Pre-legislative scrutiny (12 weeks, likely to start June 2021 with a gap for recess)
Bill introduced in the autumn 2021 (passage may take up to 9 months)
Commencement and Royal Assent outlining definitions and basic powers of OFCOM (earliest summer 2022)
First big showpiece will be the Secretary of State setting out their priorities (some will come from OFCOM).
OFCOM set out Section 61 risk assessment which will encompass the big systemic issues, design of platform and content. This may take 6 months but can take up to 18 months. OFCOM will then need to produce Section 62 guidance to providers on how they should carry out risk assessment (a further 6 months).
Only when guidance on risk assessment is published are platforms obliged to undertake the risk assessments. Providers have 3 months to do the risk assessment, but extra time can be agreed by OFCOM.
OFCOM also has to produce guidance on assessment of access by children, which will be interlocking but developed as a standalone process.
Sometime around this time the Secretary of State can bring in regulations via secondary legislation not covered by the rest of the regime.
Prior to doing that (though exact timings are unclear), OFCOM has to deliver Section 5 – advice on the tiers (Cat 1, 2a, 2b etc).
OFCOM is very good at delivering robust processes, but may take 6 months to a year to get up and running. The shortest possible path is 9 months (though this feels unfeasible in reality).
Overall looking at mid-2023, recognising that a number of issues will be contested.