Digital Economy Bill - Committee (4th Day)

Part of the debate – in the House of Lords at 6:15 pm on 8th February 2017.

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Moved by Lord Borwick

225: After Clause 79, insert the following new Clause—“On-demand programme services: accessibility for people with disabilities(1) The Communications Act 2003 is amended as follows.(2) After section 368BB insert—“Accessibility368BC Accessibility for people with disabilities(1) The Secretary of State may by regulations impose requirements on providers of on-demand programme services for the purpose of ensuring that their services are accessible to people with disabilities affecting their sight or hearing or both.(2) The requirements that may be imposed include—(a) requirements for programmes included in the services to be accompanied by subtitling;(b) requirements for such programmes to be accompanied by audio-description for the blind;(c) requirements for such programmes to be presented in, or translated into, sign language.(3) Before making regulations under this section, the Secretary of State must consult— (a) the appropriate regulatory authority, and(b) (where they are not the appropriate regulatory authority) OFCOM.368BD Enforcement of regulations under section 368BC(1) Where the appropriate regulatory authority determines that a provider of an on-demand programme service is contravening or has contravened regulations under section 368BC, they may do one or both of the following—(a) give the provider an enforcement notification under this section;(b) impose a penalty on the provider in accordance with section 368J.(2) The appropriate regulatory authority must not make a determination as mentioned in subsection (1) unless there are reasonable grounds for believing that a contravention of the regulations is occurring or has occurred and they have allowed the provider an opportunity to make representations about that apparent contravention.(3) An enforcement notification under this section is a notification which specifies the determination made as mentioned in subsection (1) and imposes a requirement on the provider to take all such steps for complying with the regulations and for remedying the consequences of the contravention of the regulations as may be specified in the notification.(4) An enforcement notification must—(a) include reasons for the appropriate regulatory authority’s decision to give the enforcement notification, and(b) fix a reasonable period for taking the steps required by the notification.(5) It is the duty of a provider to whom an enforcement notification is given to comply with it.(6) That duty is enforceable in civil proceedings by the appropriate regulatory authority—(a) for an injunction,(b) for specific performance of a statutory duty under section 45 of the Court of Session Act 1988, or(c) for any other appropriate remedy or relief.(7) If a provider to whom an enforcement notification has been given does not comply with it within the period fixed by the appropriate regulatory authority in that enforcement notification the appropriate regulatory authority may impose a financial penalty on the provider in accordance with section 368J.”(3) In section 368C (duties of the appropriate regulatory authority), omit subsection (2).(4) After that section insert—“368CA Code on accessibility for people with disabilities(1) It is the duty of the appropriate regulatory authority to draw up, and from time to time review and revise, a code giving guidance as to—(a) the steps to be taken by providers of on-demand programme services so as to meet the requirements of regulations under section 368BC, and(b) other steps to be taken by providers who are subject to requirements under the regulations to ensure that their services are made progressively more accessible to people with disabilities affecting their sight or hearing or both.(2) The appropriate regulatory authority must publish the code drawn up under this section, and every revision of it, in such manner as, having regard to the need to make the code or revision accessible to—(a) persons who are deaf or hard of hearing,(b) persons who are blind or partially sighted, and (c) persons with a dual sensory impairment,they consider appropriate.”(5) In section 368J(1)(financial penalties), after “368BB” insert “, 368BD”.(6) In section 368K(1)(suspension or restriction of service for contraventions)—(a) in paragraph (a), after “368D” insert “, or of regulations under section 368BC”,(b) in paragraph (b)—(i) after “368D” insert “or the regulations”, and(ii) for “or 368I” substitute “, 368I or 368BC”.(7) In section 368O(2)(a)(power to demand information), after “368D” insert “, or of regulations under section 368CA,”.”

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