Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Broadband Cities - Day 1

Today the Broadband Cities 2007 conference started. Thanks Dirk for inviting me!
A great place to meet people, but above all to attend several great presentations. I will not attempt to present a summary, and instead encourage you to check out some material that is freely available on the internet (see links below). Euroforum will post the presentations on its site from November 16.

Here are some quick takeaways.
  • Let's not forget that FTTH is more than 'just' superior download speeds. References were made to the symmetrical nature and the economic, social, environmental and cultural benefits.
  • PacketFront displayed its 'living networks' vision, where off-net (ISP, telephony, TV) and on-net (local services, including gaming, education, storage and ehealth) are distinguished.
  • Prof. Carlota Perez had a hugely interesting presentation on the nature of tech revolutions. This presentation is pretty close to today's and here is a paper. She also has a book out. I particularly liked the bit where she saw an end to (so called) dichotomies: high tech and custom made now merge into mass customisation; competition and co-operation merge into co-opetition; etc. The question now is: how will 'state' and 'market' learn to work together? Very relevant in a FTTH context.
  • KPN's Eelco Blok was scoring points (again) on the telco 2.0 score card, talking about wholesale and Chinese Walls. Mr. Blok, as well as his companion Joost Farwerck (who I spoke with yesterday), have conspicuously changed their tone when speaking about the telco v. cable dichotomy. Unbundlers and wholesale are now fully embraced, and in the 'us v. them' battle, it is now KPN + unbundlers v. UPC + Zesko.
  • Mr. Burgelman (an EC advisor) gave a fine Web 2.0 overview. His presentation leaned pretty heavily on this one.
  • My cyberbuddy Benoit Felten (now at the Yankee Group) gave a detailed analysis of that exciting FTTH market, France.
  • Taylor Reynolds of the OECD presented the latest broadband statistics (as of October), which led to several pretty stunning observations. Check out the October stats on the OECD Broadband Portal. The last one is especially funny.
  • William H. Melody presented his analysis of the private equity takeover of eircom and TDC. The (shocking) TDC report was published before.

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