The Government is set to detail plans to help every single home in the UK gain access to high speed internet within the next three years.
The interim Digital Britain report will look at a wide range of areas, including the future of broadcasting, digital radio and broadband in UK. The current expectation is that the Government will set minimum broadband speeds and push for universal access to high-speed networks.
The full report is expected to be detailed later this spring, but the proposal due for release today will outline various aspects of the plan.
One aspect is believed to be included is an update to the current universal service obligation BT is under to provide telephone connections to every house in the UK, with one that offers a similar – industry-wide – obligation to supply a minimum broadband speed to every house in the UK. It is unclear if that minimum speed would take into account current restrictions ISPs place on peak-network traffic.
Speaking at the New Local Government Network in central London, the Prime Minister Gordon Brown said the digital economy would prove crucial to the future viability of the UK. "Today we have an interim report from Lord Carter setting out the scale of our ambition to compete in the digital economy and that’s a market worth about fifty billions a year.
"It affects every community in our country who are looking for the best digital infrastructure, access to broadband, that we can offer them.
"We know that every aspect of our lives in local communities – every school, every hospital, every workplace and even every home – will be dependent on the services that the digital network provides."
It is also expected that the proposal may outline details of the so-called ‘Broadband Tax’ that has been mooted by the press over the past week. The ‘tax’ would reportedly be to compensate media producers for losses inflicted by piracy.