Government officials in the United Kingdom (U.K.) have issued the final version of the long-anticipated “Digital Britain” report, which lays out the goal of deploying broadband infrastructure and services with minimum speeds of 2 Mbps throughout the U.K. by 2012. The report’s release caps a lengthy process through which the British government sought to develop a comprehensive policy agenda that would address the future of communications networks and services throughout the nation. As U.K. communications minister Stephen Carter described the report as a “statement of intent and ambition” and “a commitment to infrastructure and access,” U.K. Prime Minister Gordon Brown observed that, “investing in areas such as broadband access for every home and business and the move from analog to digital technology will bring benefits across the board, driving growth.” Noting that ten percent or more of U.K. households lack access to a 2 Mbps broadband connection, the report recommends reliance upon several technologies—DSL, fiber-to-the-curb, wireless, and “satellite infill”—to boost broadband access and uptake nationwide. Network construction would be paid for through public funding and other sources that include “commercial gain through tender contract and design,” contributions from other public sector organizations, and “contributions in kind” from private partners. To support broadband deployment to the estimated one-third of U.K. residents who would remain unserved without a subsidy, the report also calls for a “next-generation final third” initiative through which operators would bid for rights to provide subsidized delivery of broadband services that would be paid for by a monthly fee of U.S. $0.82 on all fixed copper lines. Promoting rapid transition to high-speed mobile broadband, the report pledges “timely clearance” of 800 MHz band spectrum that is being freed up in the U.K.’s transition to digital broadcasting. That spectrum in turn, would be combined with third-generation “expansion band” spectrum and auctioned to wireless operators in 10-MHz blocks. While predicting that minimum speeds of 2 Mbps would be welcomed by those who lack broadband access, one London analyst termed the government’s goal as “quite significantly below the current average headline speed available in the U.K. and, in this respect, a digital divide will continue to exist.”