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Digital Britain Interim Report: The Key Points

Gordon Kelly


Digital Britain Interim Report: The Key Points

Ok, seriously. Lord Carter... Digital Britain... 86 pages... interim...*slams head against desk*

*Recovers consciousness*

Right, that was a fun way to spend an afternoon. In short, it's not worth all the attention it has been receiving. It's preliminary, it has been unwisely written in pompous prose confusing to most technology journalists let alone the average man on the street (our inner circle is not best pleased) and perhaps worst of all, it isn't progressive or profound - it's tepid. So I'm not going to spend forever on this, let's crack on...

Broadband for all is the central message. This sounds a good message until you find that means a 2Mbit base service which won't be in place until 2012 and heaven knows what the bandwidth hungry interweb landscape will look like by then.

Net neutrality is also a hugely important topic seemingly misunderstood by the report as it claims "yet to see a case for legislation in favour of net neutrality". Oh dear oh dear, it's already a major issue. The pressing case of much faster broadband speed (well over 20Mbit) is recognised too but passed over instead requesting another group to be formed to assess what should be done about this!?! Meeting about a meeting, much?!

Piracy ISPs will be compelled to collect information on their customers who are breaking copyright laws (read: P2P) and notify the relevant copyright holders. This information is to be anonymous however so I can see a fight brewing over this one especially since the mooted three strikes approach requested by the music industry has been rejected.

DAB should have its range extended and be pushed as the primary distribution method for radio but only once migration hits 50 per cent (which will take forrrrrrevvvvvver).

3G well, technically the mobile spectrum, should be enlarged to cover more remote areas. Hooray and a notable victory for the council of the bleedin' obvious.

Terrestrial channels. Meddling with broadcasters, the report wants to see ITV and Five focusing more on original content and Channel 4 more integrated into multi-platform and media environments (Vague? I'm sorry this is their horrendously loose conclusions).

And that, endless waffle aside, is that and it's dull. Dull, dull, dull. Can't wait for the final version...!?!


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January 30, 2009, 5:44 am

Trusted Reviews, reading dull reports so you don't have to (I hope Gordon didn't have to read the whole 86 pages?). Anyway while it's good that everyone will get a base level of broadband by 2012, I'm disappointed that fibre roll-out to the whole country was postponed to be decided by another meeting (which means another delay).

I'd love it if fibre-to-the-home actually got the go-ahead and investment from the Government. I can't see BT/ISPs squeezing much more out of our current copper phone-lines. Certainly not the 100Mb which fibre might deliver.

Tony Walker

January 30, 2009, 3:11 pm

Remember when they said they really couldn't get more than 2400 bits/sec out of a phone line? And you would have to give the devil a kidney or two to get processors under 300nm (Intel is due to go to 32nm soon).

So they may yet get more out of copper, but they could and should have fibre'd up the nation 10 years ago.

Fibre should be capable of multi-gigabit speeds, however the infrastructure won't be able to cope with that for quite a while, so speeds would be increased gradually from the 100Mb you mention.


January 30, 2009, 4:04 pm

You should send Lord Carter that report about online music sales being up by 25%. Some people just like to be blinded by big corporations...

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