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Ofcom “not ready” for BBC watchdog role

Media regulator Ofcom may not be ready to take on its new BBC watchdog role until April 2017 – some three months after the corporation’s new charter is due to begin.

Ofcom will take over large parts of the regulation of the corporation from the BBC Trust, which will be abolished under the terms laid out by the government’s white paper on the future of the corporation.

A report in the FT said “several officials” had confirmed that Ofcom would not be ready by January 1st 2017.

The government’s white paper, published in May, acknowledged that the “fundamental changes to governance and regulation will require time for the bodies involved to implement”. However, it did not set out a timeline for the switch.

A spokesman for Ofcom said: “We’re currently discussing a transition timetable with the government, BBC and BBC Trust. As the government has recognised, these are fundamental changes that will require time to implement, given their complexity and the need for a smooth transition.”

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