'Communications: the next 10 years...'

March 31 2010

There is no doubt that growth of and developments in communications technologies are transforming the economy and society -- the ways in which we access and process information, do business and interact with one another no matter where we are. But, looking forward into the next 10 years, which things are likely to change radically and what will stay the same?

The all-pervading nature of communications technologies and the ways in which they are evolving and mutating are now such that ICT policies are becoming less sector specific and more a part of mainstream policy thinking about the development of the economy and society as a whole. How is this likely to affect the relationships that public authorities have with what is fast becoming the norm -- the digitally confident, digitally literate and digitally self-serving citizen/consumer? In what ways are concepts such digital participation and online engagement likely to be realised and what will influence people's expectations of what and how services should be provided?

James Thickett, Ofcom's Director of Research & Market Intelligence, gave an insider's view on future technologies and consumer trends. He also reflected on what is less certain - on how increasingly comfortable-with-technology consumers of services will respond in an age of social networking and consumer militancy. We are, he is said, in the 'want it now' age when consumers demand instant access and sel-service capability.

See below for an outline of James's presentation is attached.