CEO’s monthly update – innovation, vouchers and the UK’s future bandwidth needs

CEO’s monthly update – innovation, vouchers and the UK’s future bandwidth needs

Pamela LearmonthIt’s been a non-stop 2013 for broadband and telecommunications policy, and the last month has been no exception. New money for innovative technologies for the hardest to connect areas of the UK was announced by Danny Alexander MP in the form of a £10m new fund – read our roundup of what the Autumn Statement and National Infrastructure Strategy announcements mean for the broadband community here.

Last week saw the launch of super connected cities vouchers across 22 cities, and we were pleased to speak to cities some of our new research on SME perceptions of the benefits of connectivity in a workshop hosted by BDUK on 27 November. What was encouraging about the launch was the linking up between DCMS and BIS in how the benefits broadband can have a transformative effect for UK businesses of all size – watch this space for a forthcoming BSG report unveiling new insights in this area in the New Year.

There was also a number of reports published for broadband wonks to analyse and debate – including the DCMS commissioned report from SQW which stated that publically funded interventions are projected to return approximately £20 in net economic impact for every £1 of public investment. Also of note were the DCMS Broadband Performance Indicator and a study from Analysys Mason for BT ‘International benchmark of superfast broadband’ which sees the UK leading the EU ‘big five’ for superfast broadband.

We’ve been pleased to see that our recent study on UK domestic bandwidth requirements through to 2023 has prompted a good deal of debate on what the UK’s future needs will be, including at a recent Westminster eForum event as covered in this V3 article. I’ve also been out and about speaking at Bonn at the WIK annual conference on demand for superfast broadband, and I also addressed the ISPA annual conference. Expect more from us next year to dig deeper in to what consumers will need, and the evolving landscape for broadband-enabled services and technologies. If you have views or evidence you’d like to share with us, please do get in touch at [email protected].

I’d like to take this opportunity to wish all of our stakeholders a great festive season, and we look forward to working with you all on our 2014 work programme.