News

Broadband Stakeholder Group Interim Report Released

26 June 2002

“The UK is finally turning the corner on broadband services, but we have to up the pace,” said Keith Todd, Chairman of the Broadband Stakeholder Group

The BSG’s mid year report, published today reveals that:

  • There are over 600,000 broadband subscribers, 64% of the population is within reach of a wired broadband connection and over 20,000 broadband customers are being added each week.
  • After a slow start, the UK is making progress. The last six months has seen significant improvements in terms of pricing, products and promotion, which have been reflected in the increased take-up.
  • However, the UK has some way to go to catch up with the lead group of broadband economies and the adoption rate will have to accelerate further if the UK is to claim a position of leadership in the G7. The contrast in terms of availability of services between rural and urban areas is a cause for serious concern.

“We set out on the broadband service journey later than the lead countries but we are now very much on our way, ” said Todd. “This is a journey similar to the microprocessor journey of the past 25 years. All stakeholders must play their part in continually developing and enhancing the user experience being offered at affordable prices”.

There is a lack of detailed information about the exact geographic reach of current broadband services in the UK. With assistance from the Office of the e-Envoy the BSG will develop a detailed map, which will colour code broadband availability across the UK.

Area Coverage Status
Green Competitive market for affordable mass-market broadband services
White At least one provider affordable mass-market broadband services
Grey No services currently available but potential for the deployment of commercially sustainable broadband services
Red With little expectation that the market will provide affordable broadband services for the consumer market

The report sets out four critical path action areas for the successful deployment of broadband services:

  1. It challenges all stakeholders to agree the conditions precedent to the Broadband services journey.
  2. It sets out action areas to ‘nurture the market’ by creating the conditions to encourage competition and sustain market growth (green & white areas). Stating clearly that the new OFCOM will have a pivotal role in creating the right environment. ‘OFCOM will be all about broadband services’.
  3. It identifies some innovative solutions to encourage the deployment of competitive services where there is potential for their deployment (Grey areas) and seeks further views on other potential solutions.
  4. It challenges government to develop a plan, with the assistance of the BSG, for areas that the market will not reach (red areas).

This reports sets out the BSG’s latest thinking and activities with the aim provoking further contributions in the run up to the second full BSG report to be published in November. The BSG is seeking views from all stakeholders so that it can provide further input to the government on how to accelerate the rollout and take-up Broadband services.

Keith Todd the Chairman of the BSG said: “We are on our way on the ‘Broadband Journey’ with one million broadband service users in sight by the end of the year. The ‘action areas’ are clear but all stakeholders must work vigorously to ensure that the objectives are met. If all stakeholders adopt a ‘Killer attitude’ we will succeed.”

Stephen Timms, the e-Commerce Minister, said: “The Broadband Stakeholder Group has already made important contributions to Government policy and decisions. The advice and expertise which the provides are invaluable and I would to thank Keith Todd and the Stakeholder Group for this new drive they have brought to the Broadband journey.”

Full BSG Interim Report 2002

Report Annex

BSG Chairman’s Presentation at Network Telecoms Europe 2002

Keith Todd – Independent chairman to lead broadband advisory group

Joint DTI and Broadband Stakeholder Group Press Release

11 February 2002

E-Commerce Minister Douglas Alexander and the BSG today announced the appointment of former ICL chief executive Keith Todd as chairman of the Government’s key advisory committee on broadband (high-speed, always-on internet access), the Broadband Stakeholders Group (BSG).

The Government’s comprehensive Broadband Strategy, published in December last year, drew heavily on the Broadband Stakeholder Group’s first report and recommendations.

The Government will continue to draw on the front line experience and expertise of Stakeholder group members in developing future Government policy, and the appointment of Mr Todd marks the next stage in the group’s development.

Mr Todd has twenty-five year’s experience in the ICT industry. He will take up the role with immediate effect.

Mr Todd will take forward a new programme of work, focusing on broadband end-users. The new work streams within the Stakeholder Group will concentrate specifically on:

  • Broadband Promotion / Marketing
  • Broadband for Education
  • Broadband Content
  • Regulatory Framework
  • Strategy Implementation

E-Commerce Minister Douglas Alexander said:

“I am pleased to announce the appointment of Keith Todd as the first independent Chairman. He brings with him a wealth of experience in the fast moving world of technology, and I greatly look forward to working with him.

“Broadband allows the user to interact with and view online material, which integrates not just text and graphics, but audio and video too. And like the Internet – though unlike broadcast television and radio – you can access exactly what you want, when you want. For businesses it can make the difference between costly software licenses and upgrades and economical downloads of the very latest technologies.

Mr Todd said:

“I am honoured to have been offered this important job, which I was happy to accept. The Government has signalled that it is committed to Broadband because of its importance to the UK economy.

“I look forward to leading the BSG’s work in monitoring and supporting implementation of the Government’s Broadband strategy and in particular helping to identify ways to accelerate the adoption of Broadband services by business and consumers, across the country.”

Ben Verwaayen, Chief Executive BT Group said:

” We are delighted that the work of the Broadband Stakeholders Group will be taken forward under the leadership of Keith Todd. We believe that, by working together, the stakeholders can dramatically transform the UK broadband services market.”

Adam Singer, CEO of Telewest said:

“We are very pleased that Keith Todd has agreed to chair the BSG. His experience at a senior level in the industry coupled with his independence from the key players will be extremely valuable.”

Stephen Carter, Managing Director and Chief Operating Officer of ntl Group Ltd, said:

“ntl supports the ongoing work of the Broadband Stakeholders’ Group and is delighted that Keith Todd has agreed to take the chairman’s role. The UK must continue to develop a vigorous and focused broadband strategy, and we believe the BSG, acting as a ‘critical, knowledgeable friend’ to the Government, can help to achieve this.”

NOTES TO EDITORS

The Broadband Stakeholder Group was established in 2001 to advise the Government in the development of strategies to accelerate broadband access and coverage in the UK. The Federation of the Electronics Industry is a leading BSG Member. Other members include representatives of key broadband companies and consumer groups.

Keith Todd is currently the Chairman of his own consulting company, Knotty Green Consulting, and non-executive director of the IT services company ECSoft. From 1996 to 200 he was CEO of ICL plc, overseeing its transformation from a computer manufacturer to a global IT services company. He has held a number of other senior executive positions with Marconi, ICL and Cincinnati Electronics. He has held positions on the boards of Camelot, the Open University Council, the CBI Presidents committee and the Government’s Information Age Partnership. He is a Fellow of The Chartered Institute of Management Accountants and was awarded an Honorary Doctorate from the Open University in 1999.

http://www.dti.gov.uk/