Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Digital Britain report published

The government has published The Digital Britain Report, its "strategic vision for ensuring that the UK is at the leading edge of the global digital economy."

There don't seem to be too many surprises, but I'd not heard before about the plan to switch off switch off existing analogue radio stations by 2015 (pdf). The idea is that everything and everyone will have migrated to digital, making room for new local radio services, but I'd expect some opposition.
Digital Britain measures include:
  • A three-year National Plan to improve Digital Participation
  • Universal Access to today's broadband services by 2012
  • Next Generation fund for investment in tomorrow's broadband services
  • Digital radio upgrade by the end of 2015
  • Mobile spectrum liberalisation, enhancing 3G coverage and accelerating Next Generation mobile services
  • Robust legal and regulatory framework to combat Digital Piracy
  • Support for public service content partnerships
  • A revised digital remit for Channel 4
  • Consultation on funding options for national, regional and local news


  1. Switch off analogue radio? No FM, no longwave, no medium wave? Suddenly every radio you own stops working except the expensive one that drains its batteries in a day?

    We flipped to digital TV years ago, no problem, because it superceded analogue in every way. But we've got two digital radios and nothing particularly distinguishes them from what went before.

  2. When London switches to digital I just hope that both the BBC and the ITV signals will be much stronger. At the moment we have pockets where a mast head amplifyer on a pole mounted high gain array is still insufficient.

    By paying a mere 50p a month for the £6 fee seems fair enough, but what if the next government changes and has a rethink?

    Another question I would ask is, "Do people with more than one fixed line pay the fee on each?" And how many lines are the WGGB fixed to pay if so?

    What about all the big businesses and call centres? £6 each or £6 a line?


  3. I can't see that the many people here who regularily listen to overseas broadcaters or any short wave radio listeners, loosing too much sleep over our digital radio only plans.

  4. Yesterday's pledge to turn Britain into the ‘digital capital of the world’ is a really important commitment for the 9 million deaf and hard of hearing people in the UK. Online applications such as TalkByText and video relay services can mean the difference between being able to participate fully in society, or live in isolation, and for that reason we’d like to see universal inclusive access to fast broadband.

    Until everyone has access to fast, affordable broadband, many people in the UK are missing out, not only on services designed specifically for deaf and hard of hearing people, but also on services we all take for granted such as being able to book a holiday, shop online or to take RNID’s online hearing check.

  5. There are some interesting reflections on the practicalities of the analogue radio switch off here

  6. Anonymous1:36 pm

    I'm mostly pleased that they're taking digital piracy seriously and are committed to doing something to tackle it. With a Swedish MEP elected on an openly anti-copyright platform, this is a good time for writers (and directors, and actors) to remind everyone that if we don't write it (or act it or direct it) then there won't be anything for you to download/ appropriate/ steal in the first place.

    And call me a greedy materialist, but I need my repeat fees for luxuries like food and printer ink. And my broadband internet service provider :-)

    Edel Brosnan

  7. Anonymous2:31 pm

    What do people feel about top-slicing? Is it the best way to ensure a wide range of public-service programming from different broadcasters? Or is there a real danger it will jepoardise the world's best loved and most successful public-service broadcaster, the BBC?

    Edel Brosnan


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