Prime Minister Tony Blair has asked the Cabinet Office's Performance and Innovation Unit to produce a strategic overview of the UK's electronic networks.
In a response to a parliamentary question submitted by Kevin Hughes, former miner and Labour MP for Doncaster North, Blair said: "Electronic networks are important to the UK both economically and socially.
"The government has an important role to play in their development along with the private sector.
"The current work to set up the new Ofcom regulator gives us a good opportunity to take stock of how the UK can benefit from developments in electronic networks over the next decade."
A statement from the Cabinet Office explained that the new report would take a more strategic overview to complement ongoing work by the Broadband Stakeholder Group, the Digital TV Action Group, Oftel, the e-envoy's department, the Department of Trade and Industry and the Treasury.
The project, to be completed by next summer, will examine how important networks are to the growth of the economy, as well as predict market and technological trends and look at how best the sector can be regulated.
E-minister Douglas Alexander will sponsor the project, which will be used to help lay out Ofcom's role, although the timing means that the government may struggle to meet a 25 July 2003 deadline to introduce legislation based on European Commission directives published last month.
The regulation of broadcasting and networks will be based along the lines of the Commission's competition department.
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