The new government body responsible for rolling out next-generation broadband across the UK will begin its work on 4 March, Digital Britain minister Stephen Timms announced. Broadband Delivery UK (BDUK) will be responsible for the 2 Mbps universal service commitment for 90 percent of the country by 2017, with GBP 1 billion allocated for the job. The group was launched as the UK government published a report by Analysys Mason on next generation broadband across the UK, which will be used by BDUK to priorite communities who could benefit from the Next Generation Fund.
The report looks at three scenarios, a purely market-led approach, a network subsidised by the Digital Britain Next Generation Fund and, local interventions supplementing a subsidised network. The research supports the government's idea of a Next Generation Fund levy, which is seen increasing coverage by 20 percent more than if left entirely to a market led approach. The report also illustrates the comparative costs of providing high speed broadband in rural and urban areas. The research sets out strategies for public authorities, and partner organisations to provide next-generation networks in those areas that would otherwise not be commercially viable.