|Waiting for the train to go past outside Newmarket|
Tuesday morning Day seven without Internet access. This is starting to be really inconvenient. I was not aware of how much I had become reliant on the Internet. I receive upward of 30 emails a day ranging from job site updates information about career change, market information, news, and personal banking business, not including the marketing email. I have located a few places in the town which appear to offer free Internet access.
There were a quite few BTOpenzone sites available last week up to Tuesday morning. As you may be aware from previous blogs I am little dis chuffed with BT as the rapidity of town's expansion in the last 15 years ( I will blog on this at another time) has finally seen the infrastructure start to groan. I have personally had my own BTHub live as an Openzone since the service became available 5 or 6 years ago. I live relatively close to the town centre literally 2 minutes walk, so it would be interesting to see how much traffic over the years I have enabled
The advert of 2 million sites by BT is all very well but it does rely a lot on switching your hub to be a BTOpenzone and being aware of this. The placing of your hub in your property along with the type of walls also influences how far the Hub's wireless signal will go. The latest Hubs from BT claim a 1000 m radius. A couple of places where I have paused and used my Blackberry wirelessly on BTOpenzone are the cafe De Ja Vu and the Royal Exchange public house to name but a few. There are a number of wireless sites about but obviously most are secure. The free Internet community used to leave a graffiti mark on buildings that had open network access, even some universities persuaded companies top provide their students with access points by simply having an open port. Maybe a sticker in the window for local businesses would be useful in BT's many inserts that drop out of the phone book. The phonebook is still being produced surprisingly. I must admit I have not broken the cellophane on the last few that have been delivered.
Anyway, it is a great idea that BTFON network and Broadband out of the house allow users to be connected.
I do find myself now checking when I sit in a public place whether there is a wireless signal. The expense of data packets through your mobile phone network is a fact that I would rather avoid. I do have mobile broadband on pre-Pay BT SIM but I do not regularly carry my Netbook around with me. However the mobile broadband does not seem to be very reliable. I wonder how much the service will be affected as more people switch to android phones. Android is reported to have a very healthy appetite for mobile network capacity. Slow service again or huts no connection when standing within network cell with an android? Am I allowed to mention the word android or is it now a trademark.
So to the main thoughts for the day. I have been watching the developments on the news today. Suffolk that county like Shropshire that most people either cannot place on a map or haven't heard of has been in the national news for pat few days. The high profile chief executive of Suffolk County Council has been in front select committees and lollipop persons have been highlighted as cuts victims. The council direct grants from central government has been cut. In a rural county such as Suffolk I do understand the fact that services per head of population are relatively expensive compared to an Inner City. For example 10 community minibuses do cost the same to buy in town as in country but because of the geography of the county the operating costs are higher per person carried. In Haverhill we are 45 miles from the County Town and quite often we feel extremely remote and uncared for. Potentially the threshold of break even of actual cost and social benefit of many services will change to the point where they disappear. This has already happened it would appear.
Suffolk apparently is in the vanguard of outsourcing services. Instead of having one back office handling paperwork we are in danger of having to create many smaller entities who will also need a back office. Back offices do not actually generate income and are a fixed cost of operating. I am a little sceptical from this point of view.
Following the East Anglian Daily Times over the last few days I noticed a free school is to be set up in Thetford to cater for 80 pupils with special educational needs. It would appear to have the support of local parents. This does seem to fly in the face of the campaigns from parents a number of years ago for inclusion in main stream schooling. Is this true social entrepreneurship or accessing a pot of money that has been denied to this group of individuals in a more traditional setting of Local Authority run school by another route?
The Localisation Bill seemed to slip through unnoticed. Potentially great from the point of view of allowing identification local assets such as shops and pubs for acquisition by interested groups. Greene King may have a very large spring sale of it's estate before it becomes law. This will from even the “nuisance value” point of view be a fiscal worrying point as assets could be tied up while feasibility groups come up with a business plan. If there is a rolling series of applications this could tie up a property for years and prevent them being turned into town houses or large village mansions. Anybody from Camra listening? A positive aspect is that it may lead to something that small business would welcome. A reduction in the extortionate rents charged for high street shop space. Napoleon called us a nation of shopkeepers, now we are managers of property portfolios but do we have any tenants.
So I am looking and waiting for the muddy waters to clear to look at the potential opportunities for small businesses that I might want to participate in myself. I would like to say it would be something that I would feel secure in seizing with both hands. The Audacity of Hope expressed by Chief Council Executives, they hope other providers will step in, is the title of this Blog. I did buy the book written by Barak Obama when he was “swept” to power as it did appear to be a era of hope coming in. I have since in the last few weeks become aware of reports of statements he has made that the world needs the American economy to drive the world economy. In other words America is Too Big To Fail. Hopefully, the change being ushered in the UK are Too Big To Fail because I get the impression we might be in the last chance saloon where government thinking is concerned at this present cycle of the economic rollercoaster of our civilisation.