Government

DCMS Broadband initiatives feature in Major Projects Authority annual report

Last week saw the publication of the Major Projects Authority annual report, the result of the collaboration between the Cabinet Office, HM Treasury and departments aiming to significantly improving the delivery success rate of major projects across central government through monitoring and the opening up of public data.

Details on the major public broadband initiatives within the Department for Culture, Media and Sport were published as part of this report, and we’ve pulled out some highlights for our readers: (more…)

Queen's Speech 2013 – broadband business as usual

Today’s Queen’s Speech was, as expected, not full of surprises – both in a general sense and in relation to broadband and technology.

In the context of an overall political message to focus govermment activity in support of a strong, growing and competitive economy whilst building a fair society to reward people who work hard, the major legislative planks formed around immigration, pensions, social care and education.

No name-check to broadband in the Queen’s Speech, refecting the business as usual approach the government has taken for some time in respect of the ongoing programmes in support of broadband rollout.  No mention either to the Communications Bill where we are expecting a White Paper before the summer recess.

Three announcements are however of interest to those in the sector: (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…)

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.???

(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…)

DCMS launches consultation on Siting Requirements

Last week saw the launch of the DCMS Consultation on the proposal that, for five years, broadband street cabinets and new poles can be installed under permitted development rights in any location (except SSSIs) without the need for prior approval from local planning authorities. The full Consultation document can be found here.

The timing comes as the delivery of the Government’s ambition to have the best superfast network in Europe by 2015 rolls on. The consultation cites that for any one location it is expected that superfast broadband could create between £143 million and £19.8 billion in additional GVA, and we’ll certainly be keeping a close eye on this. (more…)

BSG responds to DCMS consultation on AVMS implementation

The BSG has submitted its response to the DCMS consultation on the implementation of the AVMS Directive.

Broadly, the BSG makes three key points:

  • clarification is required to ensure that the scope of services covered by the Directive is appropriate, and not too broad
  • existing co- and self-regulatory schemes need to be examined, and industry encouraged to take a leading role in developing any additional co- or self-regulatory schemes
  • the government should revise its view on product placement and consider introducing some of the permitted derogations

BSG response to DCMS consultation on AVMS implementation

BSG Position Paper on government intervention in NGA released

BSG has released a new position paper, ‘approach to government intervention in the deployment of next generation broadband’.

The paper provides a view on how the new coalition government should think about intervention in the deployment of NGA in the UK. There are many uncertainties and unknowns in the debate, and as the new government develops its broadband policy, it is important that the issues raised in this paper are considered and addressed should the government decide to intervene.

The paper also incorporates BSG’s response to the previous government’s next generation fund consultation, and its review of the fibre cost model.

Download BSG position paper

BIS Consultation on proposals for a Next Generation Fund

BSG responds to DCMS product placement consultation

The BSG has responded to the DCMS consultation on whether or not to allow product placement on television.

The BSG supports the introduction of product placement in the UK. As traditional ad revenues and business models come under challenge as the result of the convergence of digital media, it is important that the industry can explore the potential commercial benefit of product placement to ensure sustained investment in content.

The BSG recognises the concern that any introduction of product placement does not lead to negative outcomes for consumers. However we believe the protections required of the Audiovisual Media Services (AVMS) Directive, which allows the UK to permit product placement for some types of programmes, will be sufficient to ensure that consumers are protected and are armed with the information they need to make informed choices.

BSG response to DCMS consultation on product placement

BSG responds to overhead deployment of telecoms cables consultation

BSG today submitted its response to the government’s consultation on overhead deployment of telecommunications cables. The key points from the response are:

  • Permitting new overhead distribution could have a significant impact on the investment case in some locations; however, it is unlikely to be a panacea for rural deployment.
  • Due to a number of factors, it is unlikely that increased aerial deployment would be beneficial in urban areas; it is likely that the benefit would predominantly be for rural deployments.
  • In terms of the impact on the ‘final third’, indicative analysis suggests that up to 1m homes could be brought into the market-led first two-thirds of homes.
  • Visual amenity is an issue that should be considered; however, government will need to consider the trade-off between improved communications infrastructure and the impact on the visual amenity of a locality.
  • Access to existing infrastructure that can support aerial deployment should also be considered by government as part of this exercise.

BSG response to BIS consultation on overhead deployment of telecoms cables

BIS consultation on overhead deployment of telecoms cables