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Can Digital Britain survive a general election?

One of the most striking themes of yesterday's Westminster eForum on Lord Carter's Digital Britain report, entitled "Dear Stephen", was the widespread uncertainty over whether the report's recommendations will ever be carried out. Carter's about to stand down as communications minister, and there's a fair chance the Tories will get into power within the next six months.
Written by David Meyer, Contributor on

One of the most striking themes of yesterday's Westminster eForum on Lord Carter's Digital Britain report, entitled "Dear Stephen", was the widespread uncertainty over whether the report's recommendations will ever be carried out. Carter's about to stand down as communications minister, and there's a fair chance the Tories will get into power within the next six months.

Here, for example, is BT's regulatory chief, Emma Gilthorpe: "Carter is leaving before the job is done. I'm very nervous that all of this hard work could lose momentum rapidly. We shall see who his successor is in a fortnight's time and hopefully those concerns will not come to fruition."

Gilthorpe also had this to say about the 50p 'phone tax' next-generation access levy: "I have some concern that the NGA levy may not survive the next general election, particularly since the legislation that needs to be passed won't see the light of day until February or March next year."

At the end of the event, panellists were bluntly asked how optimistic they were regarding the recommendations surviving a general election. 3's Hugh Davies: "I'll be optimistic and say [yes] because the alternative for the mobile guys is a long time in the courts."

If that's not a ringing endorsement…

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