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Broadband for All - An Alternative Vision

HL 41, First Report of Session 2012-13

House of Lords - Select Committee on Communications
TSO (The Stationery Office)

'Broadband for All - An Alternative Vision (HL 41)' reports that the Government is preoccupied with speed, rather than focusing on access and the imperative of creating a 'future proof' national network which is built to last. The Committee is concerned that the Government's investment in this area could be a missed opportunity, although it is not too late to change course.

As part of an alternative approach, policy should be driven by the need to arrest and ultimately eliminate the digital divide, rather than deliver enhanced provision for those who already have good connections. Many services will increasingly be delivered via the internet, including critical public services; without better provision some people stand to be marginalised or excluded altogether.

The realisation of the Committee's proposal lies in the creation of a robust and resilient national network, bringing open access fibre-optic hubs within reach of every community. Open access to these fibre-optic hubs would provide a platform for local communities and businesses to access the broadband provision they want in the short term, and to upgrade that access flexibly as needs evolve over time.

The Committee also recommends:

  • that the Office of Communications (Ofcom) actively considers changes to several aspects of the regulatory regime;

  • the Government should undertake a detailed costing of the Committee's proposal;

  • that the Government pay urgent attention to the way public funds are being distributed, particularly the operation of the Rural Community Broadband Fund; and

  • that both Government and industry should consider the long term possibility of switching terrestrial broadcast from spectrum to the internet.

Extent 80 pages ISBN 9780108476136
Size A4 Price £14.50
Format Paperback Published 31 Jul 2012
Availability Colour copy: 3 - 5 days Availability help (opens in new window) Delivery Delivery options and charges
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