Ofcom Annual Lecture
Ofcom is only eighteen months old, but in that time has produced a great deal of information and looked at a great many issues in the broadband and other sectors it regulates. The Ofcom Annual Lecture was on 19th July 2005, a copy of the lecture can be found here, and the slide presentation can be downloaded from here.
Towards the end of the lecture, the issue of the digital divide, whereby the country is split into the have easy access to digital TV/broadband and those with limited or no access. There is acknowledgment that the old situation with terrestrial TV and a fixed voice/basic Internet service are transitioning to a much more complex picture. The question is made, what should come as a right in the future? Is the capability for Voice over IP enough, or will full HDTV access be needed? Unfortunately there are no simple answers, often because no-one truly knows what will be the key technology and application driver in a couple of years time. We can second guess this sort of thing, but the economic costs of universal provision may put off investors or mean consumers pay a lot more for a service.