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Smaller fanfare for the Digital Britain Implementation Plan
Tuesday 18 August 2009 13:34:27 by Andrew Ferguson

So did Lord Mandelson discuss illegal file sharing or not? The Digital Britain Implementation Plan published on Thursday 13th August gives little clue. The document lays out who is going to lead which part of the Digital Economy Bill and the key points, it adds very little substance on top of the original report.

The bill as a whole is no small thing, it has been broken down into eighteen projects, of which the projects most linked to broadband are:

  • Project 1: Digital Economy Bill
    Amend the Communications Act 2003 to make the promotion of investment in communications infrastructure and content one of Ofcom's principal duties.
  • Project 4: Current and Next Generation Broadband
    Tasked with establishing the body to deliver the Universal Service Obligation, creating a project to bridge the gap between the 50% commercial Next Generation Broadband and the over 90% coverage the government is aiming for. The 50p per month levy on fixed telephone lines is termed 'a small general supplement on all fixed lines from 2010 for a Next Generation Fund'. £150,000 to support local community broadband projects.
  • Project 8: Illegal File Sharing
    Consultation on proposals to give Ofcom a duty aimed at reducing copyright infringement. Backstop powers for Ofcom to make broadband providers implement technical measures to reduce illegal file sharing if the 12 month education/light touch method does not work. Consultation on the how to make the notification system between rights holders and providers work.
  • Project 13: Digital Security
    Seek reserve powers in legislation to regulate against the risk that the entry into the sector of a number of new, and as yet unidentified players will mean we need a basis for industry cooperation. A test in late 2009 to evaluate our ability to manage and recover from a major loss of network capacity.
  • Project 14: Personal Digital Safety
    Get the Internet Watch Foundation (IWF) membership to propose a more secure funding model for the future. Explore a pan-European model for IWF with European Commission.

The Digital Economy Bill is expected to be included in the Queens speech to Parliament, but will of course be subject to Parliamentary time.

So what does the plan mean for the average UK broadband user? Very little at present other than things are progressing at the pace that Parliamentary bills do.

Comments

Posted by AndrueC over 7 years ago
"Tasked with establishing the body to deliver the Universal Service Obligation". Oh goodie. Another committee. Just what this country needs.

"Explore a pan-European model for IWF with European Commission". As if the IWF wasn't bad enough - now they want to get input from Brussels?

"£150,000 to support local community broadband projects". I hope that's a per project figure. If that's for the whole lot it won't do much good.
Posted by Dawn_Falcon over 7 years ago
The IWF is an industry-funded body run to their specifications and is aimed just at child porn. It has staved off mandatory, far wider reaching and government-run (but still ISP-funded) filters.

How dreadful. Or perhaps not.

(And it's even useful, I've had a nasty person send me a link to cp before to try and get me in trouble, Cleanfeed blocked it)
Posted by 12eason over 7 years ago
"Backstop powers for Ofcom to make broadband providers implement technical measures to reduce illegal file sharing"

does that mean they can force ISPs to implement traffic shaping?
Posted by andrew (Favicon staff member) over 7 years ago
12eason: That seems to be one of the ideas, though how you traffic shape material based on rights is difficult. Some torrent material is out there with rights holder permisson.
Posted by herdwick over 7 years ago
" Some torrent material is out there with rights holder permisson" - enough to worry about, or acceptable colateral damage ? The BBC et al have said there's no economic sense in publishing via P2P.
Posted by Dawn_Falcon over 7 years ago
Quite a few distribution systems work by p2p these days. It'a mandating old business practices by legislation, which is allways a bad idea.

And unless all encrypted connections are throttled to almost nothing (and I use quite a few legitmately), which rules out using an awful lot of legitimate apps, they'll just encrypt. And there's tricks like WASTE's "stealth mode" to deal with as well.
Posted by chrysalis over 7 years ago
the day we legislate to enforce traffic shaping will be a very bad day indeed, completely insane. Its a stealth attempt from the government to try and prop up the music industry which I will add does not need propping up, the guy mandelson met last week is worth 3 billion. Also seems like the IWF may start expanding?
Posted by Dawn_Falcon over 7 years ago
There's been no suggestion of the IWF's /remit/ expanding, chrysalis. What is proposed is an extension of the scheme across the EU.

So it actually means absolutely nothing to UK internet users.
Posted by kamelion over 7 years ago
The bbc is one of the larger corporations using p2p in their iplayer techology. I would like to see their cost projections of supplying the iplayer service if they weren't using p2p
Posted by kamelion over 7 years ago
given that wimbledon etc has brought a few ISP including the more reputable such as Zen to their knees
Posted by andrew (Favicon staff member) over 7 years ago
The P2P aspect of iPlayer is a lot less than it used to be, more often it is direct downloads or streaming now. The later is what causes network problems.
Posted by Pigmaster over 7 years ago
@herdwick
The BBC et al have said there's no economic "sense in publishing via P2P. "

So how did the old iPlayer work then?
Posted by Pigmaster over 7 years ago
The new update for Entropia Universe is a massive 4Gb and is being distributed via p2p as the network costs for the company will be massive.
Posted by scragglymonk over 7 years ago
recall wow uses bit torrent, as does linux and various other games, a lot of sites, eg mininova have hosted content that the artist wants to spread, then there is jamendo.com who offer music freely via http and BT...

not sure how the isp can tell the difference between the latest linux distro and the latest lost episode - neither of them are of interest to me
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