Connect those beyond the estate

By Jon Massey on September 13, 2012 11:34 AM |

SOCIETY_blog.jpgWharfers are two phones people. Married to technology. Glued to drip feeds of information.

I watched a lady on the DLR yesterday - mid 40s, greying, severe jacket, oversize bead necklace, stern gaze through thick-rimmed spectacles - attempting to juggle an iPad, BlackBerry and an iPhone 4s.

Super connected, too connected.

The ballet got the better of her. The 4s spilled and clattered down the carriage.

Fatal error 404: phone not found.

Her flawed performance stirred something in my brain.

The iPhone 5's just been launched. Ordered yours yet? If you have, you might be wondering what to do with your ObsoleteTool.

Well here's a solution.

We've spent some considerable column inches pushing the line that Internet connectivity is vital to this country's economy.

But there are many in society who aren't in the connected bubble we're conditioned to assume is universal.

Canary Wharf stands as a shiny tower of prosperity metres and a million miles from some of the most deprived areas in the country.

What I'm proposing is organised mass phone donation.

While I can see people may prefer to pass on their handsets to members of their own family or friends, many on the Wharf are given company phones.

This is a gold-plated PR opportunity for the banks and other large firms to spread a little wealth when they invest in their next upgrade.

Will everyone who gets connected immediately boost the economy? No.

But it might just give those entrepreneurial few a leg up.