Friday, January 18, 2002

Earlier this week, on the 15th, there was a big session in the US on broadband roll-out, hosted by Technet. John Chambers (CISCO CEO) was there as I am sure were lots of other industry people. They've come up with the principles for broadband deployment, posted on the cisco site. I think it's interesting that broadband is still seen as a "government" issue (as noted by this piece being in the government & regulatory section of the CISCO site). The technet people are putting out a note to the president requesting that he sort out broadband - to every home and business in the USA by 2010. Many countries seem to think that no broadband is no future. I'm not convinced that we're there today, but 10 years out yes. Maybe even 5. But the capital cost of speculatively doing this is huge - certainly in the billions even for the UK and, for the US even more. You can't just rely on ADSL because that won't be fast enough; wireless isn't there yet; so the only alternative is fibre. To the doorstep! The thing to worry about is that it will take that long at least for the roll-out to happen - even to the 50% or so of the population that might be interested, plus to all the schools and colleges that will need it (and who will stimulate the next generation of users). But there's still no content - and government has less idea than anyone of what broadband content might look like.

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