Ofcom expects the first file-sharing notification letters to be sent in late Spring 2013, as the UK communications watchdog looks to crack-down on internet piracy. The plan proposed by Ofcom will have notification letters sent to the alleged file sharers, which will contain information regarding the allegations levied against them and also have directions on how the broadband network can be protected if there is suspicion that some third party is using the network to download contents which are illegal.
The ISPs will be keeping track of users who are suspects of piracy and also will show that they are able to match IP addresses adequate with the users' personal details.
Ofcom is hoping to implement the mechanism irrespective of the fact that the government might sign off the plans.
In early 2012 it is expected that ISPs will began to build the mechanisms and agree to an independent body of appeals.
Digital Economy Act
The proposed actions are part of Ofcom's duties under the Digital Economy Act 2010 in which it is charged with devising a regulatory code of practice aimed at reducing online copyright infringement.
The first draft of the code was published by Ofcom in May 2010 and was originally expected to go live in Spring 2011.
It detailed how and when Internet Service Providers (ISPs) covered by the code will send notifications to their customers to inform them of allegations that their accounts have been used for copyright infringement.
It set out a three stage notification process for informing internet users of infringements through notification letters.