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Video: Samsung’s Jet Cleared for Takeoff

19 06 2009 – NewsDesk: Samsung’s Jet Cleared for Takeoff

Plus: iPhone – then and now, Britons taxed to go digital, the spiraling cost of SMS, 30 years of CommunicAsia and Twittering Ulysses.

Participants:
Derek Williamson, General Manager Mobile, UK & Ireland, Samsung
Stephen A Carter, Minister for Communications, Technology and Broadcasting

View Video:

var so = new SWFObject(‘http://www.telecomtv.com/embed/player.swf’,’mpl’,’400′,’280′,’9′); so.addParam(‘allowscriptaccess’,’always’); so.addParam(‘allowfullscreen’,’true’); so.addParam(‘wmode’,’transparent’); so.addParam(‘flashvars’,’file=Newsdesk_19_06_09_V2&volume=100&autostart=false&streamer=rtmpt://telecomtv.fcod.llnwd.net/a1411/o16&type=video&image=http://video.telecomtv.com/web2/ugc/thumb/Newsdesk_19_06_09_V2_large.jpg’); so.write(’embedplayer’); Source: TelecomTV

Cisco: Video Is Eating the Internet – Show me the money !

18 06 2009 – Cisco has released some new research on Internet traffic, concluding that IP traffic will increase fivefold by 2013 and that most of that will be driven by video, which will account for 90 percent of all Internet traffic by that time.

image Cisco released the numbers as part of its Visual Networking study, for which the methodology can be found here.

Key findings of the report:

  • Annual global IP traffic will exceed two thirds of a zettabyte (667 exabytes) in four years, says Cisco Systems Inc.. The company last year said there’d be 522 exabytes per year in 2012. Cisco says the economic downturn has only "slightly tempered traffic growth."
  • Internet video now accounts for one third of all consumer Internet traffic not including P2P, says Cisco. By 2013 it will make up 60 percent of all Internet traffic.
  • By the end of 2013, the Internet will be carrying the equivalent of 10 billion DVDs each month.
  • All forms of video (TV, video on demand, Internet, and P2P) will account for over 91 percent of global consumer traffic by 2013.
  • Peer-to-peer (P2P) traffic is still growing in volume, but declining as a percentage of overall IP traffic.
  • Cisco believes that by 2013 Internet TV will be over 4 percent of consumer Internet traffic.

The rest of the report is here. The big question I have is: Who’s gonna pay for all that stuff?

Source: continentinople.com


Responses:

"Show me the money!" fleece

Who’s going to pay? If the Internet were a highway, it means more lanes need to be paved. I predict the money sources for the US market will be multifactored:

1) Content providers will pay service providers more money for CDN services to drive efficiency in the core network traffic (Tier 1 ISP backbone links and peering). This trend is already happening.

2) Consumers will pay retail CSPs/ISPs more for higher tiers of broadband access utilization for over-the-top (OTT) video, both on fixed and wireless metro and last mile networks. I personally hope, as an industry stakeholder and consumer, we see tiered and fair usage pricing for broadband products. Totally unlimited plans are unsustainable, except maybe in very high density urban areas.

3) Consumers will also continue to pay content providers and video service programmers for premium produced content, in both "walled garden" (on deck) and authenticated over the top (OTT/off deck) models. The resiliency of cable TV subscriptions lately, and promise of broadcast mobile TV in the future, indicate some continued growth in traditional revenue streams to cable, IPTV, satellite, and OTT retail video service providers like Apple, Netflix, and Amazon (the latter list more in distribution partnerships).

4) Advertisers will pay higher CPMs for measurably better ad targeting using location, anonymous individual profiles, and other real time consumer data and information relationships from various types of service providers. This trend will accelerate as authentication and opt-in models are adopted by consumers and provide the value chain more targeted and measureable brand engagement.

5) Enterprises business value chains outside the entertainment industry will pay CSPs for bandwidth and dynamic video VPNs to reach customers, employees, and stakeholders with rich video and applications.

If factor #2 above does not happen, I foresee the money won’t get spent by the Tier 2 and last mile CSPs on consumer infrastructure, and we’re going to be sitting in "Los Angeles style traffic jams on the information superhighway unless our government starts understanding the value of "toll HOV lanes" and taking a more rationale posture on the details of net neutrality. Net neutrality is not a simple topic, but the inability to "pave toll HOV lanes" may mean real traffic jams for live streaming video in the last mile edge networks. I don’t want my HD live sports stream to be stuck in traffic as an industry stakeholder or a consumer. Local caching to set-top box storage will help for things outside live programming (sports, news, etc.), but I sense it’s not a silver bullet answer.

Looking back, we "paved a lot of highways and new lanes" during the telecom deregulation and dot com growth phase of the late 1990s, then the bubble burst. Since then, CSPs and ISPs have been selling consumers unlimited data plans in this country to try to drive up utilization, and with video, they’ve succeeded. But revenue for the next generation of consumer infrastructure is coming slowly, and it may remain elusive until some of our industry dynamics shift a bit.


Another point of view: The Flat-Rate Paradox and the Search for New Business Models

Just when you thought it was safe to stream all the video you want and download all the huge files your heart desires, pay-as-you-go charging models are back stalking the land and pressurizing “all-you-can-eat” flat-rate plans.

In April, Time Warner started billing some customers based on how much bandwidth they used. As you can imagine, customers were unhappy when it was announced that the company would expand the trial run of this new billing system. The company relented, but not before saying it really has no choice and needs to come up with a new way of doing business because the current model simply isn’t viable.

Crocodile tears time? Well not really, but we do need to take a look at the paradox that has gotten cable, DSL and mobile broadband providers into this conundrum.

By offering a flat rate for all-you-can-eat data, providers are significantly lowering the barrier to entry for many customers who otherwise might not have signed up. This is especially true for today’s smartphones such as the iPhone. When people hear horror stories of bills for downloading applications and movies, they are very put off using the service. So flat-rate billing has been one of the keys to growth, especially for Apple’s App Store.

So service providers go the flat-rate route and build up their customer base. But here’s the paradox:  more customers on your network downloading ever more data creates the need to invest in more backhaul or cell infrastructure at great cost to the operators. So for every new app on the App Store or every movie clip, the service providers get nothing but cost – the ‘over-the-top’ (OTT) provider gets the benefit. So service providers are entering a “screwed if you do, screwed if you don’t” world where it’s becoming very hard to recoup these capital investments in network upgrades. This is the same paradox (with a good deal of regulatory messing too) that has slowed the move from copper to fiber on the world’s access networks.

It’s All about the Apps

So we have a position where all of the new value is being created by OTT players like Apple with none of it going to the underlying providers, be they cable, DSL or broadband.  That’s at the heart of the net neutrality debate. But it’s clearly not sustainable if two parties are involved in providing a service but one gets all of the revenues and the other gets all of the costs.

It’s the same thing with mobile advertising. If the advertiser is getting money from a client to deliver mobile ads, what does the phone company get out of it? If all they get are more costs from more data going over their network, don’t expect them to get excited.

Let’s start with the customer who simply won’t put up with huge and unexpected data bills. A recent example that came up at Management World in Nice was a guy travelling abroad and using a neat mobile app to check in online with his airline – when the bill came in it cost the traveler $75 for the roaming charges to check in. Here’s a more personal example:  in the first week of having my shiny new UK-based iPhone, I managed to run up over $100 in charges by downloading a few e-mails while on a trip to the U.S.

So good luck Time Warner, but in reality, I’m not sure that you can put the flat-rate genie back in the bottle. We also see mobile broadband providers rolling out bronze, silver, gold or platinum packages with differing data volumes and quality of service included with each, but that’s exactly what the customer, application, web and handset developers don’t want to see.

The Two-Sided Business Model

So what’s the answer? If flat-rate versus pay-as-you-go is an unresolved paradox, how can service providers share in the revenue they are enabling with content developers, application developers and the like?

At last month’s T8 World Summit, which ran alongside Management World in Nice, over 30 CxOs spent time discussing this business challenge. Service providers today are now in danger of falling quickly into the black hole of being only a bit carrier, but there’s still time to salvage their fate. What we were discussing was opening up new services, not aimed at end users this time but at other application and service providers who want to get access to customers and have a range of enabling services available to them. These range from simple transport and other basic services like cloud computing, authentication, security, billing, customer care, etc., all available on a virtual basis.

So instead of just a one-sided business model where you get revenue only from end user customers, the idea is to move to a two-sided business model where application or content vendors and other companies from verticals like government or healthcare supply revenue for the use of those enabling services.

Think of it this way: FedEx will get a parcel from point A to point B. If you also want them to handle the customs process, they’ll do that too for an additional fee. It’s up to you what you want them to do and what you’d like to do as the customer.

The best current example of this is Amazon, whose cloud computing model I’ve talked about before. Not only do they have a massive computing infrastructure for the delivery of goods to customers like you or me, they’ve also extended their internal trading platform to allow third parties to sell their own wares. And they offer a slew of value-added services on top of the basic platform, such as handling payment, delivery and more, allowing the business to decide what to pay Amazon for. They now make a great deal on their income from enabling these third-party traders to do business.

For a small merchant, dealing with Amazon is an easy decision because they are getting access to a global market and very sophisticated services using a single large infrastructure. But that analogy breaks down a bit with telecom and cable companies because they are very fragmented – you’d potentially be dealing with over 1,000 providers to cover the world.

This tells me there are three possible scenarios to all of this: First, it’ll never happen because it’s just too difficult. Second, it will happen because everyone will agree on a set of standards, so a two-sided business model could be ubiquitous. Or third, we’ll see the emergence of intermediaries who sit between the guys who provide the enabling services and the guys who want to use it.

Clearly you don’t have to be a phone company to provide this type of service, but it’s exactly the phone – and cable guys – that need to take a look at how Amazon or Google are leveraging their massive service infrastructures.

A senior telecom executive once said to me, “we had the equivalent of Google in our labs years before they got big”. Five years from now, it would be really easy to see the same missed opportunity for telecom and cable companies and instead of becoming key enablers of the digital economy, they were looking the wrong way and saw applications and ‘OTT’ service companies as the enemy rather than their best potential customers.

Amazon grasped that nettle when they opened up their platform to companies that competed with them at the retail level. But in doing so they not only tapped into wholly new revenues from merchants, they grew their own retail business too because the end customer saw the range of goods available on Amazon growing to nearly always have whatever they wanted – so they made Amazon their first choice for online shopping.

Phone companies and cable companies are really good at a lot of underpinning service issues. They were, after all, the very first ‘online’ service providers. But getting your head around being an enabler, means working closely with people you may regard as the competition at the retail level. Making a fundamental change to your business model is not easy if your company is run by accountants or committees and not charismatic leaders.

It’s not really a surprise that Amazon, Google and Apple all have strong and visionary leaders – anyone care to mention a similar name in telecom? 

Source: tmforum.com

Video: Green Planet Episode 8: Green Best Practice

18 06 2009 – Are Green issues important to ICT companies just because they want to ‘feel good’, or does it mean ‘good business’ for them? Is there a real value to being Green, and how does this sit with their Corporate Social Responsibilities?

And are suppliers now being judged not only on their ability to deliver at a competitive price, but also on their Green credentials? As a response to these increasing green pressures, some telcos are now taking their internal sustainability practices and applying the principles to their entire supply chain.

View Video:

var so = new SWFObject(‘http://www.telecomtv.com/embed/player.swf’,’mpl’,’400′,’280′,’9′); so.addParam(‘allowscriptaccess’,’always’); so.addParam(‘allowfullscreen’,’true’); so.addParam(‘wmode’,’transparent’); so.addParam(‘flashvars’,’file=GP_Episode_8&volume=100&autostart=false&streamer=rtmpt://telecomtv.fcod.llnwd.net/a1411/o16&type=video&image=http://video.telecomtv.com/web2/ugc/thumb/GP_Episode_8_large.jpg’); so.write(’embedplayer’); Source: TelecomTV

Video – Education: Lecture 04 – Data Communication – Transmission Impairments and Channel Capacity

Συνεχίζουμε την εκπαιδευτική σειρά των Video σχετικά με Data Communication.

Lecture 04 – Data Communication – Transmission Impairments and Channel Capacity

Εάν θέλετε να βρείτε και άλλα Video Educational αρκεί να κάνετε scroll στο πλάι drop down menu select a label με λέξη Education.

Video: iPhone OS 3.0 Released: What You Should Know

17 06 2009 – iPhone 3.0 is available! Go update your iPhone now! Last week, during Apple’s Worldwide Developer’s Conference (WWDC), we learned of the day when the iPhone 3.0 Operating System would be available for iPhones everywhere: June 17th.

Well, if you take a look at your calendar, that day has arrived, and soon Apple phone owners will be buzzing about push notifications or their newfound ability to cut, copy and paste.

While you may know many of the features that are coming out with the iPhone 3.0 update, you probably don’t know them all, and you may not even know where to download the software. This short guide provides a quick overview of the iPhone 3.0 software, what to expect, and what’s upcoming in terms of applications and the iPhone 3G S.

Downloading

iPhone 30 Image

iPhone 3.0 is available for all iPhone, iPhone 3Gs, and iPod Touches. Some features won’t be available for first generation iPhones, while iPod Touch OS downloads won’t come free – it costs $9.95. To download, you can visit Apple’s Software Update page.

 

 

 

New features to expect

Recent demo and review by therevivedone.

While we won’t go into the hundreds of new features that will be available in the iPhone 3.0 OS update, we do want to highlight the ones that are making headlines. These are the features that will make your phone feel like it’s brand new. We’ve picked out our favorite thirteen:

1. Cut, copy, and paste: The feature that’s been sorely lacking, cut/copy/paste functionality can move words, paragraphs, and links.

2. Copy/paste photos: Multiple photos can be moved into emails.

3. Spotlight: iPhone 3.0’s new search feature for music, contacts, email, and more. We’ve been dying for a search feature, for mail, and now we have it.

4. MMS: Multimedia messages can be sent over the iPhone…if your carrier supports it. AT&T subscribers, for example, have to wait until the end of summer to use MMS, although it should come with your standard text messaging plan.

5. Tethering: The iPhone 3.0 supports tethering with laptops and other devices, so that you can get Internet on-the-go. It won’t come cheap, however, so we’re not sure how many of us will be using this (without a jailbreak).

6. Downloadable Movies and TV Shows: The iPhone’s iTunes store will now have movies and TV shows you can buy and/or rent. There will also be audiobooks and educational content to download.

7. CalDAV Support: There will be better Calendar syncing as the iPhone 3.0 moves beyond the iCal/ics format and supports CalDAV, which is used by Google, Yahoo, and others. Syncing with your Google Calendar should now be possible.

8. Landscape for Mail and Notes: That tiny virtual keyboard can be a pain, so iPhone 3.0 allows you to go to landscape mode in the Mail and Notes apps. This makes typing out an email both faster and less mistake-riddled.

9. Voice Memos: There is a new application joining the iPhone line-up, and it allows you to record your thoughts or try to capture that class lecture. There are other uses for this, of course, but we’ll leave the imagining up to you.

10. YouTube Login: It annoyed me to no end that I couldn’t pull my favorite videos from my YouTube account into my iPhone, but now that problem is solved by logging in with a username and password.

11. Push Notifications: Finally, you’ll know when your get a new IM message. Apps can send you messages even when not running.

12. Find my iPhone: Announced at WWDC, this feature allows you to ping your phone via MobileMe, even if it’s in silent mode. You can also lock and wipe your iPhone from afar to protect the data.

13. Shake to Shuffle: Yep, if you get sick of a song, shake your iPhone like mad and something new will come up. Three cheers for accelerometer-based commands!

Be sure to tell us your favorite iPhone 3.0 feature in the comments.

iPhone 3G S, Apps, and What’s Next

While the iPhone 3.0 lands today, you’ll have to wait until Friday for the iPhone 3G Speed, the new generation of iPhone. It’s biggest additions are increased computing capacity, video recording, increased battery life, a true compass, and higher photo quality. In fact, Apple put out a (long) video on all of the new things coming out for the iPhone 3G S. Overall though, it’s not like the jump to the 3G, which saw the addition of major features like GPS. iPhone 3G S lands on June 19th – this Friday.

Many of your favorite applications will be receiving updates too to support in-application purchases, push notifications, and the ability to talk to 3rd party devices.

Source: mashable.com

Video: iPhone OS 3.0 Released: What You Should Know

17 06 2009 – iPhone 3.0 is available! Go update your iPhone now! Last week, during Apple’s Worldwide Developer’s Conference (WWDC), we learned of the day when the iPhone 3.0 Operating System would be available for iPhones everywhere: June 17th.

Well, if you take a look at your calendar, that day has arrived, and soon Apple phone owners will be buzzing about push notifications or their newfound ability to cut, copy and paste.

While you may know many of the features that are coming out with the iPhone 3.0 update, you probably don’t know them all, and you may not even know where to download the software. This short guide provides a quick overview of the iPhone 3.0 software, what to expect, and what’s upcoming in terms of applications and the iPhone 3G S.

Downloading

iPhone 30 Image

iPhone 3.0 is available for all iPhone, iPhone 3Gs, and iPod Touches. Some features won’t be available for first generation iPhones, while iPod Touch OS downloads won’t come free – it costs $9.95. To download, you can visit Apple’s Software Update page.

 

 

 

New features to expect

Recent demo and review by therevivedone.

While we won’t go into the hundreds of new features that will be available in the iPhone 3.0 OS update, we do want to highlight the ones that are making headlines. These are the features that will make your phone feel like it’s brand new. We’ve picked out our favorite thirteen:

1. Cut, copy, and paste: The feature that’s been sorely lacking, cut/copy/paste functionality can move words, paragraphs, and links.

2. Copy/paste photos: Multiple photos can be moved into emails.

3. Spotlight: iPhone 3.0’s new search feature for music, contacts, email, and more. We’ve been dying for a search feature, for mail, and now we have it.

4. MMS: Multimedia messages can be sent over the iPhone…if your carrier supports it. AT&T subscribers, for example, have to wait until the end of summer to use MMS, although it should come with your standard text messaging plan.

5. Tethering: The iPhone 3.0 supports tethering with laptops and other devices, so that you can get Internet on-the-go. It won’t come cheap, however, so we’re not sure how many of us will be using this (without a jailbreak).

6. Downloadable Movies and TV Shows: The iPhone’s iTunes store will now have movies and TV shows you can buy and/or rent. There will also be audiobooks and educational content to download.

7. CalDAV Support: There will be better Calendar syncing as the iPhone 3.0 moves beyond the iCal/ics format and supports CalDAV, which is used by Google, Yahoo, and others. Syncing with your Google Calendar should now be possible.

8. Landscape for Mail and Notes: That tiny virtual keyboard can be a pain, so iPhone 3.0 allows you to go to landscape mode in the Mail and Notes apps. This makes typing out an email both faster and less mistake-riddled.

9. Voice Memos: There is a new application joining the iPhone line-up, and it allows you to record your thoughts or try to capture that class lecture. There are other uses for this, of course, but we’ll leave the imagining up to you.

10. YouTube Login: It annoyed me to no end that I couldn’t pull my favorite videos from my YouTube account into my iPhone, but now that problem is solved by logging in with a username and password.

11. Push Notifications: Finally, you’ll know when your get a new IM message. Apps can send you messages even when not running.

12. Find my iPhone: Announced at WWDC, this feature allows you to ping your phone via MobileMe, even if it’s in silent mode. You can also lock and wipe your iPhone from afar to protect the data.

13. Shake to Shuffle: Yep, if you get sick of a song, shake your iPhone like mad and something new will come up. Three cheers for accelerometer-based commands!

Be sure to tell us your favorite iPhone 3.0 feature in the comments.

iPhone 3G S, Apps, and What’s Next

While the iPhone 3.0 lands today, you’ll have to wait until Friday for the iPhone 3G Speed, the new generation of iPhone. It’s biggest additions are increased computing capacity, video recording, increased battery life, a true compass, and higher photo quality. In fact, Apple put out a (long) video on all of the new things coming out for the iPhone 3G S. Overall though, it’s not like the jump to the 3G, which saw the addition of major features like GPS. iPhone 3G S lands on June 19th – this Friday.

Many of your favorite applications will be receiving updates too to support in-application purchases, push notifications, and the ability to talk to 3rd party devices.

Source: mashable.com

Video: CNN’s Response to #CNNFail

17 06 2009 – On Monday, live on CNN, Rick Sanchez responded to criticism from social media sites that CNN failed to adequately cover the Iranian election situation.

The video has now risen to the top of YouTube’s mysterious “most popular” list (which, unlike the “most viewed” list, uses some hidden algorithm or editorial picks to decide what’s important). Sanchez’s response pieces together CNN’s reports from the weekend to convince critics that CNN’s coverage was more extensive than users on social media sites claimed.

Not all YouTube’s commenters seem convinced, however, with responses including “You cover affairs of politicians 24 hours non-stop and other pop culture nonesense [sic] and this past weekend, you were busy replaying stupid Larry King interviews” and “The CNN Iranian Election Coverage was a joke”. Many argue, however, that CNN International did a good job of covering the events in Iran.

What’s your take? Does CNN make good counterpoints to the social media criticism? Let us know in the comments.

Source: mashable.com

Video: Iranians tweet their displeasure

17 06 2009 – With a media ban stifling coverage from within Iran, protesters are turning to Twitter to get their message out.

Supporters of defeated presidential candidate Mirhossein Mousavi posted defiant messages on Twitter and Facebook, and uploaded videos of protests to share sites like YouTube.

Social networking websites have become a focal point for young Iranians opposed to President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

Mousavi has almost 48,000 supporters on his main Facebook page. Ahmadinejad also has a page with 2,615 fans, while the "I bet I can find 1,000,000 people who dislike Mahmoud Ahmadinejad!" group has more than 57,000 members.

Source: reuters.com


See also:

Iran’s Cyberwarriors Stay Ahead Of Government Censors

Iran clamps down on Twitter in attempt to control images of election protests

State Department undermines Obama reluctance over Iran with Twitter request

Video: How Cellphones, Twitter, Facebook Can Make History

17 06 2009 – TED, host to some of the most informative talks in technology, released a particularly timely talk today from new media expert and NYU professor Clay Shirky on “How Cellphones, Twitter, Facebook Can Make History”.

image While filmed in May, his points are brought into sharp focus by recent developments in Iran (see #iranelection), as social media tools prove their power to change the world.

Shirky explains: “Media is increasingly less just a source of information; it’s increasingly more a site of co-ordination, because groups that see or hear or watch or listen to something can now gather around and talk to each other as well…members of the former audience can now also be producers and not consumers.”

Source: mashable.com

UK (Video): Digital Britain: Further reaction

17 06 2009 – Broad criticism of unambitious minimum broadband speed target, with equivalent projects in other markets cited; stealth tax on landlines to fund the project also widely criticised.

Digital Britain: The Final Report

Matthew Howett, Senior Analyst, Ovum:

“[Lord] Carter’s plans appear ill thought out. Firstly, the model follows a similar approach to the one originally taken in Australia, which the government eventually abandoned in favour of building a fibre-to-the-home (FTTH) network itself after concerns that a fibre-to-the-curb (FTTC) solution (most likely what the fund will enable) would not represent value to the taxpayer. FTTC would mean speeds of up to 50Mbps by 2017 – hardly future-proof when compared to other countries.

“Secondly, the introduction of a specific tax on fixed lines rather than using general taxation hasn’t been used elsewhere. It may have the effect of accelerating the pace of fixed-to-mobile substitution, which would only serve to reduce the size of the fund and provide a signal to the mobile sector and in particular to mobile broadband, which Carter admits himself is unlikely to deliver true next-generation bandwidth.

“Despite attempts to ensure we all have access to the internet, Carter also is ready to take it away. One of the most contentious issues of late in Europe has been the issue of illegal file sharing over the internet.

“Britain has decided not to go down the ‘three strikes and you’re out’ route, instead ambitiously expecting to reduce unlawful activity by serving written notification to the abuser and then informing the content owner of their identify for them to take further action. If this proves not enough to deter people then bandwidth restriction will be considered.

“Whilst this might work in the very short term, ways around the restrictions would soon be found. It would have been more forward looking to reassess the whole system of digital rights and access to online content.

“Trying to apply 18th century rules in a 21st century world isn’t sustainable and will not foster the creativity that is expected to make use of the digital infrastructure. Expecting this approach to work highlights one of the report’s greatest weaknesses and almost fails to capture the debates that have been taking place, particularly around network neutrality.

“Whilst the imitative was likened to the building of roads and bridges of the past, it clearly lacks the scale, funding and ambition.”

Paul Lawton, Managing Director, Opal Telecom:

“The Digital Britain report offered an opportunity to address the fact that the UK has failed to keep pace with convergence and digital technology on a European and international scale, but the report has become a missed opportunity for UK business and puts no framework in place to create the Prime Minister’s ‘digital capital.’
“Although the report acknowledges that broadband is an ‘essential commodity’ for economic and social progress, the focus remains on social use and the domestic user, with the report concentrating much of its content on allowing consumers access to video content. Consumer broadband performance is focused on downstream speed only but in the business market the need is to ‘share’ business information and applications, a two-way process requiring large files and data to be exchanged in both directions.
“The UK is already at risk of being left behind and committing to a minimum of 2Mbps by 2012 – while good news for domestic users – is not going to help UK businesses to effectively compete in the future or enable business owners to accommodate requests for flexible working.
“For flexible working to be a viable option, home workers need to be able to enjoy the same ‘experience’ (speed, performance and security) as they would in the office. This would usually involve running some form of IP VPN as well as the use of desktop conferencing, VoIP-based applications and MPLS networking allowing workers to be connected into the cloud using low cost broadband links. However, what all of these opportunities require is broadband that is both ubiquitous and capable of providing the performance and speeds to support them.
“A minimum recommendation of 2Mbps is a step in the right direction and the benefits will certainly be felt by consumers. However, Digital Britain’s focus on downstream speeds of only 2Mbps will limit broadband’s wider use, because for businesses it is the upstream which is the limiting factor.

“If, as the Prime Minister says, Britain is to leapfrog other countries from its current position, a framework must be put in place to support the new raft of high bandwidth, business critical applications required for UK businesses to complete.”

Spokesperson for Carphone Warehouse fixed/broadband unit TalkTalk:
“Before the telephone tax becomes law, it is the Government’s job to consult and justify the charge while explaining how people will benefit.  We will be involved in this debate representing the views of our customers and, of course, if legislation is passed we will collect the tax as directed.
“The Digital Britain Report fails to acknowledge what almost every informed commentator knows; that determined filesharers will find a way around any technical roadback that can be put in place. Our position on filesharing has always been clear; we refuse to disclose our customers details unless the case against them has been proven in court.
“This remains our view and, while we’re pleased the Report reflects this, we’ll be participating in the forthcoming consultation to ensure that our customers’ rights are protected.

“Technology is moving fast in this area and there are already a number of proven ways that people serious about file sharing can avoid detection, so the suggested route means the only people who are likely to be be caught will be light, unsophisticated users of file sharing or people who have had their computer or Wi-Fi network compromised by a third party.

“There is only one sustainable and practical solution to the problem and that is for rights holders to adapt their business model and make their content easy and cheap to access legally online
“We have long recognised the importance of digital inclusivity and welcome the plan that has been put forward as it delivers central funding without putting a further burden on the customer.”

Richard Heap, Head of Telecoms, at BDO Stoy Hayward:
“Despite being widely criticised in January for only committing to a broadband network speed of 2Mbps by 2012, Lord Carter has gone ahead with plans to provide Britain with outdated technology at a speed akin to a snail’s pace. This is even more frustrating when other countries, such as South Korea, are committing to universal speeds of up to 1Gbps by 2012, which is 500 times faster. Even Gordon Brown has gone on record saying that all households should be able to enjoy broadband speeds of 10Mbps.
“We believe that the Government should consider investing some of the £25 million into innovation projects. One such example they could follow is Quintain Estates which has recently announced that it has installed a high-speed fibre-optic technology to a new residential development where residents can enjoy speeds of up to 100Mbps.
“To add insult to injury, Carter has said he’s going to tax every phone line in the country £6 per annum to fund this inaptly named “next generation” network. Especially as an Ipsos Mori poll has shown that 43 per cent of people wouldn’t use broadband even if they had access to it. This clearly begs the question of where resources should be allocated – surely in quicker broadband rather than trying to meet the Universal Service Commitment?”

Trefor Davies, Chief Technology Officer, Timico:

“Two funding streams have been identified for the 2Mbps Universal Service Obligation and the longer term Next Generation Access broadband. The 50p per analogue line will raise about £180 million a year and the diversion of funds from the unused digital TV switchover fund will account for £200 million.

“I guess my point is that in last year’s Caio Report the NGA network was estimated to cost £29 billion and a large proportion of this would have been spent in areas that currently can’t get broadband and would be in the USO area.. The per line cost of providing 2Mbps is probably not much less than the 40 or 50Mbps talked about in NGA.

“So the funding identified for USO can only be a start and there is a scenario where they might just as well go straight for the fast stuff.  It is good that the Government has recognised that the Digital Divide exists but they do need to do more.”

Click here for more from Trefor Davies.

Chris Woodland, Communications, Associate Partner at KPMG:

“The proposed Next Generation Fund presents new opportunities for service providers to deploy broadband networks to the final third of the UK population.
“But the strength of the investment incentive will depend on the associated regulation, as yet unknown – will, for example, these service providers be forced to open these networks to third parties in due course?
“Mobile operators will benefit from greater certainty in owning 3G licences indefinitely and from Ofcom’s desire to promote further levels of network-sharing, but this will be tempered a little by the unknown quantum and changes in any additional costs payable as an Administrative Incentive Pricing (AIP).

“Clear messaging around the desire to promote network-sharing does raise the possibility that Ofcom may look sympathetically upon the prospect of fewer mobile networks operating in the UK in the long term.”
David Thomas, Head of Communication Regulation, KPMG:

“Residential consumers, SMEs and teleworkers are likely to be disappointed by the lack of ambition for universal broadband speeds of only 2Mbps. 
“However this low target is not surprising, given the lack of available Government funding due to the current economic environment and the industry view that customers will be unwilling to may much more for broadband.”
“This is in stark contrast to the radical plans announced in Australia to spend £21 billion, funded jointly by Government and industry.”

Michael Phillips, Product Director, BroadbandChoices.co.uk:

“A 2Mbps commitment is a pretty underwhelming aspiration given the rest of Europe already experiences over 6Mbps as an average. If this is a headline speed then experience would indicate that many recipients will actually get only a fraction of this, as headline speeds presently fluctuate dependent on levels of usage and how far users are from junction points…
“The Government is proposing a carrot of offering indefinite 3G licences to mobile operators in a bid to stimulate investment to patch over rural/outlying not-spots. The investment from the operators will be significant so the success of this will ultimately hinge on the operators’ ability to recoup outlay in any reasonable timescale given the population density in many of theses areas. The fall back option is to use satellite infill which could be prohibitively expensive to subsidise on a per household basis…
“The Government’s target to hit UK-wide 2Mbps broadband coverage for all by 2012 is a very tall order. Updating and implementing the necessary mobile and fixed line infrastructure in three years will require a massive coordinated effort and a clearer route to bolstering the £200 million from direct public funding to be achievable…
“It’s a bold move to tax all cable and copper lines by 50p per month to fund the infrastructure for superfast services to the estimated third of the population that will be left behind by the ISPs. This could potentially deliver some £175 million a year towards the project. Unsurprisingly, the report has left any timescales for implementation – and the term of the proposed levy – frustratingly vague.”

Source: mobilenews