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Carter on “Digital Britain” February 24, 2009

Posted by Michael Kowalski in whatever.

I went to see Carter talking about his “Delivering Digital Britain” report at NESTA this morning. Good summary on Techcrunch. Though personally, I don’t think we’re going to deliver much useful at 8 in the morning ;)

Carter’s remit isn’t as broad as some in the audience would like: his focus seems to be on broadband/wifi delivery infrastructure + what to do with C4, and fair enough. But someone asks the question “delivery of what?” There certainly seems a risk that the government’s approach will be more about rescuing existing organisations than helping new ones to flourish.

The creative & media sector has always been very strong in the UK, and with the fall from grace of financial services, media people are thrilled at that prospect that their industry could be the single basket where we put all our eggs. What makes this odd is that, as Kestenbaum, the head of NESTA, puts it, none of them know “what their model will be in 10 years time”—or, more to the point, whether they will even have one.

I don’t own a television, and so don’t pay the licence fee. But my expenditure on media consumption started rising last year, mainly because the number of DVD titles available at a reasonable price crossed some kind of threshold. This year, thanks to iTunes, I’m guessing I’ll spend more than the licence fee on TV programmes alone (possibly alarmingly so—must keep an eye on it!). Otoh, it’s some time since I’ve watched an advert outside the cinema. There is revenue there, if not as much as before.



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