Author - Matthew Evans

Government responds to the Digital Skills Select Committee

The Government has published its response to the House of Lords Digital Skills Select Committee report; ‘Make or Break: The UK’s Digital Future’. In responding to the report’s recommendations the Government acknowledges the scale of the challenge that it faces in making sure that we all have the right skills and access to the necessary infrastructure to take advantage of the technology revolution that is underway.

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Ofcom completes Phase 1 of its Digital Communications Review – now comes the hard bit…

Ofcom today published its discussion document on the challenges facing the UK’s telecommunications sector over the next decade, marking the completion of the first phase of the Digital Communications Review that it kicked off in March. The key aim of the review is to ensure that the UK’s citizens and businesses are well served by high-quality, widely available telecoms services.

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BSG Comment: Productivity and Digital Infrastructure

“Productivity is the challenge of our time??? – that is the stark opening of the Government’s ‘Fixing the Foundations: Creating a more prosperous nation’ which is billed as the second half of the Budget. The plan outlines the scale of the challenge facing the UK and sets out specific measures in order to overcome it, including practical measures that should help implement its goal for a “world-class digital infrastructure in every part of the UK???.

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Ofcom’s action plan for broadband services for SMEs

Ofcom yesterday launched an action plan for improving the broadband services that are available to the UK’s small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs). Whilst they found that the vast majority of SMEs are satisfied with the communications and are well catered for, they did discover a significant minority who had less favourable experiences. Ofcom highlighted four issues that they feel need more attention; the availability of superfast broadband, a concentrated retail market structure, concerns around quality of service, and SMEs struggling to navigate the market.

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Consumers’ purchasing choices are driven by quality of experience, choice and transparency of traffic management, reports BEREC

The Body of European Regulators for Electronic Communications (BEREC), have published and adopted a timely report on net neutrality and which traffic management policies influence consumer’s purchasing decisions. The headline finding is that consumers unsurprisingly tend to favour packages that align with Open Internet principles*and that as long as “there is transparency, and consumers are able easily to switch provider, such services seem likely to predominate???. This supports the BSG’s view, backed by the UK Government and Ofcom, that transparency and effective competition are the best guarantors of the Open Internet.

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The European Commission unveils plans to develop a Digital Single Market

Yesterday the European Commission unveiled their proposals on the Digital Single Market, one of President Jean-Claude Juncker’s top 5 priorities.

Their primary goal is to create a market where “individuals and businesses can seamlessly access and exercise online activities under conditions of fair competition, and a high level of consumer and personal data protection, irrespective of their nationality or place of residence???.

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BSG Comment: Broadband and ‘universal’ access.

Recent weeks have seen a lot of debate in Whitehall and Westminster around what should be the minimum download/upload speeds that premises and households can access. This raises a number of important questions as to what exactly we mean when we say that broadband is ‘essential’, ‘the fourth utility’ or even ‘a fundamental right’.

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CES: 4K and Smart Devices – the view from afar

So 2015’s bigger, louder and better (?) Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas has closed.  From afar it looked as though this year was more about the direction and theme of the tech industry – with more 4K/Ultra High Definition televisions and an explosion in ‘connected’ devices appearing to be the main two– rather than about one device winning through.

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