I’m still reeling from having to read the word porridge of the interim report on Digital Britain, handed down yesterday by (Lord) Stephen Carter. What a mish-mash of quangos, incomplete thinking, and bars set so low you can walk over them. 2 megabit per second connections for all by 2012? When people in South Korean cities today think things are bad if their speed drops to 30Mbps?
Incidently, South Korea is planning 1 Gb/s by 2012. So they’ll only be 500 times faster than us.
A “rights agency” funded by content providers and ISPs (ie, in the end, us) that will come together to dream up a way to “enable technical copyright-support solutions that work for both consumers and content creators”?
I have never, ever heard of a quango writing a piece of code, nor even spotting the best stuff. (Generally, it’s quite the opposite: hello, English NHS record computerisation.) Getting the “right” DRM is an intractable problem. You’ll never reach the end: the only DRM that really works for consumers is none; the only DRM that really works for content producers is either zero or lots. But not all content producers agree with zero DRM. There is no single solution, and the Rights Agency will simply burn up our money failing to find it.
Incidently, before Carter was a government minister he was Chief Operating Officer at NTL; under his watch NTL went into Chapter 11 bankrupcy owing £12 billion. NTL’s customer service was so bad that it was nicknamed “NT Hell“. NTL is known as Virgin Media these days so that’s one ISP to remember to avoid.