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Internet pornography: requirement to prevent access by persons under the age of 18

Part of Digital Economy Bill – in a Public Bill Committee at 2:15 pm on 20th October 2016.

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Photo of Matthew Hancock Matthew Hancock Minister of State (Department for Culture, Media and Sport) (Digital Policy) 2:15 pm, 20th October 2016

There is clarity in the Bill about what is under the jurisdiction of one regulator and what is under the jurisdiction of the other. I will, though, take that away and seek to give an assurance that the two regulators will work together to ensure that that boundary is dealt with adequately. There is flexibility in the Bill to ensure that that can happen. I cannot speak for Ofcom or the BBFC, but it would seem to me to be perfectly reasonable and obvious that the boundary has to work properly. I would not like to over-specify that in the Bill because of the nature of changes in technology. The distinction between broadcast and on-demand services is changing as technology develops, and it is better to leave it structured as it is. I am sure that both regulators will have heard the hon. Gentleman’s important point that the boundary between the two needs to be dealt with appropriately and that they need to talk to each other.