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Digital exuberance

Digital technology hands more power and convenience to the individual consumer. But technologies of connectivity can threaten stability and community. We need a new ethics of inconvenience

By William Davies   February 2006

Britain’s digital infrastructure is in rather good shape. Broadband internet rollout was all but completed in 2005. It also became possible last year to transact with government online—from registering a vehicle to filing a tax return. The 2005 “e-readiness” survey produced by the Economist Intelligence Unit ranked Britain as the fifth best digitally equipped nation in the world, a table currently topped by Denmark, with Germany and France straggling in 13th and 18th places respectively. Britain’s first wave of digital modernisation is thus almost complete, a period in which the internet evolved from a niche interest to an everyday tool…

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