Digital Britain: Industry opinions

Digital Britain will keep its pirates and miss broadband targets, says industry
Digital Britain will keep its pirates and miss broadband targets, says industry

Industry groups are complaining that today's Digital Britain report will fail to stamp out file-sharing piracy, sets unimpressive broadband goals and is unlikely to meet its infrastructure targets.

The British Video Assocation (BVA), which represents publishers and distributors of video home entertainment, believes that the framework for sending warning notices is unlikely to be successful.

BVA Director General Lavinia Carey said, "The 2009 Digital Entertainment Survey published last week, indicates that simply sending warning letters would deter less than a third of those who illegally file-share."

Pirates continue to sail the online seas

"This means the government is set to fall short of its target to reduce online copyright theft by 70-80 per cent in two to three years. If the government is serious about meeting that target it must take effective action now."

However, BVA supports Digital Britain's recommendation that ISPs are used to police piracy. Carey said, "By working together with content providers, ISPs will make it harder for persistent file sharers to operate without rights owners resorting to immediate legal action.", a company offering comparative advice on broadband deals, also chimed in. Product director Michael Phillips said, "A 2Mb commitment is a pretty underwhelming aspiration given the rest of Europe already experiences over 6Mb as an average. If this is a headline speed then experience would indicate that many recipients will actually get only a fraction of this."

He also noted that, "The Government's target to hit UK-wide 2Mb broadband coverage for all by 2012 is a very tall order. Updating and implementing the necessary mobile and fixed line infrastructure in three years will require a massive coordinated effort."

Mark Harris is Senior Research Director at Gartner.