Blue Collar Conversations

Episode 6: High Speed Broadband or High Speed Trains?

May 10, 2020 Blue Collar Conservatism Season 1 Episode 6
Blue Collar Conversations
Episode 6: High Speed Broadband or High Speed Trains?
Show Notes Chapter Markers

This week on Blue Collar Conversations we challenge the idea that HS2, the £100bn high speed railway project, is still needed in this era of Covid-19. We consider whether it’s now time to turn our focus away from the train line and instead to online. Isn’t it time to stop HS2 and put that money into high speed broadband & the country’s IT infrastructure? 

To help us tackle this question, we speak to four industry experts in online retail, marketing and property. 

Neil Hollands Founder of Concert Networks explains how Covid 19 has forced us all to go online & in record time. Changes industries thought would have taken years have taken weeks, and Neil argues these new online habits are here to stay. He ask talks about the need for better IT infrastructure, revealing that whilst the ‘core system’ has ‘coped’, it desperately needs updating and strengthening for the country to carry on. Listen to why he thinks the UK needs to halt its fascination with HS2 and invest in its digital infrastructure. 

Ruth Gresty MD of Boxed Red Marketing talks about the speed of change and how different people & businesses have coped. She worries about the digital divide in this country (and it getting bigger), digital poverty and postcode lotteries. New infrastructure is essential for this country if we don’t want to create a new north-south and city-suburb divide.

Natasha Courtenay-Smith CEO of Bolt Digital is a best-selling published author. She explains how e-commerce businesses will be the big winners out of Covid-19 and will have a duty to support us all. She explains where new opportunities exist online with us all spending an extra 25% online and how to get our products noticed. 

Faisal Butt  is a social entrepreneur and founder of Pi Labs investing in Prop Tech (Property Technology) businesses. Prop Tech is digitising the whole of the property sector. Up until Covid 19 it was a nascent industry, but as we all go online and open to the possibilities on offer, Prop Tech is set to grow rapidly - the U.K. will become a global leader in this space. Faisal talks of the opportunities ahead and also of the need for this country to have next generation IT infrastructure.

Neil Holland (Concert Networks)
Ruth Gresty (Boxed Red)
Natasha Courtenay-Smith (Bolt Digital)
Faisal Butt (Pi Labs)