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Friday, 7 October 2011

Appeal granted for Digital Economy Act Judicial Review

The ruling by Mr Justice Kenneth Parker in this year's Judicial Review into the Digital Economy Act can be appealed, ruled the Court of Appeal this morning.  A full hearing is expected in 2-3 months time, although the court did not set a date.

For coverage of the original review see here.

I'll update with more details as they emerge, but one curious point about this appeal is why ISPs BT and Talk Talk were seemingly happy to keep quiet about the appeals process rumbling on behind the scenes.

I attended meetings where Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) officials were trumpeting an end to the review process, after the request to appeal was summarily dismissed soon after the conclusion of the original review.

Why did this assertion and other statements in the press about a definite end to the process go unchallenged, when, as I reported over summer, an attempt to overturn the earlier ruling was far from over?  A fact that had escaped the mainstream press and even tech blogs.

After breaking news of the appeal I asked BT in July for comment, and even went direct to a couple of contacts.  Nothing.  I was told by an industry contact that BT had agreed an uneasy truce with the government over deals potentially worth billions to expand superfast broadband roll-out across the country.

BT will be pleased to know I raised the possibility in my meeting last month with Ed Vaizey that some ISPs may be telling the government what they thought the government wanted to hear regarding the Digital Economy Act and associated issues with blocking overseas websites because they were chasing rural broadband subsidies.  Watch this space - I'm digging hard.  If you know anything, get in touch in confidence: tip@slightlyrightofcentre.com.


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