All Commons Briefing Papers
13 Documents
18.05.2015Regulating the web: The open internet and net neutrality
Net neutrality is the concept that all information and services should have equal and open access online without regard to content, destination or source. Both net neutrality-and the associated concept of the 'open internet'-are considered to be founding principles of the World Wide Web. Concerns that Internet Service Providers (ISPs) are looking to circumvent net neutrality principles-deciding how fast data will be transmitted and at what quality-have led to campaigns to explicitly legislate for net neutrality. Without net neutrality campaigners fear a two-tiered service with fast and slow lanes could develop. In the past few years, the EU and other countries have attempted to explicitly legislate to ensure Internet Service Providers (ISPs) operate in a net neutral fashion.
03.03.2015Fixed Broadband: Policy and Speeds
Explains the current situation with regard to broadband access and coverage and provides an overview of the Government's broadband policy for the UK. Includes detailed data on broadband speeds and superfast availability by parliamentary constituency, including maps, updated with 2014 data.
19.12.2014Mobile Coverage in the UK: Government plans to tackle 'mobile not-spots' 2014
This Library Standard Note summarises developments in Government polciy to extend mobile covergae across the UK, tackling mobile not-spots and partial not-spots
01.04.2014Nuisance Calls: Unsolicited sales and marketing, and silent calls
Nuisance calls (i.e. unsolicited - and unwanted - marketing messages, silent or abandoned calls) cause widespread harm and inconvenience which have been acknowledged by the previous and current Government and the relevant regulators. This note sets out the key regulations which seek to address nuisance calls and the main sources of assistance and their limitations.
24.04.20130845 numbers
The use of non-geographic telephone numbers, such as those beginning 0845, has been controversial - particularly in the context of the delivery of public services by bodies such as HM Revenue and Customs.
26.02.20134G spectrum
Ofcom is proceeding with plans to auction radio spectrum needed for 4G mobile devices. One related issue is the potential for interference with TV reception.
11.05.2012Use of non-geographic telephone numbers (e.g. 0845) by the NHS and GPs' practices
Under current rules, NHS bodies and GPs' practices are not prohibited from using non-geographic phone numbers, such as 0845 numbers, although the Department of Health has issued guidance about their use.
23.06.2011Cyber Security - A new national programme
It is widely acknowledged that cyber attacks will increasingly be a key aspect of future warfare and organised crime. This note explains the increasing threat to national security posed by the new "front" of the cyber realm of networked, digital activities (often internet-based) and sets out the Government's response.
15.06.2011UK Broadband - Policy and Coverage
This note sets out the current situation with regard to broadband access and coverage in the UK and provides an overview of the Government's broadband policy. It also highlights some examples of regional and local initiatives underway to improve broadband coverage.
29.03.2010Digital Economy Bill [HL]
The Bill implements aspects of Government policy on digital media set out in the 'Digital Britain' White Paper published in June 2009. It requires Ofcom to report on communications infrastructure and media content and gives it additional powers in relation to electromagnetic spectrum access. It imposes obligations on internet service providers to reduce online copyright infringement and allows the Secretary of State to intervene in internet domain name registration. The Bill requires Channel Four to provide public service content on a range of media and allows variation of the public service provision in Channel 3 and 5 licences. It also modifies the licensing regime to facilitate switchover to digital radio, extends the range of video games that are subject to age-related classification and includes non-print formats in the public lending right payment scheme.
31.07.2009Driving: mobile phones
This note outlines the offence of driving while using a mobile phone and the penalties associated with it.
26.11.2002Telecommunications and the Communications Bill (Bill 6 2002/03)
Telecommunications and The Communications Bill (Bill 6 of 2002/03). House of Commons Library Research Paper 02/67.
11.12.2001Mobile phones and mobile phone masts
Mobile phones and mobile phone masts. House of Commons Library Research Paper 01/111.