Skip to main content

London 2012: Plans for Superfast Broadband Legacy

Preparations for the London 2012 Olympics includes plans for broadband infrastructure upgrades across the UK. Coverage of the sporting events will create a multitude of digital media content, but the ultimate legacy will be a platform for long-term socioeconomic development within the nation.

Point Topic predicts there will be over 10.5 million superfast broadband lines in Britain within the next five years. With another 4.6 million cable broadband connections this means that almost 60 percent of broadband customers -- and more than half of all homes and businesses -- will be using superfast speeds of 30 megabits or more by the end of 2016.

"It's still a risky and controversial forecast," says Tim Johnson, Chief Analyst at Point Topic. "It is always difficult to predict something which is expected to grow so fast. If the forecast is correct, the number of superfast lines will grow 50 times over between mid-2011 and the end of 2016."

But there's uncertainty about both the technology and the market. BT is a late starter in this area. Its superfast technology will be mainly Fiber To The Cabinet (FTTC), which means laying new optical FTTC, then providing short-range but high-speed digital technology over ordinary telephone lines for the last few hundred metres.


 If They Build It, Will They Come?

"Even more fundamentally, the strength of demand is not there yet," Johnson points out. "Users are not exactly crawling over each other to get superfast broadband today. But we do believe that the demand for bandwidth will continue rising steadily just as it has done for the past 15 years."

By 2016, 30 megabits will be regarded as a good standard connection and 100 megabits by 2021 he predicts. As far as the technology issues are concerned, BT is already running slightly ahead of Point Topic’s forecasts for this year.

Its announcement yesterday that it will bring forward its FTTC rollout by a full year is an encouraging vote of confidence. The company is already rolling out on a much bigger scale than most of its peers in other countries.

"BT is doing better than we expected a few months ago," says Johnson. "Speeding up the rollout shows they are getting on top of the problems."

BT’s revised plan aims to ensure that at least two-thirds of homes and businesses in the UK will have superfast broadband available by the end of 2014. Point Topic’s forecast projects that not only will superfast be widely available, it will also be taken up by users in commercially attractive numbers.

Meanwhile, the emerging technology start-ups in TechCity UK -- or anyone who cares about the future of the British economy -- will be hoping that this infrastructure will become a catalyst for new growth. Millions of demanding tech-savvy users will be depending on the delivery of a globally competitive superfast broadband network.

Popular posts from this blog

Digital Solutions for Industrial & Manufacturing Firms

Executive leaders of fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG) are seeking guidance on how to apply new business technology in their manufacturing operations. CIOs and CTOs are tasked with gaining insight into the best solutions for digital transformation. ABI Research evaluated the impact politics, regulation, the economy, supply chain, ESG, and technology are having on FMCG, pharma, producers of steel, chemicals, pulp and paper -- as well as the mining and oil & gas sectors. Digital Transformation Market Development "Our assessment found that the FMCG sector is under pressure from all sides," says Michael Larner, industrial & manufacturing research director at ABI Research . Securing raw materials is challenging considering lockdowns in China and limited grain supplies from Ukraine. Supply shocks are raising input costs, and operating costs are rising with higher energy costs coupled with the pressure to pay higher wages and work sustainably. "We all hoped that with th

5G Fixed Wireless Access Revenue to Reach $24B

Available Internet access at an affordable cost is essential for everyone to participate in the Global Networked Economy. The deployment of fifth-generation (5G) wireless communications infrastructure is enabling the introduction of lower-cost broadband services in some markets. Fixed Wireless Access (FWA) allows mobile network operators (MNO) to deliver high-speed Internet connections in areas that have either insufficient or no prior wireline broadband access services. It's also used in urban, suburban, and rural areas where fiber optic communication is considered too expensive to install and maintain. With this new technology, MNOs have the potential to provide broadband capability at similar levels to fiber optic networks. Fixed Wireless Access Market Development Therefore, FWA can be used to supplement existing wired broadband Internet service offerings, provide additional broadband capacity, or act as a backup service for home or business applications. Although FWA is well es

Why the C-Suite Craves Digital App Acceleration

Business model evolution and growth are still top priorities for forward-thinking leadership. In fact, 70 percent of surveyed boards of directors will accelerate digital business initiatives, steering the organization to digitally-enabled growth. Chief Financial Officers (CFOs) also plan to protect their digital transformation investments as they cut costs elsewhere in their operations, according to the latest market study by Gartner. Among technology priorities, CFOs have particularly prioritized back-office business automation technology as a key to driving down costs in the face of ongoing inflation and supply chain challenges. Digital Applications Market Development A survey of CFOs found that digital business app acceleration was the top spending priority over the next 12 months, with 98 percent of respondents saying they will protect digital investments. Meanwhile, 66 percent of surveyed CFOs said they plan to increase their digital app investments. A separate survey of CEOs high