The Communications sector is one of the three largest sectors in the UK economy alongside energy and financial services, accounting for around 8% of GDP. It has been one of the fastest growing successes of the past decade. Take up of first generation broadband has grown faster than that of almost all the other major economies. Britain has the highest proportion of internet advertising of any developed economy. By 2012 £1 in every £5 of all new commerce in this country will be online. More importantly, the digital economy underpins our whole economy and builds our national competitiveness. Our readiness to adopt digital technology has driven productivity gains throughout our wider economy. Over the last ten years the UK has been consistently closing its historic productivity gap with the other leading European economies, based largely on our take-up and adoption of digital technology. However our productivity still lags well behind the USA and we face new challenges from the innovative companies of the successful Asian economies. At their best, they combine fierce competition, providing innovation and consumer services, with a regulatory framework that balances the value of investment in the next generation of technologies against the benefits for the consumer of a competitive market place.
Against this backdrop, this latest report from Department for Culture, Media and Sport assesses the UK’s readiness to fully to exploit the dramatic shift to digital technology. This revolution is still in its infancy and our demands and expectations of it will continue to rise at an accelerating pace. Are we positioned to meet those demands and expectations?
The interim report contains more than 20 recommendations, including specific proposals on:
- next generation networks
- universal access to broadband
- the creation of a second public service provider of scale
- the modernisation of wireless radio spectrum holdings
- a digital future for radio
- a new deal for digital content rights
- enhancing the digital delivery of public services
The full report can be downloaded from the DCMS website
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