Tuesday, 15 February 2011
This blog post can be read at 5tth.blogspot.com
Most of the people making the big decisions about FTTH - RDAs, government, councils etc - have never seen this particular "orange". They don't know the recipes you can make with oranges, what it tastes like, and hence can have no comprehension of what it might be worth either as a wholesaler, retailer or customer.
Right now, there aren't even any oranges for sale, so you can't begin to imagine what people might do with it. Stick cloves in it at Christmas? Use the peel to moisten dried out tobacco? Fire it out of a potato gun powered by hairspray? Who knows? None of these applications for oranges can even be thought of yet as we don't have a clue what people will come up with once oranges are freely available.
One of the big questions in Milan was "Which comes first - the infrastructure or the applications?". Here in the UK we are so busy trying to find out what people might use oranges for, that we have failed to actually arrange for anyone to grow them so we can see.
You can survey all 60 million people about FTTH but it's a total waste of money. Except for the very, very small percentage of people who have ever tasted an orange, the rest will stare blankly at you. And we, who have been lucky enough to taste an orange can shout as loud as we want about how bloody marvellous oranges are and the fact that the British are actually going to make something called "marmalade" which will become a global phenomenon far into the future, we appear to be wasting our time. Until someone starts growing oranges on a commercial basis and makes them available to everyone. And then we can come up with marmalade, tangerines, clementines, etc etc etc. Can't we?!