§ Mr. Michael Fabricant
The proceedings of the Joint Committee on the draft Communications Bill are webcast as part of a one-year pilot project covering proceedings in the chambers of both Houses, sittings of the House in Westminster Hall, and public proceedings of certain select and joint committees. The pilot project is due to run until the end of December 2002 and is specifically intended as a means by which the general public can follow proceedings in Parliament. It is not accessible via the PDVN since the volume of electronic traffic that might be generated could affect the quality of day to day services on PDVN.
Once the pilot project has come to an end, an assessment will be made of its value. If a webcasting service is to be provided in the long term, a decision will be taken on whether access will be made available within Parliament, bearing in mind any further investment which would be needed. The hon. Gentleman may want to raise the matter with the Broadcasting and Information Committees later in the year, as the pilot project comes to a close.