Digital Britain published. Top-Slicing given green light. Can open. Worms everywhere.

Digital_Britain if you've been following coverage of the publication of Carter's long-awaited Digital Britain report this afternoon (Guardian covering it here) you'll already be aware of the main points.  they are – as reported in the link previous – as follows:

  • Illegal filesharing is "tantamount to theft", repeat offenders will have their broadband connection reduced
  • Part of the BBC licence fee will be used to fund universal broadband access
  • But also a levy will be placed on all fixed phone lines to help pay for universal broadband
  • A small part of the licence fee digital switchover surplus will fund regional news pilots between now and 2013
  • Talks between BBC and C4 are ongoing
  • Martha Lane Fox to become "digital inclusion champion"

point four has big implications.  the government has essentially given the green light to top-slicing the BBC's licence fee.  not as a one-off to pay for universal broadband (ie digital infrastructure) but for content not provided for by the BBC.

this is government-legislated revenues being used to support content provision by commercial broadcasters.  in other words, they are no longer commercial broadcasters.  there'll no doubt be much debate as a result, but bottom line…

can open.  worms.  everywhere…

One response to “Digital Britain published. Top-Slicing given green light. Can open. Worms everywhere.

  1. Agree, opens up all sorts of possibilities, which I think we’ll need if we want Channel 4 to keep producing quality drama and so on.
    And what about other ‘media’ that don’t/won’t make money… for instance, would a government ever feel it was right to support an infrastructure like Twitter if it was under threat of disappearance, yet provided ‘valuable social content’?

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