The U.K. government has confirmed its intention to introduce a Digital Economy Bill, expected to include three-strikes measures that would lead to suspension of Internet access for repeat copyright infringers.

The bill "to ensure the communications infrastructure is fit for the digital age" was announced by the Queen, during the state opening of parliament in the House of Lords today (Nov. 18).

Last month, Lord Mandelson, secretary of state for business, innovation and skills, announced the intention to introduce measures to tackle illegal file-sharing. Internet Service Providers (ISPs) would be obliged to introduce download caps and bandwidth restrictions, and ultimately Internet access could be suspended for serious offenders.

During the debate in the House of Commons today, prime minister Gordon Brown confirmed action would be taken against those who "abuse copyright online."

U.K. trade body the BPI welcomed the inclusion of the Digital Economy Bill in the Queen's Speech.

"It is good news for fans of British music that government is now introducing legislation to tackle illegal downloading," said chief executive Geoff Taylor in a statement. "The creative sector in the U.K. needs new measures implemented urgently that address this problem for now and the future if the U.K. is to lead Europe in giving consumers innovative and high quality digital entertainment."

U.K. neighboring rights organization PPL also backed the government's announcement.

"On behalf of the tens of thousands of PPL members and along with all the other creators and businesses in the [U.K. entertainment industry campaign group] Creative Coalition, we welcome the announcement of the Digital Economy Bill as a step towards a more productive and safer online environment," said Fran Nevrkla, chairman and CEO of PPL, in a statement.

"It will help the development of the Internet as a medium for creators and rights holders, including performers, to conduct their business fairly and to grow this critical part of the economy. More importantly it will enable talent to flourish whilst maintaining employment opportunities."

However, doubts have been raised about whether the government will be able to enact all the measures in the Queen's Speech before an election is due to be held in June 2010. The Conservative opposition has voiced its opposition to an element of the Digital Economy Bill that will add a levy to broadband customers, in order to fund the next generation of broadband.

ISPs have voiced opposition to the anti-piracy measures and Talk Talk has threatened to challenge any legislation in the courts.