Opinion

The idea of a networked nation is not original


The idea of getting everyone of working age online is an admirable one and perhaps also a concept that has been talked about before?

I pose that question only because it feels as if the move to get more people online has been going almost as long as the internet with tools deployed in the past such as the Home Computing Initiative and the whole drive of e-government for the last few years has been designed to encourage more digital participation.

So it is perhaps with that track record in mind that you end up giving the Networked Nation manifesto from Digital Champion Martha Lane Fox a slightly more lukewarm welcome than perhaps she might have expected.

In this cash-strapped age the expectation is on government and charities to help reach out to the 10m people in this country who have never used the internet and to help get them involved in a wonderful digital world.

That will not be as easy as it sounds because these millions of people have been cut off from the web for reasons that include poverty and presumably interest and overcoming both will be a challenge.

Still it's good to hear the government making some positive sounds about getting people connected. After all technology has largely been absent from the political agenda since the Cam/Clegg love-in started.



This was first published in July 2010

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