Lord Carter
Communications minister Lord Carter will today publish his interim Digital Britain report on the future of Channel 4 and plans for universal broadband coverage by 2012 and tackling digital piracy

The Government will today publish its interim Digital Britain report, outlining its strategy for universal broadband by 2012, tackling the illegal downloading of films and music and plans for a merger between Channel 4 and either BBC Worldwide or Channel Five.

Lord Carter, the minister for communications, technology and broadcasting, is due to publish his interim report later today after meeting senior industry executives at Downing Street.

As we reported earlier this month, Lord Carter is expected to recommend that the BBC's £130m digital TV switchover surplus should be used to provide broadband to all UK homes by 2012.

But industry regulator Ofcom argues the money should be used as a one-off payment to secure the commercial future of Channel 4 by striking a deal with Channel Five or BBC Worldwide.

At the beginning of this week, the Government abandoned plans to force internet service providers (ISPs) to ban users found guilty of illegally downloading music, so it will be intriguing to see what its alternative strategy will be. We'll bring you an update as soon as we get it.