New agency to sort digital woes, says Lord Carter

Answering MPs' questions about his Digital Britain report, Lord Stephen Carter further detailed next generation broadband plans, as well as the need for a 'digital rights agency'.

Communications and tech minister Carter promised to further outline plans for a digital rights agency later this week, noting there's been "no outbreak of peace and harmony between rights holders and ISPs" over file sharing issues.

He also told MPs that universal broadband is indeed possible by 2012, but said regulatory changes and public funds will be necessary.

"It requires a change in European legislation, a decision about which technologies will provide it and how it will be funded," he said, adding: "Universal Service Obligations are not funded by the market, they are funded by regulatory or public intervention."

Currently, Virgin Media and BT are working on next generation fibre rollouts, but their plans will not cover the entire country. Carter suggested that the BBC might have a place.

"More and more people get their media from the internet and that usage is doubling every two years. Would the nation's state-funded content provider have a role in this? It would seem to me it would," he said.

Carter took the opportunity to weigh in on the YouTube's music video woes, saying such battles will continue as more forms of content move to the digital world.

"Mass access to multiple forms of content demands that it is priced differently," he said. "We are talking about an order of change that we have never seen before."

He added: "These new technologies are inescapable and a reality for traditional ad-funded newspapers and TV but I'm not sure it is government's role to ensure they survive."

Click here for more on the Digital Britain report.