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Broadband Stakeholder Group Replaced by UK Digital Connectivity Forum

Wednesday, June 29th, 2022 (12:01 am) - Score 432
Digital-Connectivity-Forum-Image

The Broadband Stakeholder Group (BSG), which is a think-tank that advises the UK Government on various related areas of telecommunications policy, is no more and has been replaced by the Digital Connectivity Forum (DCF). The new group touts a “redefined mission and vision” that has been crafted with industry stakeholders.

The BSG, which was housed by techUK – a trade body for the UK’s technology sector, has in the past acted as a neutral forum for related organisations (e.g. broadband ISPs, regulators and mobile operators) to help shape future policy, regulatory and commercial issues (e.g. they helped shape the UK Open Internet Code of Practice and the new Gigabit broadband focus).

NOTE: The DCF is currently comprised of the BBC, BT, CityFibre, DCMS (UK Government), Ericsson, Gigaclear, Giganet, Huawei, Hyperoptic, Openreach, Sky, TalkTalk, TechUK, Three UK, Virgin Media O2, Vodafone, the Wireless Infrastructure Group, CBI, the Consumer Communications Panel, INCA and Ofcom.

The new DCF intends to build on what the BSG was doing before, albeit alongside a “refreshed identity, vision and mission to actively address the transformed connectivity value chain.” The new “vision” will be focused on ensuring that the UK “has an economy and society empowered by seamless digital connectivity“, which some may view as an veiled reference toward more network convergence.

The group’s new “mission” is also to be “the primary advisory body on the provision of seamless connectivity“, which shouldn’t be too difficult, as we’re not sure if anybody else even holds that role today. There’s also talk of creating a “distinct technology neutral work programme” (i.e. it’s clearly not a fibre-only club), “concentrating on content demand and network design“.

Stephanie Liston, Chair of the Digital Connectivity Forum, said:

“The last two decades have seen a dramatic transformation in the UK’s digital eco-system. Consumers and businesses today enjoy a huge number of internet-enabled services delivered over a variety of networks. Working with industry, government and others we are today launching the Digital Connectivity Forum with an expanded and ambitious agenda to meet the challenges and exploit the opportunities of the next 20 years.”

Personally speaking, I’m not a huge fan of the move toward convergence. Indeed, people like myself much prefer our mobile, phone, TV and fixed broadband services to be entirely separate, so that we can benefit from greater choice and flexibility when moving between providers. Some may of course prefer the simplicity of a single package, which is understandable.

On the other hand, it’s plausible for the seamless connectivity benefits of convergence to still exist across different suppliers and networks (very complex), which is perhaps something that the DCF might be able to facilitate through new agreements. But at this stage we’ll have to wait for some of the DCF’s first work output before being able to tell just how far they might be able to take all this, or even if this is actually what they mean.

Leave a Comment
1 Response
  1. John Nolan says:

    Mark,
    DCF is Discounted Cash Flow in my world.

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