HC Deb 16 December 1999 vol 341 c237W
Dr. Cable

To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what steps he is taking to monitor and control the use of telephone pornography services offered by telecommunications providers. [102838]

Ms Hewitt

Telephone pornography services are offered using the Premium Rate Service (PRS) charging mechanism. The Independent Committee for the Supervision of Standards of Telephone Information Services (ICSTIS) has responsibility for regulating PRS, through its Code of Practice. ICSTIS can apply sanctions, ranging from fines to disconnection and barring from service provision, to service providers which breach the Code. ICSTIS and the Office of Telecommunications (Oftel) are currently reviewing the regulatory framework for PRS to ensure that consumers continue to benefit from the right level of protection.

The ICSTIS Code requires all providers of services to abide by a number of provisions covering decency, and requires that promotional material does not reach those for whom the service concerned may be inappropriate.