Broadband News

Interim Digital Britain report released

The much anticipated and talked about Digital Britain report has been published, and is available as a 1.5MB (MegaByte) download from the Department for Culture, Media and Sport.

The report covers a broad spectrum of areas, from digital radio to content rights and next generation broadband and makes some 22 recommendations. From a quick read the key points for the broadband community are:

  1. Creation of a group to assess what needs to be done to stimulate next generation broadband roll-out.
  2. The final report will explore whether distributors and rights-holders are willing to fund a new approach to civil enforcement of copyright.
  3. An intention to legislate in relation to peer to peer file sharing, where broadband providers would need to inform alleged infringers of rights that their conduct is unlawful. Also a requirement for providers to collect anonymised data on repeat infringers that will be available to rights holders on receipt of a court order.
  4. A universal service commitment to be effective by 2012. Delivered using a mix of wired and wireless methods. At this time it seems that the options are for speeds up to 2Mbps.

On first read it seems the report falls short of recommending that funds be made available to ensure a true future proof fibre network is rolled out. The USO looks set to probably be delivered by a mixture of first generation broadband solutions, and 2Mbps by 2012 while a step up from dial-up, is going to very quickly be outpaced by applications and changes in internet usage.

The report at least in its interim form reads much more like a summary of where the UK is now, and lays out very little to bring real hope to the 30% of the UK households that have to date not seen the full benefits of a competitive broadband market. Many had hopes the report would provide a clear way forward, but we are left with promises of more watching and assessing.

Comments

and I think is the one people are going to get most upset with:

ACTION 13
Our response to the consultation on peer-to-peer file sharing sets out our intention to legislate, requiring ISPs to notify alleged infringers of rights (subject to reasonable levels of proof from rights- holders) that their conduct is unlawful. We also intend to require ISPs to collect anonymised information on serious repeat infringers (derived from their notification activities), to be made available to rights-holders together with personal details on receipt of a court order.

  • boggits
  • over 8 years ago

All in all, like 19th century planners eschewing building any new fangled railways and trying to make the horses go faster. Oh, and have a wee man from the Performing Rights walking in front with a red flag.

  • muymalestado
  • over 8 years ago

how is it anonymised if its provided alongside personal details?

  • chrysalis
  • over 8 years ago

They have listened to the consumers but ultimately sided with the holy copyright holders. They believe copyright to be "vital to our content and communications industries" and yet as file-sharing has risen to a point where it is a noticible chunk of internet transfers, sales of such content have continued to rise.

  • Capn
  • over 8 years ago

They are genuinely proud of the Memorandum of Understanding, so out comes even more legislation in a hope, that by ISPs spying on their customers and gathering more and more information about peoples private lives, they can make a few more billionaire corporations richer. Whilst customers pay their ISPs for a service that enables them being sued.

The notorious failings of Davenport Lyons in cases of pensioners being slammed with jumped up threats of court action for allegedly downloading hardcore gay nazi porn highlight the inability for reliable evidence being gathered.

  • Capn
  • over 8 years ago

Why can't the meddling government leave commercial forces to decide whether or not they want to join the 21st century or not.

Casually browing in total bored mode I found an amazing website covering many aspects of filesharing called Filesharefreak. Its amazing what goes on out there!

  • meldrew
  • over 8 years ago

Interesting that they compare broadband to electricity. Along with the advantages of a pioneering approach to early adoption.

Virgin 200Mb/s by 2012 and BT up to 40Mb/s to 10 million homes by 2010.

Thankfully they also recognised that headline speeds don't always match customer experience. Which if nothing else managed to raise a smile.

  • mishminx
  • over 8 years ago

Don't run away with the idea that "Universal" means every home. Read the report.

“universality in terrestrial broadcast networks is considered to have been achieved at 98.5%”

also

"we expect that, as with today’s USO, the end consumer should, beyond a certain point, make a contribution to the cost of providing connectivity.”

  • herdwick
  • over 8 years ago

aye herdwick, you spotted it. What it translates to mean is that BT et al will shore up what they have now, to wring more revenue from their obsolete network. They already expect too much from it. The more people use it the slower it all gets. The only way to supply what this country needs if fibre. Replacing the copper with fibre will provide many jobs, just what the doctor ordered. It will restore wealth, improve health and make a lot of people happy. Better than being in a recession, it could change it all round in one swipe.

  • cyberdoyle
  • over 8 years ago

cyberdoyle - ' The more people use it the slower it all gets.'

How does fibre from exchange to cabinet or home help this?

Answer - not a lot, it does not affect the core network.

  • Somerset
  • over 8 years ago

when the laws are changed it will be time to invest in a vpn account as stuff over an encrypted connection can not be monitored by an ISP afaik ?

  • scragglymonk
  • over 8 years ago

Nope, but there's nothing forcing them to allow you to VPN at any speed either. After all, internet forms and such don't need over a few kb/s...

  • Dawn_Falcon
  • over 8 years ago

Looking at the stats it was recently stated that 7 million people download illegaly.

That's over 10% of the population. Even allowing for a younger bias and many not being of voting age that could leave 5% who could swing an election.

Perhaps the Gov would better spend their time investigating the profiteering by 'rights holders' in the UK?

I do love politics when being immoral and devious comes up with the right result.

  • fox-uk
  • over 8 years ago

Somerset: 'cyberdoyle - ' The more people use it the slower it all gets.'

How does fibre from exchange to cabinet or home help this?

Answer - not a lot, it does not affect the core network'

Fibre from exchange to cabinet removes any excuse for not upgrading the core network - it will be clear where the problem lies once all other excuses are removed!

  • Mr_Fluffy
  • over 8 years ago

Mind you, FTTH is what is really needed - the cabinets are just a stopgap

  • Mr_Fluffy
  • over 8 years ago

The real problem behind contention is that according to the present state of the art, lit BT Centrals are horrendously expensive, costing ISPs between 10 and 100 times what they are really worth

  • Mr_Fluffy
  • over 8 years ago

FTTC isn't a "stopgap", it's the only economically defendable fibre rollout.

And I think you need to check your figures re end user vs transit bandwidth...

  • Dawn_Falcon
  • over 8 years ago

The telcos need to sort out the backhaul to the exchange. And do fibre to the home. And then everyone will be happy.

  • cyberdoyle
  • over 8 years ago

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