Although it has been heavily tipped for several weeks, Lord Carter's Digital Britain interim report has indeed suggested that broadband should be available to everyone.

The report suggests that the BBC should play a lead role in promoting the take-up of broadband for all. The scheme will mean that every UK citizen should have access to at least a 2Mbps broadband connection by 2012.

Lord Carter's report also makes recommendations as to who should pay for the provision of this nationwide service.

Interim recommendations:

  • Broadband for all: "We will develop plans for a digital Universal Service Commitment to be effective by 2012, delivered by a mixture of fixed and mobile, wired and wireless means. Subject to further study of the costs and benefits, we will set out our plans for the level of service which we believe should be universal. We anticipate this consideration will include options up to 2Mbps."
  • Recommendations to be made on who funds broadband Britain: "We will develop detailed proposals for the design and operation of a new, more broadly-based scheme to fund the Universal Service Commitment for the fully digital age – including who should contribute and its governance and accountability structures."
  • Development of public service champions to encourage people to get online: "We will encourage the development of public service champions of universal take-up. The Digital Inclusion Action Plan recommended the appointment of a Digital Inclusion Champion and expert taskforce to drive the government's work on digital inclusion."
  • The BBC's services should make people want to pay for their broadband: "We are inviting the BBC to play a leading role, just as it has in digital broadcast, through marketing, cross-promotion and provision of content to drive interest in taking up broadband. With other public service organisations, the BBC can drive the development of platforms with open standards available to all content providers and device manufacturers alike."