Some of Cornwall’s most forward thinking minds in media, business and the public sector came together last night (Tuesday May 12) to brainstorm Cornwall’s digital future.
Organised as part of a series of events across the UK, entitled ‘Unconferences’, the recently established Cornwall Social Media Café ran a feedback and brainstorming session on the government’s Digital Britain report.
This report is intended be a plan to ensure Britain’s place at the forefront of the global digital economy; however, it has received much criticism since publication for its lack of vision.
At the centre of concerns for many Cornish people is the fear that plans to extend super fast broadband across the UK, including rural locations such as Cornwall, are not far reaching enough.
Local business owner, Toby Parkins of UKNetWeb, a web development company based in St.Agnes, said:
“It is worrying to see that the government is aiming for 2mbs broadband for every household by 2012. By 2012 these speeds will be nowhere near what is required to operate in business.
“We have benefited massively from the work locally to improve broadband coverage across the region. We are now seeing major advancements in the local economy as a result.
Toby added: “Should the government fail to set their targets high enough there is a real danger that Cornwall and the UK as a whole will be left behind, losing major commercial advantages to other countries.”
More than 20 people attended the debate, which was led by local copywriter and business owner, Fiona Campbell-Howes of Radix Communications in Penryn.
Fiona brought the Digital Britain Interim report and led the Unconference discussion inviting people to give feedback. A report on the group’s finding has been prepared by Fiona and has been submitted for consideration to the government through the Digital Britain Unconference organisers.
The event was held at the new Vertigo Bar in Truro with food sponsored by UKNetWeb.
Cornwall Social Media Café is a monthly event for those using, working with or interested in social media. Anyone with an interest can find out more by visiting the group’s website and blog at http://cornwallcafe.wordpress.com.