Hunt replaces comms green paper with seminars and review


Seminars will feed into policy review on subjects including spectrum allocation after Department for Culture Media and Sport says no overhaul of legislation is necessary

The Communications Green paper has been shelved by Culture Secretary Jeremy Hunt (pictured) in favour of five seminars that will feed into a communications review on how legislation on issues including spectrum allocation should be shaped.

The Department for Culture Media and Sport said it had decided to scrap the green paper because responses to an open letter the department published in May had shown no “root and branch reform” of current legislation was necessary.

A green paper designed to update 2003 legislation covering areas such as rural broadband and spectrum policy was originally scheduled to be published this Spring, however it was delayed following the furore surrounding Hunt’s involvement in the BSkyB bid.

Instead, the seminars will inform a white paper to be published in early 2013 which will form the basis for a Communications Bill to be passed by the end of the current parliament in 2015.

The five seminars, due to be held between July and September, will focus on maximising the value of spectrum, consumer perspectives, competition in the content market, driving investment and growth in TV content and supporting growth in the radio sector.

Hunt said: “The UK’s communications sector is one of the strongest in the world.  We must ensure the sector can grow by being at the forefront of new developments in the industry.

“It is essential that we set the right conditions for the industry to enable businesses to grasp the opportunities created by new technology.”

Communications minister Ed Vaizey said “The communications industry is a key part of our economy. Through these seminars, we will look in detail at how best to drive investment and competition.

“We want to shape the Communications Bill so that we have the right framework to secure our place as Europe’s tech hub.”