Telecommunications

This page highlights some of the current parliamentary material available on telecommunications. This includes select committee reports, briefing papers on current legislation and other subjects produced by the parliamentary research services, and the latest Early Day Motions put down by MPs.

Standard Notes

DateDescription
03.04.2014Broadband - Update 2014
How the Government aims to meet its targets for increasing access to faster internet connections.
01.04.2014Nuisance Calls: Unsolicited sales and marketing, and silent calls
Nuisance calls (i.e. unsolicited - and unwanted - marketing messages, silent or abandoned calls) cause widespread harm and inconvenience which have been acknowledged by the previous and current Government and the relevant regulators. This note sets out the key regulations which seek to address nuisance calls and the main sources of assistance and their limitations.
24.04.20130845 numbers
The use of non-geographic telephone numbers, such as those beginning 0845, has been controversial - particularly in the context of the delivery of public services by bodies such as HM Revenue and Customs.
26.02.20134G spectrum
Ofcom is proceeding with plans to auction radio spectrum needed for 4G mobile devices. One related issue is the potential for interference with TV reception.
11.05.2012Use of non-geographic telephone numbers (e.g. 0845) by the NHS and GPs' practices
Under current rules, NHS bodies and GPs' practices are not prohibited from using non-geographic phone numbers, such as 0845 numbers, although the Department of Health has issued guidance about their use.

Research Papers

DateDescription
29.03.2010Digital Economy Bill [HL]
The Bill implements aspects of Government policy on digital media set out in the 'Digital Britain' White Paper published in June 2009. It requires Ofcom to report on communications infrastructure and media content and gives it additional powers in relation to electromagnetic spectrum access. It imposes obligations on internet service providers to reduce online copyright infringement and allows the Secretary of State to intervene in internet domain name registration. The Bill requires Channel Four to provide public service content on a range of media and allows variation of the public service provision in Channel 3 and 5 licences. It also modifies the licensing regime to facilitate switchover to digital radio, extends the range of video games that are subject to age-related classification and includes non-print formats in the public lending right payment scheme.
26.11.2002Telecommunications and the Communications Bill (Bill 6 2002/03)
Telecommunications and The Communications Bill (Bill 6 of 2002/03). House of Commons Library Research Paper 02/67.
11.12.2001Mobile phones and mobile phone masts
Mobile phones and mobile phone masts. House of Commons Library Research Paper 01/111.

Select Committee Reports

DateDescription
01.02.2011OFCOM: the effectiveness of converged regulation.
Public Accounts Committee report [Commons]
04.03.2009Mobile phone charges in the EU: Follow up report.
European Union Select Committee (HL) report [Lords]

Early Day Motions

DateDescription
26.01.2012DATA SECURITY ON MOBILE PHONES
That this House is concerned at reports in the Daily Mail that millions of mobile phone users may have been exposed to internet scams after their numbers were inadvertently sent to ...
10.01.2012HM REVENUE AND CUSTOMS CONTACT CENTRE TRIAL OF PRIVATE CONTRACTORS
That this House congratulates staff working in HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) contact centres on increasing the positive answering rate to 71 per cent. of calls to date in 2011-12; notes ...
15.12.2011MASTERS DEGREE IN SIGN LANGUAGE
That this House congratulates Heriot-Watt University on becoming the first in Scotland to offer a full-time MA in British Sign Language (BSL); notes with concern that there are only ...
15.11.2011PROPOSED CLOSURE OF VIRGIN MEDIA LIVERPOOL OFFICES
That this House is concerned that Virgin Media is proposing to close itsLiverpool offices in Albert Dock with the loss of over 400 jobs; notes that Virgin's aim is to reduce office ...
07.11.2011DEVOLUTION OF BROADCASTING TO THE WELSH ASSEMBLY
That this House believes that, given the handling of the issue of S4C during the passage of the Public Bodies Bill, particularly the lack of opportunity for the overwhelming majority ...

POST Papers

DateDescription
15.07.2014Big Data Overview
This POSTnote gives an overview of big data.
05.03.2014Social Media and Big Data
This POSTnote examines the application of 'big data' approaches to social media in three key areas: elections and polling, commercial applications and security. It also covers the regulation of social media data and public concerns around privacy.
31.05.2013Monitoring Internet Communications
Internet communications are often monitored to investigate criminal activity. Recent attempts to update UK regulation of investigatory powers have generated controversy. This POSTnote explains the use of different internet monitoring methods and discusses the impact of evolving technologies.
17.12.2012Machine to Machine Communication
Machine to machine (M2M) communication will allow the connection of billions of 'smart' devices and enable new ways of living and working. This note examines the potential of M2M, the common infrastructure that underlies many applications and the technological barriers to implementation.
22.09.2011Cyber Security in the UK
Cyber security refers to defences against electronic attacks launched via computer systems. This POSTnote looks at approaches to cyber security in the context of large-scale attacks, with a focus on national infrastructure.
01.03.2010Space debris, March 2010
This POSTnote looks at measures to protect satellites from debris and international agreements and guidelines to reduce the amount of debris generated.

Glossary

  • Research Papers (RP) - briefings produced by the House of Commons Library on Bills, topical issues and regular statistics
  • Standard Notes (SN) - shorter, topical briefings from the Commons Library
  • Early Day Motions (EDMs) - formal motions submitted by MPs in the House of Commons
  • POST Notes - short briefing notes produced by the Parliamentary Office of Science and Technology
  • Lords Library Notes (LLN) - papers compiled by the House of Lords Library on Bills and for debates in the Lords
  • Select Committee Reports - papers produced by all select committees of both Houses