Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Checking the Bristol Wireless site it turns out they are part of a bid to become a demo site of some sort.

It seems the DTI idea is to challenge digital exclusion by concentrating resources on a few dramatic sites. Manchester needs a boost obviously. Milton Keynes has only got the Open University to help it understand e-learning etc. Parts of London probably qualify.

Apart from Bristol,

"The other ‘top-ten’ finalists are; Stratford on Avon District Council, Birmingham City Council & Shropshire County Council, Norfolk County Council, Sunderland City Council, Ealing Council, Nottingham City & Nottinghamshire County Council, Kingston Upon Hull City Council, Milton Keynes Council and Manchester City Council, in partnership with Tameside MBC."

Here in 'wi-fi Exeter' I don't think there was any move to join this bid. So the South West effect will be for more energy in Bristol. Nothing wrong with that of course. Suggest we pay careful attention.

Norfolk County Council may be supported by Norwich where there is some energy for free wifi.


woodsy said...

Hi Will

I'm the author of the item on which you've just done your piece. I note you say: "Here in 'wi-fi Exeter' I don't think there was any move to join this bid." Any Digital Challenge bid would have had to have been through your local authority, i.e. Exeter City Council. From what I can gather the other shortlisted prospective finalist from the South West was West Devon District Council.

The Digital Challenge is not a DTI project, but comes from the Department for Local Government & Communities (formerly the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister). Its primary aim is now to try and beat digital exclusion. The national finalists will definitely provide some showcase projects and examples of best practice that can be implemented elsewhere, which I believe is the ultimate aim. For more information about the Digital Challenge at national level look at the Digital Challenge home page and that site's about page.

As regards Bristol and digital inclusion, the casual visitor would regard the city as a prosperous place. Whilst the visitor may visit the city centre or Clifton, that same visitor is hardly likely to visit the inner city areas of St Paul's or Easton or the vast council estates such as Knowle West, all of which figure high on the deprivation list.

For more information on the Bristol Digital Challenge bid please see the Connecting Bristol blog.

At last week's event in Bristol there was only one delegate present from Devon County Council and none from the Devon district councils.

Finally, here at Bristol Wireless we're always happy to meet and chat with similar groups elsewhere, so please feel free to get in touch or come and visit.


Will said...


Thanks for this info.

I do realise that projects like Bristol Wireless make good use of resources. I was just getting at the problem that not much support seems to reach Exeter. I will stay in touch with any news.