The communications minister, Lord Carter, has pledged to deliver broadband to every home in the UK by 2012 in his Digital Britain report. Carter’s report said the government is inviting the BBC to take a lead role to drive the universal takeup of broadband through “marketing, cross-promotion and the provision of content”.
Carter’s report confirms the government intends to deliver broadband to all homes in the UK by 2012, using a mixture of fixed, mobile and wireless technology.
The speed of the service will be “up to” 2Mb, but the government says it will not inject public money into helping deliver the next-generation broadband network.
Carter says he will also introduce legislation to force internet service providers to crack down on web piracy and intends to explore the potential for a rights agency to better legally exploit copyright material.
The interim Digital Britain report, published today (January 29), outlines a wide-ranging 22-point action plan that includes launching an “exploratory review” of local and regional media ownership rules and introducing legislation to force internet service providers to crackdown on internet pirates.
The report says that there is “little support” for the preferred option of a co-regulatory solution to internet piracy, so instead the government will launch a consultation into a legislative approach to force ISPs to notify illegal downloaders that they are breaking the law.
ISPs will also have to collect anonymous data on the worst offenders along with personal details so that rights holders can seek to take legal action. Copyright enforcement could be funded through a “modest and proportionate” contribution from distributors and rights holders.
Carter’s report says: “The government is not persuaded that there is a case now for widespread UK-wide public subsidy for next generation network deployment, since such widespread subsidy could simply duplicate existing private sector investment plans or indeed chill such plans.”