Clunk … 238 pages hit my desk. Deep breath … let’s get reading the Digital Britain report.
First thing that jumps out are the Government’s three stated priorities for ‘Building Britain’s Future’ with “cleaning up politics and reforming our democracy” being number one.
Possibly I’m reading the wrong report? No, hang on, we do get down to business and it’s not all about expenses and replacing the Speaker … actually it’s about exploration. As Lord Carter says:
“On 26 August 1768, when Captain James Cook set sail for Australia, it took 2 years and 320 days before he returned to describe what he found there.
Yesterday, on 15 June 2009, 20 hours of new content were posted on YouTube every minute, 494 exabytes of information were transferred seamlessly across the globe, over 2.6 billion mobile minutes were exchanged across Europe, and millions of enquires were made using Google’s algorithm.
The Digital World is a reality on all our lives.”
Captain Gordon (Brown, that is) is also quoted:
“Only Digital Britain can unlock the imagination and creativity that will secure for us and our children the highly skilled jobs for the future. Only a Digital Britain will secure the wonders of an information revolution that could transform every part of our lives. Only a Digital Britain will enable us to demonstrate the vision and dynamism that we have to shape the future.”
So, what jumps out?
– the Final Third: not the Final Frontier in the Star Trek sense, but a fund enabling business to invest in next generation broadband. Where does the £ come from? 50p level on copper lines.
– Universal Access: 2 mps is the magic number, by 2012 … if you have £200 million to spend
– Home Access: scheme for low income families to get PCs, to the tune of £300 million (absolutely critical)
– 3G: opening it up and removing time limited licences … a return on investment at last?
– Digital Radio: analogue is out, we’re going digital by 2015
– Pirates: we’re getting serious … handing over names and bandwidth choking (oh yes, and fines on the up!)
– Original content: tax relief could be coming to you … if you’re computer game is British!
– Public service obligations: yes, it’s all still very difficult indeed (sssshhh, don’t mention the BBC, or Channel 4)
– Martha and Tim: nice one!
These are some things that jumped out at me, not a full summary of the report … but if you want some more in depth analysis, check back over the coming days/weeks or follow me on twitter.com/vanessabarnett