Friday, November 16, 2007

Broadband Cities - Day 2

Yesterday the conference included great presentations from Nico Baken (KPN's #1 strategist, Delft professor disseminated his view of massive, ubiquitous broadband once more), Anders Johansson (SABO, Swedish Housing Sector), Martin Geddes (STL) and Jaap Doeleman (Houthoff Buruma, lawyers defending Amsterdam Citynet in the courts).
At the break-out session, Robert Bell of ICF and Dirk van der Woude had very insightful messages.
Again, see below for some useful links.

Two aspects were stressed on more than one occasion: 'open access' and 'user centric'.
  • Open access: SABO appears to have found a great model for open access, separating the roles of the network operator and the service providers. Here is an older presentation. Martin delivered a container shipping parallel ("telecom = freight business for bits") and stressed the importance of co-operation and wholesale ("allow service providers to package connectivity with services"). PacketFront, a provider of open access networks, was present as a sponsor and spoke on the first day. The company is a supplier of SABO and Reggefiber, to name a few.
  • Customer centric: a central question remains: what do we need 100 Mbps for? There was a call for more research on the actual economic (etc.) benefits of FTTH. Dirk van der Woude gave a very specific example: teleworking. If managers are reluctant to allow people to work from home, FTTH will be a great enabler. Not just for connectivity, but also for video communication. That will allow paranoid managers to keep an eye on their workers. User centricity also was at the heart of Martin's presentation (telcos should sell the connected user, not access to all sorts of different devices and networks, at a wide range of prices). Anders proposed to talk about FFTH instead of FTTH: fiber from the home.

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