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Wednesday, 11 February 2009

At Copenhagen FTTH conference

In a slightly snowy Copenhagen at the Bella Centre. Thanks to Joeri for inviting me, and to Emtelle for juicing up my EEE PC so I can blog! And tis quite fun on the 20Mbps connection too compared to normal. On to the meat.....

2500 delegates here, plus 70+ exhibitors. Looking through the delegate list, it is of little surprise that the nation who most needs to be here is seriously under-represented. Very few Brits, and that is a major shame. However, most of the normal suspects are here so nice to see a few familiar faces. :O) Just a pity we are still unable to get the message across to those in the UK who really need to get the big picture - councils, MPs, much of the property developing industry, community and consumer representatives, and so on and on. Stop being so bloody insular!!!

Meanwhile, you would think it would be hard to meet people but actually, surprisingly, have already bumped into a few people who I wanted to meet!

Joeri's intro was everything you would expect, explaining the End Game of FTTH and why FTTH is so important, environmentally, socially and economically. He cited several reports, all of which offer irrefutable proof that true broadband / FTTH brings untold benefits to citizens and businesses. The FTTH Council's own report on social-economic impact shows how FTTH can support economic growth and recovery in EU.

He's preaching to the converted here........! All same old realities of FTTH - health, wealth and learning eg telemedicine, telelearning, teleworking etc. However, he also points out the benefits of affordable decent connectivity in helping an ageing society such as home care for the elderly. Enables new ways of communicating eg video conferencing, which of course some of us can only dream about.

(Tho the guy sitting opposite me thinks this connection here is slow as he is accustomed to 100Mbps - PAH!!!)

Joeri moves on to the environmental benefits and the savings that will be made when people can realistically telework and are therefore not stuck in traffic jams. (See my post about the cost of snow last week for more on that!). FTTH is sustainable investment for the environment.

Joeri announces the exciting new online tool FTTH council has developed - The Configurator - for measuring the environmental sustainability of FTTH for communities, large and small. UPDATE: Watch this space, we get exclusive preview at 1.30pm today!

Talks about Viviane Reding's Nov 2008 doc giving clear guidelines on competitive broadband for all. And the Dutch regulatory approach (OPTA) promoting innovation and compeition on the fibre optic networks as part of their strategy for 2009; ditto the French regulator which has agreed on an obligation for operators to equip apartment buildings with fibre infrastructure.

Moves on to talk about the need to create more jobs within the EU. FTTH will certainly do that!

Basically, what joeri is saying is that FTTh will be a gigantic economic driver for the future of the EU (companies and citizens) and the industry has many of the solutions to many of the socio-economic problems being faced in the EU today.

Finishes with "yes we can" so nice to hear the CANdo thinking in the opening session!!

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