The Digital Britain Report – YOUR feedback needed

The Digital Future of the country is one we are all passionate about, and have an opinion on.

Unfortunately, it is not looking very healthy at the moment, and Lord Carter’s Digital Britain Report, whilst large and wide ranging, has left many people hugely dissapointed with certain parts of it, more of which we will look at shortly.


So what are the main objectives of the report?

Digital Britain: Five objectives
●     Upgrading and modernising our digital networks – wired, wireless and broadcast – so that Britain has an infrastructure that enables it to remain globally competitive in the digital world;
●     A dynamic investment climate for UK digital content, applications and services, that makes the UK an attractive place for both domestic and inward
investment in our digital economy;
●     UK content for UK users: content of quality and scale that serves the interests, experiences and needs of all UK citizens; in particular impartial news, comment and analysis;
●     Fairness and access for all: universal availability coupled with the skills and digital literacy to enable near-universal participation in the digital economy and digital society; and
●     Developing the infrastructure, skills and take-up to enable the widespread online delivery of public services and business interface with Government.


There are a large number of PDFs available here for you to look at in more detail. From a personal point of view, what concerns us the most, and almost underpins all future online plans and ideas is this:

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/s.

Yes, you read that right. 2mb/s. We get that on 3G dongles right now.

The Government Hosted Digital Britain report meeting happened a few days ago in London (report here:

More than £1 billion of taxpayers’ money could be deployed to help to connect 12.5 million small town and rural homes to superfast, 50 megabit broadband next decade, amid fears that Britain’s phone companies are unable to afford to do so.

Surely investment like this is needed to try, and we mean, TRY to catch up with the likes of Korea, who are aiming for a very impressive 1Gbps broadband network. That is 500 times what we in the UK are aspiring to. Pretty depressing reading is it not?

So, getting onto the crux of this post, there are a number of people planning to be at the Leeds Digital Britain Launch Event on Thursday 23rd at The Met Hotel this coming week. The agenda looks like this:

16.00 Registration and Refreshments
16.45 Stuart McFarlane, Sector Manager, Digital and New Media, Yorkshire Forward
16.55 Samuel Sharp, Director, Digital Britain Report, DBERR
17.10 Robert Ling, Business Improvement Manager, Yorkshire Forward
17.25 Stuart McFarlane, Sector Manager, Digital and New Media, Yorkshire Forward
17.35 Questions and Answers
18.00 Close

It would be very useful to get YOUR feedback here so we can get some collective thoughts about the report which we can try and get across at the meeting.

Please do add your comments below – it is vital that this report gets the feedback it deserves – it is, after all, our digital future, and we certainly don’t want to lumbered with aspirations of 2Mb broadband for the foreseeable future!

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4 Responses to “The Digital Britain Report – YOUR feedback needed”

  1. Anand Verma
    April 19, 2009 at 9:54 pm #

    Where shall I start? The report has many issues — its put us more behind than taking us forward to leading Europe. It lacks commitment and creativity.

  2. GuyJ
    April 19, 2009 at 11:01 pm #

    The fundamental problem with the Digital Britain Interim Report is the mismatch between the entirely laudable aspirations to be world leading so far as Next Gen Access is concerned and the proposed 2012 target of UPTO 2Mbps.

    One interpretation of the cause of this gap between aspiration and proposed fix is that the incumbent telco tail is wagging the body politic –

    in other words, we seem as a society to have a situation whereby the Next Gen endgame is being defined by the comfort zone capabilities of end-of-life technologies that are often under the de-facto monopoly control of the incumbent telecommunications operators.

    In order to realise our aspiration for Next Gen Access, local, regionally, nationally to be world leading then we must look to the…

    World Leaders 🙂

    eg our friends in South Korea – see

    Next Gen leadership is no easy road to follow and the benefits of action far outweigh the price of doing nothing – see

    What is perhaps more important that the technology platform required to deliver Next Gen services is the governance and ownership structure of what is inevitably a monopoly utility – some thoughts here on the Fibrestream perspective

  3. Alan Dalgairns
    April 21, 2009 at 12:08 pm #

    I see Bournemouth will be the first city to get true FTTH to all 88,000 homes with £20m deal with the local council.

    Surely Hull is a good candidate for such a scheme, 250,000 homes could be a tall order!

    Also according to the above blog BT are looking investing in a fibre project to the sum of £1.6bn but not true FTTH.

    Makes you wonder about the above report.

  4. Pam Green
    April 29, 2009 at 7:46 pm #

    Dear Jon, Just letting you know I have seen this posting of yours, sorry a bit late though. I am not computer savvy enough to comment on this so no comment from me.Rod not available to reply at the moment either, sorry!
    See you at next meeting I expect Best Wishes Pam G.

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