DR still in the doldrums – An Open Letter to Digital Region

A few months ago, I wrote about what I percieved to be going wrong with Digital Region, the local-authority backed superfast broadband wholesale network in South Yorkshire.

It seems that matters have not improved since then: a Sheffield-based hosting company, KDA, has written an Open Letter to Digital Region, which pretty much confirms that everything which was true several months ago is still true today, and goes on to suggest that there’s enough experience and skill in the tech community in South Yorkshire to turn this around, if only those in charge were willing (able?) to change tack and allow the community to steer the organisation.

It’s also alluded that a cut-price disposal of the network assets, which should rightly be the South Yorkshire taxpayer’s, for a cut-price may already be in hand, and that a failure of DR will be associated generally with the South Yorkshire tech industry, tarring it’s (generally good) reputation.

DR shouldn’t be the way it is – DR should be more agile than the large telcos, and find it easier to be more focused on the needs of the local userbase, but it isn’t. It seems to be strangled by inflexibility and bureaucratic behaviour, which needs to change if it’s to survive, and deliver the promise that the local authorities set out to achieve. But, at the moment, I’m doubtful that this will happen. The peppercorn sell-off probably feels like an easy way out, however much it’s short-changing South Yorks residents and business in the process.

You can read the full text of the Open Letter here.