Timms confirmed as Digital Britain advocate

Stephen Timms, the Financial Secretary to the Treasury, will help drive the implementation of the government’s Digital Britain report now he has taken the additional role as Parliamentary Undersecretary of State at the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills.

Stephen Timms
Stephen Timms

Part of the job will be to push forward plans for the proposed 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 (pictured) was tipped to take role overseeing Digital Britain earlier this week and is a former e-commerce minister who worked in the telecoms sector. He will be supported by Creative Industries Minister Sion Simon.

He says: “At the top of my in-tray will be plans to ensure faster broadband access for homes and businesses and combating digital piracy – we move towards publication of the Digital Economy Bill.”

Work on the Digital Britain report will be overseen by the Business Secretary Lord Mandelson and Culture Secretary Ben Bradshaw.

Timms’ 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


Access Marketing Week’s wealth of insight, analysis and opinion that will help you do your job better.

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

We’ll ask you just a few questions about what you do and where you work. The more we know about our visitors, the better and more relevant content we can provide for them. And, yes, knowing our audience better helps us find commercial partners too. Don't worry, we won't share your information with other parties, unless you give us permission to do so.

Register now


Our award winning editorial team (PPA Digital Brand of the Year) ask the big questions about the biggest issues on everything from strategy through to execution to help you navigate the fast moving modern marketing landscape.


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 are your guide.


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

Having problems?

Contact us on +44 (0)20 7292 3703 or email customerservices@marketingweek.com

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