CMA tells government to invest in ICT through recession

The CMA has warned that the UK will trail behind other advanced nations if it fails to invest in its IT.

The Communications Management Association says ICT should be put at the heart of the country's economic recovery to help pull the UK through the recession.

Part of the British Computer Society, the CMA has launched a five point action plan which will "breathe life into UK enterprise and the national economy".

Chairperson of the CMA, Carolyn Kimber, said at the launch of the manifesto that a lethargic approach to local provision of infrastructure and services could leave British competitiveness, enterprise and innovation trailing behind other nations.

The points on the plan include: creating better converged policy making in the top levels of government, a new communications act, Universal access to next generation broadband, improvement in mobile communications, and a single European market for ICT.

"ICT policy-making is spread between many government departments and lacks continuity and stability in ministerial appointments. Ofcom, the independent regulator is undertaking activities best left to government, is also visibly under-resourced and over-stretched," said the CMA.

The CMA said the current Communications Act does not adequately recognise the requirements of the business user and called on change in the law to provide Ofcom with a greater remit to help businesses. Additionally the organisation expressed disappointment that today's broadband is "still not the major life-changing experience that Lord Currie envisaged several years ago".

"We need to take action now to introduce true broadband access network across the country. We must also introduce policies that are pro-competition and avoid a return to monopolies in both infrastructure and services."

In front of both industry and government, the group launched the manifesto during its annual conference in London this week.

Kimber referred to the commercial and societal imperatives of investing in what US President Obama's has called "the digital lines that feed our commerce and bind us together".

Commenting on the recent Interim 'Digital Britain' Report, she added: "it is a long-delayed step in the right direction and implementation of its access and infrastructure proposals deserves unqualified, all-party support."

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