Sunday, April 25, 2010

FTTH Netherlands 2010: report now available

The new FTTH Netherlands 2010 report can be ordered here. Hope to see you September 22 at our Broadband Netherlands 2010 conference.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

FTTH Netherlands report: 2009-2014

Our new FTTH NL 2010 report is out! Buy one and get a free pass to our Broadband NL 2010 conference (September 22). Almost 50 pages - it's a bargain.

Some highlights:
  • Reggefiber may have a majority market share, but there's lots of interesting stuff going on at a dozen newcomers and indie operators.
  • Structural separation comes in any thinkable flavour (exception: no company rolls out the passive network and provides services, without also acting as an operator). The market is embracing all 6 other varieties without any external pressure.
  • It doesn't take outrageously positive thinking to see penetration reach some pretty decent levels by 2014.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Intel's new CE4100: re-invent the TV

Intel demonstrated a new media box integrating broadcast and broadband at the Intel Developer Forum in Beijing. It was developed by Intel's CE group. The user interface looks great: a remote control plus on-screen widgets in a Media Wheel (DVR access), a Media Wall (recorded and personal content) and a Channel Wheel (linear broadcast content via broadcast and broadband). The CE4100 is more powerful than the CE3100, allowing you to see so many thumbnails plus great response times.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Reggefiber lauches 200/200 Mbps in Zeewolde

For our Dutch readers: Reggefiber's Gaby ter Keurs on the launch of the Zeewolde network (penetration 70%) offering 200/200 Mbps. Total subs 150k.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

FTTH adoption curve steeper than copper or coax

Highlights from RVA's report for the FTTH Council North America on the state of FTTH (not including FTTC, FTTN, FTTB) as of March 31, 2010:
  • 8.2m homes passed (o/w 99% in US for a 16% percent penetration).
  • 17.0m homes marketed.
  • 5.8m homes connected (o/w RBOCS 4.3m, o/w Verizon majority, >750 providers rest; penetration 5% in US).
  • Take rate 34.1% (Verizon 29.5%, non-Verizon 52%).
  • Adoption faster (at peak 250%) than copper (peak 76%) or coaxial (peak 125%).
  • 65.7% of ILECs not involved in FTTH yet are 'very likely' to do so in future.

Thursday, April 08, 2010

Google's social energy: Fiber to the home trainer

It's never easy to predict Google's next move (unless it was a move into the TV market). Maybe we are ready for social energy, or a truly smart grid.

There must be an awful lot of energy waisted on home trainers, such as rowing machines. Now suppose they could be made to deliver energy to the electricity grid, in much the same way that solar panels do. That would save us some electric power and CO2 emissions, but it also opens the door to a sweet new application that brings a lot of Google stuff together:
  • Google PowerMeter: see what you consume and what you deliver to the grid. Have a go at it to see if you can power your own dish washer during use.
  • Games: this is new to Google, but they have now joined with Nintendo for a Wii game. Imagine doing a regatta against anybody in the world.
  • Google Wave: to get organised, you can make arrangements for a global regatta with all your friends, using this communication tool.
  • Google Talk/Google Voice, or a new voice app: of course, you need to be able to talk to your opponent. Or you need a referee to tell everybody when to start.
  • Google TV: if you want pictures too.
  • Google Fiber: if you want to see each other's sweat, you need fiber.
  • Google Docs: keep the score in a shared file.
  • etc.

Tuesday, April 06, 2010

Integrated operators should be prohibited to provide VAS

Some traditional network operators claim that open access (unbundling or WBA) is not necessary to establish competition, since subscribers are free to choose any over-the-top service they like. Sounds crazy, buy maybe it can be made to work.

The familiar 3 layer model (passive, active, services) can be extended by splitting the lowest and the highest levels:
  • Layer 0: trenches, ducts, PoPs
  • Layer 1: fiber
  • Layer 2: equipment
  • Layer 3: access services
  • Layer 4: value-added over-the-top (OTT) services
Both at the lower end and at the higher end, this raises problems: natural monopoly and net neutrality, respectively.

Few people will maintain that multiple fiber networks can be laid in a financially viable way. You don't want to build a complete network for a 50% (or even 33%) maximum penetration. Hence, the natural monopoly.

Also, few people see OTT as a viable model for competition. They want open access at layer 1, 2 or 3. The trouble is: the network owner competes with the OTT players, but has all the goodies (billing relation, presence and location information). OTT players have one big asset only: brand name. Hence the net neutrality issue.

Suppose the natural monopoly would lead to a single vertically integrated network, with competition played out only at the OTT layer, then net neutrality issues can be resolved by prohibiting the network operator of providing any value-added services (VAS) - just basic Internet access, which is not a VAS but a basic access service (although business providers usually describe it as a VAS). In other words, a monopoly operator should be prohibited to provide any broadcast, video or voice services. Or spin-off the services devision; not Internet access, but just the VAS and content services.