An Evaluation of the Digital Britain Report

L Sharif, M Ahmed

Abstract


Purpose: The UK government outlined its vision of the future in the “Digital Britain” report published in June 2009. The paper provides an evaluation of the report and offers professional comments with a particular focus on Universal Broadband Access and Next Generation Access (NGA) networks. The paper also provides an overview of the currently available fixed and wireless broadband access technologies in the UK and the main challenges associated with these technologies in terms of migration towards NGA networks. The UK government has often been criticized for its lack of leadership in the provision of adequate broadband access in rural areas. The paper further discusses the government stance with regard to this issue and proposes solutions that could be cost-effectively deployed to extend coverage of broadband access to rural areas. The paper also reviews some of the successful NGA deployments around the world and discusses some of the useful lessons that could be drawn from these examples. A brief summary of some of the social and economic benefits associated with universal broadband access is also provided.

Methodology: The study is based on a critical evaluation of the Digital Britain report published in June 2009.

Findings: The study evolves up with solutions that could be cost-effectively deployed to extend coverage of broadband access to rural areas of Britain. The paper concludes with a number of key recommendations to ensure that the UK is not left behind in the global digital race as a growing list of countries actively seek to adopt a universal service commitment for broadband.

Keywords: Digital Britain (DB); Universal Broadband Access (UBA); Next Generation Access (NGA); Universal Service Commitment; Worldwide Interoperability for Microwave Access (WiMAX); 3G; Long Term Evolution (LTE); Mobile Broadband

Paper Type: Review


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