What is “Digital Britain” all about? The “Digital Britain” idea, is all about enhancing Britain's strengths in a crucial sector and harnessing new technologies to provide a fairer and more prosperous Britain for all. It was produced by Lord Carter the digital, the previous Minister for Communications, Technology and Broadcasting in the UK government.
<ul><li>Digital Britain aims to: </li></ul><ul><li>Complement and assist the private sector in delivering the effective modern communications infrastructure we need, built on new technologies </li></ul><ul><li>Enabling Britain to be a global centre for the creative industries in the digital age, delivering a wider range of quality content and including public service content within a clear and fair legal framework. </li></ul><ul><li>To ensure that people have the capabilities and skills to flourish in the digital economy and that all can participate in digital society </li></ul><ul><li>For government to continue to modernise and improve it's service to the tax payer through digital procurement and the digital delivery of public services </li></ul>
The Recommendations: * three year plan to boost digital participation * universal access to broadband by 2012 * fund to invest in next generation broadband * digital radio upgrade by 2015 * liberalisation of 3G spectrum * legal and regulatory attack on digital piracy * support for public service content partnerships * changed role for Channel 4 * consultation on how to fund local, national and regional news * a new "more robust system" for the classification of video games
The Five Main Points By Stephen Carter 1) Participation and engagement 2) Infrastructure 3) Content of Infrastructure 4) The need for a Framework 5) Government
<ul><li>Participation and Engagement </li></ul><ul><li>The ability of Digital Britain to contribute it's full potential to our future economic growth is critically dependent on having enough people with the right skills, in the right place, at the right time to develop and apply the new technologies. </li></ul><ul><li>The intention is to: </li></ul><ul><li>Ensure a healthy pipeline of talent into the professional digital workforce </li></ul><ul><li>Educating these future digital workers from primary school until higher education </li></ul><ul><li>The department for children, schools and family is using the digital agenda to help realise better outcomes for children and young people </li></ul><ul><li>Home access programmes will be implemented </li></ul><ul><li>Parents will be taught the digital skills and confidence to help support their child's safe, effective and balanced use of the internet by ensuring good quality, plural and relevant multi-platform content for children </li></ul><ul><li>ICT skills will become a core subject along with English, Maths and Science </li></ul>
However... How are we meant to teach parents these digital skills if the children of the digital era are automatically picking up these skills more quickly than the parents themselves? Even if the teaching skills are aimed at next generations parents and children, technology is evolving in the elite countries so quickly that children are learning new aspects of technology every day, therefore what has been taught to these future parents will be outdated. The youths of our society and culture and going always be relatively one step ahead of the adults.
<ul><li>Infrastructure </li></ul><ul><li>The availability of Broadband is key issue in the Digital Britain report. </li></ul><ul><li>The intention is to deliver a universal service Broadband commitment at 2Mbps by 2012. </li></ul><ul><li>This will be done by delivering through upgrades to the existing copper and wireless network. </li></ul><ul><li>More than 1 in 10 households cannot enjoy broadband at 2Mbps connection </li></ul><ul><li>Connecting this by providing universal service by 2012 will be a big relief The universal service commitment will be delivered by a mixture of technologies: DSL, Fibre to the street cabinet, wireless and satellite infill It will be funded from £200 million of direct public funding and enhanced by five other sources It will offer HD and revolutionary applications, innovation and economic benefits with a boost in GDP of 0.5% - 1.0% a year There will be a digital radio upgrade by 2015 and accelerating current and next generation mobile coverage and services Ofcom will also carry out full assessment of the infrastructure every two years. </li></ul>
But... Is 2Mbps really enough? In Japan, internet users have an average speed of 90Mbps Virgin media also offer super fast 50Mbps broadband in selected areas Even if we are all given this universal service, it will not produce a more fair digital society as by the time this service is produced, the majority of internet users will have a faster broadband connection than 2Mbps already. Also... how will this funding be operated? Do the public really want taxes to increase so that they can be given a universal 2Mbps speed when most of them will have a faster internet connection already?
<ul><li>Content of Infrastructure </li></ul><ul><li>The increase of perfect digital replicability of content makes it harder to monetise creative rights. </li></ul><ul><li>Privacy of intellectual property for profit is theft and will be pursued as such through criminal law. </li></ul><ul><li>Initiatives </li></ul><ul><li>Providing a framework that encourages the growth of legal markets for downloading that are inexpensive, convenient and easily accessible to consumers </li></ul><ul><li>Encouraging suitable information and education initiatives to ensure awareness of what is and what is not lawful </li></ul><ul><li>Providing a graduated response by rights-holders and IPS so that they can use the civil law to the full to deter the users who wilfully continue unlawful activity </li></ul><ul><li>Ofcom will have a duty to secure a significant reduction in unlawful file sharing by imposing two specific obligations: - notifications of unlawful activity - Court based process of identity release and civil action </li></ul><ul><li>There will also be consequences of bandwidth reduction and personal blocking Digital test beds provide innovation, experimentation and learning around creation and monetization of digital content. TV licence fee: to secure news in nations, regions and locally. </li></ul>
The concern of the three strikes. Lord Carter wished to impose a “three strike” system where breaking the laws of the digital age three times, for example illegal file sharing, would mean that they were cut of the internet for a year. Critics said that this would fail, and IPS's disagreed with this saying that it was the responsibility of the owners with the copyrighted material. The government also disagreed with this saying it would be pointless. I fully agree with this as the mass amount of downloading programmes, websites etc. would be hard to follow and it would take a lengthy amount of time to figure out exactly how this system was to work. Also as technology advances, people could quite easily work their way around the system and a new way of obtaining music etc. for free would come about.
The government impacts on the digital economy in four ways: 1) In delivery of public services as a major purchaser of digital systems 2) as commissioner and holder of data 3) as commissioner and holder of content 4) as a strategic hub for the development of Britain's future digital strength Government and Ofcom will assess the scope to unify all groups such as “ digital switch over” and “Radio upgrade” into a single digital delivering agency with greater capabilities and economies of scale. The government hope to work in partnership with the developed administrations to deliver a successful digital economy across the UK.