Way back in January, the UK government produced an interim report titled “Digital Britain” which sets out some “actions” that the UK authorities should take in order to deliver state-of-the-art communications facilities to the citizens of the nation. What astonished me was that inside, this report (action number 17 on page 12 to be precise) talks about ensuring that everyone in the UK has access to at least 2Mbps Internet by the year 2012. Astonishing because almost the very next day, the Korean government announced that their citizens will have access to 1 Gigabit per second Internet by 2012.
It’s often all too easy for some people over here to dismiss the significance of this by arguing along the lines of Korea (like Japan) being some far off place where things are somehow different and don’t really apply to the rest of the world. Easy until you see that one of our closest neighbours, France, already leaves us way behind in today’s connected world.
However, walking down my local High Street the other day I saw something that made me realise that it’s not just massive government commitment and spending that’s gonna speed up our Internet connections in the future. It’s going to be about finding solutions to practical all-too-common problems like this:
A kerbside cabinet used to deliver communications to people’s home. Vandalised.
(Taken with my cameraphone on Kingsbury Road, London NW9)