Tuesday, 16 June 2009

Digital Britain : what's the impact?

llustration: Tobias Hickey via The Guardian

So the long awaited Digital Britain report is out. It details the economic importance of the web and related industries, as well as plans to eradicate piracy and illegal file sharing.

Headlines include:

2Mb broadband links for all (woo-hoo - that's about as fast as your nearly dead hamster could power a hairdryer)

Boomerang Kangeroo - C4 and BBC back in talks (why did they veto it the first time round??!)

Digital industry key to our economic recovery (a ten year old could have told you that)

BBC licence fee to help fund broadband and ITV local news - and a 50p 'tax' on phone lines. (smartphones anyone?)

Analogue radio switch-off set for 2015 (scary for those who switched off their DAB platforms last year - most recent victim: Birdsong FM, blub)

Internet service providers to cut illegal filesharing by 70 - £50,000 fine and jail time for sharing a file(erm, just not going to happen!)

Reactions so far have been fast and pretty furious from the digital community, twitter followers calling it "short-sighted", "umimaginative" "naive". Personally, I think there's been little innovation here, and a sometimes scary lack of understanding about the evolution of the internet and what its impact will be. It's a shame really, especially when the govt seem to be trying to re-brand the country to rival Silicon Valley. It just goes to show what happens when bureaucracy gets in the way of innovation - nothing.

Follow the feedback on #digitalbritain

For a shortform explanation see the wordle version.

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