Archive | October, 2015

Smart, Not so Smart, or Downright Dim? The prospects for UK places and their communities

21 Oct

As we get closer to NextGen15 (November 5th, London) and the debate on whether the UK is on track to meet our future digital needs, the

13721340

Groupe Intellex paper on Smart Cities/Intelligent Communities (The Prospects for UK Places – PDF Download) has been published by Computer Weekly – an appropriate journal for technological enthusiasts who, we believe, need to see their innovations in a broader context.

In this paper we drill down from the heights of ‘Intelligent Communities, through Smart Technologies. Urban Operating Systems, Open Data and Analytics to the bedrock of future-proofed broadband – only to find an even deeper layer:  the local leadership that is needed to enable all these developments to happen.

At NextGen15 we will debate with Richard Hooper (BSG), Barney Lane (Colt), Anna Krzyżanowska (European Commission), Edgar Aker (FTTH Council Europe), Dr Julia Glidden (21c), and many others with direct UK field experience of deploying future-proofed broadband networks – and all under the guidance of moderator Richard Jones (VentureNext) whose own broadband ventures in many countries reveal deep insights.

Registration – discounted rates available for NextGen Partners/Members, Public and Third Sector delegates.

Advertisements

Europe is Bananas

18 Oct

No, this is not a rant on behalf of Europeans who would rather not be European.

It is the conclusion of academic research aimed at finding a ‘New Method for Analyzing the Spatial Structure of Europe’. The banana reference relates to the shape of economic activity when presented geographically.

In classic academic style the authors first review previous attempts to represent activity and improve on those models. Into the analytic mix go demographics, GDP and employment and, using a Newtonian analogy, the economies are weighed and their gravitational forces are measured. You’ll be familiar with the term ‘mass market’ but here the sums of those market economies have a calculated mass.

With ‘Blue Bananas’ we must, it seems, move on from the Red Octopus and Bunch of Grapes models although the new analysis confirms to some extent their long-standing validity.

And all this work will not be in vain if it illustrates the undeniable extent to which we in the UK are very firmly a part of Europe – indeed close to the epicenter.

spatial awareness

In this graphic, warmer colours indicate divergence; that is, movements in the opposite direction, which can be considered to indicate the most important gravitational fault lines. Areas indicated in green and its shades refer to the opposite, namely to concentration, to the movements in the same directions (convergence), which can be considered to be the most important gravitational centres.

The researchers confirm the “favourable position of the regions concerned and the unfavourable position in one region with other models – the Sunbelt zone, the French Banana, the German hump and the Pentagon theories – but”, apparently, “they cannot justify the existence of the Eastern European Boomerang”. “From the latest population, number of employees and GDP calculations we analysed the spatial structure of Europe. The results definitely verify the banana shape.”

Now for non-academics this may seem like a great deal of fun, and, no doubt, the current mass migrations will eventually shift the European centre of gravity. But for would-be isolationists the message is today as clear as that stated by the Dean of St Paul’s in 1624 – ‘every man is a piece of the continent, a part of the main’.

_________________

The research was undertaken by:

Professor György KOCZISZKY, PhD

E-mail: regkagye@uni-miskolc.hu

University of Miskolc, HU-3515, Miskolc, Hungary

Associate Professor Zoltán NAGY, PhD

E-mail: nagy.zoltan@uni-miskolc.hu

University of Miskolc, HU-3515, Miskolc, Hungary

Associate Professor Géza TÓTH, PhD

E-mail: geza.toth@ksh.hu

Hungarian Central Statistical Office, HU-1024, Budapest, Hungary

Lóránt DÁVID, PhD (corresponding author)

E-mail: david.lorant@ektf.hu

Eszterházy Károly College, HU-3300, Eger, Hungary

https://www.academia.edu/16097593/New_Method_for_Analyzing_the_Spatial_Structure_of_Europe

NextGen15 – Broadband Futures from a pan-EU perspective

18 Oct

What every local councilor should know (leastways those who have a remit for developing their local economy) is: Funding for Digital Infrastructure is Available.

NextGen logo smallHow can your local communities qualify, the scale of funding, the network design requirements, issues of State Aid and other rules will all be discussed at NextGen15 on November 5th where you can meet the Head of the Broadband Unit within DG CONNECT – a key part of the European Commission.

Anna Krzyzanowska will be presenting an update on European Commission initiatives in Broadband Policy, Regulation and Financing, and will be interviewed on stage by our event moderator Richard Jones.

Details of the latest agenda and delegate registration (including a discounted Public Sector rate) are now available at http://www.nextgenevents.co.uk/events/NextGen15/agenda

Among the many broadband and wider digital specialists, you will also hear from Richard Hooper (Chair of the Broadband Stakeholders Group – BSG), Barney Lane (Director of Regulatory Affairs, Colt Technology Services), Edgar Aker – President FTTH Council Europe and Julia Glidden – President 21c Consultancy.

At this time when Ofcom are just beginning a Strategic Review of Digital Communications, the scene is set for a major reappraisal of the UK’s broadband aspirations.

Are we on track to meet the UK’s future digital needs?

 What part will you play in finding the answer?

NextGen15 – 5th November 2015, Institute of Education, London.

 

NextGen 15 and the growth of online platforms

15 Oct

The Call from a subcommittee of the House of Lords was just too tempting.

Their Lordships’ inquiry into online platforms was prompted by the European Commission – a classic legislative HoLresponse to mutterings that surely ‘something must be done‘.

But looking at the questions posed, it became clear that the great success of online platforms might be largely due to the fact that nothing much has been done.

There may be a case for consumer protection in a world of uneven comprehension but there is certainly little justification for market protection by over-egging regulation.

And, moreover, jotting down some notes for their Lordships’ committee, it became clear just how good the UK is becoming at this sort of innovation.  We may not be home to the Googles, Twitters or Skypes but we have no shortage of great examples of online platform innovation.

So it was too tempting – how could we not respond?

The NextGen Digital Challenge Awards – this year being presented in their Lordships’ House on November 5th – provides just the evidence they need to encourage lawmakers to desist from further lawmaking that might stifle our innovators and entrepreneurs.

For readers addicted to following the ways of Westminster, the full Call from the Committee  ( online-platforms-call-for-evidence ) will need to be read alongside the Groupe Intellex response to HoL subcommittee on platforms Oct 15

Alternatively, and far more fun,  you could attend NextGen15 on November 5th and/or the Digital Challenge Awards Dinner in the Peers’ Dining Room of the House of Lords – but hurry – registration for the latter closes on Monday 19th October.