CEO’s monthly update: BSG named as body to assess commercial requirements to 2025admin
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.
The month also saw an increased level of public scrutiny on BDUK, with the National Audit Office publishing their report into the rural programme and there was much recent coverage of the Public Accounts Committee session on this area which featured a number of our members.
In other news, the DCMS consultation on BDUK super connected cities’ vouchers opened and closed in July, and you can read our response here. Ofcom published their annual Communications Market Review, with the headline that our living rooms are being transformed into digital hubs with many devices being used simultaneously.
On the commercial front, we saw the launch of BT Sport, and O2 and Vodafone announced their 4G intentions to go live over the next month. Arqiva and DCMS also announced their plan for MIP locations
At the BSG we ran a number of sessions and events for our partners, including on the Open Internet, Traffic Management, European developments, 700MHz and the aforementioned keynote speech by Helen Goodman MP. I was pleased to present an award at the 2013 ISPAs at the Park Lane Sheraton Hotel, awarding Sky the Best Consumer Fixed Broadband Award. I also featured in a BroadbandGenie interview on traffic management and unlimited broadband offers.
Whilst broadband and communications policy has been relatively untouched by the ‘silly season’ so far – we might expect a number of new political announcements to start warming up in advance of party conference season. Looking ahead, we might expect to see further detail from DCMS on what the schedule of potential legislative changes from the Communications Strategy Paper will look like. We also expect ISPs to be speaking up on their record on Internet Child Safety, as Cameron indicates that legislation will happen if insufficient progress is made by October.