Digital strategy and communications

5 Responses to “Digital engagement: it’s about people not pipes”

  1. cyberdoyle

    The best way to make sure more people have access is to sort out the pipes. Currently the infrastructure we have – going through obsolete copper to obsolete phone exchanges can’t cope with what the people want to do. This leads to frustration, especially when computers themselves can be difficult at first.

    Also the presentation missed out the fact that the connections in rural areas are virtually non-existant, and many deprived, poor and elderly live there and would dearly love to be digitally engaged. Why not start helping the ones crying out for help first? Why concentrate on the towns? I can’t understand why people who aren’t interested have to be cajoled into using digital technology. Its a bit like the public baths isn’t it? You will wash …
    Once broadband simply works, which it will through fibre, then people will just use it. At the moment it costs a lot, drops out, goes slow at peak times, and in a bit the kids won’t even be able to listen to music through it. IPtv is also a distant dream, as it will stop people with slower connections even loading webpages while football games are on.
    Totally disagree with Helen. Pipes are extremely important in order to help the People who are more important. I do wish she would stop saying it in such a way. Of course people are more important, so lets shut down all the online centres and send the money to support the families of the soldiers killed and maimed in Afghanistan. Lets forget all about digital engagement.
    Anyone serious about getting people online has to address the problem of poor connections, overstretched ISPs trying to make a profit after exorbitant charges from BT wholesale, and the throttling and contention currently wrecking even good connections.

  2. Phil

    Who “wanted” the internet back in the early 90s? Not many people… But once they saw what it could do for them (especially businesses) they wrapped both arms around it. Just because people don’t *want* the internet, doesn’t mean they won’t use it if it’s made accessible (note, I deliberately use that word as opposed to available) to them and they can see the benefit in using it.

    I’m too young to know whether the same could be said about Radio/TV but I am young enough to know that plenty of people said “why do I need a mobile phone?” Now nearly everyone has one…

  3. cyberdoyle

    Totally agree Phil. The problem is that it is so difficult for many to access the internet. I work with all age groups, as a volunteer in a rural community (pointing that out because I have nobody to account to and no profit to be made in all my rantings) and I see the difficulties at first hand. Even when I go to help someone with a good access to the internet it is made all the more difficult because they have signed up to a cheap and inefficient ISP with a help desk in dehli. Until broadband becomes ‘boring’ and just another utility that is ubiquitous a great part of the population won’t go to the trouble to get IT.
    Mobiles are so easy, and everyone knows someone who can help them if they get stuck. Broadband provision in the UK is a minefield, and nobody understands the physics and bits and bytes. A lot of ISPs throttle and cap because of limitations in the exchanges, due to the obsolete copper infrastructure. They like to blame ‘pirates’ or bbc iPlayer, or file sharing, but in truth it is because of congestion, contention, and high prices from BT wholesale which force them to charge for data transfer. With fat fibre pipes (which are actually only slim slivers of glass) the bottlenecks are removed, and data transfer becomes cheap. It is so important to get these pipes, so very important for our kids, our businesses and our country.

  4. Ian Cuddy

    All well and good, but I still haven’t seen the business case which shows that money spent on ‘digital inclusion’ initiatives is more productive than spending it on treating poverty and social exclusion in general, eg unemployment, poor skills, low income, crime, housing etc.

  5. Phil

    Was there a business case for TV when it first arrived? Or Radio? Or even the internet? I remember when only the big businesses were on the ‘net. Most smaller business would say they didn’t need to be on the internet. Now, most of them say “I know I should but…”

    Besides, take a look at TV. Where’s the money in that? It’s fast diminishing but will TV go away? Certainly no time soon. It’s highly likely to move onto the web within a decade though, partly because it’s cheaper. That needs fibre though.

Comments are closed.

%d bloggers like this: