DTI releases broadband pilots reports

DTI releases broadband pilots reports

29 May 2003

The feasibility study on broadband content pilots commissioned by the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) is now available. The study was produced by Atos KPMG (AKC) and benefited from the full support of the Digital Content Forum (DCF).

The pilots concentrate on the business models for broadband content development and its contribution to competitiveness and productivity, both to the UK content industry and to the wider economy. The study makes a strong case that the pilots represent a significant opportunity for UK business, and that the DTI and industry should take them forward. The report includes a full evaluation of the rationale of each pilot together with a recommendation on the proposed structure for the pilots and implementation plan.

Two of the AKC recommendations are directed towards helping SMEs enhance their productivity and competitiveness through the use of broadband content. These are:

Developing broadband marketing to provide consumers with compelling broadband experiences, initially within the Tourism industry (‘The Broadband Visitor‘). Making tools available for more effective collaborative working within a creative industries cluster (‘Broadband Collaborative Working‘). The third project (‘The Broadband Channel‘) would involve creating a central body commissioning high quality broadband content coupled with a hosting platform and showcase of UK broadband content for access by distributors. It is different in nature and size from the other two projects and is more of a market maker than a pilot.

DCF Chairman David Worlock said:

‘Nothing is more fruitless than trying to ‘define’ broadband content; clearly it will be an aggregate of the entire range of digital products and services currently available, presented in a new setting which exploits the unique values of broadband to release new values and productivity gains. But if it cannot be defined, then at least it can be exemplified. DCF members here strongly supported the idea of pilot projects to demonstrate to a wider marketplace the huge potential of broadband. The proposed initiatives in this report – the Broadband Visitor pilot, the Broadband Channel and the Broadband Collaborative Working pilot – do just that and thus make this report required reading throughout our industry. The speed and energy with which these pilot opportunities – and the wider opportunities that flow from them – are realised will say much about the vitality and capacity to innovate of the UK digital content sector as a whole.
‘This work would have not been accomplished without the sponsoring activity of the DTI, or the active support of the Broadband Stakeholders Group. My predecessor as DCF chairman, Anthony Lilley, deserves the gratitude of the industry for championing the ideas behind the initiative, and now for supporting them as chairman of the DCF’s Broadband Industry Action Group. The report itself, requires responses by 27th June, and, beyond that, innovative proposals for development concepts and participation. Please ensure that within your organisation someone has responsibility to engage with these issues – and thus with an important element of the future of our business as a whole.‘

The next step is for the DTI to respond to the recommendations, including on funding, and should one or more of the pilots proceed, to organise a competitive tender.

Meanwhile, the DTI and DCF welcome any feedback on the report by 27 June.

The BSG will be collating comments from its members