Digital Britain has new minister in driving seat

Stephen Timms, the Financial Secretary to the Treasury, is understood to be taking on to the role of Minister for Communications to help drive the implementation of the government’s Digital Britain report.

Stephen Timms
Stephen Timms

Part of his remit will see him push the 50p-a-month levy on phone lines proposed to fund its universal broadband plans.

He will bring a Digital Economy bill before parliament in the autumn.

Timms is expected to work across the Treasury and Lord Mandelson’s Department for Business, Innovation and Skills, according to reports.

His appointment follows concern that the departure of the current communications minister Lord Carter, who led the Digital Britain report, would see the report lose momentum.

Other proposals in Digital Britain, released in June, include measures designed to curb illegal downloads of music, TV and films.

It also set 2015 as the date for the intended upgrade of all national radio stations from analogue to digital.

But critics have been quick to take aim at the report, saying it had not going far enough, while also failing to put forward a plan for the proposed tie-up between Channel 4 and BBC Worldwide.

However, since then BBC Worldwide chief executive John Smith has said that a deal with Channel 4 is imminent.

Shadow Culture Secretary Jeremy Hunt has also accused the government’s £6-a-year levy on phone lines as “slapping” on an extra tax is an “old economy solution to a new economy problem”.

Latest from Marketing Week

PLEASE SIGN IN OR REGISTER. IT'S FREE, QUICK AND EASY!

Access Marketing Week’s wealth of insight, analysis and inspiration that will help you develop as a marketer and leader.

Register and receive the best content from the only title 100% dedicated to serving marketers' needs.

We’ll ask you just a few questions about what you do and where you work, so we can make Marketing Week more relevant to you.

Register now

THE BEST CONTENT

Our award winning editorial team and columnists will ask the biggest questions about the biggest issues on everything from strategy through to execution to help you navigate the fast moving modern marketing landscape.

THE BIGGEST ISSUES

From the opportunities and challenges of emerging technology to the need for greater effectiveness, from the challenge of measurement to building a marketing team fit for the future, we will be your guide.

PERSONAL AND PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT

Information, inspiration and advice from the marketing world and beyond that will help you develop as a marketer and as a leader.

Dedicated to developing your skills and helping you achieve marketing excellence. Find guidance on leadership, professional development and the latest industry jobs.

Having problems?

Contact us on +44 (0)20 7292 3711 or email subscriptions@marketingweek.com

If you are looking for our Jobs site, please click here