Like Russell Beattie I noticed the launch of Vodaphone's 3G service. I found that the pricing for their 3G/GPRS data card is:
|Anticipated usage||Price of data card||Monthly cost||Data included (per month)||Additional charge per MB|
This doesn't compare well with Russell's AT&T example of $24.95 per month unlimited date. Prices will drop here eventually but this is "rip-off" Britain and we expect to pay over the odds. We're not doing very well on the broadband front in general. Here 1Mbps is seen as a big deal for domestic customers, which doesn't compare very well with the 30 or 40MBps connections that are available in other parts of the world. Its a pity the billions the government made on the 3G licence infrastructure couldn't have been invested in laying fibre to everyone's homes and offices instead of throwing it away on large numbers of unnecesssary jobs and consultants in the Civil Service, Health Service, and all the other government organisations which have become hugely bloated with a new generation of bureaucrats.
According to the EU's Lisbon accord, there is a goal "to make the EU the most competitive and dynamic knowledge-based economy in the world by 2010". How are we going to achieve that if we don't have the infrastructure in place, and at realistic prices? Why does the EU still pay a huge amount of money in food subsidies to its farmers every year, with the side-effect of serious damage to third world economies and ensuing wide-spread poverty, when we should instead be investing in making this "knowledge-based" economy happen?