UK can be winner in the Convergence race

UK can be winner in the Convergence race

Industry Report provides first clear snapshot of the UK’s convergence readiness

According to a report, launched today by Intellect the trade association for the UK hi-tech industry, the UK has the potential to become a world leader in convergence, but only if Government, industry and regulators take steps to accelerate the progress made to date.

‘Capitalising on Convergence’, which was developed in conjunction with industry leaders from across the broadcast, consumer electronics, content, telecoms and IT industries, assesses how ready the UK is to exploit the full social and economic value of convergence. Currently the UK scores 5/10 across a set of six key enablers; Regulation, Commercial, Infrastructure, Content, Devices and Consumers. This score reflects the significant process made to date, and the scale of the challenge ahead.

Intellect predicts that this score puts the UK on course for full convergence readiness (10/10) by 2012. However, the authors believe that the UK has the potential to accelerate this process by two to three years. This would enable the UK to leap frog its competitors and become a world leader in the exploitation of convergence; delivering real value to UK consumers through an un-paralleled choice of content, services and applications, and real value to the economy through increased investment, the development of a highly skilled workforce, and growth of a strong and healthy converged industry.

The report has identified three key barriers to more rapid progress, and made recommendations to help speed the process; according to the report we must –

  • Create a more converged industry – With greater levels of dialogue and cooperation between stakeholders across the value chain.
  • Create a more converged Government – With a better understanding of the implications of convergence.
  • Create more converged regulation – Regulation that takes account of and supports the transition towards digital convergence.

Commenting on the Report, John Higgins, Intellect’s Director General said; “The UK’s strengths in telecoms, IT and the creative industries have given us a head start on our global convergence competitors. However, these competitors are moving at pace, and most are focused on the convergence prize. This term of Government therefore represents a critical juncture. We can sit back and begin to feel the social and economic value of convergence from 2012 onwards, or we can accelerate the process within this term of Government, secure our place as a world leader, and reap the full socio economic benefits as our reward.???

In addition to identifying the three key barriers to more rapid progress, the report also identified six key convergence enablers; Regulation, Commercial, Infrastructure, Content, Devices and Consumers. A gap analysis was conducted across each area and the findings highlight key outcomes which industry believe must be achieved if we are to reach 10/10 complete convergence readiness.

Concluding Higgins said; “Intellect firmly believes that widespread digital engagement will be critical to the UK”s ability to become a knowledge economy. We are wholly committed to working in partnership with the various stakeholders to enable increased digital engagement within the UK. Through the publication of this Report we hope to inform the debate, and provide recommendations which will enable the UK to successfully capitalize on convergence.???

Capitalising on Convergence – Delivering Value and Driving Growth in a Digitally Converged World