Smaller fanfare for the Digital Britain Implementation Plan
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.