Ofcom’s wings clipped in Government cuts

Media regulator Ofcom has had several of its duties “amended or removed” as part of the Government’s budget cuts.

Ofcom's wings clipped in Government cuts

Pre-Election speculation suggested the Conservatives would disband Ofcom altogether. However, the regulator has merely had its wings clipped by the Coalition Government.

The changes have been made to “return the policy-setting role to the Secretary of State [and] reduce unnecessary expense,” according to a statement issued by the Department of Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS).

Most of the amendments made to Ofcom’s remit concern broadcasting. The regulator will no longer be required to conduct a review of public service broadcasting every five years, for example, nor review media ownership rules every three years. Both will now be performed at the discretion of the Culture Secretary, Jeremy Hunt.

Ofcom’s powers over the broadband and telecoms industries remain largely untouched, although the regulator can now “charge fees for satellite filings made to the International Telecommunications Union”.

Elsewhere, the education IT agency BECTA has been abolished, as previously announced.

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