Government unveils plans for digital future

The Government has proposed imposing a levy on all fixed telephone lines to help fund its broadband commitments, one of a number of measures outlined in the Digital Britain report.

Speaking in Parliament today (June 16), Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport, Ben Bradshaw (pictured), reaffirmed the Government’s commitment to ensure everyone in the UK should have broadband access by 2012.

The “small levy” will be paid into a fund to aid the migration, he says.

Elsewhere the report, authored by the departing Minster for Communications Lord Carter, outlines measures designed to curb illegal downloads of music, TV and films.

It also sets a date, 2015, for the intended upgrade of all national radio stations from analogue to digital.

The commercial radio industry welcomed the report. “For radio to flourish in the digital age we require a digital strategy and, on first inspection, we are encouraged that Digital Britain sets out a clear roadmap for our industry’s future, says Andrew Harrison, chief executive of the RadioCentre.

The report also includes a recommendation that all new car radios sold in the UK by the end of 2013 should be digital, to now a major stumbling block in the take up of DAB.

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