Stephen Timms to take over Digital Britain: reports

Treasury minister Stephen Timms is set to assume responsibility for implementing the Digital Britain plan and take over as communications minister, according to a report in The Guardian.

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Treasury minister Stephen Timms is set to assume responsibility for implementing the Digital Britain plan and take over as communications minister, according to a report in The Guardian.

Timms, a former e-commerce minister and technology analyst, will replace Stephen Carter as communications minister. His main task will be to push through plans for a £6-a-year levy on all phone lines to pay for the next generation super-fast broadband networks, the newspaper said on Monday.

According to the report, Timms will work across the Treasury and Lord Mandelson's Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS).

Reports of Lord Carter's departure emerged just prior to the release of his Digital Britain report, a blueprint for the UK's digital development over the next five years or so.

Digital Britain came out in mid-June. Its proposals included ensuring all British homes have access to 2Mbps broadband by 2012.

But the Guardian article said work on Digital Britain seems to have stalled. "The independent body supposed to ensure that fast broadband is available to all by 2012 was meant to be set up last month, but it will not have a chief executive until October."

In response to a question, BIS said: "The Government has not announced a replacement for Stephen Carter."

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