Friday, 22 January 2010
And before you switch off and think this does not apply to you, remember one thing: we are ALL consumers. Whatever your day job, hobby, involvement in FTTH or NGA, you too are an end user.
Before and during my trip to the US, we discussed the need for shared resources about marketing fibre (amongst many other aspects of FTTH!). This is now an ongoing project, which I hope that many will get involved in. Selling FTTH and true broadband connectivity is a universal issue with solutions which may only require small tweaks to meet market conditions and consumer needs in different countries.
However, working out how to best apply best practice and lessons learnt to your network, community, region or country can be difficult if you can't discover what others have found out. And found out the hard way, judging by some of the tales I have heard over the past few months!
Travelling around the world and visiting all the networks to discover first hand is of course bordering on impossible (though I am very tempted, and willing to try if anyone wishes to sponsor me!). This is, of course, where the internet comes in, putting us all in touch with other like-minded souls in the first instance. However, I have to say that meeting people in the flesh, so to speak, is unbeatable and once again want to thank everyone across the States who showed me such unbelievable hospitality.
I digress...Interestingly, many of the talks in the US revolved around the lessons learnt by pioneers and how to share this knowledge. Not just in and from the US but across the planet. And the importance of co-operation by all to work in a sustainable, non-profit fashion for the best interests of the consumer and community rather than for shareholders.
Obviously, this means that any such 'helpful' groups need to be non-profit with a clear eye on paying those engaged in doing, rather than relying on the delaying of volunteer fatigue but we are all quite clear that this is a "best network of people", not some new quangos or businesses set up to meet private aspirations. The clear indications are that the will is there to deliver all of this for the communities who are involved in setting up their projects now. Wherever you may find yourself in the world.
The plan is to set up a fiber/fibre marketing social networking group to share best practice, lessons learnt and collateral which community networks can use to best effect, without having to re-invent the wheel and to make the most of what undoubtedly are always going to be tight budgets.
This is now an ongoing project which should be launched shortly.
Anyone who has any info/time/resources/etc they would like to contribute to the project, please contact me on ldotannisonatgmaildotcom and I will forward it to the others involved in setting up this social network which will, I have no doubt, bring together and help out many community and grassroots projects over the coming months.