As previously promised please find a link to the web address for the Digital Britain report as issued by Stephen Carter this morning
I have identified some points of interest within the executive summary as follows;
'We need to plan now, identify the market failures that are standing in the way of a full roll out of digital infrastructure in the UK, and act swiftly in Government to help the market in the timely delivery of the high-capability infrastructure we will need' (2009:4)
'This is not simply a question of economic competitiveness, but also of fairness. We are at the point of technology development where we need a programme to ensure that everyone can connect to the digital economy, that its benefits and advantages are available to all... The digital society offers us, as citizens, increased access to information, participation and influence, not least in the democratic process' (2009:5).
'Today, Britain has a range of institutions and interventions mostly designed for the analogue age. To date, only the BBC has the reach, the strategic and operational capability, and the funding to be a provider of such content at scale across the digital landscape. In this interim report, we examine the scope for other modern interventions that could provide for plural British digital content and the possibility of a new organisation of the scale and reach needed for the multi-media, multi-platform digital world, able to work alongside the BBC but with a distinct role' (2009:5)
'Between now and the final Digital Britain Report, the Government will, while recognising existing investments in infrastructure, work with the main operators and others to remove barriers to the development of a wider wholesale market in access to ducts and other primary infrastructure' (2009: 8)
'We will, by the time of the final Digital Britain Report, have considered the value for money case for whether public incentives have a part to play in enabling further next generation broadband deployment, beyond current market-led initiatives' (2009: 8)
'We are specifying a Wireless Radio Spectrum Modernisation Programme...This must be achieved whilst maintaining a competitive market. If this can be done, the economic value of the spectrum would be enhanced...The Government believes that an industry-agreed set of radio spectrum trades could represent a better and quicker solution than an imposed realignment' (2009:8)
'We will take action to support DAB digital radio....We are making a clear statement of Government and policy commitment to enabling DAB to be a primary distribution network for radio...We will create a plan for digital migration of radio, which the Government intends to put in place once the following criteria have been met...When 50% of radio listening is digital...When national DAB coverage is comparable to FM coverage, and local DAB reaches 90% of population and all major roads' (2009: 10).
'In the final Digital Britain Report, we will establish whether a long-term and sustainable second public service organisation providing competition for quality to the BBC can be defined and designed, drawing in part on Channel 4's assets and a re-cast remit' (2009: 12)
'We will develop plans for a digital Universal Service Commitment to be effective by 2012, delivered by a mixture of fixed and mobile, wired and wireless means. Subject to further study of the costs and benefits, we will set out our plans for the level of service which we believe should be universal. We anticipate this consideration will include options up to 2Mb/' (2009:12).
'In Europe we will work with other member states to update the current universal services framework and to assess the options for provision and funding of such a commitment. This will enable us to modernise our domestic universal service policies to be fit for purpose in the digital era. We are inviting views on the design and operation of a new, more broadly-based scheme for the fully digital age- how extensive it should be, who should contribute, how far any extension of coverage of other operators' networks (e.g. mobile networks) should already represent their contribution in kind, governance and accountability' (2009: 58).
Finally can I also direct you to the following web site;
'Commission earmarks EUR1bn for investment in broadband'
It is a press release from Viviane Reding (European Commissioner for Information, Society and Media) it contains an interesting table 'Broadband coverage of population by urbanity' (December 2007 (EU27, NO, IS) which claims that the UK has 100% broadband coverage.
All the best
T J Lyons
University of Lincoln
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