There is general agreement in the media that we all have connected lives these days. Apparently, the past few years have seen us all become iPhone users, incessantly downloading apps, addicted to Twitter and even starting riots or revolutions through recourse to the social networking services. But of course, this is not the case for many of us who recognise the media to be viewing the world through a London, or at least urban-centric lens. In fact the use, and even availability, of recent technological tools differs greatly in the UK – usually favouring the city dwellers. Those who live in rural areas, meanwhile, are often outsiders to the so-called broadband revolution. And this situation is undesirable, only worsening the UK’s North-South divide. Happily, there are several plans underway to help narrow this divide: ICT infrastructure projects, next generation access programmes and community broadband services are all receiving increased investment. The benefits may frequently seem over-hyped but a large proportion of them are becoming indispensable for social and commercial integration today.
Take social networks and cheap video calling services, for example: many parents with adult children and grandchildren find these internet resources to be a real blessing. Among their benefits are the way in which they allow frequent, low-cost contact and sharing of important files such as videos and photographs of loved ones. Obviously this kind of contact will never replace face-to-face family get-togethers but it does superbly complement real-life contact, particularly in cases where sons and daughters are living miles away, even abroad. But praise of the above resources can all too often only be made by inhabitants of areas well-served by internet providers. As we have already acknowledged, the best broadband connections do not always reach Britain’s rural parts so the work currently underway to correct this unjust state of affairs is something we should support.
Reliable internet connections also have a positive influence on businesses. next generation access projects are helping to secure these connections through ICT infrastructure developments. Certainly, it is becoming unthinkable these days for a company not to be searchable on google or for it not to be contactable by email. Business is often boosted through email correspondence and extra online advertising. Community broadband is therefore not only beneficial to friends and family but essential to Britain’s economy.
Please visit http://www.broadbandvantage.co.uk/ for further information about this topic.