Headlines: December 13th, 2000

The Government has tried to keep pace with the technology revolution that’s changing the face of broadcasting and telecommunications.The Communications White paper aims to strike a balance between protecting quality and variety of programming and light touch regulation that will allow British broadcasters to flourish and sell their products in a global market.

Among the key proposals, a new body will cover the converging broadcasting and telecommunications businesses, recognising the increasing links between traditional media industries and providers of personal communications equipment such as mobile phones. OFCOM will take up work currently split across the OFT, ITC or OFTEL.

The BBC is also handed new opportunities and challenges, in an attempt to provide it with a ‘level playing field’ on which to compete with independents.

The lifting of a limit on shares in ITV to 15 per cent aims to allow the company the investment it needs to compete in a global market. And there is to be consultation on further relaxation of cross-media ownership rules, in the interests of ensuring Britain stays at the forefront of a dynamic market.

Link: www.communicationswhitepaper.gov.uk.