Category Archives: Information Society

Manifesto Myopia and Digital Promises

As electioneering resumes after a respectful pause for sombre reflection all Parties will have considered how to adapt their messages. Some will resolutely stick to promises already published.  Others will reshuffle priorities. Mid-campaign adjustments that might otherwise have been scornfully dismissed as U-Turns may now be treated with more tolerance in this second chapter.  The… Read More »

The New Oil?

In this week’s Economist (the UK-based weekly magazine) the cover illustration heralds a leader column describing Data as the new Oil. The parallel is not entirely sound – a natural resource that could eventually be exhausted is very different from new resources that are multiplying – but, suggests the author, governments should be concerned about the impotence… Read More »

Digital Platforms – the German Policy Perspective

The White Paper produced by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy makes for fascinating reading. This is the equivalent of the UK’s Treasury taking over the reigns of digital policy and recognising that digital platforms are not some subset of industrial or cultural policy. In an economy renowned for for its manufacturing… Read More »

Digital Global Britain – challenges & opportunities

Released yesterday, TechUK’s paper on the impacts of Leaving the Customs Union is driven by concerns to avoid future entanglement in ‘Red Tape’. That well-worn trade body theme (and parade of potential problems) is understandable but what stands out from the paper are some positive and forward-looking recommendations, including: A call for government to  ‘increase its participation in key… Read More »

Fighting for a Gigabit Society

The prospects and implications of Gigabit connectivity are demanding serious attention. In the European Parliament and here in the UK the gloves are off. Combatants are climbing into the ring. Referees are calling for a fair fight. The danger is that silo thinking, with far too much concentration on the health of the telecom industry… Read More »

Transformative Projects – pinpointing real needs

So many angles. So many pointers. Such good timing. It is difficult to know where to start. So we begin by offering thanks and congratulations to Public Health England and the Local Government Association.  ‘Health and wellbeing in rural areas’ is not a report destined to sit on bookshelves, ignored or forgotten. Sometimes, in the… Read More »

Cyberpants – being scared doesn’t avoid being scarred

News media rarely resist opportunities to scare the cyberpants off their audiences.  Often they are simply reflecting the gesture politics of populist leaders who wish to be seen as pro-active but lack effectiveness in their policy pretensions.  Clearly there are dangers in complacency but, in the view the UN’s Special Rapporteur on the right to privacy, the… Read More »

Inclusive Growth – an economy working for everyone

For an Observatory whose perspective is coloured by tech-tinted spectacles, detailed comments on the work of economists are relatively infrequent. FISP does however routinely highlight the economic impacts of digital infrastructure provisions – or lack thereof. Our comments on the recent RSA report ‘Inclusive Growth Commission’ arise from a less-technological and more societal viewpoint. Our… Read More »

Will Connected Cars Stall in the UK?

There can be no doubt that car connectivity is exercising engineering and business brains – and not just in the automotive sectors. It is difficult to reckon but the public and private investments of major players are indicative of very large and serious strategic choices.  Yesterday’s announcement of collaboration between 5GAA and EATA not only… Read More »