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Government outlines digital Britain vision

Alex Scroxton

The government has today outlined its plans to secure the UK's place at the forefront of the digital global economy, with an ambitious guarantee to provide broadband to every home in Britain by the opening ceremony of the 2012 Olympics forming a key part of the strategy.

According to a statement released today, the government will also seek to create an agency to police and manage access to digital content in an attempt to combat file-sharing, as well as embarking on plans to migrate FM and AM radio onto the digital spectrum and modernise the wireless mobile radio spectrum for 2G and 3G operators.

Communications minister Lord Stephen Carter said: "The innovation, creativity and vitality of our communications industries rightly demand clarity from Government on its role and a framework for the future. Delivering Digital Britain will depend upon a smart industry, working with a committed Government to produce lasting solutions."

Cisco UK managing director Phil Smith welcomed the report, and called for a more in-depth review along the lines of the infrastructure investment currently being planned by the Obama administration.

McAfee security analyst Greg Day was more circumspect, welcoming the investment in broadband but saying more radical steps would need to be taken to make everything secure.

"Education will be a critical factor in securing online experience; the school curriculum will need to be amended to ensure that children are taught the basics of surfing safely," Day said.

"If broadband technologies are going to be made available to the wider British population they need to understand the risks and how to mitigate them, otherwise it's a bit like giving someone a car but not teaching them how to drive properly," he added.

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