Infrastructure is key to competition
Journal business writer Robert Zarywacz says the broadband announcement is welcome – but not the best result.
AFTER an interminable wait, the award of the contract for broadband delivery to BT by Connecting Devon and Somerset is welcome in that, at last, it looks like something will happen. But it's not the best result.
The harsh reality that BT was not going to upgrade exchanges for super fast broadband, or provide broadband in the hardest-to-reach areas because it was not viable, was a big blow for North Devon.
That councils have been chosen to come to the rescue is no reassurance.
Business Cards From Only £10.95 Delivered www.myprint-247.co.ukView details
Contact: 01858 468192
Valid until: Sunday, May 26 2013
This demonstrates the weakness of the business community at a time when it needs essential resources and infrastructure to be able to compete worldwide.
I believe North Devon businesses have massive potential for success.
I talk to them every week. I visit them and see what they are doing. I also believe they are severely constrained by government, regulation and often by the very initiatives designed to help them.
I believe if the myriad of smaller initiatives were scrapped and their funding switched to major infrastructure, such as broadband and transport, the improvement in our economy would be immense.
If high-flying executives could videoconference to colleagues in America from remote Exmoor, if hoteliers could upload video instantly to their websites and retailers across the area could run their premises as showrooms for their online shops, we could compete with anywhere in the world.
Many places already have this infrastructure, but not our stunning environment.
They will never be able to compete with that.
But if we develop the same infrastructure, there will be nowhere better than North Devon to run a business. Is it worth the fight?