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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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Great Expectations: Onward and Upward

As a young man growing up in the East End of London during the 1970s, I recall that some parents had low expectations for their children. Their thinking, our child probably won’t amount to much, given their environment. Why? Prolonged poverty can deplete the human spirit of any hope for a better future.

Throughout its history, the area was known as an affordable haven for poor people and immigrants. East London had developed rapidly during the 19th century. The neighborhoods surrounding the West India Docks the East India Docks and Mill Wall Dock — along the banks of the river Thames — were once thriving communities of tradesmen and merchants.

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The Big Apple: NYC Digital at the Core

By Howard Baldwin, Contributing Columnist

Municipalities around the world have been targeting broadband deployment, with varying degrees of success, as noted in our recent editorial, Intelligent Communities: A Smart Choice? The biggest U.S. city of all, New York, has committed extensive resources to make its broadband deployment a huge economic success, focusing on some traditional areas — government information, business support — and also some non-traditional areas.

Much of the program, dubbed NYC Digital, mirrors what many municipalities have already done. It includes deploying broadband access throughout the five boroughs to improve digital capabilities for industry, citizens, educational institutions, and city government itself. It also includes the traditional feature of giving citizens electronic access to government services — for example, permits, public records, and street cleaning schedules.

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From QoS to QoE: A Fundamental Change in Focus

By Steven Shepard, Contributing Columnist

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about evolution. Not the Darwinian type, nor even the evolution of business (such a common theme today among business strategists), but rather about the evolution of the market — and most specifically about the changing demands of the market as its choices become richer and more varied in the face of remarkable technological change.

Since 1876, when Alexander Graham Bell spilled a beaker of hydrochloric acid into his lap, causing him to call out to his colleague, “Come here Watson, I need you,” thus starting the communications revolution that would change the world (Watson unexpectedly heard Bell’s voice through the speaker on the device they had invented), telephone companies have prided themselves on the quality of the service they have offered to their customers.

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