Digital Economy Bill

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 6:17 pm on 13th September 2016.

Alert me about debates like this

Photo of Matthew Hancock Matthew Hancock Minister of State (Department for Culture, Media and Sport) (Digital Policy) 6:17 pm, 13th September 2016

No, I do not. We have tried to devise them in such a way that they have an impact on both overseas-hosted sites—they must, because of the international nature of the internet—and free sites.

Many Members asked questions about blocking and user-generated content. I will take those away and no doubt return to them in Committee. I am very clear that the Bill takes us forward. We need to listen to the views of the House to ensure that we get the details right.

The second area on which there was a huge amount of interest was broadband. I am incredibly excited that 91% of premises now have access to superfast broadband. The universal service obligation in the Bill is a huge step forward, bringing high-speed broadband to all.

A few questions were raised on the detail, not least the 10 megabits assessment. As I said in an intervention, the Bill puts in place the power to have secondary regulations to ensure that if we need to increase the minimum speed we can do that. That is a very important step forward. Many Members asked about the exact design of the USO, in particular how we will make sure the speed is appropriate. Ofcom will consult on the precise design of the USO in the autumn, so that we can make sure we get the details right.