Broadband News

Ed Vaizey re-iterates need for site-blocking system

Ed Vaizey, the Communications minister, has re-iterated his preference for a light-touch approach to Internet regulation, and this has been backed by the CEO of Virgin Media, Neil Berkett. Both were speaking today at the Intellect 2011 Consumer Electronics Conference in London. Vaizey queried BT's approach to litigating against the Digital Economy Act, which it failed to get overturned when the courts ruled they couldn't appeal the judicial review. Vaizey went on to speak of favouring an industry led approach to handling net-neutrality and industry forming a voluntary system to block access to unwanted and illegal content.

"There are prominent web sites that stream live football or sell movies without permission from rights holders, and we should look at ways of stopping them. No-one is saying business models don't have to change, but that doesn't mean you sit back and let people rip off other people's content.

There are rumours of a voluntary system being implemented in the US and that would be a significant game-changer. We want industry to find a way forward where the most egregious sites can [be taken offline].

Ed Vaizey, Communications Minister

The Virgin Media chief, Neil Berkett, agreed that regulation was not needed in our market as the UK was quite different to the US broadband market which was generally dominated by only one or two providers offering broadband services in an area. Berkett said that the highly competitive broadband industry in the UK would allow the market to self-regulate, implying that customers would vote with their feet if their broadband services wasn't up to scratch. He also raised issues about site blocking but differs from Ed Vaizey in that he believes that blocking people without providing them an alternative, legal source of the content they are accessing people will be unlikely to change their behaviour.

"Site blocking is a possible part of the solution, but it's not the solution. How do we go about making sure it's the right site that's being blocked and ensure we have a regime that means if a site has to be blocked, everybody blocks it?

We have to do more to convince people that stealing is wrong when many people don't see it as such. Beating them over the head with a stick is not a good start. We need to encourage people to change their behaviour."

Neil Berkett, (CEO) Virgin Media


I'd very much like to vote with my feet in this 'highly competitive market place' by getting rid of the company who own that piece of copper through my window frame.....but it appears I have no choice, like millions of others, but to put up with them. No sign of any regulation about that monopoly is there, Mr Vaizey?

The time is long overdue to JFDigIt and rid my doormat of that logo once and for all.

  • digitaldales
  • over 9 years ago

What monopoly? Try TalkTalk or Sky.

  • Somerset
  • over 9 years ago

We have to do more to convince people that stealing is wrong when many people don't see it as such."
Complete twaddle, they are clueless, it is they who need to change, as for stealing they are the ones doing that not those who download /copy content for personal use, if copyright infringement was theft then it would be a criminal offence, and those accused would have right to a trial by jury, as the downloaded content is so valuable judging by the sum's that ACS demanded from people

  • tommy45
  • over 9 years ago

You can rent that wire via many companies, and other companies or entities are at liberty to install a competing wire or fibre.

Block the pirates, if it isn't yours by rights or purchase then you can't have it. Grow up.

  • herdwick
  • over 9 years ago

If anyone thinks that 'pirates' are going to be put off or outdone by website blocking then they are either astoundingly naive or quite frankly a little bit simple!

  • fibrebunny
  • over 9 years ago

Never mind all that bs get 'superfast' broadband rolled out and stop waffling about rubbish ffs, silly toffs and their private property.

  • spetznaz
  • over 9 years ago

@herdwick & Somerset, Apart from BT Openreach & Virgin media, no other provider has it's line plant installed that people in most of the uk can connect to, As for TalkTalk or Sky, they have to use BT openreaches line plant the copper pair, only alternative is virgin cable, but that availability is limited

  • tommy45
  • over 9 years ago

It's not just the blocking web sites (under the guise that they are infringing copyright) it's where it will lead is the cause for alarm, as it's censorship, and who is ed vaisey to dictate on this ffs? what does he actually know?

  • tommy45
  • over 9 years ago

Block a site...start up VPN...back to normal.

  • otester
  • over 9 years ago

It shows how little these people know of the subject that the minister thinks that using the BT child protection system will stop this.

As has been already seen that is flawed and easily by passed there should also be a compensation scheme for wrongly blocked sites in place too.

  • Aqualung
  • over 9 years ago

Ed Vaizey, Big Media Puppet.

  • psdie
  • over 9 years ago

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