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  • This page highlights some of the current parliamentary material available on broadcasting. This includes select committee reports, briefing papers on current legislation and other subjects produced by the parliamentary research services, and the latest Early Day Motions put down by MPs.

    Commons Briefing Papers

    14.10.2016BBC Charter renewal
    The current BBC Charter expires at the end of 2016. Negotiations are underway for its renewal. What is the process and what happened when it was last renewed?
    09.09.2016Commons Library analysis of the Digital Economy Bill
    The Digital Economy Bill 2016-17 [Bill no. 45] was published on 6 July 2016 and its First Reading in the House of Commons took place that day. Its Second Reading is scheduled for Tuesday 13 September 2016.
    11.08.2016The Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse and background
    This briefing concerns the establishment of the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse, a statutory Inquiry which formally opened in July 2015. This Inquiry replaced the previous, non-statutory, Inquiry set up in July 2014 which saw both of its Chairs resign; on 4 August 2016, Justice Goddard resigned as the Chair of the statutory inquiry and on 11 August it was announced that Professor Alexis Jay would be the new Chair.
    27.05.2016BBC governance and financial accountability
    Arrangements for the governance, regulation and financial scrutiny of the BBC look set to change when a new Royal Charter is agreed. This paper examines what is currently in place and what is proposed.
    12.04.2016Diversity in Broadcasting
    This briefing paper explores the current on and off screen diversity in public service broadcasting, including policies in place to improve the diversity of the television workforce. It also summarises the available statistics.
    12.04.2016Listed sporting events
    This Commons Library briefing paper summarises the framework through which certain sporting events are "listed" to make them available to as many television viewers as possible.
    04.11.2015TV licence fee non-payment: decriminalising the offence
    At present, using a television receiver without a valid licence can lead to prosecution, a court appearance and a fine of up to 1,000. Should it cease to be a criminal offence? Some parliamentarians think so. The BBC thinks not. An independent report has looked into this and recommended no change.
    18.09.2015Confidentiality and openness in the family courts: current rules and history of their reform
    This briefing paper considers transparency in the family courts, including communication of information and media attendance, and background on recent changes in this area.
    20.07.2015The UK 4G spectrum auction and mobile coverage
    Ofcom auctioned radio spectrum needed for 4G mobile devices in 2013, raising 2.34 billion (less than Treasury forecasts). This briefing summarises the details of the auction, potential interference with digital television and future plans for the 700 MHz lot of spectrum.
    30.03.2015Televised debates between party leaders
    This note sets out the background to the current debate about televised debates between party leaders during a general election campaign. Three debates were held for the first time in the UK during the 2010 general election. The BBC, ITV News, Sky News and Channel 4 have put forward proposals to change the format of the televised leaders' debates to be held before the 2015 general election.

    Lords Library Notes

    27.06.2016Historical Child Sex Abuse Investigations
    A number of investigations into historical child sex abuse in the UK have been launched by the police and public institutions in recent years. This follows allegations that claims of child sex abuse made against public figures had not been properly investigated in the past. This briefing focuses on the existing guidance for conducting these investigations and provides background information on recent investigations that have taken place. It has been written in preparation for a debate that is due to take place in the House of Lords on 30 June 2016 on the case for introducing statutory guidelines relating to the investigation of cases of historical child sex abuse.
    23.05.2016Royal Charters and Parliamentary Scrutiny
    This Library briefing provides information on royal charters, outlining the Sovereign's prerogative power to grant them, and briefly describing their function. It also provides an overview of two examples of royal charters-the self-regulation of the press and the BBC-and discusses Parliament's role in their scrutiny.
    03.09.2015BBC: Future Financing and Independence
    This Library Note sets out background information about the BBC's purpose, funding and independence and explains the Royal Charter renewal process. It then provides an overview of the green paper's four themes and highlights the views on these of the BBC Trust and, where relevant, those expressed by parliamentary committees.
    22.11.2013Debate on 28 November: Broadcast Media
    This Library Note provides background reading for the debate on the contribution of broadcast media to the UK economy.


    19.10.2015Trends in ICT
    This note looks at developments in information and communication technology (ICT) and their relevance for UK policy in the next five years. It examines the capability, use and economic impact of ICT; technical barriers; and implications for cybersecurity, privacy and internet governance.
    29.05.2015UK Broadband Infrastructure
    The growing use of smart phones and data intensive services (such as video streaming), has increased demand for both fixed and mobile internet. This POSTnote looks at patterns in broadband access and use, and the technical and policy challenges of enhancing UK broadband infrastructure to meet future needs.
    01.12.2007Next generation telecoms networks, December 2007
    Next generation telecoms networks, December 2007. POSTnote 07/296.
    01.07.2007Radio spectrum management, July 2007
    Radio spectrum management, July 2007. POSTnote 07/292.
    01.06.2006Analogue to digital TV switchover, June 2006
    Analogue to digital TV switchover, June 2006. POSTnote 06/264.

    Select Committee Reports

    19.07.2011BBC licence fee settlement and annual report.
    Government response. Culture Media and Sport Select Committee; Department for Culture, Media and Sport report [Commons]
    Government response. Department for Culture, Media and Sport report [Commons]
    21.06.2011The governance and regulation of the BBC.
    Communications Select Committee (HL) report [Lords]
    24.05.2011Pre-appointment hearing with the government's preferred candidate for the Chairman of the S4C Authority...
    Culture Media and Sport Select Committee; Welsh Affairs Select Committee report [Commons]
    17.05.2011Implications of cuts to the BBC World Service.
    Government response. Foreign Affairs Select Committee; BBC; Foreign and Commonwealth Office report [Commons]

    Early Day Motions

    That this House believes that television credits displayed at the end of programmes are crucial; further believes that they help the skilled workforce to advertise their skills to prospective ...
    01.12.2011JEREMY CLARKSON
    That this House condemns the disgraceful and disgusting remarks made by Jeremy Clarkson on the BBC; notes that his comments have been criticised by thousands of licence payers, hon. ...
    That this House is concerned that TV Licensing is both intimidating and misleading in its correspondence with households which do not have atelevision licence; is further concerned ...
    That this House notes that Rhythmix is the name of a small Brighton-based charity providing music-making opportunities to vulnerable youngsters; welcomes the decision by the entertainment ...
    That this House is concerned at the decision by Trinity Mirror North West to close its Westminster operation and the impact this will have on daily coverage of Parliamentary and constituency ...


    • Commons Briefing Papers (CBP) Papers providing in-depth and impartial analysis on every major piece of primary legislation and on other topics of public and parliamentary concern. Regular statistics papers are also published.
    • Early Day Motions (EDMs) - formal motions submitted by MPs in the House of Commons
    • POSTnotes (POST PN) - proactive four-page policy briefings from the Parliamentary Office of Science and Technology based on reviews of the research literature, interviews with stakeholders and peer review, commissioned by the POST Board
    • Lords Library Notes (LLN) - authored publications by the research section of the House of Lords Library that provide analysis of Bills, subjects for debate in the House and other issues of interest to Members.
    • Select Committee Reports - papers produced by all select committees of both Houses