CEO’s Monthly Update – February was indeed the month of the “Three Cs??? in broadband
“Connectivity, Consumers + Competition??? – that’s what Ed Vaizey MP described as his approach to the converging media environment in evidence to the Lords Select Committee on Communications last month, and that was certainly felt in the world of broadband. With the results of Ofcom’s 4G auction, Safer Internet Day 2013, the Ofcom release of its annual scorecard which placed the UK in the top 5 EU economies for broadband, and BT announcing the next phase of its commercial fibre rollout strategy there were many talking points for the industry. We also saw the Government release its much anticipated consultation into broadband siting requirements as part of its wider growth package – keep your eyes peeled next week for our response on this.
We’ve had a busy month, so I’m just going to mention a few highlights – I chaired an interesting panel discussion at the FTTH Conference with INCA and I also spoke at a great session with parliamentarians on superfast broadband in 2015 hosted by the Parliamentary Office of Science and Technology, where I emphasised that take-up of broadband services can be as important as speed. We were also delighted to welcome Rt Hon Maria Miller and Lord Inglewood to the BSG Advisory Council dinner and a roundtable on media convergence respectively.
Meanwhile, the Institute of Directors and the Forum of Private Business issued two separate reports on the benefits needs of business for faster broadband speeds. In tough economic times the EU Digital Agenda proved vulnerable to proposed budget cuts, with the Connecting Europe Facility cut from €9bn to €1bn – however I believe this is welcome new investment in support of digital services nevertheless, and one which does not affect existing BDUK plans.
Last but not least the BSG were delighted to be nominated at the ITSPA awards for our work on the open internet. Although we didn’t win we were very happy to be acknowledged in such high company!