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I had the opportunity to participate in a stimulating virtual seminar organized by Columbia University’s Center for Tele-Information (CITI). It featured former US FCC Chairman Reid Hunt and Blair Levin, who authored the FCC’s National Broadband Plan.

They spoke about their new book How Technology Can Fix the Budget, Revive the American Dream, and Establish Obama’s Legacy. I had not read the book, but their summary – however abbreviated - reminded me of the risks of not focusing attention on organizational innovation.

Challenge is to make the most of improving technology
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Warnings that the internet could be a “source of global panic” should be treated with great caution.

At times it can appear that the internet is a place where rumours and misinformation prosper. Equally, the net is somewhere where debate, comment and consensus reign.

I make the point because of a story in this week’s Guardian where Larry Elliott wrote a useful summary of issues arising from a World Economic Forum report.

Rumours may prosper but the truth finds a way
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OFCOM NEWS

Ofcom has announced a plan to tackle the growing problem of nuisance calls, which can cause considerable concern and annoyance for consumers.

The plan comes as Ofcom publishes its annual Consumer Experience Report, which tracks key trends in consumers’ use of communications services to inform Ofcom’s regulatory and consumer protection initiatives.

OFCOM NEWS
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OFCOM NEWS

Ofcom wants new rules that will allow consumers to exit their mobile, landline, or broadband contract without penalty if their provider raises prices part way through its term.

The “exit without penalty” clause is the central proposal in a new consultation document, released this week, which aims to better protect consumers from mid-contract price rises.

OFCOM NEWS
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OFCOM NEWS

We watch a lot of TV in the UK, nearly four hours a day on average according to Ofcom, which is topped only by America and Italy.

This was one of the headline grabbing facts to come out of the latest International Communications Market Report (ICMR), released this week, but not the most interesting.

My eye was drawn to the amount of internet shopping we do in the UK, which is more than any other major country.

OFCOM NEWS
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One facet of the Scottish government's digital strategy is for Scotland to be world class by 2020.

In October, the government committed itself to defining what this might mean by December of this year: http://www.scotland.gov.uk/Resource/0040/00404183.pdf

The Communications Consumer Panel has argued that, alongside investment in infrastructure, government needs to invest much more in encouraging take-up and use of digital services. See link at bottom.

Greater simplicity will engage more users
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A recent survey conducted for the Internet Advertising Bureau (IAB) led to the rather remarkable headline that the British are ‘the most emotionally attached to their mobile phones’.

Advertisers need to be turn on to the possibilities
Digital Radio

The humble radio signal has evolved rapidly from transmission over RF to multiple pathways to the listener including analogue RF, DAB, and apps which use 3G/4G/Wi-fi.

In this sea of acronyms there is an acknowledgement that radio has changed and will continue to adapt to a world of smartphones and apps.

In the UK DAB (Digital Audio Broadcasting) is the dominant digital platform in the UK with a 20.4% share of all radio listening.

Radio is more than a little box in your kitchen nowadays
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Maria Miller, Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport, has given Ofcom the go-ahead for the renewal of Channel 3 services.  New licences will be issued before the current ones expire in 2014, the year in which Scotland’s independence referendum will take place.

Getting to grips with localism
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Bristol, like many cities across the UK, is developing a number of infrastructure initiatives aimed at stimulating the use of the Internet and related technologies. 

One of the Bristol initiatives is ‘Gigabit Bristol’ http://www.connectingbristol.org/gigabit-bristol/, which was the focus of a presentation to Ofcom's Advisory Commitee for England (ACE) recently and follows a similar presentation on Digital Manchester previously.

UK cities gearing up for a Gigabyte revolution