Digital Economy Act will 'underpin radical transformation of government services'

Written by Sam Trendall on 18 July 2017 in News
News

Digital minister Matt Hancock signs into law act intended to promote connectivity across the country and make the online world safe for children

The Digital Economy Act will better protect children and consumers, the government said  Credit: Adobe Stock

Digital minister Matt Hancock has claimed that the Digital Economy Act, which passed into law this week, will “underpin a radical transformation of government services”.

The government also said that the new legislation will improve connectivity for citizens across the country – particularly those in remote areas. 

Hancock has signed the act’s commencement order, and the government is now set to begin work on identifying and implementing measures to reduce the cost of building digital infrastructure. Planning procedures will also be simplified, boosting access to connectivity throughout the nation, but particularly “in some of the hardest to reach places in the UK”.


Related content


“The Digital Economy Act is about building a strong, safe and connected economy,” Hancock said. “It will secure better support for consumers, better protection for children on the internet, and underpin a radical transformation of government services.”

Other measures introduced in the act include a requirement for providers of catch-up and on-demand television services to provide subtitles and audio description of their programmes. There are also measures to combat ticket touts who use bot technology to snaffle large volumes of tickets to sell for profit.

Elsewhere, the act introduces a new age-verification process for accessing online pornography that is slated to come into effect by April 2018. The government said that this will help “make the UK the safest place in the world for children to be online”.

Some of the measures contained in the act, which received royal assent three months ago, have already been implemented. These include a universal service obligation for broadband, which gives citizens the right to request from a designated provider an “affordable” connection of a specified minimum speed.

Other effective initiatives include providing individuals and companies with more information about communications services, in the name of making it easier to change providers. There are also provisions for compensation “if things go wrong” with such services. The act has also already introduced steps to “better protect citizens from nuisance calls”, the government said.

About the author

Sam Trendall is editor of PublicTechnology

Share this page

Tags

Categories

CONTRIBUTIONS FROM READERS

Please login to post a comment or register for a free account.

Related Articles

DWP brings in digital support for Universal Credit programme in £5m deal
28 November 2022

Contract covers improvements to existing services and supporting migration for millions still claiming legacy benefits

National Crime Agency plans digital ‘front door’ for tech firms to report child abuse
23 November 2022

New system will enable agency and online platforms to fulfil respective obligations outlined in Online Safety Bill

Former digital secretary Dorries slams successor over Online Safety Bill amendments
16 November 2022

Former DCMS minister says her replacement Michelle Donelan ‘does not understand’ pending legislation

Leaders want public sector to become ‘digital to the core’ to cope with challenges
9 November 2022

Reports identify importance of technology skills to help meet service demand in spite of financial pressures