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Idea#12

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#IsleGC12 Session Ideas »

Digital islands

Island communities, faced with very real practical, geographical and/or logistical challenges in addition to their natural remoteness, have so much to gain from embracing digital technologies.

Digital can improve community interactions, service delivery and economic development potential many times over.

Yet anecdotal evidence suggests that local councils are largely ignoring the agenda. Their websites often fail to mention that a service can be accessed online,which surely has to be an advantage if the alternative is - at minimum - a return inter-island ferry journey and perhaps the expense of an unnecessary car journey.

What practical steps might we offer up to help an island authority take a great leap forward?

Submitted by John Fox 2 years ago

Comments [7]

  1. Moderator

    Over the past 30 years (maybe longer) island communities have embraced transactions over the phone and (more recently) via email. The challenges implicit in transforming the delivery of services so that processes are standardised to the point they can be made available on websites or via mobile apps are very real, and some discussion of how to overcome them would be a valuable govcamp session.

    2 years ago
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  2. Does Orkney have an Oil Fund to buy everyone a device to get on-line ? How is broadband provision arranged ?

    Also people don't know what they don't know. You may need people to become digital carers, or teachers in order to help people get started.

    Finally, individuals in the community will probably meet for other reasons, but should digital be on their agenda ? It could make lives easier....

    2 years ago
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    1. I don't think the devices are the issue Alex, I think the problem is the connectivity. Many places don't have it. There are islands on the mainland too...

      2 years ago
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  3. This idea/concern is quite rightly at the top of the list.

    Islanders should not be disadvantaged and the poor relations in this respect. Questions are, what's to be done about it, who funds it and where's the expertise going to come from?

    Using old fashioned BT infrastructure this is no small matter. I live on the mainland only 25 miles out of Glasgow and BT and the Scottish Exec has done such a piss poor job in getting the infrastructure in place, I can't even get an ISDN line.

    Ironically enough, you probably stand more chance in the islands of getting the grants and the local people to organize themselves and crack this problem, than I do here in Lanarkshire.

    The modern Mesh equipment is not expensive or difficult to install. All it needs is a half dozen people to get the ball rolling.

    Any volunteers?

    2 years ago
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  4. Just thinking about it a little further... I will donate the basic equipment, servers etc, to get the NOC (network operations center) up and running, if you would like me to help, that is. I used to run a very large ISP in London and I still have some equipment lying around.

    Post your ideas here and let me know if your up for it.

    2 years ago
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  5. Moderator

    Your idea sounds interesting - if you email [email protected] ,I'll get back to you!

    2 years ago
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  6. Hey Sweyn, sure thing!

    2 years ago
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