"The Digital Economy Bill" - is the consumer footing the bill?

The Telegraph today reports on the British government’s 'impact assessment document' which examines the likely effects of The Digital Economy Bill ('championed by Lord Mandelson'). Also see the IPKat's earlier report here.

The assessment document written by Lord Young (Department for Business Innovation and Skills) and Lord Davies (Department of Culture Media and Sport) predicts that over the next decade consumers will pay about £290 to £500 million "... as ISPs pass their increased costs on to consumers", The Telegraph tells us. The British consumer is likely to foot the bill by having to pay an extra £25 a year to the cost of broadband. At the same time it is estimated that the Bill will result in an additional £1.7 billion for the entertainment industry over the next ten years.

The IPKat wonders.... Is the Bill a good thing? After all, it will be "tackling" illegal file sharers we learn from the No.10 website. Or is it a bad thing? It's "grossly unfair" according to the shadow culture secretary Jeremy Hunt's comment in The Times. Either way, Merpel thinks that it is not interesting enough a topic to stop her from munching on her left over Christmas cookies.... or is it?

To read the impact assessment document, please click here.
"The Digital Economy Bill" - is the consumer footing the bill? "The Digital Economy Bill" - is the consumer footing the bill? Reviewed by Birgit Clark on Tuesday, December 29, 2009 Rating: 5


  1. bad, evil and grossly unfair!

  2. Does the expected cost of 290 million and an annual extra bill of 25 per year mean that there are only about 1 million UK homes with broadband? If so, what is the big deal regarding to risk of IP infringement?

  3. maybe you should ask Lord Mandelson what the big deal is.

  4. I work for the Open Rights Group, who are campaigning against the Digital Economy Bill on the basis that it is unfair and disproportionate.
    We're asking UK citizens to get in touch with their MP and explain to them why the Bill must be stopped, and possibly to meet them at one of their surgeries to discuss the specific problematic points of the Bill in detail.

    We believe that visits and letters from voters will help change the minds of MPs currently for the proposals; our representatives will then see that people care about their rights and, as their duty is to vote in accordance with constituents' opinions, we hope that they will then oppose the Bill.

    If you, or your readers, want to know more details about the specific problems picked out by ORG and its supporters, don't know who your MP is, need help with wording a letter or arranging a meeting with them, drop me an email - katie@openrightsgroup.org - and I'll do my best to get you the information you need; all you have to do is the talking.

  5. I think it's unfair and disproportionate as well. I pay just under £120 a year for my internet, and would object to paying a further £25 just for someone to check that I wasn't doing anything naughty with it. If the benefit to the entertainment industry is really as big as they claim, then it would seem that there was enough money around for the entertainment industry to pay it all themselves and still rake in a big boost to income.

    Though the figures do seem a bit suspect anyway. It would cost well under £1 per subscriber to send *all* subscribers a letter telling them (correctly or not) that they were infringing copyright. Why does it apparently cost vastly more than this to only send such letters to a small minority of customers?


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