Previous Section Back to Table of Contents Lords Hansard Home Page

24 Nov 2000 : Column WA99

Written Answers

Friday, 24th November 2000.

New Internet Top Level Domains

Baroness Thornton asked Her Majesty's Government:

    What they are doing to support applications being made for the new Internet Top Level Domains .coop and .union, given that the applications are supported by the International Cooperative Alliance, the International Confederation of Free Trade Unions and the British Internet industry.[HL4614]

The Minister for Science, Department of Trade and Industry (Lord Sainsbury of Turville): The UK Government have not supported any individual application for a new Internet top level domain. Instead the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN)'s Government Advisory Committee (of which the UK is a member) issued an Opinion on 16 November 2000 that set out a number of guiding principles which ICANN should take into account when selecting new internet top level domains. These principles included transparency, openness, linguistic diversity, stability of the Internet and competition with the existing top-level domains.

UK Internet Statistics

The Earl of Northesk asked Her Majesty's Government:

    What conclusions they draw from the publication by MMXI Europe of Internet statistics for the United Kingdom for the year from October 1999 to September 2000.[HL4666]

Lord Sainsbury of Turville: The results from the MMXI Europe at home panel show continuing rapid growth in the number of people using the Internet at home, with women and children making up an increasing proportion of the online population. These encouraging trends are reflected in other sources, including figures from the Office for National Statistics, which show that 45 per cent of adults in the UK have accessed the Internet at least once.

Trading Online

The Earl of Northesk asked Her Majesty's Government:

    What plans, if any, they have to tackle the findings of the recent Microsoft sponsored survey by Mori and the Cranfield School of Management

24 Nov 2000 : Column WA101

    revealing that only 2 per cent. of companies' supplier relationships are conducted over the web.[HL4670]

Lord Sainsbury of Turville: The DTI's own annual International Benchmarking Study finds that, while the majority of businesses are now online, only a minority of businesses are engaging in more complex e-commerce activities.

In response to findings such as this, the Government have developed UK online for business. This programme offers help and support to businesses to trade online. Part of this programme is designed specifically to encourage businesses to develop online supply chain relationships.

Sheep Scrapie, BSE and vCJD

The Countess of Mar asked Her Majesty's Government:

    How much funding has been allocated since 1989 to research into the hypothetical link between sheep scrapie, BSE and vCJD.[HL4701]

The Minister of State, Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food (Baroness Hayman): The Department of Health has spent a total of £4.5 million on research into the links between BSE, scrapie and vCJD. MAFF has supported two projects on epidemiology of BSE and vCJD at a total cost of £2 million. These last two projects do not directly address the link between sheep scrapie, BSE and vCJD but study the size of the epidemics and model the possible routes of transmission. In addition, MAFF is currently negotiating a project to study the relative transmissibility of these diseases to animal models which simulate transmission between species. It was not possible to do this research earlier as suitable animal models did not exist.

NMEC: Requests for Funds

Baroness Anelay of St Johns asked Her Majesty's Government:

    What assurances were required of them by the Millennium Commission that no further request would be made by the New Millennium Experience Company for Millennium Commission funds once the grant of £47 million was made in September; which Minister or Ministers were expected by the Millennium Commission to provide such assurances; and by what stage were such assurances to be provided.[HL4528]

Lord McIntosh of Haringey: The Millennium Commission has not requested any assurances from government that the New Millennium Experience Company (NMEC) will not make a further request for funds.

   Back to Table of Contents Lords Hansard Home Page