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Mr. Carmichael: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport what steps she is taking to ensure all regions of the United Kingdom are represented on the content board of the Office of Communication. 
Dr. Howells: Details of the arrangements for the regulation of content by the Office of Communications and how the interests of the nations and regions of the United Kingdom will be taken into account in those arrangements will be contained in the draft Communications Bill to be published in spring 2002.
Mr. Wiggin: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport what action the Government are taking to facilitate the provision of accessible WCs for people with disabilities visiting historic buildings. 
Dr. Howells: The Disability Discrimination Act 1995 was introduced to ensure that people with disabilities are offered the same services and facilities as everyone else. Planning Policy Guidance Note; planning and the historic environment (PPG15) states that it is important that people with disabilities should have dignified easy access to and within historic buildings. This includes the provision of suitable WCs.
English Heritage is the Government's statutory advisor on all matters concerning the historic environment in England, as well as being responsible for 409 historic properties and sites which are visited by over 11 million people each year. It is currently undertaking a programme of access audits, to be followed by works to increase physical access. The programme covers all 409 sites and will make all reasonable physical adjustments, including the provision of accessible WCs where appropriate. It will be implemented according to the Disability Discrimination Act 1995. English Heritage also provides guidance to others who own or manage historic buildings and other heritage properties on how to improve accessibility.
Mr. Yeo: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport what her estimate is of the (a) number and (b) percentage of people living in the United Kingdom who have a television at their primary place of residence. 
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24.585 million or 97.25 per cent. of all such premises. The available statistics do not distinguish between primary and other residences.
Mr. Yeo: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport what her estimate is of (a) the number and (b) the percentage of (i) people and (ii) households in the United Kingdom that (A) receive and (B) can receive digital television by (1) digital terrestrial, (2) digital satellite, (3) digital cable and (4) other means; and what the equivalent figures are for reception at people's primary place of residence. 
|UK coverage||Percentage of population||Number of homes|
|Multiplex 1 BBC||81||20,261,000|
|Multiplex 2 Digital 3 and 4||80||19,851,000|
|Multiplex A SDN||78||19,455,000|
|Multiplex B ITV Digital||79||19,546,000|
|Multiplex C ITV Digital||76||18,963,000|
|Multiplex D ITV Digital||74||18,441,000|
(16) Core coverage is the ability to receive all six multiplexes
(2) Digital satellite is predicted to reach about 98.2 per cent. of the UK population.
(3) Digital cable passes 6.2 per cent. of UK homes.
(4) Data are not available for other technologies.
6 Dec 2001 : Column: 502W
|Analogue TV sales (million)||Digital TV sales (thousand)|
(17) To October.
Equivalent figures for radio are not available, but the Radio Authority has advised that there are estimated to be in excess of 100 million analogue radio sets currently in use in the UK and some 40,000 digital radio sets.
Mr. Yeo: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport if she will make a statement on the use of on-screen digitally originated graphics to identify and promote (a) television channels, (b) programme strands, (c) internet links and (d) other programmes. 
Dr. Howells: Electronic Programme Guides (EPG) (both with and without digitally originated graphics), will make it easier for viewers to access an increasing number of television programmes and channels on offer through digital television.
Under the proposals outlined in the Communications White Paper, Ofcom's powers to promote competition and protect consumers will apply to EPGs and similar new systems. Ofcom's powers must be sufficiently flexible to address new competition issues as they emerge. It is also proposed that Ofcom should be able to regulate EPGs so that Public Service Broadcasters are given due prominence.
Mr. Yeo: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport what her estimate is of the (a) number and (b) percentage of (i) people and (ii) households in the United Kingdom that can receive (A) publicly and (B) commercially funded digital radio by any means; and what are the figures for reception at people's primary place of residence. 
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BBC local digital radio services (which include the National Regions) cover between 40 and 50 per cent. of households (estimated to be between 9,800,000 and 12,300,000 households in total);
Commercial national digital radio services cover over 80 per cent. of households (estimated to be around 19,600,000 households in total);
Commercial local digital radio services cover between 40 and 50 per cent. of households (estimated to be between 9,800,000 and 12,300,000 households in total), and the Radio Authority continues to advertise new multiplexes, working towards a target of 80 per cent. in this phase.
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