§ Nick Harvey
To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport what steps she has taken to implement the findings from the focus groups research run by her Department since June 2001; and what recent discussions and representations she has had with stakeholders and industry to deliver policies arising from those findings. 
§ Dr. Howells
[holding answer 22 January 2003]: Since June 2001, the Department has made use of focus group research in two cases.439W
(1) Research into consumer attitudes to digital television
The findings from the three focus groups conducted as part of this MORI research have been fed into the work of the Digital Action Plan task groups. The Technical and Equipment Group, which have consumer representation including the RNIB and RNID, has identified key areas in which blind/partially sighted viewers and deaf/hard of hearing viewers can benefit from digital television and made recommendations to increase universal user accessibility. The group is taking these findings forward, and will also work with the Independent Television Commission on the "Easy TV" project which is aimed at making the new interactive facilities offered by digital TV easy to use and accessible by all viewers. Ministers are in regular contact with stakeholders and industry through the steering board of the Digital Action Plan.
(2) Regional Data Framework Project
The findings of the focus groups, which were run during 2002, were incorporated into the report and user guide documents. The framework is now being tested by stakeholders so that comments on content and usability can be built into the final version of this guidance documentation on data sources and methodologies.