Thursday, September 11, 2008


Yesterday was D-Day on multiple fronts. Parties to celebrate and also some predictions made over here coming true.

First of all, my daughter turned 5, which is a major achievement in a child's life. It kept me very busy, and I'm sure it was a day to remember for her and everybody else present.

Over in Geneva people had their own party. CERN's Large Hadron Collider went live and anybody with an interest in physics, such as myself, is anxious to see results coming out of those 30 years of preparation and 6 billion euros. Check out this newspaper article (in Dutch), with a film clip (in English).

Talking about speed. The Amsterdam FTTH network, now connecting 40k homes, yesterday demo'ed a 1 Gb/s connection (imagine using that full bandwidth - it will blow you through Comcasts's monthly allowance of 250 GB in half an hour). A trial will go live shortly, but a commercial launch isn't planned yet. I somehow felt this was coming ...

On the side: this is a typical OA PPP project: open access public/private partnership. The passive layer is run by GNA, in which the city, housing corporations, banks and Reggefiber participate. The active layer is run by BBned (part of Telecom Italia) and InterNLnet (same Italian parent) is the service provider for this trial (there are other SPs active on the network).

On the side: I mentioned a study on the benefits of broadband and the impact of availability on usage in my previous post (the Eindhoven University report). Ventura Team of course come to a similar conclusion in March. Now the Milken Institute published a report, showing that Provo, with its troubled FTTH network, is the 'best performing city' (in terms of job creation). Even Lafayette (whose munifiber isn't live yet) is among the top 25 towns. Finally, check out this article on the benefit of broadband for Africa.

Something else I kind of predicted was DTT coming to the Daily Media box (see this post). By the way: I also talked about adding a DVR with the United Content Distributors guys, but at the time they didn't think that was necessary. We'll see.
Let me first bring the box back to your memory: it helps place-shift internet video streams to the TV (as other boxes from Apple, Sony and Sezmi do), but there is much more: VoD, interactivity, ease of use, targeted ads, several trials and a live deployment, and last but not least: a unique business model.
Guess what happened yesterday? They demo'ed a new version of the box, that includes a DTT (DVB-T) tuner. After I first wrote about the box, the people behind it acknowledged that adding such a tuner could be a smart strategy for making a deal with the local incumbent telco over here (KPN), which also happens to own the country's single DTT license and operations (extended with DVB-H technology). Or with any other DTT operator worldwide.
Apparently, there is even more. They also added DVB-C (cable) and DVB-S (satellite) capabilities. O, and FTTH is no problemo either.
In short: the box is a great tool for adding video or enhancing current digital telco TV offerings. We'll keep tracking the box, because yesterday a lot of cable execs were present at the demo.

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