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Government Reviews Next-Gen Broadband
By: MarkJ - 22 February, 2008 (1:56 PM)

The government didn't just announce an initiative to curb online piracy (news) with today’s action plan for the creative industries; it also launched an independent review aimed at investigating the path to next generation broadband services.

The government’s new business and competitiveness minister, Shriti Vadera, said: "The UK must not be in a situation where the creativity and growth of our businesses are stifled by inadequate communications and regulatory frameworks. We must be ready to respond to future technological developments which will place unprecedented challenges for our communications networks over the coming decade..

Commenting on the announcement Kip Meek, Chairman of the Broadband Stakeholder Group (BSG) said, "This is the right announcement at the right time. The BSG has stressed the importance of building an evidence base that permits more informed decision-making on the various policy, commercial and regulatory issues. The review addresses some of the BSG's central concerns about next generation broadband and we'll be fully engaged to support its work."

It's understood that the review will also look at the financial impact of such technologies, both at the supply and delivery ends, and how to promote investment. Issues of regulation, such as whether Ofcom has the necessary powers to establish an appropriate regulatory regime, will also be covered.

In parallel to the questions to be addressed in the review, the government has asked the BSG to examine the economics of fibre deployment and specifically whether deployment of fibre to the premises (FTTP) will be viable without a first step of deploying fibre to the cabinet (FTTC).

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