Ofcom update on Digital Economy Act implementation timescales – slipped to Q1 2014 #DEAct

It seems a long time ago now, the passing of the Digital Economy Act. It’s easy to remember how long because it was rushed through just before the last general election and I’m sure that global historical events such as the re-emergence of a Liberal government (only joking) are amongst the list of dates you remember exactly what you were doing when “it” happened.

The assassination of JFK and 9/11 are the other two that spring to mind although others may well have other memorable dates – outbreak of WW2 etc. Note I don’t actually remember the JFK assassination, I was too young, but it is always one of the ones quoted.

Ofcom has updated ISPA and have said that the code of practice still has to go through various stages:

  • First notices are expected to be sent out Q1 2014 (At last year November’s ISPA conference, Ofcom said spring 2013)
  • The code has been sitting with government for some time which is the reason for the delay
  • The costs Statutory Instrument has to be amended following Judicial Review verdict – Ofcom & ISP set up costs are now to be paid for by the Rights Holders
  • Once agreed by government, code has to be notified to the Commission (3 month period), then go to parliament for approval
  • Ofcom can then look at tariff setting (cost of implementing code requirements), followed by time for ISPs covered by the code to install necessary kit, etc.
  • Then costs need to be agreed with rights holders and, finally, an appeals body will be set up.

So there you go. It’s still a fairly long way away until the first implementation of the Act but there is going to be plenty of other heated debate en route – surveillance/Intercept Modernisation Programme and Claire Perry’s porn blocking initiative – and who knows what else might happen in the meantime.

I think I might be waiting for a fairy to arrive and wave her magic wand over the House of Commons saying “come to your senses, come to your senses”. Maybe that’s the point at which I wake up and find that I’ve been dreaming…

PS thanks to ISPA for feedback from their briefing with Ofcom.

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