Amendment 45

Part of Media Bill - Committee (2nd Day) – in the House of Lords am 6:30 pm ar 20 Mai 2024.

Danfonwch hysbysiad imi am ddadleuon fel hyn

Photo of Baroness Thornton Baroness Thornton Shadow Spokesperson (Equalities and Women's Issues), Shadow Spokesperson (Culture, Media and Sport) 6:30, 20 Mai 2024

I agree with what the noble Lord, Lord Lansley, said about the group being “miscellaneous”. It suggests it is a bit of a hotchpotch when, in fact, the noble Lord has already asked some very pertinent questions, which my noble friend’s Amendment 54A asks as well. It intends to probe the Government’s intentions to address digital exclusion relating to access to television. Quite a few of the stakeholders raised this issue with us as we prepared for this Bill; I think they will have done with other noble Lords as well.

The amendment asks the Secretary of State to

“prepare and lay before Parliament a report on the impact on the UK economy of addressing digital exclusion”,

including,

“an assessment of the impact of current and future levels of digital exclusion” and

“an assessment of the likely costs of delivering a programme to … drive uptake of internet connectivity”— an issue we have discussed in the House on many occasions—

“and digital devices to support access to television and … provide suitable support for skills development for those who need it in order to access television services”.

If the Bill is about the future and what might happen, we also have to address the fact that there will be millions of our fellow citizens who will not have access in different ways. We need to take account of that and work out how best we can approach it. That is what the amendment is about.

With his Amendment 45, the noble Lord, Lord Lansley, raises issues about how we look to the future to ensure that the Bill is comprehensive and covers the issues that need to be covered when preparing the standards code.