Happy 2011! Digital Dividend is back – w00t.
Only a few days into the year and already it is becoming clear that 2011 must see changes in the telco industry, particularly with forward thinking rather than backward regulation. And procurement for the sake of consumers, not shareholders.
Broken Telephone – New Year’s Eve/Day and this small rural village is awash with tales of woe regarding broadband connections being paid for, that quite simply, don’t and won’t work. Fit for purpose? Pah. In fact, it is beginning to look like downright consumer always-on robbery right now; yet, this is not limited to Cumbria, and Ofcom seem nowhere in sight protecting the consumer from this “fraud”. Which I hate to say can only be placed, as far as ADSL goes, at the door of BT’s failing copper network.
On the plus side, the New Year has brought emails bearing glad tidings of yet more rural, community, almost-100Mbps+ connections in the UK, now up and running. (I refer you to my crystal ball post on 5tth for other predictions for 2011….)
Broken Mobile – on several counts, it seems that consumers are beginning to query why they even need a mobile operator (or ISP) when open fibre and femto cells are not just on the horizon, but becoming more prevalent daily, even beyond the geeksphere. Once again, it seems Ofcom need to come out of the shadows and regulate appropriately to remove these unnecessary, money-grabbing, middle men from the consumers’ wallets. Especially in times of austerity.
Broken Computer – convergence is the new black. Most unexpectedly, from my POV, even in my house! I suspect we are beginning to see the start of a ‘mass migration’ – give it time, I’m usually approx 4 years ahead – from computers to mobile devices. Sprog2 announced she didn’t need her laptop at college as she can do everything she wants on her mobile – a Blackberry Curve.
I argue the case for larger screens – she points me to a newly-released mobile phone with a built-in projector, and then throws back at me a link I sent her 3+ years ago for similar, that at the time I thought was superfunky. (At least I now have her laptop to play on!)
The need for computers is going to diminish, particularly with the younger generation, who *get* convergence. Comprehension of the need to cater for connectivity with such devices means that this country needs to get to grips with basic infrastructure so the ‘device of choice’ can be used – anytime, anywhere.
So, as BDUK procurement bids progress, it is vital that all four regions ensure that the bids set the bar for the future, which is now clearly visible, and not as a stop gap. Mobile coverage and mobile internet should no longer be infills when telcos’ (shareholders) fail to commit funds to FTTH, but as an essential, especially for rural areas, so they have CHOICE.
If we fail to take into account all that we already know, or look to the future we can already see, plus that we can only imagine, our telco industries will fail everyone.
And that, my dear friends, is not an option.