Businesses urged to plan for Digital Britain

Nigel Brown, the lead for resilient telecommunications strategy at the Cabinet Office, told ZDNet UK at the Infosec 2009 conference on Tuesday that businesses should perform risk assessments to think through possible threats and opportunities brought about by greater broadband access in the UK.We were talking about the possible effects on business of universal broadband access, as proposed in the Digital Britain report being written by Lord Carter.

Nigel Brown, the lead for resilient telecommunications strategy at the Cabinet Office, told ZDNet UK at the Infosec 2009 conference on Tuesday that businesses should perform risk assessments to think through possible threats and opportunities brought about by greater broadband access in the UK.

We were talking about the possible effects on business of universal broadband access, as proposed in the Digital Britain report being written by Lord Carter. Brown said that businesses should think through scenarios, and gave the example of more people working from home in the future.

"There's always going to be a pinch point, and it's just finding that pinch point," said Brown. "If you look at the communications pathway from working from home, I go from my laptop, to broadband router, to ADSL line, to the core network, out to peer-to-peer connections, and back again — there's lots of steps there."

Brown said that businesses need to think of potential outcomes in order to aid business continuity. He gave the example of what businesses would need to think of if everybody was at home due to a flu pandemic.

"Some people would be working from home, and some people would be off work due to flu," said Brown. "What does the business do if people with flu are eating up available bandwidth downloading movies?"

Brown said that diversity was the key to resilience -- having different options to fall back on, such as having both fixed and mobile telephony in case one goes down.

Brown urged businesses to visit the Cabinet Office resilience website for tips on business continuity planning.