Delivering Digital Britain
23 November 2009
The Government's Digital Britain report sets out a number of proposals to maximise the benefits of the digital revolution and sustain the UK's position as a leading digital economy and society.
The proposals are good news for the CWU and our members, because if implemented they promise to promote quality sustainable employment in the telecommunications industry.
Particularly welcome amongst the plans are:
- A commitment to universal access to 2Mbps broadband at the point of arrival by 2012,
- A target of 90% coverage of Next Generation broadband by 2017, and
- Support through a Next Generation Access Fund in areas where the market will not deliver.
The CWU is campaigning for economic growth, job creation and social inclusion in a digital Britain. The CWU is calling for:
- The universal broadband ‘commitment’ to be strengthened under a legally binding universal service ‘obligation’,
- Roll out of next generation broadband networks to all UK homes by 2017 to help close the digital divide and ensure all citizens and consumers can benefit from high speed broadband,
- The next generation access fund to be supported by mobile telephone operators as well as fixed line operators, to spread the burden more fairly across industry and consumers,
- Exemption from the 50p per month broadband levy for low income users, many of whom will need support and encouragement to take up broadband,
- Broadband applications and equipment to be accessible to all citizens and consumers, including those with disabilities,
- A level playing field for competition in the pay TV market to encourage more choice, lower prices and greater innovation,
- A legal requirement for telecommunications employers to provide workforce training, which is critical to the delivery of a successful digital Britain,
- Swift implementation of all of the above into legislation to help secure jobs and growth.