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…