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UK Should Prioritise Broadband Investment over Broadcasting
By: MarkJ - 26 November, 2008 (1:38 PM)

The Social Market Foundation (SMF) has published a new report - In Public Service Broadcasting in the UK: A Longer Term View (.PDF), which recommends that the government should prioritise investment in faster broadband to get the best out of the broadcasting (TV) market.

It suggests that broadband could enable the market to provide more public service content more efficiently, but to achieve this the UK's Internet infrastructure must be improved to avoid exacerbating the digital divide:

Commenting, SMF Senior Research Fellow Jessica Prendergrast said: As the market changes with the expansion of new technologies, the existence of a major institution like the BBC will remain important. Equally important however is for the government to ensure widespread access to high-speed broadband as a top priority, just as it once prioritised access to analogue TV. Otherwise there is a risk that only the young and affluent will benefit.

The report essentially recommends that, rather than funding any expansion in public service broadcasting, the focus should be on ensuring that comprehensive broadband coverage is achieved.

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