CEO’s monthly update – infrastructure and usage looks longer-term

CEO’s monthly update – infrastructure and usage looks longer-term

Pamela LearmonthThe beginning of February saw the Department of Culture, Media and Sport issue the Terms of Reference of their Digital Communications Infrastructure Strategy, a piece due for full publication by the end of 2014 which will consider what steps need to be taken to ensure that the UK has the right infrastructure in place to meet the needs of users in 2025-30 and ensure that the UK remains a leading digital nation. We are pleased that our 2014 programme of work can play an important role in helping industry and government work together on assessing these longer term needs beyond the current BDUK rollout, so watch this space for further information and inputs on the strategy.

And that wasn’t the only piece of work looking at the longer-term picture in the UK, as the BSG took at trip to Speaker’s House for the launch of a report from the Tinder Foundation and Go ON UK, which costed a digitally included Britain for the first time. A Leading Digital Nation by 2020 estimated that national commitment to ensure basic online skills for everyone by 2020 would cost £875 million – an annual investment of £146 million over a 6-year period. These efforts in costing are to be welcomed as we consider how tackling digital inclusion can drive greater social and economic benefits from broadband-enabled use, an issue the BSG will continue to look at.

This month I was also pleased to be an expert judge on Broadband Genie and PC Advisor Home Broadband Survey 2014. The consumer market is thriving at the moment, so do check out our blog on the results here.

Elsewhere in industry, BT warned of skill shortages, the BBC and BSkyB reached an agreement over retransmission payments, and TalkTalk and Three asked for greater powers from Ofcom. The BSG also took a trip to visit KCom’s Lighthouse facility, an interesting showcase of the unique FTTH revolution in Hull and the surrounding area.

In the month ahead it’s all eyes to the red box. Can we expect any broadband announcements from the Chancellor on March 19th? Watch this space for our roundup of how the Budget 2014 will impact UK broadband policy.

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