Tuesday, 4 August 2009

Stephen Timms takes over at Digital Britain

(By Richard Holway 9.00pm Tuesday 4th Aug 09) According to a report in The Guardian Stephen Timms is to take over the Digital Britain brief. Lord Carter departed for the private sector once he'd produced the Digital Britain report last month. Since then nothing seems to have happened - so any new appointment is welcome.

Any search of Stephen Timms will turn up quite a few references from Holway on HotNews or HotViews over the years. That's because Timms was an analyst at Ovum between 1986 and 1994. Indeed, most recently last year when Timms was at the Treasury, I took him to task for being in the team that increased the CGT on business asset sales from 10% to 18% - particularly as he'd just enjoyed that rate on the sale of his Ovum shares to Datamonitor. He replied that the shares had been placed in a blind trust (which, none the less, benefitted...)

Still it is good that Digital Britain is being led by someone rare in politics today who has actually had a job outside of politics and in tech to boot. Indeed Timms was last responsible for the broadband brief in 2007 so it should be a case of deja vu for him. Although a none too kind reader pointed out that one of Timms' reports in the 1980s whilst at Ovum related to forecasts for the video conferencing market. I wasn't at Ovum at the time but even when we merged in 2000, this report had assumed folklore status as the one forecast that Ovum got really wrong! Indeed, even today use of video conferencing hardly measures on any scale. Let's hope Timms has better luck with Digital Britain as this one really matters to all of us.

Footnote - If any reader has a copy of that infamous video conferencing report, we would love to see it.

No comments:

Post a Comment