Archive | March, 2013

Digital Inequalities and long tail challenges

29 Mar

Way back in the 1950’s the long slog of completing the great UK-wide changeover from AC to DC electricity was at last completed.   It was of no great surprise that the last houses to be welcomed into that modern era were in the poorest and must run-down areas of of our cities.

In the 1970’s North Sea Gas conversions were still edging their way towards completion – and as with all such great infrastructure projects it was only with conversion of the remote ends of the network that the full benefits could be realised.   Such is the nature of long term investments.  Short-term patches and temporary fixes do not answer.

Right now, with the transformation of the entire economy, we are only beginning to understand the length of the long tail – a challenge that does not have a clear beginning and end because the pace of digital developments often runs faster than our efforts to catch up.

The report from the National Audit Office on the UK government’s ‘Digital by Default’ design for public services is a timely reminder that we have a long way to go – particularly for those who are most in need of public services.

This story will, inevitably, run and run.



Ofcom considers crowd-sourced data on mobile service quality

9 Mar

If anyone knows the everyday reality of mobile network performance it is surely the user.

The mobile phone itself must be the most obvious source of data – even (or especially) when signals fail, calls drop out and texts are delayed.

Ofcom’s ‘Call for Input’ on this ‘Quality of Experience’  debate – what should or could be measured – raises the prospect of a prevarication-free zone where the development of an App to monitor the realities of coverage, throughput and call quality could gain regulatory blessing without being delayed by any Operators’ reluctance to be so exposed.

The debate may even be a sign that Ofcom is keen to champion the interests of the users rather more than bend to the interests of operators.

The consultation is open until 1st April.

Ofcom asks- is the Quality of Mobile not Strained?