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Gov't delays 'Digital Britain' report findings

Interim results now expected "before the end of the month"

The government has delayed publishing the interim findings of its Digital Britain report.

The findings of the report by Communications Minister Lord Carter, which looks at a number of area of digital entertainment including the future of broadband, public service broadcasting and digital radio, will now be made available "before the end of the month" said the Department of Culture, Media and Sport. The findings were originally expected to be released last week.

There has been much speculation about the proposals contained within the report. A number of analysts have predicted the government will outline plans to implement minimum broadband speeds in the report. Currently ISPs are required to offer an internet connection with minimum speeds of 28.8Kbps.

Earlier this month Carter dropped hints that the report will contain details of planned investment by the government in a new fibre-network to provide the UK with next-gen broadband.

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The cost of transferring the UK's existing copper network to a new high-speed fibre system that's capable of offering homes in Britain 100Mbps broadband has been estimated at between £15bn and £24.5bn.

Initially, it was thought telecommunications companies including BT would foot the bill. However, recently BT's shareholders raised concerns over the level of investment and economic return in providing 10 million homes with 100Mbps fibre-based broadband by 2012. Substantial investment from the government could help quell these fears.

It is also thought the report will set-out guidelines to tackle illegal file sharers. The full report is expected to be made available in late spring 2009.

See also: Gov't to help finance next-gen broadband network


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