Lord Currie of Marylebone

Professor David Currie, Lord Currie of Marylebone. (Crossbench Peer) chairman of Ofcom from 2002 to 2009. Became a Lord in 1996 but has attended only 7% of votes (From Public Whip) Has spoken in 1 debate in the last year (TheWorkForYou.com). Previously held positions at OfGem, the Bank of England, and the International Monetary Fund. Ex Dean of Cass Business School and Professor of Business Economics. Other current positions include Chairman of Coredeal/MTS; Non-Executive Director of Abbey National plc; Director of the Joseph Rowntree Reform Trust (Investments) Ltd; and a Member of Terra Consilia.

Prior to his appointment as Dean at the Cass Business School, Currie was Deputy Dean at London Business School (1992-95, 1998-2000), Director of its Centre for Economic Forecasting (1988-95) and its Regulation Initiative (1995-2000). He was also a founding member of the Treasury's Panel of Independent Forecasters (the so-called "Wise Men"), and in that role advised two Conservative Chancellors.

Lord Currie has resigned the Labour Whip in the House of Lords in 2002, which he had taken since being made a Peer in October 1996. He has also resigned as a member of the Labour Party, to which he had in the past made small donations.

He likes to encourage better competition and has compared regulators to drains. "If you notice them, then there is a problem"

"I live by my PC. I carry a laptop with me everywhere. When I'm at the Lords I often sit in the royal gallery, plug my laptop into my mobile and pick up my emails. It's a stunning Pugin room and seems the most appropriately incongruous thing to do,"


Net Neutrality

Ofcom chairman Lord Currie of Marylebone is reported by Joe Fay in The Register to have said on 2nd November 2006

"It's as well it hasn't come over here, as it's a somewhat confused debate."
"[I] think it's a thoroughly bad idea not to charge for quality of service,"
"I do see competition law as the answer to many of the issues,"

After the debate, he added that the crucial point was whether providers were attempting to force content providers to pay. A content provider going to a service provider and asking for a guaranteed level of service was OK, he said. Access providers strong arming content providers into paying, was not.

What the net neutrality lobby had done, said Lord Currie, was to turn an essentially economic issue into a moral crusade

TV Without Frontiers Directive

Amanda Andrews reports in The Times 06 July 2006

Lord Currie, the chairman of Ofcom, hit out yesterday at European Commission proposals that could lead to regulation of podcasting, saying that the market was too diverse for tighter controls.



2007-08-31 - The Times - Gangs and gun crime rekindle the debate on tighter internet regulation
Author: Dan Sabbagh
Summary: The storm is an indication of how the "you can’t regulate the internet" debate is shifting. Two years ago, Lord Currie of Marylebone, Ofcom’s chairman, argued that there was no need for any specific internet regulation, because existing laws, such as those covering incitement to racial hatred, made illegal anything that was likely to provoke the most offence. Yet there is a recognition privately in regulatory circles that the debate is being reopened - although there are no plans as yet for a formal Ofcom consultation - and acknowledgement that this is an issue that the Government may force the communications authority to consider.
2006-11-02 - The Register - Ofcom stays in neutral on net neutrality
Author: Joe Fay
Summary: Ofcom has no intention of lording it over the net neutrality debate, the head of the regulator made clear yesterday.
2006-07-06 - The Times - Attack on move to regulate podcasts
Author: Amanda Andrews
Summary: Lord Currie, the chairman of Ofcom, hit out yesterday at European Commission proposals that could lead to regulation of podcasting, saying that the market was too diverse for tighter controls.
2006-01-20 - DTG News - Lord Currie is re-appointed Ofcom chairman
Summary: Lord Currie has been re-appointed chairman of UK media regulator Ofcom by culture secretary Tessa Jowell. The re-appointment for two years will end on July 31, 2009.
2005-01-27 - ZDNet - ISPs fear greater Net regulation
Author: Graeme Wearden
Summary: Lord Currie, Ofcom chairman, told the forum that it was important to strike a balance between taking action to protect people and trusting them to judge and address dangers themselves. But while Lord Currie applauded the UK ISP sector for its track record on issues such as child p0rnography, he warned that self-regulation "may not be the answer". "We need an honest debate on whether content, including Internet content, should be regulated in a more converged way," said Lord Currie.
2004-10-13 - DTG News - Broadcasters face technology 'eruption', warns Currie
Summary: Ofcom chairman Lord Currie has warned UK broadcasters they face a "volcanic eruption" of new technology which will bring "with it an unprecedented challenge for traditional linear television broadcasting". ... "At the risk of being over-dramatic I would say that most traditional television broadcasters are today standing about the equivalent of one mile from Mount St Helens. When it blows, frankly, that is too close and then it will be too late to run," he warned.
2004-10-11 - OFCOM - RTS Fleming Memorial Lecture 2004 - Television and the Digital Future
Author: David Currie, Ofcom Chairman
Summary: Over the next decade, audiences will move away from the linear, scheduled world where there is a relatively limited number of distributors who push their content at the viewer – a world where traditionally you got what the broadcaster wanted you to get – and the regulator allowed the broadcaster to give to you. We will instead enter a world where content is increasingly delivered through internet-protocol-based networks that are non-linear, on-demand and entirely self-scheduled. In that world, the viewer – not the broadcaster – will decide what is consumed and how. What will this mean for scheduling and for the advertiser-funded model? For content rights and rights management? For content regulation? And for that set of public policy interventions that have characterised broadcasting since 1927 and still remained enshrined – albeit in slightly modernised form – in the Communications Act? Let me take these in turn.
2004-06-25 - Cass Buisiness School - Lord Currie welcomes wireless age but warns of regulatory challenges
Summary: Lord Currie concluded by comparing regulators to drains. He said, "If you notice them, then there is a problem" and he looked forward to when OFCOM did not have such a high profile.
2002-09-24 - The Guardian - I'm no meddler
Author: John Cassy
Summary: "I live by my PC. I carry a laptop with me everywhere. When I'm at the Lords I often sit in the royal gallery, plug my laptop into my mobile and pick up my emails. It's a stunning Pugin room and seems the most appropriately incongruous thing to do," Currie pledges that Ofcom will take a "light-touch" approach to regulation and not become a vehicle for meddling. Companies will be given freedom to develop, but he warns that Ofcom will not be afraid to come down heavily on companies that step badly out of line. "In general I favour a light-handed style of regulation, with the proviso that where there is a major problem there could be a major intervention. We want to create the conditions in which dynamic, vibrant industries can develop. I'm a firm believer that if competition can work then that is the best thing."
2002-07-26 - Guardian - Media watchdog denies cronyism
Author: John Cassy
Summary: The Tories yesterday launched a stinging attack on the appointment of the Labour supporter Lord Currie as the media's new regulator, claiming the government had taken "a step back 200 years". ... "I think it's a pity that we find yet another person in a position of power who is an active Labour member,"
2002-07-25 - BBC - Peer named media watchdog chief
Summary: Lord Currie of Marylebone is to become the first head of the powerful new communications and media regulator Ofcom. The Labour peer is an economist and Dean of London City University's John Cass Business School. He is also said to be an ally of Chancellor Gordon Brown.
2002-07-25 - Guardian - Lord Currie to head Ofcom
Author: Owen Gibson
Summary: Lord Currie of Marylebone has been confirmed as the new chairman of Ofcom, declaring that he was "honoured and delighted" to accept the role. He also announced he is giving up the Labour whip in the House of Lords and has resigned as a member of the Labour party in an effort to head off Tory accusations of cronyism.
2002-07-25 - BBC - Ofcom's powerful peer
Summary: Lord Currie of Marylebone, the first appointed chairman of the powerful new media regulator Ofcom, has enjoyed a long and distinguished career. BBC News Online looks at his past.
2002-07-25 - The Register - Lord Currie crowned Ofcom king
Author: Drew Cullen
Summary: Lord Currie, the dean of the Sir John Cass Business School of the City of London, is to be the first chairman of Ofcom, the new media/telecoms regulator, the FT says.
2006-06-02 - OFCOM - Appointment of Lord Currie as Chairman
Summary: Lord (David) Currie of Marylebone has been appointed as Chairman of the new Office of Communications (OFCOM) by the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport, Tessa Jowell and the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry, Patricia Hewitt. The appointment will be for a period of 5 years.