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Digital Britain: Lessons Learned from London Riots

August 18, 2011 at 8:00 am PST

Most people can remember where they were when a high-profile news event happened — such as the 9/11 attacks on the USA.  I mention this because I was standing in a hotel room a couple of weeks ago listening to my wife tell me about the London Riots – from insights she received on her smartphone via Twitter. Reality happens in real-time, so does today’s news reporting.

The internet and mobile communications have enabled this transformation.

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Broadband Impact: The Macroeconomic Benefits

By Howard Baldwin, Contributing Columnist

Last June, the Broadband Commission for Digital Development, a joint project of the International Telecommunications Union and UNESCO, issued a report about the impact of broadband globally. It contained enlightening estimates — variations of which we’ve discussed frequently — about the value of broadband for business. For instance:

  • Europe: Broadband can create more than two million jobs and an increase in GDP of at least €636 billion by 2015
  • Brazil: Broadband has already added up to 1.4% to the employment growth rate
  • China: Every 10% increase in broadband penetration contributes an additional 2.5% to
  • GDP growth
  • Thailand: Even though only some 3% of households and 12% of individuals had broadband, broadband promotion could add 2.4% to the country’s GDP growth rate.

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A Record Year for Digital Music

In 1982, Roland Swenson, a band manager in Austin, splurged $75 of his band’s budget to travel to New York City to attend a music conference.  Knowing that his band wasn’t happy about the expenditure, he hustled to make sure the trip paid off.  On the first day he successfully tracked down a booking agent and secured a $200 gig.

As Swenson told Texas Music Matters, he figured if this model worked in the Big Apple, it would work in Austin, so in 1987, he co-founded the SXSW Music Festival, which in its inaugural year hosted 172 acts and more than 700 attendees.  For Austin bands, Swenson and his co-founders had created the most efficient way to connect with music fans, agents and distributors — ever.  That is, until the arrival of the Internet.

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Digital Britain: BIG things are happening

August 4, 2011 at 2:00 am PST

My wife was shopping online this past week. While she was watching the rich-media cat walk feature on asos.com, which is now the norm for clothing retailer websites, it occurred to me how things have changed. Moreover, how our expectations have dramatically evolved.

On a regular basis I hear friends, colleagues and business partners complain about the perceived speed of their internet connection – web pages not loading fast enough, unable to reach a particular website, or a poor user experience on Skype. Consumers are demanding more – more broadband speed, better applications and abundant availability.

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Mobile Banking Improves Lives and Economies in the Developing World

By Jason Kohn, Contributing Columnist

In my last post, I talked about the future potential for fixed wireless broadband to stimulate economic activity in developing regions. But there’s an even more powerful way that mobile operators and infrastructure are helping to improve the lives of everyday people in developing economies right now: mobile financial services (MFS).

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