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Volume 478: debated on Monday 23 June 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department to what premium Sky, digital terrestrial or cable television channels (a) her Department and (b) each of its agencies subscribes; and at what cost in the most recent year for which figures are available. (210841)

The Home Office estate in 2 Marsham Street has two TV feeds:

(a) One via satellite that can access “free to air” service for all channels used. There is no cost to this service.

(b) One via cable from the Palace of Westminster. This provides:

Division Bell overlay used by the Secretary and Ministers of State to advise when their attendance is required to vote;

Parliamentary channels not available to the general public derived from the Palace itself (e.g. live feeds from both chambers and Westminster Hall); and other channels as part of the package, but these are not itemised individually.

The charge for the cable service is £12,500 per annum plus £1,500 for annual line maintenance between the Palace of Westminster and 2 Marsham Street.

Beyond the 2 Marsham Street estate, individual business areas are able to buy their own television and cable equipment and subscriptions and there is no centralised record of such services purchased by the agencies of the Department.