Europe's digital future is supposed to be "Connected, open and secure" (Neelie Kroes at the World Economic Forum, 2014). Nice words, but what does that mean in practice? There are huge milestones, and there are quite a few major hurdles to get there. Technologically, I'm sure we'll have technology available – and with sufficient and targeted subsidies, also enough market – to push ubiquitous computing into the growing status quo within the next five years. But I'm not sure whether policy will catch up: the current working groups seem heavily technology-focused, and public policy has not reached any major positive progress milestones in the past year. If anything, with national governments poised to start walling up the internet, we seem to have more negative progress than anything else. And then, there is the even larger problem of educating users about their digital rights and privacies within five years is an almost impossible task.
So, to ask the unspoken question again, when can we expect ubiquitous technology to penetrate our lives and integrate them into a free internet? It looks like 2020 may be more of an unrealistic dream, or perhaps a goal for theoretical solutions, than anything else.
/via +European Union
EUROPA – PRESS RELEASES – Press release – What 5G can do for you
European Commission – Press Release details page – European Commission memo Brussels, 24 February 2014 By 2020 there will be more than 30 times as much mobile internet traffic as there was in 2010. But this will not be the same type of traffic as now – Internet usage will not only have grown thanks to the number
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