Speech by Ed Vaizey. Originally given at Cable Congress in London. This is a transcript of the speech, exactly as it was delivered.
I would like to thank the organisers of the 2013 Cable Congress, and in particular the UK’s very own Virgin Media, for inviting me to speak today.
Before I begin, I must also say how pleased we all are that the 2013 Cable Congress is taking place here in London. We pride ourselves on the strength of the UK’s online economy, and it is, I think, appropriate that the Congress is taking place in one of the world’s most connected cities.
You will, I’m sure, be hearing at length about investments and new technologies from experts in the field. I would like to say a few words about this Government’s priorities in the online and telecommunications fields, what we are doing to support the tremendous investment in broadband, and where we go from here.
If I were to summarise the priorities, I would need only one word: Growth. Our number one aim is to get the British economy moving again and support the businesses, both large and small, that will drive this. And I believe that the digital, creative and communications industries have a key role in this.
We want to see continued investment in Britain’s online industries, but we also need to ensure that the whole British economy enjoys the digital services and connectivity it needs to innovate and expand into new markets. A truly connected Britain that is open for global business the cornerstone of our ambitions for growth.
The UK is already a world leader in the online economy, with the internet contributing over 8% of GDP. Our flagship businesses are tapping into global markets, and our consumers enjoy excellent choice and services when choosing their broadband and phones.
However, the pace of technological change is such that we cannot afford to stand still. We are doing well, but I want us to do even better.
Continued private investment is key to achieving this, and nowhere more so than the field of superfast broadband. If we are to build a world class connected Britain, investment in our broadband infrastructure must keep up with both technological innovations and the ever increasing requirements of business, and consumers.
While we are on the subject of investment…