BT and TalkTalk call for Digital Economy bill review

12 Jul 2010

Britain’s incumbent fixed line operator and alternative telco TalkTalk have jointly called for a judicial review of the Digital Economy Act that was passed in April 2010. According to Network World, the two operators claim that as a result of being rushed through parliament prior to the May 2010 General Election, the legislation faced ‘insufficient scrutiny’. One of the key areas that both BT and TalkTalk have raised concerns new measures aimed at tackling internet piracy, including controversial plans to temporarily suspend individuals from accessing their broadband connections; such measures, the duo have argued, could be in breach of ‘basic rights and freedoms’. Commenting on the proposed challenge to the Act, Gavin Patterson, CEO of BT Retail, noted: ‘It’s disappointing that we feel the need to take action but we feel we have no choice. We have to do this for our customers who otherwise run the risk of being treated unfairly … Our dispute is not with the current government but with the previous administration which pushed this through without due process. We need clarity about whether this legislation is compatible with important EU laws.’