Browse > Home / Uncategorized / GUEST POST: Dominique Lazanski – Not so Flash Gordon drives digital disaster

| Subcribe via RSS

GUEST POST: Dominique Lazanski – Not so Flash Gordon drives digital disaster

June 17th, 2009 Posted in Uncategorized by

computeriiIn this age of stimulus packages and needless intervention it has become fashionable again to incorrectly look to the government to solve problems.  Such is the result of the Digital Britain report, released yesterday.  Filled with more regulation, increased state monitoring, and additional taxation on phone lines, Digital Britain is a convenient way to increase government control in an increasingly over-taxed and over-regulated economy.

As stated in its press release, the main goal of the Digital Britain report is for “Britain to sustain its position and grow as a leading digital economy and society.”  This may seem a reasonable goal for a wealthy nation, but cannot be achieved through subsidies.  In America, the internet boom and the subsequent rise of the digital economy happened as a result of privately competing telecom, website, and media production companies.  Internet broadband was laid down not with government money, but with private investment leading the way.   As a result the US is the leading digital economy in the world, while reports have shown that the UK is at least 18 months to 2 years behind the US in its broadband and internet technology.  No amount of government money will lessen that gap created by freely competing companies with an incentive to make a faster, cheaper, or better product.

People should refuse to pay a state surcharge on phone lines and refuse to pay a state department for permission to view televisual media.  Why should we support a failing government who wants to expand their own reach and political gain with futile promises to make the UK a better digital society?  It makes no sense when other countries grow their economies through private competition.  We all expect the imminent electoral demise of Brown’s Labour Party – let’s hope their plans to intervene in the digital market go the same way.

Dominique Lazanski is a digital strategist with ten years experience in silicon valley. She now lives in the UK and is not affiliated to any political party.

4 Responses to “GUEST POST: Dominique Lazanski – Not so Flash Gordon drives digital disaster”

  1. Costigan Quist Says:

    So did I just dream the whole thing where South Korea used Government money to create a hi-tech infrastructure that makes the US look like two plastic cups with a piece of string hanging limply between them?

  2. Julian Harris Says:

    Those theories on South Korea have, I think, been largely rebuffed. For example, a paper back in ’95 titled “Government Interventions and Productivity Growth in Korean Manufacturing Industries” by someone called Jong-Wha Lee concluded:

    “The evidence, thus, implies that less government intervention in trade is linked to higher productivity growth.”

  3. Costigan Quist Says:

    But we’re talking about whether broadband expansion should be driven by the market or by tax money. As far as I know, the South Korean broadband rollout *is* driven by tax money and well regulated. I struggle to see what relevance a 1995 paper on general economic expansion has to that.

    Additionally, the reason the UK is looking at getting broadband to the final third of the country in this way is precisely because the private companies have looked at it and can’t see a way to make it pay: they simply couldn’t charge rural users enough to cover the installation cost, nor could they spread the cost out to all users without making themselves uncompetitative.

    The UK would have loved to get BT or Virgin Media to lay the cable, but they don’t think it’s viable without huge subsidy.

  4. Julian Harris Says:

    Ah, apologies, I misconstrued – thought you were referring to the technology industry in general, rather than broadband rollout specifically.