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partnerships:articles:stubbs [2017/06/12 10:20] (current)
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 +Why the Internet is important to local communities
 +*This is a summary of a presentation made by Richard Stubbs, of UK
 +Communities Online to the Marchant seminar in October 1996.*\
 +The changing nature of products and trade
 +The nature of work is changing and much of this change is driven by
 +technology. Increasingly the creation of wealth and employment is lead
 +by the information industries. You might argue that these don't produce
 +real products, such as cars or fridges, but this is missing the point.
 +In the US two thirds of the work force are employed in information
 +related jobs.\
 + ​Increasingly high value products are information products and
 +information products, of whatever type, are stored in a digital form.
 +The Internet permits trading of such digital products directly between
 +producer and consumer across national boundaries. This offers both an
 +opportunity and threat to our industries and the communities that depend
 +upon them. The opportunity is the increased ease for our businesses to
 +reach new international markets, the threat is increased access to our
 +domestic markets by foreign competitors.
 +The Internet
 +The Internet or "​Net"​ is a network of computer networks and the number
 +of people connected through it is doubling every year. By the year 2000
 +it is projected that more than 200 million people will be connected to
 +the Net\*. The Net will be with us for the rest of our lives and will
 +transform them, it represents a massive global upheaval in the way that
 +information flows around the world.\
 + ​British business takes the Net seriously, 84% of UK companies regard
 +connection to the Net as being important for the future of their
 +business. The UK's skills in publishing, broadcasting,​ distance
 +education, film, video, software and music give it a head start in the
 +global information society, as does its language.
 +Why are community Internets important?
 +European research on telework and small business networking has found
 +that the most effective telecommunities (groups of people communicating
 +through computer networks and sharing a sense of identity thereby) are
 +made up of people who live in the same city and meet regularly face to
 +face. Once such people have learned to participate effectively in their
 +local community they can work effectively at a transnational level.\
 + Many of the skills involved in playing an effective role in the
 +information society are so new that they are not yet written down.
 +Acquiring these skills is of key importance in ensuring that the UK can
 +make the most of its existing expertise in information industries.
 +Community Internets provide the best means by which citizens can develop
 +these skills and help ensure that the UK makes the most of the
 +opportunities opened up by this unprecedented increase in global
 + \* This estimate is from the House of Lords Report on the Information
 +Society which can be found at
 + The quote is from Chapter 4 "Views of witnesses"​. The source of this
 +information is detailed in the notes to the document as follows:-\
 + "​Microsoft'​s estimate was that 200 million people would access the
 +Information Superhighway by the year 2001 (Q 397). News International
 +cited a similar estimate (Q 961)."​\
 + ​[Richard Stubbs](mailto:​100617.3462@CompuServe.COM)\
 + [Back to the Guide to Community Internet](../​pubs/​guide)
partnerships/articles/stubbs.txt ยท Last modified: 2017/06/12 10:20 (external edit)