Ronnie Auld

Interview with a Broadband Champion no.7: Ronnie Auld

25 February 2011 at 08:48 in Broadband Champions by Louis Mosley

Ronnie Auld

Name: Ronnie Auld

Parish: Dalston

Occupation/Professional experience: IT Consultant with particular interest in the food industry and the Internet

You live in Cumbria because?

It is close to Scotland (my country of birth) and mid-way between my children’s homes.

Your idea of happiness?

After spending time with my family, spending time in the hills, sailing or playing golf.

Your idea of misery?

Playing golf badly.

When and why did you first use the Internet?

During the 1980s.

What characters in history do you most dislike and why?

Any leader who has caused total misery to his people and enriched himself/herself at their expense.

Why did you become a broadband champion?

The current state of broadband development in the rural areas is akin to the motor industry in the mid-1930s.  People used vehicles but they were limited by design and the available road system.  Broadband in Cumbria is like that.  The future motorways have yet to be conceived and built and there is much to do in the design of the systems which will run on these super highways.  Broadband champions can make a huge contribution to this provided that the right leadership is provided by the managing authorities.  Champions must be prepared to work as a team for the benefit of the County as a whole and not just their own vested interests.

If not yourself, who would you be?

Someone with the power to really make a positive difference to those around them.

What would you use a 100meg symmetrical connection for?

100meg – who knows?  We know all about tele-medicine, improved communication, education and entertainment and many other things that next generation broadband will provide, but these will be feasible at half that speed.  However, just round the corner, and which we haven’t yet dreamt of will be many things which will be made possible by 100meg and faster – possibly holographic imaging for virtual meetings and family gatherings, to name just one.

Your heroes in real life?

People who DO make a positive difference to the lives of others without thinking of their own enrichment.

What has been the world’s greatest invention?

It has to be the wheel.

What’s your favourite place in Cumbria, and why?

Bannerdale behind Mungrisdale.

Broadband Meets Localism Conference

17 January 2011 at 18:51 in News by Louis Mosley

On Saturday, over a hundred parish champions gathered for the ‘Broadband Meets Localism’ conference at Carlisle racecourse. The event was organised by Ronnie Auld of the Carlisle Parish Councils Association (CPCA) and Cumbria County Council and sponsored by BT.

Broadband Meets Localism Conference

You can watch the day’s proceedings here, filmed by the dedicated Citizen reporter John Popham, or re-read the day’s live-blog, overseen by Nick Turner.

Below are highlights from the reactions of two parish champions who attended: Charles Paxton and Lance Greenhalgh. For their full accounts, check the Leith-Lyvennet blog.

“Better communications are being seen as an essential element of the transition toward greater inclusion and participation. BT will be making the single largest private investment of all time into upgrading British Communications infrastructure! Two and a half billion pounds, the scale of the task is epic, the complexities are “eye-wateringly complex” (quoting Rory Stewart MP) but the potential rewards are of unmeasured magnitude.

The principal broadband movers and shakers were there and each gave encouraging and informative speeches: Rory Stewart MP, Bill Murphy, Managing Director of Next Generation Access BT Group, and Marie Fallon Corporate Director of Environment at Cumbria County Council.

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