Broadband for all by 2012 as Britain goes digital

30 January 2009 / by Rebecca Sargent
Every UK household should have access to broadband internet by 2012, an interim report released by the Government yesterday has announced.

The report aims to "secure Britain's place at the forefront of the global digital economy" through a number of measures – including broadband for all.

As the UK economy constricts, it seems that the Government is pinning hopes on the digital economy as the way forward, following in the footsteps of France whose digital plan sets out a clear message that "the digital economy is the most dynamic sector in the world and as the global recession bites, it is essential to nurture those parts of the economy that can generate growth and potential jobs."

Commenting on the Digital Britain interim report, Minister for communications, technology and broadcasting said: "The digital information and communications sector is one of the sectors in the economy, alongside energy and financial services, upon which the whole of the economy rests."

One of the reports' main initiatives is 'fairness and access for all' which endeavours to make broadband internet accessible to all through either home or mobile connections, along with the skills which will enable Brits to participate in 'digital society.'

Other aspects of Digital Britain include next generation networks which would provide faster broadband, plans to completely digitalise radio and new measures over digital content rights.

Providers including Virgin Media broadband, Sky broadband and BT broadband will be involved in investing in next generation broadband.

Commenting, on the report, business secretary Peter Mandelson said: "This report sets out a strategy for building a knowledge economy where our most valuable assets are the skills and innovation that underpin our digital industries.

"This is absolutely vital if Britain is to benefit fully from some of the greatest economic opportunities on offer this century."

The final Digital Britain report is due before the summer, as for it to succeed, it will need commitment from the Government.

Lord Carter said: "The innovation, creativity and vitality of our communications industries rightly demand clarity from the Government on its role and a framework for the future."

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