, the Government are reforming the planning system. I think that my right hon. Friend was referring to that. The Minister for Housing and Planning will shortly introduce regulations to ease the installation of vital masts to fill not spots. The Bill will ensure that the planning reforms introduced in 2013 for five years, for poles and cabinets, can be made permanent.

The radio spectrum—the invisible resource on which all modern technology relies—will be better managed to ensure that we maximise capacity and avoid interference and that the UK is ready for the arrival of 5G, the future of mobile connectivity. We will lead the world on that, thanks to this Government’s £11.6 million investment in the innovation centre at the University of Surrey.

As well as access and infrastructure, the Bill will tackle harm online. First, our manifesto pledged to protect children from online pornography. Children now spend more time online than watching television, and one in five children recently surveyed had encountered pornographic images that had upset them.