The Government today launched its Digital Strategy that aims to create “a world-leading digital economy that works for everyone”. The overarching goals of making Britain the best place to start and grow a digital business, trial a new technology, or undertake advanced research are admirable and ones that the BSG supports.
The Government has briefed that it will be unveiling two new programmes in tomorrow’s Autumn Statement to make good on its view that the future is fibre (to the premise variety) and 5G. The BSG welcomes this focus on digital connectivity. All BSG members believe that good quality broadband underpins, drives and improves our society and economy.
The City of London Corporation published this week a standardised wayleave agreement which should accelerate negotiations between landlords and broadband providers when agreeing to install fixed line broadband connections. Waiting time for business tenants to access high-speed internet connections should be significantly shortened.
The Broadband Stakeholder Group are happy to be supporting Connected Britain 2016, a two-day conference taking place in London on the 15th and 16th of June.
The event will provide a platform for a wide range of stakeholders to discuss the challenges of connectivity and broadband access in the UK in the context of a new political landscape.
Key topics to be discussed include the legislative support for the roll-out of superfast broadband and mobile networks, the future of mobile coverage, preparing the UK for an ultrafast network, the deployment of 5G, and the social and economic benefits of greater connectivity.
Broadband Stakeholder Group CEO Matthew Evans will speak on the second day, exploring incentives and regulatory framework for the build out of 5G and ultrafast fibre networks.
There are a number of ways to get involved with the day and you can find the full list off speakers and agenda on the official event website here. You can find the event on social media using @ConnBritain and #connectedbritain on Twitter, and going to the Facebook page here.
The Digital Economy Bill was announced in the Queens Speech today, intended to “make the UK a world leader in digital provision – a place where technology ceaselessly transforms the economy, society and government”. For the telecoms sector it aims to make it easier to deploy communications infrastructure whilst empowering consumers.
Government published yesterday a summary of the responses received on its recent consultation on a new broadband Universal Service Obligation (USO). After gathering views on the proposed roadmap to implementing a new broadband USO, Government commented on the various issues raised by respondents.
The Department for Transport (DfT) yesterday released a study exploring how rail users value and use mobile connectivity on trains. It also shows evidence that passengers are willing to pay up to 17% more on rail fares above existing ticket price for improved connectivity on mobile and internet network access.
This study follows the 2015 Government consultation on improving mobile communications for UK rail passengers, as well as the Coalition Government’s pledge to roll out free Wifi on trains across England and Wales from 2017. The report finds that some groups of passengers would be willing to accept the costs of improvements to connectivity on trains, saving costs for the government and industry. (more…)
Following the recent (and ongoing) Government consultation on the approach to take to introduce a Broadband Universal Service Obligation (USO), Ofcom is now consulting on its design and implementation. Ofcom was commissioned by Government to produce an evidence-based report by the end of this year which will address thorny issues from the scope of the USO to its funding mechanism.
On Monday 14 March, the Broadband Stakeholder Group hosted an event to discuss the Government’s intention to make sure that “every home and business can have access to fast broadband by the end of this Parliament”. The event explored how any target for universal coverage should be framed, the actions needed to meet that target and what lessons can be learned from other countries.
In the last quarter of 2015, the European Commission kick-started its review of the regulatory framework for telecoms and also consulted on the EU speed and quality targets beyond 2020. The ambitious consultations covered a wide range of EU policies, Directives and Regulations crucial to the development of the Digital Single Market. Earlier this month, the Commission published a summary of the responses ahead of the proposals due later this year.
The final 5% challenge – Small providers of alternative technologies can deliver cost-effective superfast broadbandsamiragazzane
The Government published this week their findings on the feasibility and deployment of 7 test pilots schemes set up to explore alternative technologies and business cases to deploy superfast broadband (24Mib/s) to the hardest-to-reach areas. The report found that non-fibre based suppliers can deliver good quality superfast connections, hybrid solutions are viable technically and commercially and that smaller internet service providers can compete successfully with the larger providers such as BT Openreach to win public procurement contracts.
Today, the BSG published an independent review into the UK’s industry led approach to the Open Internet. The report, produced by consultancy WIK, found that the UK Open Internet and Traffic Management Codes of Practice have been effective when measured against the principles of an Open Internet. WIK also found that the Codes could continue to add value “over and above the requirements laid out in the Regulation”.