Sunday, August 31, 2008

BSG - Next Generation Broadband

Broadband Stakeholder Group |
The BSG is the industry-government forum tackling strategic issues across the converging broadband value chain.

Next generation broadband

The debate around next generation broadband is currently the key focus for the BSG.

In April 2007 the BSG released its 'Pipe Dreams?' report on prospects for next generation broadband in the UK. The report crystallised the key issues facing UK government and industry as we move towards next generation broadband in the UK, and made a series of recommendations.

The BSG has since been focused on implementing these recommendations, working with stakeholders to develop further insight into the issues the report raised in order to create an evidence base for public and regulatory policy-making.

The next generation broadband work programme has four workstreams:

BSG | 9 June 2008 | Will next generation broadband deliver next generation benefits?

New report examines economic and social value of next generation broadband and concludes there’s more value in doing it right than doing it now.

The UK could reap significant social and economic value from the wide-spread deployment of next generation broadband, according to a new report that studies how to weigh up the costs and benefits, from the Broadband Stakeholder Group (BSG), the government’s leading advisory group on broadband and digital convergence.

By looking at the potential private value (value accruing to commercial investors and consumers) and the wider economic and social value, the BSG has found that the long-term benefits to the UK associated with the wide-scale deployment could outweigh the cost of deployment, which could be as much as £16bn (to reach 80 per cent of UK homes).

However, the report does not conclude that operators should invest now. There is still real uncertainty about the extent to which investors will be able to realise enough of this value to justify investment. The BSG believes that in the short-term, there are unlikely to be significant costs associated with delaying deployment and there may actually be considerable value in waiting for a limited period in order for more information to emerge, before investing.

But the value in waiting will diminish over time and the report recommends that commercial providers, government and regulators continue to work to create an environment that is conducive to timely and efficient investment.

Antony Walker, CEO of the Broadband Stakeholder Group explains: “Next generation broadband has the potential to transform the way we do things as individuals, businesses and as a nation as a whole. It is tempting to jump in feet-first but it matters more to do this right than to do it now. There is a lot of uncertainty about issues on both the demand and supply side and much that we can learn from experience elsewhere without adverse affects in the short-term. On the other hand, the UK can’t wait too long. If widespread network deployment didn’t happen in the medium term (perhaps three to five years), then this report suggests that the UK could be losing out.

The report also warns that it will take longer to deploy next generation broadband than it took to deploy the current generation and that some areas might be beyond the reach of market forces. Communities and individuals that remain beyond the reach of commercial deployment in the long-term will be disadvantaged. Close attention must therefore be paid to the emergence of a new digital divide.

The report follows the BSG’s Pipe Dreams report published in April last year which said the UK needs to start preparing for next generation broadband by 2009. The current report, along with another on models for public sector intervention in the deployment of next generation broadband, will be launched at the BSG’s conference: Beyond Pipe Dreams in London on Monday 9 June.

Press release |

The BSG report ‘A Framework for Evaluating the Value of Next Generation Broadband’ develops a framework for undertaking a cost-benefit analysis of next generation broadband,
and provides estimates for the costs and benefits highlighted by the framework. The report
carries forward Recommendation 1 from the BSG’s April 2007 report ‘Pipe Dreams?
Prospects for Next Generation Broadband in the UK’. The report was developed with
contributions from economists and others from government, industry, academia and the
regulator. The research was undertaken by Plum Consulting on behalf of the Broadband Stakeholder Group, with support from BERR and the Ofcom Consumer Panel.


BSG launches new research

June 17, 2008

(...) our 2008 Conference ‘Beyond Pipe Dreams?’. (...)

First of all, the conference itself produced a lively and informed debate, with representatives from a wide variety of sectors and a range of speakers including Francesco Caio, head of the governemnt’s review of broadband. To view the presentations from the event see

The first of the two reports that we launched at the conference was ‘A Framework for Evaluating the Value of Next Generation Broadband‘. This report examines the incremental economic and social value of next generation broadband over current broadband provision in the UK.

The second report was ‘Models for efficient and effective public sector intervention in next generation broadband access networks‘. This report studies next generation broadband interventions across the world, and first generation interventions in the UK, to determine good practice for interventions in the UK.


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