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New Ofcom CEO Dame Melanie Dawes faces questions from the DCMS Committee

18 June 2020

In her first appearance before the Committee, Dame Melanie Dawes will give evidence after three months as CEO of Ofcom. The session comes as the communications watchdog's remit is set to expand, following the Government's announcement that it was "minded" to make Ofcom the online harms regulator.

Witness

Tuesday 23 June - remote participation by witnesses and Committee members 

At 9.30am

  • Dame Melanie Dawes, CEO, Ofcom

Purpose of the session

The session will focus on Ofcom's role in three priority areas for the Committee: online harms, digital inclusion and infrastructure and public service broadcasting.

Online harms

The Committee will discuss Ofcom's potential role as the so-called 'Online Harms Regulator', including the powers and resources it will need and how it works with other regulators. Measures taken to tackle online misinformation and harmful content will be examined with questions arising from the Committee's evidence session with senior social media executives two weeks ago.

Digital inclusion and infrastructure

The Committee will scrutinise customer's experiences of broadband and mobile networks during Covid-19 and more broadly, as well as Ofcom's plans and position on the roll-out of gigabit-capable broadband, ahead of the Committee's inquiry into Broadband and the road to 5G.

Public service broadcasting

Ofcom will be questioned about their 'Small Screen: Big Debate' work programme and its impact on changes to the public service broadcasting (PSB) system in the UK. How PSBs have been fulfilling their programming commitments during the Covid-19 period and the longer-term impacts of coronavirus pandemic will also be examined. There will also be wider questions on Ofcom's view on the role of PSBs as part of the Committee's inquiry into The future of Public Service Broadcasting.

Further information

Image: Ofcom