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Tuesday, 15 February 2011

Services and Applications -especially for Somerset

Further to my post about oranges, it seems that the message just isn't getting through to people about even the very first applications and services which FTTH networks have enabled, and hence why the UK is SO FAR BEHIND in thinking, deployment and funding.

This blog post can be read at

The FTTH council EU Innovation Awards were not awarded for no reason. However, the shortlists also exclude a multitude of further projects which are innovative, ingenious, relevant, sustainable, potentially profitable, niche, mass market, exciting, and more.

If I were an investor, I'd be champing at the bit right now to get FTTH networks in to begin developing apps and services for the population of the British Isles.

There are projects which will succeed, and others which will fail. Some target massive groups of users, whilst others are so niche as to be possibly only relevant to the inventor. Such is the way of the world of innovation, and which we have watched the network economy over the last two decades both foster and founder in ways that were unimaginable before the advent of the Internet and the advancement of telecommunication.

PP 28-30 give a few examples of just some uses for FTTH, all of which should inspire the UK, as well as highlight just how little we are doing here.

How can we run experiments with hundreds of FTTH users when we don't have hundreds of FTTH users, as other countries do? How can we understand the value of FTTH when we have people who really don't get what high bandwidth, low latency, etc etc offers that ADSL (of any flavour) simply cannot? All declaimers should be forced to visit countries, towns, villages and homes where FTTH is changing worlds....

As preparation for those visits, here's some light reading......

FTTH Innovation Awards


Somerset said...

Thank you! Finally some details.

So where does the UK go? We have 50% of the population covered by VM and a 100M product, 66% to be covered by a 30-50M product. Both not symmetrical but currently the majority of the demand is downloads.

People are used to paying £10-£15/month so many will see little benefit in upgrading (maybe until they do). H20 seem to have a slight problem, despite being seen as the real innovators, so where will investors come from and where will they dig? That is the question.

Would be interesting to know what bandwidth those applications use.

Cybersavvy UK said...

Ask yourself whether asymmetry affects downloads vs uploads. Look at the reality - if it takes you the equivalent of a 10 mile drive to upload a mere 20MB (as it did me recently), you upload via the postal system, CDs etc. Why waste your own time using the wrong tool for the job?? But when the right tool is available, will we not see uploads soar? And then we might see more accurate figures about download demand....

Sweden produced some figures at the conference that showed a) urban vs rural - higher usage overall in rural and b) uploads vs downloads -
higher uploads than downloads (which reflects what the Dutch produced a couple of years ago) c) 20% higher rural uploads than urban

so, where does that leave UK?

a) invest in symmetry b) invest in rural areas.

The retail price index on broadband has been utterly skewed by not having a competitive marketplace. Most ISPs are reselling a BT product. Hardly unsurprisingly, they are all paying the same price for it which gives little to no leeway in the retail price. And therefore stymies innovation as no-one has investment capital to spare out of the small change that BT leaves them.

VM sell at the price they choose to fit in with competition, but are not bound by BT's lacklustre product set as VM can easily isolate their USP simply by upgrading their products - a process which doesn't rely on BT, obviously.

"Tending to zero" was a phrase used on several occasions in Milan - cost of bandwidth, cost of deployment, cost of fibre, cost of bit movement etc. It may be wise to remember that as the balance to all the arguments about there being no money in selling FTTH. There's not a great deal of money required to supply it either.