The Internet Services Providers' Association (ISPA) UK welcomes the publication of the interim report of the Digital Britain Review.
This report demonstrates the commitment of the Government to working in cooperation with industry to maximise the potential of the Internet.
ISPA notes the conclusion regarding P2P file sharing. ISPA members have been engaged in extensive discussions with rights holders and Government representatives on this issue. ISPA has consistently repeated that disconnection of users would represent a disproportionate response and is pleased that the Government is no longer considering this.
ISPA advocates education of consumers about copyright and developing alternative legal music distribution models. ISPA believes that cooperation between Internet providers and rights holders is essential. We understand the intentions behind the proposal to establish a "Rights Agency" but ISPA remains concerned about its potential to increase the financial and regulatory burden on ISPs and so impact on the cost of Broadband to consumers. ISPA stands ready to inform this discussion.
The interim report focuses predominantly on infrastructure and traditional providers of content services but falls short of considering the policy issues impacting other businesses that are developing innovative models of online services and content distribution. ISPA has a diverse membership and would emphasise the importance of ensuring that the Review considers the interests of the wider online economy.
ISPA welcomes in the report the growing role of media literacy as a way of ensuring that consumers maximise the benefits of the Internet. ISPA has consistently called for increased Government funding in this area, with a specific focus on educating parents about how to manage their children's online experience.
Commenting on the report, ISPA's Secretary-General Nicholas Lansman said:
"In publishing this report, the Government is recognising the essential role of the Internet to society and the economy as a whole. ISPA stands ready to inform the discussion in key areas, particularly illegal file-sharing, the interest of other online providers and online safeguards, over the next few months."
Mr Lansman added:
"The report recognises the need for further consultation with industry before the publication of the full report in the summer and ISPA will be meeting with Government to outline its views on the issues raised in the report."
Notes to the editor:
The Internet Services Providers’ Association (ISPA) was established in 1995 as a trade association to represent providers of Internet services in the UK. ISPA promotes competition, self-regulation and the development of the Internet industry. For a list of members or other information about ISPA, please consult the website: www.ispa.org.uk.
The views expressed in this release are those of the Internet Services Providers’ Association (ISPA) and do not necessarily reflect the corporate policies of the individual companies that are members of the Association or other organisations that may be mentioned in the release. For further editorial information please contact the ISPA Press Office (020 7340 4535).