Department for Business, Innovation and Skills
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Broadband Delivery UK to Lead Government’s Drive for Superfast Broadband Announced
The new Government body responsible for rolling-out next generation broadband across the UK will begin its work today, Digital Britain Minister Stephen Timms has announced.
Broadband Delivery UK (BDUK) will drive forward the Universal Service Commitment to deliver 2Mbps to every household by 2012 and will manage the spend of the £1billion Next Generation Fund to deliver next generation broadband to 90% of the country by 2017.
The report will help inform public authorities looking to invest in superfast broadband and will also be considered by BDUK in prioritising the communities who could benefit from the Next Generation Fund.
Stephen Timms, Minister for Digital Britain, said:
“Taking advantage of new technologies like next generation broadband is vital to the growth of the UK’s economy and it’s important that all homes and businesses can access the opportunities faster speeds bring.
“This report makes clear that without public intervention, some rural areas and less well off communities will be left behind and unable to reap the economic, health and education benefits superfast broadband offers. Our proposed £1billion Next Generation Fund will help bring the benefits of super fast broadband to more communities.
“We do not want to risk the digital gap widening, which is why we have put a team of experts in place to ensure further investment is targeted at those people without adequate access.”
The report investigates the reach of next generation access across the UK up to 2017 based on three scenarios:
· a purely market-led approach,
· a network subsidised by the Digital Britain ‘Next Generation Fund’ and;
· local interventions (such as the Yorkshire Forward Digital Region initiative in South Yorkshire) supplementing a subsidised network.
Rural Affairs Minister, Dan Norris said:
“The availability of next generation broadband to rural communities and businesses is vital for their growth and social links. The research published today will help public bodies and BDUK identify what areas need attention so that solutions can be developed for these communities to benefit from faster broadband services by 2017.”
Minister for Regional Economic Coordination, Rosie Winterton, said:
"It's crucial for the future prosperity of our most disadvantaged communities that they are able take advantage of all the new developments that next generation access will bring including access to new skills, new employment opportunities and innovative health care.
"To be successful we will need effective cooperation at regional level in these areas and I am pleased to see that this research recognises the great contribution that Yorkshire Forward's Digital Region strategy will make in safeguarding the future of South Yorkshire."
Research from the report supports the effectiveness of Government’s proposed Next Generation Fund in the form of a 50p monthly duty on all fixed lines in increasing next generation broadband coverage to 90% of the population by 2017 – 20% more than predicted if left to an entirely market-led approach.
The report by Analysys Mason, also illustrates the comparative costs of providing high speed broadband in rural and urban areas, highlighting the increased costs of providing to rural areas due to the distances involved and the small populations served. By comparison, densely populated areas are easier to reach but some deprived urban areas are less attractive to telecoms companies due to the lower potential take-up of services.
The research sets out strategies for public authorities, and partner organisations to provide next-generation networks in those areas that would otherwise not be commercially viable. With solutions in place, these rural and deprived urban areas will be able to take advantage of the high-quality and innovative services that a next-generation broadband network will provide, including employment opportunities, more cost effective and efficient local services and delivery of health care and independent living for the elderly.
Notes to Editors
This research paper ‘An Assessment and practical guidance on next generation access risk in the UK’ can be downloaded in a PDF format from the Communities and Local Government website located at:http://www.communities.gov.uk/communities/digitalinclusion/resources/
This research, commissioned by Department for Communities and Local Government (CLG) and Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) was carried out by the Analysys Mason Group, a highly respected UK-based international consultancy specialising in telecommunications, technology and media. www.analysysmason.com
As part of the Government’s drive to provide better access to information, the aggregated data used to formulate the outputs from the research will be made available online at the ESD Toolkit site:http://www.esd.org.uk/esdtoolkit/default.aspx,
It can also be accessed the newly launched data.gov.uk website. Stakeholders will be able to use this data to map the coverage of their own areas in 2012, 2015 and 2017 under each of the three scenarios.
The Government set out its plans for widespread Next Generation Access in the Digital Britain Report, published in June 2009. A copy of the report can be found at: http://www.bis.gov.uk/building-britains-digital-future
Department for Business, Innovation & Skills
The Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) is building a dynamic and competitive UK economy by: creating the conditions for business success; promoting innovation, enterprise and science; and giving everyone the skills and opportunities to succeed. To achieve this it will foster world-class universities and promote an open global economy. BIS - Investing in our future.
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