Deference and Diffidence diluting the digital economy

20 Sep

The shock of realisation – the realisation that permission is not required – may have been novel in the late 1980’s but is still reverberating more than twenty years on.

In this editorial – prompted by examples of modest ambition – we consider whether the highly civilised Anglo-Saxon traits of diffidence and deference are inhibiting growth of our increasingly digitalised economy.

The recent Summer of Olympic endeavour certainly loosened  societal interactions but, in the context of much needed infrastructure investment in Intelligent Cities, is this alone going to relight economic growth?

Full story here


The Rise of the Intelligent City and other ‘digital economy’ issues will be centre-stage at NextGen12 – 8th & 9th October, Westminster, London.


2 Responses to “Deference and Diffidence diluting the digital economy”

  1. Ian Grant September 21, 2012 at 1:23 pm #

    You yourself exhibit precisely those excellent qualities of diffidence and deference. Having been born off-shore and raised in a less reserved culture, I have fewer of those inhibitions, and therefore commend this bit of linkbait to your readers.
    For those incurious enough to stay on this page, I’ll summarise: BT is trying to ensure that it retains its effective monopoly over the UK’s networks in the first and last mile. It hopes to persuade ministers to bundle Superconnected Cities procurements with the BDUK NGA rural procurment framework in which only it and Fujitsu are qualified to bid. The Cabinet Office has as good as disqualified Fujitsu from winning public sector work. This leaves BT as the sole possible contractor for public fixed communications infrastructure.
    BT has been brilliant at keeping competitors out. But is this what Britain needs in the world David foresees?

    • GroupeIntellex September 21, 2012 at 2:14 pm #

      Quite so, Ian, and thanks for the compliment – although I seem to have spent my entire life trying to be more difficult than diffident.

      In the matter of competition we so often hear about ‘level playing fields’ – which in this case seem to be defined as large flat areas under which the competition has been buried.

      In the context of the UK’s access networks the phrase ‘asymmetric warfare’ springs to mind. I was minded to write the piece because I surveyed the NGA scene and was saddened by the lack of scale and ambition and our national addiction to ‘muddling through’.

      On my main archive site ( I have a search function. Check ‘muddling through’ and, sadly, you’ll find I have a history of repeating myself.

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