31 January 2009

"Digital Britain"

Britain used to be in the top seven for the adoption of digital technologies and it has now slipped to 12th place - I'm not sure where that puts us in worldwide terms, but it is bound to be even lower.

It is against this background that the interim report on digital Britian has been published and it has received rather mixed reception as the BBC report notes. And no wonder - I think it would probably get no more than a C+ as a piece intended to show vision, imagination and a workable strategy to accomplish the stated aims.

What do we actually get? Here are some of the juicy bits:

"ACTION 1. We will establish a Government-led strategy group to assess the necessary demand-side, supply-side and regulatory measures to underpin existing market-led investment plans, and to remove barriers to the timely rollout, beyond those declared plans, to maximise market-led coverage of Next Generation broadband."

How about that for bland corporate-speak!? Forty-seven words that say, in effect: We're going to talk some more.

"ACTION 2 Between now and the final Digital Britain Report, the Government will, while recognising existing investments in infrastructure, work with the main operators and others to remove barriers to the development of a wider wholesale market in access to ducts and other primary infrastructure."

Forty-three words that say, We're going to talk some more.

"ACTION 5 The Government will help implement the Community Broadband Network’s proposals for an umbrella body to bring together all the local and community networks and provide them with technical and advisory support."

More words that say, you guessed it, We're going to talk some more.

In other words, these so-called "Actions" amount to not much more than talking further.

In fact, neither this government, nor any alternative in this country is actually going to spend any money on what needs to be done, particularly not when it is propping up the banking chief executives so that they can trouser even more of our money.

Britain doesn't have a digital future policy, which means that it doesn't have a digital future.

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