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Television: Telephone Services

Volume 458: debated on Thursday 22 March 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport what powers are available to (a) Ofcom and (b) the Independent Committee for the Supervision of Standards of Telephone Information Services to take action against broadcasters found to have misled the public over their use of premium-rate phone-in lines. (129116)

Ofcom has a range of statutory sanctions that it may impose on broadcasters found in serious breach of its broadcasting code. Depending on the severity of the breach, these can include a direction to broadcast a summary of Ofcom’s adjudication, a financial penalty and, in the most serious of cases, the shortening or revocation of a licence. ICSTIS also has a range of powers to take action against premium rate service (PRS) providers found in serious breach of the ICSTIS code. These include the power to fine PRS providers up to £250,000, barring access to individual services and banning named individuals from operating services for set periods.