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IJDGI – I just don’t get it – Digital Inclusion Task Force Quango ignores Final Third

December 5, 2010 8 comments

It’s been almost 12 months now since the Digital Champion’s team gushingly briefed me on Martha’s role: to motivate people to race on line yet ignoring broadband infrastructure as not her problem. The team said it would represent rural exclusion, but I’ve seen no evidence. Last week’s MLF press coverage adds further insult to injury for those who have only DIAL UP broadband, and no hope of anything better.

Has MLF tried to excite anyone to race on-line at dial-up speed? Has she or her team tried living with dial-up to get things done?

How on earth do they rationalise ignoring the interests of 1/3rd of the population which is currently doomed to unacceptable broadband speeds, and the 1/10th which will not get any, ever?

It’s analogous to DITF (them) obtaining (our) funding to teach everyone to drive, but with only bridleways serving 1/3rd of the people out there!

Come on, please, get some heads out of the sand and put some weight behind the disenfranchised 1/3rd too.

Or is the DITF team desperately spending its last funding any way it can before the quango cull?

Quote DITF “Race Online 2012 will continue to support and challenge government to get more people online and we will highlight the importance of rural broadband issues through our campaign wherever possible by linking it to our cause.”

I just don’t get it!

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Categories: Final Third First

The Final Third First Campaign

March 21, 2010 1 comment

final third wordle mapThe Final Third First Campaign has come into existence because there are thousands of people in the UK who do not have a functional broadband connection at present (in “notspots” and because of technical issues with the existing telephone network), and approximately a third of the country whose future connectivity requirements will not be met by the market by 2017.

This 30+% of the UK who will not get a high speed connection capable of delivering next generation internet, as well as the many other services and applications that will be possible, is known as the “Final Third”, a term coined in the Digital Britain Report (PDF).

The market includes commercial operators, such as BT, Virgin, Vtesse, H20, as well as  municipal players who are using public funds to create regional projects which will deliver Next Generation Access through public-private initiatives.

At present, these commercial players cannot find a business case for connecting the Final Third, with the most common arguments being that where fibre needs to be laid in rural areas, where the number of potential connections are less than in urban areas, the economics do not stack up for this to be profitable for the telcos.

However, there is considerable evidence from other countries that it is possible to make such a business case, particularly where the communities get involved. It is also well-known what the social and economic impacts of future-proofed connections are, and how important it is that every citizen and business has access to affordable, universal broadband.

As we move towards a much more ‘online world’, the need for everyone to have access to future-proofed connectivity increases by the day.

What can you do?

  • Support the Campaign
  • Promote the campaign and our principles
  • Talk to your MP and election candidates about broadband as an issue for you
  • Involve your Parish Council, District Council, County Council and Local Strategic Partnership in the campaign
  • Help us to create the necessary resources for a nationwide, cohesive resolution to solve this problem. Working together and collaboration is key.
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