Dear Mr Osborne

Following the summer holidays, which provide temporary respite from the daily grind, the travel environment in the UK has returned to normal: Traffic jams on the roads, overcrowding on the trains and long waits in horrible conditions in our airports.
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And that’s if things are running well. Add in some industrial action, bad weather, accidents, acts of God or terrorist scares and the conditions for national and international travellers rapidly become unbearable.

Realistically, the country cannot afford to notably improve its transport infrastructure any time soon, and even if we were able to do so it would simply encourage us to burn even more fossil fuels than we do already.

Laudably the Government is cutting the headcount in departments wherever possible and reducing discretionary budgets, and yes, by all means, let’s cut down on waste and pursue tax-dodgers and benefit cheats. But those in power could be doing a lot more, both within their own operations and by helping UK businesses save money.

There is opportunity for the Government to lead by example, as well as taking proactive measures to encourage businesses to adopt video conferencing technology. VC no longer needs to be expensive and complicated.

Many individuals are quite happy to extend their one-to-one experience with Skype into their working environment. The technology to enable high quality multi-user conferencing is now available at a relatively low cost. It is entirely possible for a huge proportion of UK enterprises, large and small, to hold a significant proportion of their meetings without moving.

Using VC brings with it a number of benefits, including less time spent travelling, lower travel costs, reduced emissions, and improvements to the nation’s health and road safety. However, our research indicates that the commitment to and utilisation of VC within Government is patchy to say the least, and the Department for Business Innovation and Skills seems to have little if any commitment to using or promoting the technology.

The UK IT industry consists of tens of thousands of enterprises that would welcome and support a clear Government lead in this matter, and the Technology Channels Association stands ready to help spread the word, once you give it, Mr Chancellor.

While we wait for the Government to promote the interests of the IT industry generally, and independent traders in particular, the TCA will continue to prepare for and promote its Annual Conference, taking place on Wednesday October 20th.

With some great keynote speakers and exhibitors, the event is likely to surpass our last one, which 90 per cent of delegates said was the best channel event they had ever attended.

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