Advanced Television

Currie: "Ofcom should rule online"

October 16, 2008

Outgoing Ofcom chairman David Currie has said that his successor should expect the communications regulator to have an expanded remit with responsibility for stricter control over internet content. Currie said there was an appetite among legislators for putting a tighter rein on the internet now the medium had moved beyond its formative stages.

Echoing comments last month by culture secretary Andy Burnham, who argued that it was time for a different approach to tightening up “taste and decency” online, Currie said Ofcom was likely to find its remit expanded, following his departure, to encompass digital media.

“Ask most legislators today, and, where they think about it, they will say that period [of forbearance] is coming to an end. Currie made it clear that any scenario that saw an expanded Ofcom remit would not simply “import old broadcasting-style regulation to the internet”.

In his speech Currie also added his weight to calls from the ITV executive chairman, Michael Grade, and the Channel 4 chief executive, Andy Duncan, that the government needed to act quickly to drive legislation arising from the outcome of Ofcom’s second public service broadcasting review through parliament.

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