Some really interesting presentations from the workshop on financing and facilitating broadband projects held during the first Digital Agenda Assembly in Brussels on 16-17 June 2011.
The experience of Italian communications provider Fastweb in rolling out 100Mbps services provides particular food for thought in the light of current UK developments. From the report of the workshop:
“The lack of demand for switching to high speed services was identified as one of the most substantial challenges to the deployment of NGA networks by different stakeholders. The level of demand is a crucial factor shaping operators' business case. In particular, Fastweb's experience in FTTH Point-to Point deployment in the co-investment model illustrated the slow take up of the 100 Mbps retail product despite the price being comparable to the traditional offer.”...which corroborates what I've heard elsewhere; that where next generation services are available in the UK, takeup is as yet very slow. It also underlines the need to communicate the benefits of next generation broadband in terms of the services and applications it makes possible, rather than to simply focus on headline speeds which will only excite a minority of people?