Industry group unveils list of eight recommendations

UK ISPs call for ‘clear plan’

The Internet Services Providers’ Association (ISPA) has unveiled its "UK Roadmap 2010" which contains a list of recommendations to government.

The industry group published the roadmap as well as a general call for the British coalition government to "review how it coordinates Internet policy across government departments to promote a cohesive and informed approach to Internet regulation."

A key concern of British ISPs are the ramifications of the Digital Economy Act which has given the regular Ofcom a mandate to tackle the issue of copyright infringement. Ofcom has already released guidelines which state that ISPs with over 400,000 users will be required to keep a list of copyright infringement claims of their users, with a three strikes rule allowing copyright holders to seek the identity of their customers via a court order.

It’s unclear if ISPs will then end up needing to censor material and who will ultimately pay for the cost of the new systems. Unsurprisingly the ISPA is advocating that the "beneficiaries" pay, or the copyright holders.

Nicholas Lansman, ISPA Secretary-General, said "ISPA is encouraged that the Coalition Government has made broadband roll out a priority and is consulting widely on its freedom agenda. However, to ensure that the digital economy continues to grow, ISPA has produced a number of recommendations, including greater coordination of internet policy across government, a commitment to defend liability status and a clear plan for broadband roll out.” 

Mr Lansman continued, “As the Internet is of such importance to the economy and society, we look forward to working with Government and parliamentarians to take the roadmap forward over the course of this Parliament.” 

The list of recommendations appears to be quite broad such as "removal of barriers to help promote innovative new online content distribution models".

It appears to stop short of calling for specific restrictions in how Ofcom carries out the Digital Economy Act measures, likely because the consultation process doesn’t finish until the 30th of this month. However one of the recommendations urges a "proportionate approach" to balancing law enforcement demands and users’ right to privacy.

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