The BSG brings together organisations from right across the broadband value-chain. Understandably, they frequently have divergent opinions on specific issues. However, they are united by a series of broad principles which include:
Providing fit for purpose digital networks
BSG members are involved in manufacturing equipment, building, operating services over, providing content and driving demand for digital networks that we need in order to fully benefit from the internet – be that as a citizen, consumer, business or government itself.
Competition has driven innovation in network and service delivery, bringing significant advances in the capability of networks and user – take-up. Wherever viable, infrastructure competition in both mobile and fixed should be pursued in order to drive advances in quality as well as improve the resilience of the UK digital communications market. There are limits to the commercial viability of this sort of competition which is where network and service level competition can assist in delivering beneficial outcomes. All models should be encouraged and allowed to exist alongside each other.
The Open Internet
The BSG has played a leading role in bringing content and service providers – who are often in opposing camps on this issue – together and facilitating a self-regulatory approach. This ensures that content providers’ justified concerns about being discriminated are addressed whilst allowing service providers to provide innovative products that benefit the consumer.
Regulatory and direct policy interventions (i.e. subsidy) should only be considered as a last resort but are necessary in order to provide access in cases of enduring economic bottlenecks or market failure. Such measures should be targeted, with a specific goal, whilst minimising adverse effects on competition and investment.
Narrowing the digital divide
Ensuring that everyone can access the internet is an important and complex issue. The first step is providing the necessary digital infrastructure but issues such as the seeing the relevance, possessing the necessary skills and having the ability to pay for both computing equipment and internet access are important and interlinked challenges. Greater prominence must be given to this area alongside better research in order to understand these problems.