Jun
15

Free access for micro-firms to postcode database after Sir Tim Berners-Lees protest – Telegraph

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Free access for micro-firms to postcode database after Sir Tim Berners-Lees protest – Telegraph.

Policy-makers in the UK simply don’t seem to get it. The address file and postcode database are not “assets” whose survival should depend on the cold calculus of business.  If it is “just another asset”, then it will always be under-valued because the economic contribution to an economy, and its contribution to the well-being and functioning of government and wider society are difficult if not impossible to quantify.  And certainly shareholders aren’t interested in assets which don’t generate income for them, and they are not tobe blamed for that.

But policy-makers, and legislators, should be smarter.  Turn your address database and postal code into a commodity, a thing everyone must pay for, and you really should be prepared to price differentially according to the benefit to be received?   How much is it worth to the average family to be sure the emergency services can find them when a family member has a heart attack at 2 AM?  How much does it cost to map incidences of street crime and what is the economic benefit?

Public social goods need to be supported by the public.

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