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Monday, June 22, 2009

UK publishes Digital Britain report

UK publishes Digital Britain reportUnited Kingdom (UK) government, weekend, published the Digital Britain Report, which underlining the importance of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) to the nation’s economic future, just as one third of UK adults were reported not online.

According to the release by the Prime Minister, Mr. Gordon Brown, the white paper details how the UK’s communications infrastructure and increased digital participation are key to building a 21st century knowledge economy, reports Nomensa.

Some of the key promises include that achieving universal access to today’s broadband services by 2012 is crucial, even as the Next Generation fund for investment in tomorrow’s broadband services.

The report also called for upgraded mobile networks and national planning to improve digital participation that would engender robust legal and regulatory framework to combat digital piracy.

Additionally, the report seeks support for public service content partnerships and revised digital remit for Channel 4, while funding options for national, regional and local news has been identified as key to this success as well as the programme for digital switchover in public services.

Digital Britain, Mr. Brown said, is about giving the country the tools to succeed and lead the way in the economy of the future.

“This report shows how we will ensure we have a world-class digital and communications infrastructure, that we promote and protect talent and innovation in our creative industries, that we modernize our TV and radio frameworks and support local news,” he declared.

Meanwhile, telecom regulator in Britain, OfCom recent report revealed that nearly 30 per cent of adults still have no Internet at home.

This came barely a week before the proclamation of Digital Britain reports.

However, the new study indicates that one in five adults who do not have the Internet at home is likely to sign-up in the next six months.

Nomensa also reports that the recent Communications Consumer Panel research had revealed that many people already regard it as essential to have broadband at home, hence, the new Ofcom research looked at the reasons that 30 per cent of UK adults do not have the Internet at home and the barriers that prevent such people from taking it up in the future.

As well as why those intending to get the Internet in the next six months are more likely to be younger, use the Internet already outside of the home, are working and have children.

Further, Ofcom found the main reasons for accessing the Internet were centred on accessing information or to find out things scoring 36 per cent; communicating with friends and family got 26 per cent while keeping up with technology was rated 25 per cent as well as because friends and family recommended it scaled up the choice for Internet in UK by 25 per cent.

Equally, the research identified two main groups of people without the Internet who may not currently intend to access the Internet at home to include the self-excluded accounting to about 42 per cent of adults, adducing their main reason for not having the Internet at home linked to lack of interest or need. The self-excluded tend to be older and retired and have never used a computer.

The financially excluded, the report said, accounts for 30 per cent of adults, who stated that their main reason for not accessing the Internet at home was that it was too expensive or that they did not have the knowledge or skills to use it.

Ofcom’s partner for Strategy and Market Development, Peter Phillips, said that broadband is becoming increasingly important to peoples’ ability to participate in the economy and society. Therefore, the research shows some genuine opportunities for policy makers wishing to drive take up of Internet services.

“But it also shows that some creativity will be required if we wish to capture the imaginations of those who have yet to engage with the benefits the Internet may bring,” he suggested.

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