[LINK] ICTand Rural Inclusion [UK]

Bernard Robertson-Dunn brd@austarmetro.com.au
Mon, 10 Feb 2003 14:07:44 +1100

Rural UK isn't the same as Rural Australia, although their problems look


Information Communication Technology (ICT)and Rural Inclusion
The Countryside Agency


The report - based on the findings of two year’s study - focuses on the
potential of information and communications technologies (ICTs) to
contribute towards the reduction of social exclusion in rural areas. It
suggests that rural areas currently suffer from a deficit in advanced
telecommunications infrastructure as a result of a lack of investment by
telecommunications companies, based on a perceived lack of demand in rural
areas. There is a need, therefore, to tackle both sides of the supply and
demand equation.

The report suggests that the public sector will need to intervene to ensure
supply. Either through working in partnership with the telecommunications
companies or local/regional authorities establishing their own networks. In
either case public investment will be required. The report suggests that
there is currently an asymmetry in knowledge of ICTs between the private
and public sectors and that mechanisms need to be put in place to narrow
that gap. It also suggests that intervention will be required to stimulate

It considers a number of demand stimulation measures in the areas of
economic development, public service delivery and community development,
drawing on ‘good practice’ examples from the study. There is a need for the
public sector to intervene to ensure more equal access to broadband for
rural areas.

The main problem with today's high-technology society is that we allow
politicians to run it instead of people equipped with the wherewithal to
understand it. Their mentalities are still in the nineteenth century. How
can they hope to manage complex economies when they're not competent to run
a yard-sale. What can they do that requires even a smattering of knowledge
or intellect? People let them get away with it. If people are gonna elect
turkeys to tell them what to do, then the people are gonna have problems.
You can't blame the turkeys. The Constitution never guaranteed smart
government; it guaranteed representative government. And it works - that's
what we've got. The trouble with the damn system is that it selects for the
skills needed to get elected, and nothing else... which requires only an
ability to fool a sufficient number of people for just long enough to get
the votes. Unfortunately the personal qualities necessary for attaining
office are practically the opposite of those demanded by the office itself.
A test that you can pass only by cheating can't possibly select honest
people, can it?
-- James P. Hogan, Code of the Lifemaker 


Bernard Robertson-Dunn
Canberra Australia