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Thursday, October 15, 2009

'Consortium to promote digital participation' - that is all

"Following the Government’s publication of the ‘Digital Britain’ report in June, it asked Ofcom to form and chair the Consortium which, at today’s launch, has over fifty members.

Ofcom Chairman Colette Bowe

Ofcom Chairman Colette Bowe

They will contribute expertise and communications channels to promote Digital Participation. Members include BT, the BBC, Channel 4 and BSkyB and membership is open to any organisation that can use its communication channels to inform and motivate people to become engaged with digital technologies or offer outreach to people who need support."

[Deep breath]
Hmm, sounds like hot air to you?

OK, well its a public-private consortium to encourage people to go online, launched by Minister Stephen Timms, moneybags part-timer Colette Bowe at Ofcom and the rather over-rated ex-business person "Champion for Digital Inclusion" Martha Lane-Fox, junior co-founder of which a great young technology strategist called Brent Hoberman pushed along.

2012-ish is analogue switch-off date and USO deadline year, and at least the government has got a grip on that with 'Race 2012'. Why not call the consortium 'Digital 2012' with a real sense of urgency and simplicity, as any business should do? How does it measure success, failure and an exit strategy? Why not try to get all Britons able to watch all the Olympics (or none!) by that summer? Or is it because mobile and DSL broadband will be so slow in some regions that Usain Bolt will appear to take a minute to run 100metres?

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