DAP - Digital Access Provision Forum

DAP: Digital Access Provision Forum

Message from the DAP Chairman

Richard Allan, European Government Affairs Director, CISCO
Richard Allan, European Government Affairs Director, Facebook

I am delighted to welcome you to the web site for the Digital Access Forum or DAP as we refer to it.

DAP is a unique group of public and private organisations working together to promote the development and increased uptake of integrated digital communication technologies within the built environment.

In the past the main applications of such technologies have been to support the delivery of home entertainment, however, times are changing and we are now at the cusp of a fundamental step forward in harnessing the potential of the technology to support the delivery of vital public services and to contribute to sustainability objectives. If you start to think of integrated digital communications as analogous to a utility such as electricity, water or gas you will begin to get the sense of the developments that are just around the corner.

Like any new industry the digital communication sector has grown from very modest beginnings at a rate that parallels developments during the Industrial Revolution. Not surprisingly such rapid development - often initially undertaken by some very small businesses - has advanced much faster than the conventions that apply to long established businesses and we are continually addressing challenges around standardisation and inter-operability.

However, these growing pains are being overcome and, for example, we now can all benefit from telephony that connects seamlessly across different providers, and regardless of the medium (fibre, mobile or ethernet). Ubiquitous communication will provide the infrastructure across which data can flow - anywhere in the world. The big challenge that DAP and many other organisations are working on is to exploit this communication utility to deliver services - both in the home and also out of the home.

One of the greatest challenges facing societies across the world is the need to find smarter solutions to the delivery of health care. The UK along with the rest of Europe and North America and some parts of the Far East has an elderly population that is increasing rapidly. It is fantastic that people are now living longer but this also means that as people grow older they will suffer from an increasing range of chronic conditions. Innovations in medical products and clinical practices can help but it is generally recognised that the harnessing of integrated communication technologies can play a major role in enabling new forms of health management and treatments.

Recently a DAP led consortium secured significant funding from the UK's Technology Strategy Board to undertake a programme of research in support of step-change developments in support of assisted living for those with chronic conditions. This work - together with work being carried out by other teams - will take us much nearer to developing practical solutions for the delivery of new forms of assisted living for those with chronic conditions whether this be in their homes or in the wider community.

You can follow our progress in carrying forward this work programme by clicking here.