Summary

The Final Digital Britain Report covers a wide range of topics – including NGN deployment, public broadcasting, digital radio, 4G, ICT skills training and e-Government.

However, on the core issues of future fixed and wireless networks, the Final Report represents a significant shift from the incrementalist, modestly interventionalist approach of the Interim Report towards a more “big bang” approach involving more Government direction and guidance to the industry (called a “quiet industrial activism” approach) and Government-mandated consumer levies to achieve fixed NGN rollout in rural areas.

Key aspects of the Final Report could be characterised as a shift closer towards the Australian Government’s NBN policy objectives:

  • the Report endorses a 90% population coverage for fixed high speed broadband networks – leaving open whether it will be FTTC/N or FTTP. The last 10% will be covered by wireless and satellite
  • the Report sets much higher speed expectations than the Interim Report – the Interim Report had chastised the undue focus on high headline speeds of 100 Mpbs and thought that reliable throughput speeds of 20-25 Mpbs would be enough in the medium term. While not naming a target speed, the emphasis has clearly shifted to the speeds the Australian Government has in mind
  • the Report implicitly rejects a mixed technology solution (with which Lord Carter had flirted in the Interim Report), now rejecting that wireless, including LTE, can provide a suitable substitute for the speeds and quality which can be achieved on fixed high speed networks.

However, the Report’s recommendations still fall a long way short of the dimensions of the proposed Government intervention in Australia. The UK Government will continue to rely on delivery of NGN infrastructure by competition between private sector participants: “[i]n the UK we will achieve wide-scale next generation coverage first through market-led investment and, to a smaller degree, through targeted intervention.”

The report proposes to take the following approach:

  • 50-66% of the population are likely to be served by competing high speed networks without Government funding. Regulatory measures will be adopted to facilitate rollout, including duct access, facilitating overhead cable deployment and more advance notice of street work. Ofcom’s statutory objectives will be amended to place infrastructure investment at the core of regulatory decision making – although there is no indication how this would change current regulatory policy
  • 66-90% of the population will be served by private sector networks (implicitly fixed networks based on views about wireless) funded through least cost subsidy auction. The funds would be raised through a 50 p per month levy on all incumbent and entrant lines
  • the last 10% of the population would be served by satellite and wireless, and subsidy may be available from the “50 p fund”.

The USO is to be expanded to cover 2M pbs broadband services (as an interim step to the funding of NGNs), but unlike the telephony USO, this will not be funded by BT:

  • a new USO procurement agency will be established
  • it will be funded by residual unused funding from Government funds allocated to the Digital TV Switchover
  • it will tender USO broadband provision.

The Report proposes an auction process which will pool the Digital Dividend spectrum and 2.6 GHz Wifi spectrum, but imposes spectrum caps. In a departure from a “pure” auction model, this spectrum is to be used for Long Term Evolution (LTE) – currently by industry consensus but by Government fiat if needed. There will be spectrum caps of 2x65 MHz on sub-3 Ghz holding, and operators sitting on large blocks of 900 MHz spectrum will have to give back spectrum if they acquire new spectrum in a ratio yet to be determined.

The Government proposes to introduce licence conditions on ISPs to deal with illegal downloading, including the issue of warning notices to apparent infringers and to maintain usage records by heavy users which can then be produced in court in infringement proceedings.

The Government is encouraging an industry based Code to implement these requirements, but if illegal downloading does not fall by 70-80% within 12 months of the scheme coming in, Ofcom will have power to step in and impose additional conditions on ISPs to block sites, impose bandwidth caps and throttle back the bandwidth available to subscribers.

The importance of universality

The Report states that universal, rather than merely widespread, broadband underpins the economic impetus for Digital Britain. This is a marked departure from the view expressed in the Interim Report that, while universal broadband may be a matter of social equity, the economic benefits of NGNs could be largely achieved by widespread coverage (e.g. 66% of the population).

This marked “change of heart” is bolstered by the following factoids:

  • a fifth of web users use the Internet as a first port of call in investigating a health concern
  • being a computer user commands a wage premium of 3 – 10%, taking into account individual, occupation and industry effects, and 90% of new jobs now require digital skills
  • pupils who use the Internet for educational purposes are more likely to outperform those without internet access by a third of a GCSE grade in each subject
  • almost half of the UK population has used the Internet in the last year to access information about Government or local council services
  • consumers save on average £23 per month using the internet, through savings arising from using price comparison websites and online-only deals
  • online retail creates opportunities for both sellers and consumers, as consumers spend on average 20% more online than they do offline
  • more than 80% consider that it should be possible to have broadband at home, regardless of where you live.

The Interim Report had noted that 42% of the 15 million people without broadband access said they did not want it. However, the Final Report notes that most of these users are in the older generation and, in any event, are likely to change their minds once they experience high speed broadband.

Broadband policy should focus on three factors:

  • availability (ensuring wide availability of key services, in particular through the Universal Service Commitment)
  • affordability (in terms of equipment and ongoing costs)
  • capacity and relevance (ensuring citizens have the skills, motivation and confidence they need).

The infrastructure necessary for Universal Broadband

Immediate Challenges

The Final Report stresses that the two most immediate issues were:

  • the need for investment in the ‘middle mile’ as a result of the swift uptake of video-rich applications. However, the Report considered that investment at this level of the network was a matter for the private sector and did not require Government intervention (other than as part of subsidised networks in the Final Third – see below)
  • universal access to first generation broadband. The UK Government – arising from the interim Report – had already recommended expanding the USO to provide universal broadband coverage of services of 2 Mpbs.

However, as the Final Report sets out, achieving this is not an onerous task in the UK. Only 11% of all lines are currently unable to support a 2 Mbps service:

  • 1.9m homes because of problematic home wiring
  • 300 000 homes because of random network effects
  • 550 000 homes because the telephone line is too long

These issues can be resolved as follows:

  • market/self-help can deal with home wiring problems for 800 000 homes
  • BT’s planned (unsubsidised) FTTC upgrade can resolve the issue of long telephone lines for 420 000 homes
  • by special investigation to resolve random network effects for 100 000 homes
  • wireless/satellite solutions for the remaining 330 000 homes affected by residual random network effects and long-line issues
  • a “true” Universal Service Commitment for 1.1 million homes.

The Final Report proposes establishing:

Universal High Speed Networks

The biggest change from the Interim Report is the recommendations for Government intervention to achieve high speed broadband rollout in rural and regional areas (the so called Final Third).

The Final Report sees universal high speed network coverage being achieved as follows:

  • the UK’s competitive markets will provide competitive, super fast next generation broadband for between half and two thirds of the population
  • a targeted government subsidy (awarded through a reverse auction) will provide super fast fixed next generation broadband for between two thirds and 90 per cent of the population, primarily by levying a 50 p charge per fixed (incumbent and new entrant) line
  • release spectrum, which allows for the development of LTE to provide super-fast mobile broadband for the final 10% of the population. The funds from the 50 p surcharge may also assist fund these networks.

The two thirds market-based outcome/one third assisted market-based outcome is based on the following analysis of the costs of deployment of FTTC and FTTP:

Figure 1: Cost of FTTC by population band

Figure 2: Cost of FTTP by population band

To view see original document

The costs of FTTP point to point deployment seem to be a smaller increment above the costs of FTTH GPON deployment than is generally thought to be the case.

The First Two Thirds

The clear message to the industry is that the Government expects them to “work harder” at pushing competitive coverage out from the current 50% to 66%. The Final Report lists measures to assist more competitive deployment, such as relaxing aerial cable restrictions, duct sharing and co-ordinated civil works by requiring 1-2 years prior notice of major street works by local government, although it notes that these measures are only likely to have limited value.

The Report proposes that Ofcom’s objectives be strengthened to place infrastructure development at the core of its decision making – although there is no suggestion as to how this might change current regulatory policy.

The Report emphasises the importance of a broadband wholesale market. It says that VirginMedia should be offering a cable wholesale product and that if it does not move to do so on a commercial basis, regulation should be considered.

The Last Third

The primary measure envisaged in the Final Report is a 50 p per month supplement for a Next Generation Fund, levied upon all fixed lines (excluding households on social telephony schemes), which is expected to net £150-175 million a year, despite modest fixed-to-mobile substitution. The supplement will be collected by all fixed line operators, including cable operators, and will not be consolidated for accounting or tax operators. The supplement would be passed to Ofcom.

The Network Design and Procurement Group will hold tenders to which all operators (including cable operators) proposing to install a next generation service would be eligible, to provide next generation services to the ‘Final Third’. The process will be a reverse auction process.

Mobile networks

The Interim Report had said that the debate over speed was too focused on headline rates of 100 Mpbs or more but that in reality, throughput speeds were more important and it was likely that services with reliable speeds of 20-25 Mpbs would be benchmark requirements over the medium term. This may have provided scope for wireless to be treated as part of the NGN solution – but this language is missing from the Final Report. Instead, the Final Report reaches a clear conclusion that, while wireless will be an important part of the mix, neither 3G nor LTE can deliver the speeds expected of the primary NGN service in reaching households. Therefore, the Government subsidised solution to reach 66-90% of the population is, implicitly, not to be wireless.

That being said, the Final Report goes onto to make important recommendations on wireless broadband.

First, consistent with the overall message of a “quietly industrial” approach, the Report pushes the UK industry to a single standard for next generation wireless. While the aim is to be technology neutral, the Report states that this is not the same as a laissez faire approach to encouraging national infrastructure provided by private parties. Therefore, it considers that it is important to encourage consensus among incumbent mobile radio operators, for mobile broadband networks to be based on LTE technology. The Report says that at this stage, specific mandating of a standard is not required because of the consensus which has emerged – otherwise it would have acted.

The Government proposes:

  • immediate release of the WiMAX spectrum suitable for 2.6 GHz unpaired TDD for auction
  • the alignment of 2.6 GHz paired FDD spectrum and the 800 MHz spectrum auctions at the earliest practicable date (likely mid 2010)
  • An overall spectrum cap of 2x65 MHz of sub-3 Ghz spectrum for any operator participating in the aligned auction, for a specified period, including TDD holdings. Where spectrum is acquired in excess of this cap, the operator must relinquish other spectrum in 2x5 MHz blocks to remain within the cap
  • a requirement that operators exchange 900 MHz spectrum for any acquisition of spectrum in the 800 MHz auction, at a ratio to be determined at a future date, including a time period specified for such relinquishment
  • minimising competitive distortions arising from time difference between the liberalising of existing 2G spectrum holdings and the availability of 800 MHz spectrum
  • making 3G licence terms indefinite, in return for proper annual fee from the end of that term and additional coverage obligations; and
  • the alignment of annual fee payments to Ofcom for liberalised 2G licences reflecting the full economic value of the spectrum.

Digital Radio

In response to requests from the industry for more certainty, the Report proposes a country-wide switchover date which will be selected at least two years in advance for upgrade and migration from FM To DAB and from MW to FM. It is anticipated that this will be the end of 2013 (when 50% of listening is to be digital and national DAB coverage is comparable to FM coverage and local DAB reaches 90% of the population and all major roads).

The Report addresses three main issues for digital radio – the right platform, the right infrastructure, and the right regulation.

Right platform

DAB is the most effective broadcast platform technology for radio. To ensure that any additional digital upgrade will have a minimal impact on listeners, all digital radio receivers sold in the UK will meet at least the WorldDMB profile 1 and be signalled with a “digital tick”.

At the national level, the BBC is expected to:

  • roll out its national multiplex to ensure its national radio services achieve coverage comparable to FM by the end of 2014
  • partner with commercial multiplex operators to ensure that new transmitters benefit the BBC and the commercial multiplex operator. This is particularly important at the local level.

Right infrastructure

New legislation will be implemented to grant Ofcom powers to alter multiplex licences for licensees that agree to merge in order to extend multiplex areas into currently unserved areas. If required, the government will work with Ofcom to extend multiplex operators’ licences until 2030.

The government will work closely with manufacturers (including car manufacturers) to make sure that DAB receivers offer niche services, functionality and interactivity.

Right regulation

A two-year pilot of a new “output based” regulatory regime will be implemented and will focus on the provision of local content, but one that equally reflects economic realities and that may consider an agreed set of obligations proposed by the stations themselves. The content obligations will provide greater flexibility on general content in return for more commitment to local news, which as discussed below is a strong focus of the content recommendations.

The Government has published a consultation seeking views on the new licence renewal regime for community radio and proposed the removal of a 50% of funding limit from any one source and the restriction preventing a station being licensed in an area overlapping with a small commercial service.

New legislation will be introduced to insert a two year termination clause into all new licences to ensure a common end date for all licences.

New powers will be given to Ofcom to extend the licence period of all national and local licences broadcasting on DAB, for up to a further 7 years. However, if the digital upgrade timetable is not achieved by the end of 2013, all licences will be terminated and the existing licensing regime will apply.

Amendments will be made to the rules under which Ofcom can grant analogue licence renewals to ensure that regional stations which do become national DAB stations do not lose their current or future renewals.

Creative Industries in the Digital World

The report confirms the importance of creative industries to the UK, and a strong rule of law is vital for such industries as they depend on respect for intellectual property.

However, the Report also says that the current legal model for the content industry is “broken” and “is not working”, and that the level of piracy of creative content remains “unacceptable”. For example, the Report notes the BPI claim that P2P file-sharing costs the UK music industry £180m pa (2008) while IPSOS gives a loss in the UK for TV and films of £152m (2007).

However, the starting point should be that, other than a hardened minority, most consumers would prefer to behave lawfully if they can do so “practically and with a sense of equity”. A recent study in Scandinavia has shown that “the biggest users of unlawful peer-to-peer material are also the biggest paid-for consumers of music”.

Illegal Use

The Report states that it is the Government’s aim to reduce unlawful file-sharing “in the order of 70-80%” within the next few years.

The Report proposes a three pronged strategy:

  • education of, and the provision of simple information to the consumer regarding copyright material
  • policies to encourage workable business models for content providers (Ofcom to work with Government departments to produce guidelines on how technical measures can be incorporated into commercial agreements)
  • a better enforcement climate (notification to ISPs, and failing that, technical measures).

New legislation will be introduced to establish a regime where Ofcom will impose two licence conditions on ISPs:

  • ISPs must notify account holders that their account appears to have been used for copyright infringement
  • ISPs must maintain and make available to the Court, data to enable serious repeat infringers to be identified.

There will then be backstop powers for Ofcom to place additional conditions on ISPs to block sites, impose bandwidth caps and throttle back the bandwidth available to subscribers.

Ofcom can approve a Code to be put in place by industry to deal with copyright infringement and to ensure the success of the notifications requirement. If the industry fails to develop a Code, Ofcom can mandate its own.

If, after 12 months, there has not been a reduction in infringement by 70%, Ofcom would be able to implement its “backstop powers”, although subject to a consultation and an Order in Parliament.

Fostering creative industries in UK – interactive media

The Government will work with industry to collect and review the evidence for a tax relief to promote the sustainable production for online or physical sale of “culturally British” video games – similar to cultural tax credits sustaining local film content, and mirroring similar Canadian tax concessions that extend to interactive and online media industries.

Broadcasters

The BBC

The £3,600m a year Television Licence Fee set by the UK government funds significant proportions of UK-originated television and radio content through the BBC, as well as online content site bbc.co.uk. At present, the largest element of non-BBC service provided by the Television Licence Fee is the Digital Switchover Help Scheme and Digital UK’s marketing budget, at approximately 3.5% of the total Licence Fee.

The Report noted that it had received many submissions expressing concern about the impact which the BBC had on commercial enterprises:

The BBC’s size and the nature of its funding mean that it can – and does – condition the wider marketplace, particularly new or emerging markets in this sector. This is a critical issue now. Globally, the development of the Internet is rapidly reducing the scope for high yield advertising inventory; most other, paid-for, business models are nascent and fragile. That is compounded in the UK market where one of the most significant actors in the market is publicly funded and is obliged by the terms of the Agreement, where it provides a new service funded by the Licence Fee, to make that service available to the public without charge. Free is very difficult for any paid-for business models to compete with. Given the current nature of the market, new BBC activity has a higher risk than in the past of chilling or foreclosing market developments. Certainly there are considerable benefits from the BBC’s ability to innovate. Submissions to Digital Britain argued that commercial models, once allowed to establish, can produce the same degree of innovation. The development of pay-television is a good counterfactual: multi-channel, high definition, navigation, interactivity, storage and the other features of the PVR are innovations that have come from the pay platforms, which the free platforms have only subsequently adopted.

The Report noted the obligation that the BBC Trustees already had to consider the commercial impacts of BBC activities. No specific additional action was recommended, although the Report hinted that the interactive TV platform the BBC was developing – Project Canvas – should provide scope for commercial content provider involvement, including monetised services.

BBC Worldwide was a particular target of criticism from competitors and UK Parliamentary inquiries have considered constraining BBC Worldwide. However, the Report considered that BBC Worldwide could be a national content champion and possibly the future source of funding to help reduce reliance on the licence fee. However, the Report did suggest more separation between BBC and BBC Worldwide, including potentially part privatisation of Worldwide:

BBC Worldwide has the potential to be a very significant global rights business for Britain and the Government believes that it would be a missed opportunity to limit BBC Worldwide to a narrow supporting role to the BBC. As indicated in the Interim Digital Britain Report, the Government believes that there is a case for greater financial and operational separation between BBC Worldwide and the BBC which would inject the greater transparency all wish to see. The Government will encourage the BBC Trust to continue to consider proposals to achieve that greater separation. These could include the sale of a part of BBC Worldwide. It would clearly need to be done in way that maintained the rationale for the ‘first-look agreement’ and protected the quality of the BBC brand around the world. The aim of these proposals would be to enable BBC Worldwide to have greater commercial freedom and to develop towards becoming a powerful, global British Rights Company, capable of generating additional revenue streams which could be re-invested in public service content.

The Other Broadcasters

The Report considered that Channel 4 was overly focused on television and that its remit should be expanded: “C4C should be the open new media authority providing the seed-corn for creative innovation in the multi-media world.”

One of Lord Carter’s briefs was to find a funding solution for C4, but in the end he was defeated:

  • the Treasury rejected Government funding due to the difficult budgetary position the UK was facing
  • the C4 Board (and Carter agreed) rejected minority private sector investment as infeasible
  • a merger between C4 and BBC WorldWide, which Carter favoured, would involve too much dislocation. However, the Report says that the process of discussion has revealed areas where the BBC and C4 could co-operate to assist C4’s financial position.

The Report states that there is a strong case for the progressive liberalisation of the existing public service licensees, especially Channel 3, so that they can move towards becoming fully commercial networks. In particular, the Report notes that:

  • the value of the existing analogue licences will decline further between now and the completion of Digital Switchover
  • the regulatory obligations, including public service obligations up to and beyond the completion of digital switchover, will require further review.

The Government proposes to work with Ofcom to enable any appropriate amendments to regional news obligations, and also is willing to consider legislative change where adjustments considered necessary are beyond Ofcom’s current powers.

Promoting Local News

A particular focus of the report is the decline of local news in the Nations (e.g. Wales) and the regions.

The Report proposes the idea of a “Contained Contestable Element” of the Licence Fee, where upon Digital Switchover in 2013, 3.5% of the Licence Fee would be open to third party tender to support public service content other than the BBC, particularly the emerging deficit in commercially provided local, regional and Nations (e.g. Wales) news.

Although there is nothing much further in the Report on this, predictably, much of the UK media focus has been on this issue, and the question is being raised as to whether this is the beginning of the end for the BBC Licence Fee.

Research, Education and Skills for Digital Britain

The Report predicts a skills gap that is anticipated to widen in the digital technology sector. Currently over 20% of companies trying to recruit digital technology professionals report difficulties in attracting applicants with the right skills, and 92% of these companies report a negative impact on their business as a result. There is also seen to be a need to address woman’s negative perceptions of ICT – only 10% of A-level computing students are female and 15% of applicants to computing degrees are female.

In response, the Government proposes a step change in approach at all levels – schools, training, education and workforce, including promoting ICT as a new core competence within the primary curriculum (alongside English, maths and personal development). Standard secondary school courses and diplomas will have a component of ICT which incorporates functional skills, and funding has been earmarked for a range of programs, including a National Skills Academy that will put providers and employers together to transform UK’s ability to address its IT professional skills needs as well as numerous creative programs encouraging ICT skills for the youth.

Digital security and safety

Internet governance

Responsibility for ensuring that internet governance is effective needs to be considered at the following 3 levels:

  • global level: new approaches and models must be coordinated globally, and developed in harmony with the global nature of the internet, but cannot assume a one size fits all approach. This can be achieved through the following:
    • supporting the Internet Governance Forum (IGF), which provides an international platform for sharing information and best practice for a further five year term
    • ensuring that the infrastructure of the internet remains robust through ensuring that Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) continues to be a not-for-profit organisation with responsibility for the management of domain names and leading the way to improving standards of security, processes and technology
    • legislation to give the Government reserve powers to deal with a breakdown in self governance (e.g. the government may direct Ofcom to regulate distribution of domain names in the UK by setting conditions and establishing a code of practice).
  • national level: specific steps will be taken at the national level in respect of high level cyber security, personal digital and data security and content safeguards:
    • high level cyber security through:
      • development of a Cyber Security Strategy
      • ensuring network resilience and ability to manage emergency situations and communications, to which end the government will carry out a major test in late 2009 to manage a major loss of network capacity
      • greater appreciation for work undertaken to keep communications networks running and address vulnerability in key communications infrastructure1
      • establishment of specific e-crime units such as the Police Central e-crime Unit (pCeU) and further inquiries into the formation of a tripartite initiative to work with various stakeholders and promote self-regulatory approaches.
    • personal digital and data security through educating users about avoiding online problems by working with the private sector to create help line and information portal initiatives
    • securing home networks through encouraging after sales support software for additional assistance in relation to technical complexity of products.
  • consumer level: the complex structure of the spectrum of consumer interest groups makes it difficult for customers to know what rights they have and who they can refer to.
    • forthcoming Consumer White Paper to establish a more unified approach between the OFT, Ofcom and the Police to tackle online fraud and other consumer protection crime
    • consultation for providing better clarity in respect of the penalties that Ofcom is able to impose for contravention of the Communications Act 2003
    • funding of advertising self regulation (e.g. what has worked well in the offline world is the collection of a small amount of all advertising collected by the advertising agencies on behalf of the advertisers).

Data security and assurance

The Report calls for the development of a new code of practice “Personal Information Online” by the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO).

The Report also proposes the development of a consumer information portal about behavioural advertising by the Internet Advertising Bureau (IAB) to educate users about the value of using personal data in advertising and ensuring there is no risk of abuse of personal data (similar to the Network Advertising Initiative (NAI) in the US).

Online content safeguards

The report emphasises the need to continue to build public trust and confidence in the self regulatory system for online content and undertaking specific measures in the following areas:

  • criminal material on the internet: the Internet Watch Foundation’s (IWF) self-regulatory method in minimising the availability of criminal content online is commendable, but not adequately funded by the industry and government may consider statutory intervention to provide funding
  • child internet safety: setting up a comprehensive “one stop shop” information portal for all aspects of online safety, including child internet safety
  • classification of video games: adopting a strengthened system of classification for boxed video games incorporating the newly enhanced Pan European Game Information system (PEGI)

There is no discussion of mandated network-based internet filters.

Digital government

Delivery of online public services

The Report provides that the government is committed to maximising the opportunity afforded by universal broadband for the delivery of online services – that is the government will need to become genuinely “of the web” and not “on the web”.

With the announcement of 2 Mbps universal broadband, the government will start the new program for Digital Switchover of Public Services (i.e. online being the primary means of access, rather than one among many) by 2012, including services in respect of student loans, companies house registration, personal tax returns, electoral roll registration, school registration, redundancy advice processing and debt advice.

The Government will close more than 95% of citizen and business facing individual websites and move their content to Directgov and businesslink.gov by 2011.

Efficient and smart public sector procurement of ICT systems and products

A proposed Chief Information Officer (CIO) Council will identify a small number of potential areas for tender and ensure the availability of a simplified, fast-track process (consistent with EU procurement goals) aimed at allowing innovative companies to participate at the main contract level rather than sub-contractor status with incumbent bidders who may not wish to fit the particular innovation into their wider procurement bid.

The Report also suggests the addition of business applications to the Public Service Network to create a “G-Cloud” using cloud computing. Such a development will require investment, for which the CIO Council and Intellect Public Sector Council are developing business cases. Provided a strategic business case is compiled, the G-Cloud will be a priority for government investment over the next 3 years.

Recognising data as an innovation currency

The Report notes that the UK is a long way behind the US Government in recognising the value to business and the community in making Government data available online for free – such as geospacial data.

The Report proposes:

  • commitment to maximum value from public data:
    • there is currently a real lack of clarity in respect of the licensing of information and data under Crown copyright
    • Crown copyright is generally permissive, but research has confirmed that (1) many users regard terminology as a barrier to use and re-use and (2) a lack of awareness about “Creative Commons”
    • create a data service to make public data more accessible and useable, similar to the US www.data.gov, which will provide government’s data feeds in a well-ordered and useful way. To that end, the Report provides that a panel will be formed to deliver better use of public data
    • the National Endowment for Science, Technology and the Arts (NESTA) will lead a pilot, which will be developed before the end of 2009 and will last for 12 months to develop, test and implement a simplified IPR framework for publicly procured digital media:
      • to consolidate a consistent set of terms and language across government departments
      • to test a set of frameworks on specific projects across different types of IPR and the benefits that are created
      • to share the findings with stakeholders to agree on a new IPR framework.

Delivering Digital Britain

The Report calls for the establishment of a new Digital Delivery Agency to implement the many recommendations of the Digital Britain Report. The report recommends that a study be undertaken to assess whether multiple existing delivery agencies can be made into one body or through a federated structure to achieve economies of scale and operational efficiency in delivering the outcomes of the Digital Britain Report.

The Report sets out the further steps which are required over the next few months to deliver the Digital Britain agenda. Of the 26 items set out in the Timetable of Action envisaged, the table below sets out the key planks of delivering the outcomes set out in the Final Report:

To view table click here.