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Oxford Media Convention: The UK's digital industries require new busines models, says digital minister

LONDON - For the digital industries to flourish they must develop new business models and overcome the challenges of broadband access and intellectual property, Stephen Timms, minister for Digital Britain, said today.

Digital Britain: minister spoke out for digital industries

Digital Britain: minister spoke out for digital industries

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Speaking at the IPPC Oxford Media Convention, Timms underlined his belief that ensuring high speed broadband cover reaches at least 90% of homes by 2017 will be essential for the future economy.

He said: "Without intervention the next generation of broadband will get into two thirds of homes but we need to do better than that. Broadband is now more important than mains electricity for remote parts of the country.

The former treasury minister then turned to the Finance Bill in which the government proposed a 50p levy on phone lines to pay for the expansion of faster broadband. Timms said: "We need to make sure it is fair and doesn't penalise particular businesses or individuals."

He stressed the importance of targeting areas the market would not otherwise reach, and said this is one area currently being consulted on.

On the issue of copyright theft, Timms reiterated the policy proposed in the Digital Economy Bill to send letters to consistent offenders that will be backed by powers to impose technical measures.

Timms said content rights holders must be given space to deliver new business models but because the benefit of the new laws will go to them they must be prepared to help pay for the laws to be implemented.

He urged rights holders to get a move on and find new ways to make content available in formats [consumers] want and at a price they are willing to pay.

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