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BSG supports Digital Scotland, 22 May 2013

Digital Scotland The Broadband Stakeholder Group is pleased to be a partner of NextGen’s Digital Scotland Conference.

This unique Conference will bring together a wide variety of parties with interests and responsibilities in Scotland’s Digital Future. Speakers will include representatives from Scottish Government, civic and local authorities, community leaders, key businesses enterprises and the networking and digital applications industry, including our own CEO Pamela Learmonth.

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CEO's monthly update: Reaching milestones

 

Pamela LearmonthThe end of April saw a number of milestones met by various broadband players. Ofcom pronounced that broadband in the UK had reached new levels of competition, with the number of unbundled telephone lines to homes hitting 9 million. This came just days after EE reported strong 4G take-up, making ‘good progress by focusing on high value segments’. Lord Tony Hall started as Director General at the BBC, and in his letter to staff on his first day he asked “What are the next big trends in technology and consumption that we need to grasp as we did with BBC Online and iPlayer?” Gov.uk won Design of the Year 2013, and the NAO announced that it would be conducting a review into the 4G auction process. (more…)

Elevating the case for getting disabled people online

Go ON GoldLast night saw the case put to businesses from across the technology industry to engage with the accessibility agenda, hosted by our partners Intellect. The statistics are certainly compelling – half of all people who have never been online are disabled according to Go ON UK Gold’s Dan Jellinek – and if policy-makers want to get serious about furthering digital inclusion then working with the third sector and those in industry that provide systems, services and content on approaches to accessibility will be crucial. (more…)

New report calls attention to the offline populace

Just over a week ago the National Audit Office published Digital Britain 2: Putting users at the heart of government’s digital services. Its authors looked at the progress being made with the Government’s ‘digital by default’ agenda for public services. Today we see that it has been taken up for further inquiry by the Public Accounts Committee, indicating that this agenda will continue to receive further scrutiny from various quarters and will have to address the significant numbers of people who cannot, or do wish to, go online. (more…)

CEO’s monthly update – Cabinets, elephants and a battle-ready Commissioner

Pamela LearmonthFirst up, March saw the some lengthy debates in the House of Lords on the Growth and Infrastructure Bill regarding relaxed regulations for the siting of broadband cabinets and poles. We were pleased to see the Government’s amendments adopted which removed potential problems of contention that new precedents would be set with ramifications to AONBs and national parks (we issued a response to the DCMS consultation on this last month). (more…)

Lords publish report on Media Convergence and ‘the elephant in the room’

The Lords Select Committee on Communications has published its report on Media Convergence yesterday, after months of evidence sessions with some of the big hitters from the media world (including our very our Chair Richard Hooper). The report is available here with accompanying information here.

The Chair of the Committee, Lord Inglewood, commented on the report that “The elephant in the room has been the impact of technological change – the Internet. Sitting over most of the media we consume is a complicated framework of rules and regulations. These are supposed to make sure the content the UK public engages with meets their expectations. However, the simple days have gone.”

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Well intended, ultimately burdensome? EC proposes new rules to cut costs

Despite the setbacks faced by the Commissioner Neelie Kroes last month with the significant cut to the Connecting Europe Facility, there is still significant political will to push through the vision of the Commission’s Digital Agenda for Europe. Wednesday’s announcement of a series of regulations aimed at ‘burning red tape’ in high-speed broadband roll out across Europe can be seen very much as part of that will in a way which has no direct implications for the EU Budget. (more…)

Budget 2013 – staying the course on broadband

There was next to no mention of broadband in the Chancellor’s budget speech today, and not much more in the full 2013 Budget document itself.

“We’re giving Britain the fastest broadband and mobile telephony in Europe” declared George Osborne and perhaps we should view the lack of additional initiatives flagged in this year’s budget as an indication that Government is staying the course on its previous intentions, albeit ones that do not look beyond 2015 at this stage. (more…)

National average fixed download speed reaches 12Mbps

Last week saw the release of Ofcom’s bi-annual UK fixed-line broadband performance from November 2012, which gave latest figures on residential speeds across ISPs. Much of the recent coverage (including in the Telegraph, BBC and Cable) has focused on the surge in speeds over time, with the main headlines being that the average fixed download speed was 12.0Mbps. This figure was 34% higher than the 9.0Mbps from six months prior, and a whopping 234% faster than the 3.6 Mbps average in November 2008. (more…)

Guest blog: Matt Powell, Broadband Genie

Full Fibre Broadband

The UK’s broadband infrastructure is undergoing an important period of change. We’re moving away from a reliance on outdated copper lines in favour of future-proof fibre optic links. In place of a creaking phone network which was never built with the internet in mind, the fibre lines spreading throughout the country can provide far greater connection speeds without the signal degradation which affects copper cabling over long distances. (more…)