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The Digital Economy Act is set to be introduced so late that it risks being out of date, according to one broadband provider.

With legal challenges, technical problems and other issues continuing to delay the implementation of the legislation, Entanet believes the act may cause more problems than it solves.

The act entered the statute books ahead of the last general election in April 2010, but will not come into force until 2014.

When implemented, the act will require broadband providers to take preventative action against consumers who breach the intellectual property rights of online rights holders.

Darren Farnden, Head of Marketing at Entanet, said very little progress has been made since the law was voted through by MPs.

"In fact last month, with the launch of its Initial Obligations Code, Ofcom announced that the controversial three strikes warning letters will not commence until 2014 – a whole four years after the law was passed," he stated.

"With so much notice, surely the most prolific infringers will have discovered even more ways to circumvent the Digital Economy Act by the time it's enforced."

Mr Farnden said that while the entertainment industries need to protect their material, pursuing people through the courts based on shaky IP address information and then threatening them with warning letters and disconnection is "not the way to tackle this issue".

"Entertainment companies need to reassess their business models to take advantage of the opportunities the internet brings, not fight them," he stated.

"More needs to be done to encourage users to purchase media through legal channels with less focus on pursuing ‘offenders’, especially when the prolific offenders will be using proxies and virtual private networks to avoid detection anyway."

Mr Farnden noted that Entanet has opposed the act since its first inception and the longer its implementation drags on, "the more pointless it becomes".

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