7-pronged solution to making UK world’s leading digital economy has (finally) been published.
It may be a year late, but that’s ok because Brexit, right? The government published its Digital Strategy document yesterday, which it first began formulating in December 2015, according to Tech Crunch.
So, what do we need to know about this, to date, headline-dodging event?
Well, the strategy has seven strands, which starts with connectivity – we must have “world-class” digital infrastructure in the UK – and that means 4G and superfast broadband for everyone – even tiny villages in the countryside. Even if they don’t want it. The government will spend £1 billion, it says, on 4G for all, plus “next generation digital infrastructure”, which means full-fibre and 5G.
Digital skills are next on the list – starting with access to knowledge, and then developing skills, inspiring confidence (persuading people they won’t get robbed if they go online), and finally providing motivation. The government has done some cool stuff here, like providing all the libraries in the UK with free Wi-Fi, and pumping £85 million into digital skills training between 2014-15.
Then we have digital sectors, “making the UK the best place to start and grow a business” and the wider economy – you don’t have to be a digital business to have an online presence.
Cyberspace must be safe and as such we must “Defend, Defer and Develop”, as per the government’s National Cyber Security Strategy, published in November last year. The government are also planning a new National Cyber Security Centre, and has set aside £1.9bn to make this, and its other Cyber-related security projects, happen.
2 more “strands” to go then. Digital government – that’s “maintaining the UK Government as a world leader in serving its citizens online”, otherwise known as snooping on the populace, and Data. Whitehall says that the Data Protection Act “is often cited as a global gold standard”. By whom?
Anyway, the government are pledging to make it “easier where possible to access and use data held by both government and businesses”, and say Citymapper is a shining example of what can be achieved when data is open-sourced – which seems very true – helpful app, Citymapper.
The government says the “data economy” will benefit the UK economy by “up to £241 billion” between 2015 and 2020.
Lucky this momentous publication didn’t slip under the media radar then. If only they had called it the “Brexit-Donald-Trump-Fake-News-Cute-cat-video Digital Strategy Document”.
And released it on Snapchat stories.