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Public Accounts Committee publishes report following enquiry into rural broadband

This morning the Public Accounts Committee published their final report following their examination of the Government’s rural broadband programme.

The report focuses its attention on areas where the committee believed BT and the Department of Culture, Media and Sport could have acted in a way which brought better value for money for the tax payers.

The recommendations from the report are as follows: (more…)

BSG CEO to speak on Demand for Superfast Broadband at International Conference

 

WIK

Our CEO Pamela Learmonth is speaking on the empirical evidence behind the demand for superfast broadband at the WIK International Conference in Bonn on 25th November 2013. Drawing on insights from BSG’s influential report Demand for Superfast Broadband, Pamela will speak on understanding demand in Europe, the US and Asia, giving consideration to how the UK is currently performing and what might impact take-up in the UK in the future. (more…)

European Commission adopts new regulatory proposals for a ‘Connected Continent’

 

EU BroadbandLast week Commissioner Neelie Kroes announced the European Commission adoption of a series of new regulatory proposals in this memo on ‘The Connected Continent’. It’s been met with a mixed reaction from the UK. At the Broadband Stakeholder Group we will be continuing to keep a close eye and engage with these developments, and we’ve put together a quick overview of the main areas the memo addresses below: (more…)

CEO’s monthly update: Commissioner Kroes pushes on

 

Pamela LearmonthThis week we have seen the adoption of regulatory proposals by the European Commission which will have a knock on effect right across the industry for the open internet, spectrum release, the extension of transparency requirements on bundles for Pay TV, switching practices, and an end to charges for roaming in the EU. Commissioner Kroes has stated a longer term intention, as is well-known across the industry: “Until the single telecoms market is in place, the Commission will not propose a single regulator. This is not the optimal solution for the market right now.”

The past month has seen a new tranche of 4G services launched by o2 and Vodafone, with Three announcing their plans for launch in 47 cities. Ofcom published their research highlighting consumer understanding of traffic management, an area where the BSG has played a key role in facilitating the voluntary code of practice on traffic management transparency. We were also pleased to welcome Ofcom Chief Executive Ed Richards to a dinner with the BSG’s Advisory Council, and got an update from the team at the Government Digital Service on all things Gov.uk and the lowdown on their newly established Digital Inclusion team. (more…)

Ofcom publish research highlighting consumer understanding of traffic management

Ofcom has today published a piece of consumer research looking at how consumers are buying broadband products and their understanding of ISPs’ traffic management policies in relation to this.

The BSG played a key role in facilitating the voluntary code of practice on traffic management transparency launched in 2011 and welcomes Ofcom’s research as an input into how well that voluntary framework is meetings its stated objectives and meeting the needs of consumers.

(more…)

Europe-wide survey shows bundling trend and growing appetite for switching

New data was released last week in the European Commission’s latest E-Communications Household Survey, which contains the results of questions put to consumers in member states on areas ranging from the quality and different types of telephone and internet access, penetration of communication service packages, sensitivity to connection speed, affordability and the transparency of communication service pricing.

The headline on bundling is that 45% of EU households purchase a bundle of communication services, a proportion that has risen continuously over the last few years, with the Internet the service which is most likely to be purchased as part of a bundle. Bulgaria (+13) and Luxembourg (+13) saw the greatest increases in bundle purchases. Making up that 45% figure includes triple-play penetration at 16% and quad-play at 3%. (more…)

CEO’s monthly update: BSG named as body to assess commercial requirements to 2025

 

Pamela Learmonth

July saw the long-awaited Communications Strategy paper from government, downgraded from its original billing as a White Paper. Connectivity, Content and Consumers: Britain’s digital platform for growth tackled four main areas: world-class connectivity and digital inclusion, world-beating innovative content, consumer confidence and safety and the cost of living. We were pleased to be named as the key conduit to assess what the commercial requirements will be as part of the development of an overall UK digital communications infrastructure strategy for 2015 to 2025. We look forward to working with government and industry on this going forward, and you can read our short briefing on the paper here.

We were pleased to welcome shadow communications and media minister Helen Goodman MP to the BSG, where she spoke on Labour’s notion of ‘One Digital Nation’ and how broadband and digital communications can be harnessed to the benefit of citizens. You can watch the video of this speech here. (more…)

Ofcom release statement and consultation on Switching

Further to last week’s DCMS Strategy paper Connectivity, Content and Consumers: Britain’s digital platform for growth, Ofcom has provided further detail on the way forward for Gaining-Provider Lead Switching.

The DCMS strategy paper indicated that legislation would be passed to give Ofcom a duty to ensure a consistent and effective experience for consumer switching, particularly in regard to bundles, and this latest release lays out a consultation and statement on the processes for switching fixed voice and broadband providers on the Openreach copper network (which includes FTTC).

The Consultation closes on 2 October 2013.

DCMS and Arqiva reveal locations of Mobile Infrastructure Projects

Government has this week revealed the first locations that will be covered by the £150m Mobile Infrastructure Project. In an announcement on the DCMS site, mobile phone coverage will be increased in areas where no coverage is currently available. Cornwall, Northumberland, Strabane, Aberdeenshire and Powys are among the areas that stand to benefit most from the project, with the first sites due to “go live” by the end of this year. (more…)

DCMS publish policy paper – Connectivity, Content and Consumers: Britain's digital platform for growth

Today the Department for Culture, Media and Sport publish the policy paper Connectivity, Content and Consumers: Britain’s digital platform for growth.

We are pleased to share that the Broadband Stakeholder Group has been named as the key conduit to assess what the commercial requirements will be as part of the development of an overall UK digital communications infrastructure strategy for 2015 to 2025. We look forward to working with government, industry and others on this. (more…)

One Digital Nation? Shadow Minister Helen Goodman MP speaks to BSG on policy post 2015

 

Shadow Minister Helen Goodman MP addressed the Broadband Stakeholder Group on Tuesday 16 July 2013 on communications and broadband policy post-2015. Following Labour’s announcement that they would invest £75 million in a new programme that would focus on getting more people online and improving digital skills provision if they won the next election, Helen Goodman MP spoke on her vision for digital inclusion, infrastructure, skills, the role of mobile, and more.

A Storify of the #OneDigitalNation twitter conversation is available here.