Sunday, December 30, 2012

Scotland - Conference paper on broadband in rural Scotland identifying the challenges

A conference paper by Jason Whalley and Ewan Sutherland on Rural Broadband in Scotland – Challenges for Scotland and Lessons for Other Countries
There are many socio-economic benefits associated with the provision and use of broadband services. Arguably these are greatest for those living and working in rural areas, as broadband contributes to the ‘death of distance’. This paper focuses on the provision of broadband in rural Scotland, and analyses the initiatives that have been undertaken to encourage broadband availability to identify a series of challenges that need to be overcome. One challenge highlighted is the need to coordinate across the complex institutional landscape that has emerged in broadband provision in rural Scotland, while a second is the relative lack of resources that are available. A third is the focus on availability at the expense of encouraging adoption. These challenges provide lessons for other countries.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

UK - CBI is positive on broadband infrastructure improvements, but mobile broadband still behind other countries

The Confederation of British Industry (CBI) and KPMG published Better connected, Better business: CBI/KPMG infrastructure survey 2012.

John Cridland wrote:

As technology continues to improve, it is vital that we go further on broadband speed and coverage, providing faster and more reliable web access to companies that rely on it as their gateway to new markets
However, on the quality of infrastructure:
Companies are positive about the current state of digital networks: four in five (82%) report that they have improved over the last five years and a similar proportion (79%) believe that they will continue to improve over the next five years

But more businesses believe that mobile broadband networks in the UK are below average than above it for both speed and breadth of coverage.

The quality of broadband infrastructure is particularly important for the smallest firms who rely on internet communications to reach their customers and suppliers in the absence of extensive operational networks and multiple business premises. Over half (53%) of respondents from companies employing fewer than 50 people state that it has a very significant impact on their investment decisions, compared with 30% of those from companies employing over 5,000 people.

OECD - overview of existing data and statistics in the fields of information security, privacy and the protection of children online

The OECD Published Improving the Evidence Base for Information Security and Privacy Policies: Understanding the Opportunities and Challenges related to Measuring Information Security, Privacy and the Protection of Children Online:
This report provides an overview of existing data and statistics in the fields of information security, privacy and the protection of children online. It highlights the potential for the development of better indicators in these respective fields showing in particular that there is an underexploited wealth of empirical data that, if mined and made comparable, will enrich the current evidence base for policy making. Such indicators would help identify areas where policy interventions are most clearly warranted, and can provide guidance on designing policy interventions and determining their effectiveness.