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Is Lord Carter to leave the Government?
Friday 12 June 2009 10:57:36 by Andrew Ferguson

It is unlikely anyone will not have noticed all the shuffling around in the Government in the last week or so, and The Times indicates that it is not over yet, with the newspaper having learnt that Lord Carter may well leave the Government in July.

Lord Carter is behind the Digital Britain report which is expected to be published on Tuesday 16th June, but even at this late stage may still be delayed as final points are possibly still being debated. The report covers a wide range of areas, such as broadband infrastructure, how to control copyright theft, future of Channel 4, diversity of regional news and the interim report identified a pot of around £250m that may be available after the Digital TV switchover for things like the Universal Service Commitment.

If Lord Carter does leave in July it raises a question over the future of Digital Britain, since much of the report will require further work to bring about implementation, for example empowering Ofcom to oversee the Universal Service Obligation or creating a new aggregate body.

Stephen Carter has left the Government before, previously after a falling out with Damian McBride (Mr Brown's spin doctor), so of course people will now be speculating on whether there has been another falling out, or is Lord Carter simply moving on as he sees his work finished.

Lord Carter has run Ofcom previously, which may preclude a move to run ITV, a move to a more Euro centric role in Brussels may be on the cards.

Comments

Posted by AndrueC over 7 years ago
I'd mock...but the challenge is gone.
Posted by boggits over 7 years ago
"which may preclude a move to run ITV" why? There is only a 6 month exclusion in Ofcom contracts
Posted by andrew (Favicon staff member) over 7 years ago
To enlarge on the Ofcom comment, the Digital Britain report includes things like spending on regional TV news and other public service things, which in combination with previous Ofcom rule (even if outside the handcuff period) may mean that ITV would not want him, or people with power in other areas would object to the move.
Posted by chrysalis over 7 years ago
andrew I suggest you change your wording slightly, people downloading copyrighted material illegally is not copyright theft, that would be someone stealing the actual copyright itself.
Posted by c_j_ over 7 years ago
I agree with Chrysalis. It is, despite the existence of the organisation calling itself FACT and other similar interested parties, actually copyright abuse, there is no theft involved under current UK law. It is a small but important difference.

Anyway, ITV's already dying on its feet, why would Carter want that job - he's usually been associated with initiating the death spiral (NTL, Ofcon...).
Posted by John_Gray over 7 years ago
The BBC seems fairly convinced! http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk_politics/8097588.stm
Posted by cyberdoyle over 7 years ago
nobody seems to understand the problems, even the telegraph gets the facts wrong http://tinyurl.com/nj44dj - misinformation, and rural areas stuffed with mobile instead of building futureproof fibre. All because of BT and Ofcom protecting their assets in the obsolete copper. this reporter doesn't even know the difference between bits and bytes.
Posted by AndrueC over 7 years ago
@cyber:Ouch, yeah my pet peeve. Most people would actually be over the moon to have 2MB/s. A long way shy of fibre ofc but if LC's report demands 2MB/s for everyone I might actually raise a cheer :) :)
Posted by mikeblogs over 7 years ago
I am very grateful he has put Universal Broadband Access on the agenda.

Basic access for all type programme needs a £250m fund per anumn + a review of the circa £74m pa BT currently pays for reduced rentals + phone boxes + Text relay.

Rural FTTC needs about £200m subsidy a year for 5 years.

Will read his report with interest on Tuesday.
Posted by Fixer109 over 7 years ago
It would be good if he left. We may then get someone in charge who knows what they're talking about instead of a puppet who listens to the public (he's supposed to serve) and not the big conglomerates (especially those based in the States who seem to want to dictate what we do on this side of the pond.
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