It has to be kept in mind that a transition to ICT aided governance of the region will automatically bring about a stringent legal framework for online commercial enterprises to abide by. Presently, the planning services stand out as one of the most impressive areas of local governance to have taken the crucial first steps. Although a few local planning bodies have done their independent attempts at ICT integration, the national planning portal, which is launched in well-defined phases, “offers a general planning advisory service with links to myriad related websites” (Pauleen, 2003). These are all moves that would bring in associated regulations and hence curb the exploitative tendencies of corporate monopoly. While free competition is said to hinder market monopolies, the powerful and influential corporate lobbies have so far succeeded in thwarting legislations that hinder concentrations of business power and wealth. The ever increasing numbers of mergers and acquisitions in the UK business landscape is strong evidence in support of this assertion (Pauleen, 2003).
Since most of the existing models of ICT marketing and consumption assume “a linearity of development that is incompatible with the opportunities faced by later entrants into the technology”, most late entrants do have access to the development path as well as the industry experience of their competitors. Hence, the playing field for competition is already skewed in favour of business corporations that have had a longer presence in the UK. Also, the new entrant may gain access to the current technologies and applications without recourse to working through the development path. This is why government regulations are necessary to prevent older and larger ICT corporations from decimating the smaller ones out of existence. When a matrix is drawn to represent the different levels of capability in information technology that exists between different social classes within the UK, what is found wanting is the need for suppliers to address the capabilities of ICT consumers. In this scenario, consumer education may be facilitated “with experience of neither the associated organisational structure and task changes nor the primitive technology. The possibility of missing out the early stages and going straight to the latest technologies suggests that access to technology as it develops should increase. However, empirical evidence suggests that late entrants to the technology have not assimilated; instead dysfunctional divisions are appearing between the haves and have nots” (Freeman, 2005).
An interesting alternative to the above mentioned perspective is the concept of “backfrogging” that was propounded by management thinker Okot-Uma. As per Okot-Uma, the Information and Communication Technologies are introduced a little ahead in time, leading to problems in the areas of interface and compatibility. Evidently, in these situations, the newly introduced technology not only fails to deliver on its intended purpose, but also gives rise to new technical issues of its own making. Hence, taking backward steps in development (back-frogging), with respect to concepts of appropriate technology, “is presented as an equally necessary strategy to leapfrogging the competition” (Freeman, 2005).
The limitations of a regulatory framework for the ICT goods and services industry is further illustrated by the inherent nature of this convergence. For example,
“Transportation costs associated with distance and physical barriers create economic limits and inequalities of income. Physical geography, government policy and demographic changes have been shown to influence economic growth in the period 1965-90. While specific policies, such as openness of markets combined with regulation, may overcome some deficiencies, the long-term aspects of physical geography may limit growth” (Sagi et. al., 2008).