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Mandelson to oversee Digital Britain implementation

Ian Grant

Business minister Peter Mandelson is expected to oversee the execution of the government's new communications strategy once communications czar Stephen Carter publishes it in the final Digital Britain report next week.

Carter, who is expected to leave the government, may be heading for ITV1, where his skills in turning struggling companies such as NTL and Telewest, now Virgin Media, into survivors would be welcomed.

The Digital Britain report will contain what Carter was able to negotiate between government, the opposition and the communications sector.

The report is expected to leave some questions unanswered, such as how to fund the universal broadband service obligation and how to detect and enforce actions against commercial illegal filesharers.

Carter was brought in from the private sector by Gordon Brown about 18 months ago to develop a joined-up communications policy.

The increasing dependency of the entire economy on high-speed communications means almost every aspect of life in Britain could be affected by the policy. This created a complex and politically fraught environment in which to develop policy.


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