From Colin Mann in London
UK Culture Secretary James Purnell and Business Secretary John Hutton have confirmed that an expert think tank looking at the opportunities and challenges posed by the merging of broadcasting and communications services will begin work early in the new year.
The Convergence Think Tank (CTT) will examine the implications of technological development for the media and communications industries, and the consequences for both markets and consumers. It will have a key role in helping to shape future policy development in relation to these sectors, which include TV, radio, mobile and fixed telecoms and online services.
Purnell, who announced plans for the convergence think tank in his speech to the Royal Television Society Cambridge Convention on 13 September 2007, said it would “bring together expertise from the worlds of broadcasting, telecommunications and internet services to consider the opportunities and challenges we might face.”
Ofcom, as the independent regulator for the communications sector, will provide input and advice to all aspects of the Think Tank's work. In addition the steering group will draw on the experience and knowledge of a number of leading experts with a wealth of experience of both the broadcasting and telecommunications sectors who will act as a sounding board in its deliberations.
The aim is for the CTT to reach its conclusions early in 2009. Its findings will inform Government on the possible need for changes to the existing public policy and legislative framework which governs the sector.