The British government does not receive a lot of praise for forward-looking plans related to the Internet. The Prime Minister is more often in the technology press for his gaffes using Twitter, but a recent announcement should have received more attention in the media.
David Cameron announced an extra £45m investment in the Internet of Things (IoT). As readers of this blog will know, the IoT covers a number of areas, but in general means that the Internet is about to massively expand as every device in our home and on our person goes online – it will no longer just be laptops and smart phones online.
The Prime Minister said: “I see the Internet of Things as a huge transformative development,” he continued. “A way of boosting productivity, of keeping us healthier, making transport more efficient, reducing energy needs, tackling climate change.”
Cameron also announce plans to double the economic value of mobile telephone spectrum by 2025 – with the presumption that we will all be using 5G by then.
Governments change every few years and are often criticised for not seeing the big picture, but it seems that this government has been quietly working on plans to improve how the mobile network operates, and how the UK can stay ahead of rival countries. It may not be obvious now, but having the network available to support the IoT could be a key national advantage in just a few years.
So even if he needs a better ghostwriter for his Twitter messages, the Prime Minister does realise that there is a need to plan for a digital future now – even though we may not see any economic gains for a decade.
Next week I might be critical of government policy, but for now I’ll give them credit where it’s due. If you think what they are planning is terribly wrong or right then leave a comment here or get in touch via my LinkedIn.
Photo by UK Parliament licensed under Creative Commons