GOV.UK’s Digital Strategy for the UK

GOV.UK have produced an Executive Summary  to help ensure the UK becomes more digitally engaged, capable and open to development. The hope is that this will aid progress and development in business and everyday life.

The digital strategy is part of a much broader industrial strategy. It opens with information about the current state of UK digital economy:

  • The UK boasts a history of digital innovation with an embracing attitude towards advancements.
  • Some current successes include the strength of research at our universities and our high number of employees at FinTech.

Fundamentally, the aim is to help create ‘an economy which is resilient to change and fit for the future’.

1. Building world-class infrastructure:

  • Continuing the roll-out of 4G and super-fast broadband by 2020.
  • Plans to implement a Universal Service Obligation, giving individuals, business and public premise the right to request an affordable broadband connection.
  • Investment of over £1 billion to accelerate development and uptake of digital infrastructure (full fibre and 5G).
  • Plans to continue rolling out free Wi-Fi in public places such as on transport.
  • Better monitoring of broadband advertising regarding accuracy of quality and pricing.

 

2. Granting access to digital skills:

  • More focus on supporting ‘everyone to develop skills to participate in the digital economy’.
  • Free digital training for those who lack core digital skills.  Digital capabilities will be treated as urgently as literacy and numeracy skills.
  • Creation of a new Digital Skills Partnership to bring together companies, local business and government.
  • Taking forward the recommendations of the Shadbolt Review to ensure computer science students have the up-to-date skills required in the digital economy.

 

3. Enabling growth of digital business:

  • Plans to work with independent regulators to encourage innovation-friendly regulation.
  • Production of a review of how to create the conditions for the artificial intelligence industry to thrive.
  • Establishing a network of UK Tech Hubs in developing countries, working alongside the existing hub in Israel.

 

4. Helping every business go digital:

  • Encourage businesses both new and old to utilise the best digital technology and data.
  • £13 million funding towards creating a private sector-led Productivity Council that will drive engagement and improve productivity.
  • Help more UK businesses export by negotiating preferential rates with a number of e-marketplaces.

 

5. Maximising safety for those working online:

  • Support for the National Cyber Security Centre so a single point of contact can be provided for companies.
  • Introduce a new approach of Active Cyber Defence using the knowledge of the Government Communication Headquarters and internet service providers to offer a new level of protection.
  • Introduce a national after-school programme for the most talented students on top of adult retraining.
  • Continue supporting companies offering filters to broadband customers and introduce age verification controls for certain material.

 

6. Maintain leadership in serving citizens online

  • The Government Transformation Strategy (published 9th February 2017) sets out intentions to serve citizens and businesses with a better experience using government services online.
  • Adopt and develop new services onto the government’s GOV.UK Pay and GOV.UK Notify platforms.
  • Investment in the Network of Teaching Excellence in Computer Science, helping teachers and school leaders build knowledge of technology
  • The National Productivity Investment Fund will allocate £450 million from 2018-2021 to trial digital signalling technology on the rail network.

 

7. Unlocking the power of data

 


 

These plans are described in the executive summary as a framework rather than a fixed document.

The fast-paced nature of the digital economy means plans are an ongoing conversation between business and government. This conversation is to be facilitated by the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport.

 

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