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Communications industry queries Digital Britain's future

Ian Grant

There is a growing concern that the aims and objectives of the Digital Britain report will not survive the absence of its author, communications minister Stephen Carter, or a change in government.

More than 100 delegates from media and communications companies today heard a dozen industry leaders voice their unanimous optimism and support for Digital Britain at a feed back meeting organised by the Westminster eForum in London today.

Speakers worried that the hard work of the past 20 months in creating the right climate for an economy based on advanced digital technology might come to nothing.

"I hope Digital Britain will transcend the next government," said Emma Gilthorpe, BT's director of industry and policy regulation.

Caroline Thompson, the BBC's chief executive, said she was sure the Conservative Party would not have Digital Britain among its top three priorities. She said Carter's decision to leave government had left Digital Britain without anyone to drive it in the interim.

Alastair Davidson, director of strategy, marketing and business development at Arqiva, the broadcast network infrastructure provider, said the communications industry "wanted Digital Britain to happen."

Hugh Davies, 3 Mobile's director of communications, said it was down to "the people in the room" to drive it forward. "We don't want to start all over again," he said.


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