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BBFC to regulate mobile content

The British Board of Film Classification (BBFC) is to take over regulation of mobile internet content from the Mobile Classification Board (IMCB).

The BBFC will handle the ‘Classification Framework’ that enables mobile operators to restrict access to their commercial content considered unsuitable for customers under the age of 18.

This content includes video and AV material as well as mobile games. Mobile operators also use the framework to calibrate internet filters that parents can use to restrict content accessible by children via their internet access service.

The BBFC, which classifies films, DVDs and select video game and ads, will take on its new responsibilities from September 2.

The IMCB had handled the framework since its establishment in 2004.

Hamish MacLeod, chair of the Mobile Broadband Group, commented: “We are very grateful for the excellent work that the IMCB has done over the last eight years to support our code.

“However, with customers increasingly consuming content via mobile networks, we feel that the BBFC’s unparalleled expertise will be best suited to provide us with the independent framework and guidance for the future.”

David Cooke, director of the BBFC said: “We are pleased to be able to use our experience and expertise, including the insight we have into public opinion about what kind of content is suitable for under 18s to help Mobile Operators to restrict access to content accessed via mobile networks by those under 18.

“Parents are concerned about the content children access via mobile devices and the BBFC Framework takes into account the same issues the BBFC considers when age rating a film or DVD, such as strong language, violence, drug use, discrimination, sex and nudity.”

Premium rate voice services or premium rate SMS (text only) services are not covered by the BBFC Classification Framework and continue to operate under the PhonepayPlus Code of Practice.

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