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UK government urged to undertake digital overhaul

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(Image credit: Shutterstock / Gorodenkoff)

If the UK is to become a world leader in digital technologies, while at the same time becoming more sustainable, it's in need of a significant digital overhaul. This is the conclusion of a new report recently released by Public Policy Projects (PPP), Anderson Strategy and Huawei.

The “Connected Citizen” report argues, first and foremost, that it's essential that education across the country is brought up to speed, through a new long-term digital skills strategy.

Further, it claims that more power needs to be given to local and regional authorities, so that they may facilitate improvements in connectivity. This should be done in partnership with the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sports.

Also, local authorities, relevant stakeholders and digital operators need to share more data among themselves, especially in the early stages of development, to make sure change is “more streamlined and efficient”.

Finally, the report argues that Ofcom’s powers need to be reviewed, in order to make sure the best provision is being delivered to citizens across the UK, particularly when it comes to assessing the effectiveness of Universal Service Obligations (USOs). 

If the government is able to offer an alternative model that improves citizen connectivity, the model found within the 2017 Digital Economy Act should be reformed or removed, the report said.

“This whitepaper is a call to action, setting out five broad recommendations for a new digital operating model in Britain,” said Rt Hon Stephen Dorrell, Executive Chair of Public Policy Projects.

“It identifies some of the challenges we face and seeks to learn from the experience of others as well as ourselves. We should not underestimate the challenge, but nor should we lose sight of the opportunity to reshape our society to meet the demands of the 21st century.”