Light Reading
10:55 AM The EC's Digital dame is ready for a broadband battle, but it could be avoided

Steely Neelie's FTTX Face Off

Ray Le Maistre
7/14/2011
50%
50%

10:55 AM -- Whatever the outcome, someone's going to lose. "Steely" Neelie Kroes, vice-president for the Digital Agenda at the European Commission , is weighing up her options on how to make her broadband plan (at least 30 Mbit/s for every citizen by 2020) a reality rather than just a pipe dream. (See Europe's Broadband Challenge.)

Every indication from the past few days is that she's going to be presiding over a major scrap that has "La neutralité de l'Internet" winding up the punches. (See Euronews: FTTX Players Need Incentives and Euronews: Big Three Take Swipe at Net Neutrality.)

Going on previous form, Kroes (already regarded as a living legend by EuroBlog) will put the interests of the European Union's 500 million residents first and the interests of businesses and pressure groups second. The problem is, unless she pleases a key set of those business and pressure groups, quite a few of those EU citizens might get trapped on the wrong side of the digital divide.

As ever, the key stumbling block is investment -- hundreds of billions of euros of investment during the next eight or so years. The network operators with the capital and wherewithal to build next-generation broadband networks -- we're talking fiber-to-the-whatever here -- won't invest heavily without some assurances around the use of their networks, particularly by the so-called "over-the-top" players such as Google (Nasdaq: GOOG), Amazon.com Inc. (Nasdaq: AMZN) and Netflix Inc. (Nasdaq: NFLX).

Kroes knows the ground. In a statement yesterday she noted that there isn't a consensus among the interested parties and that she will be examining every document and idea thrown her way during discussions held during the past few months.

Well, here's an idea. Take a look at Australia and Singapore. Those countries have decided that the best way to build a truly digital economy, where everyone can get a broadband connection and gain access to a multitude of services on an open access basis, is to build a single high-speed network that can be used by all retail service providers. It costs a lot of money and it involves a great deal of pain for the incumbents, but it's happening. And in a few years, Australia and Singapore will reap the benefits of being true 21st century economies. (See Australia Preps Digital Economy Strategy, Australia Clears NBN Hurdle and Singapore Makes FTTH Strides .)

Any country, with enough political will, can achieve this. Of course there's money involved too and the European Union is suffering from a number of well publicized economic difficulties currently, especially in Greece, Ireland and Portugal, while even major economies such as Italy are wavering.

But have you noticed how much money is always instantly available every time a conflict brews? It seems the budgets for vital resources such as education, health and domestic security can be considered for the chop but there's always cash available for weapons from a seemingly bottomless pit of cash.

If warheads can be funded, then so can open access broadband networks. It just takes some hard-nosed commitment and rigid political will to want the best for the region and to empower the populace.



So, how badly does the European Union want to be a truly digital economy? We'll see. I suspect it won't want it badly enough and it won't be the fault of Kroes. As usual, though, the interest of large business will win out while regular residents -- ironically, the people that ultimately fund those big businesses by paying their communications and entertainment bills -- will lose out.

C'est la guerre.

— Ray Le Maistre, International Managing Editor, Light Reading

(1)  | 
Comment  | 
Print  | 
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
menahemk
50%
50%
menahemk,
User Rank: Light Beer
12/5/2012 | 4:59:08 PM
re: Steely Neelie's FTTX Face Off


Mostly accurate, apart from reference to "warheads". These are not funded either. EU defence budgets have been dwindling over the years and EU is not able to sustain any action without US (look at the ratio between cruise missiles fired at Libya by US and EU). 

More Blogs from EuroBlog
Having taken a breather from its acquisition spree in the US, Zayo could kick-start some infrastructure consolidation action in Europe
Some good news for its Finnish parent – Nokia Siemens Networks is on a margin roll
Telefónica to boost its broadband lines in LatAm with DSL management the from ASSIA
According to the value of Nokia's takeover deal, Nokia Siemens Networks is worth less than $5B
As APAC and North America forge ahead, Europe seems stuck in yesteryear
Flash Poll
LRTV Custom TV
A New Security Paradigm in SDN/NFV

7|28|14   |   02:54   |   (0) comments


Paul Shaneck, Global Director Network Solutions for Symantec, discusses the evolving virtualized network, explaining how Symantec is leading the security discussion as it relates to SDN and NFV, and helping to ensure the network is protected and compliant.
LRTV Documentaries
Sprint's Network Evolution

7|24|14   |   14:59   |   (0) comments


Sprint's Jay Bluhm gives a keynote speech at the Big Telecom Event (BTE) about Sprint's network and services evolution strategy, including Spark.
LRTV Documentaries
BTE Keynote: The Software-Defined Operator

7|24|14   |   18:43   |   (1) comment


Deutsche Telekom's Axel Clauberg explains the concept of the software-defined operator to the Big Telecom Event (BTE) crowd.
Light Reedy
Numbers Are In: LR's 2014 Salary Survey

7|24|14   |   1:25   |   (7) comments


Our fourth annual Salary Survey paints a picture of who's hiring, firing, earning, and yearning for a change in the telecom industry.
LRTV Custom TV
Driving the Network Transformation

7|23|14   |   4:29   |   (0) comments


Intel's Sandra Rivera discusses network transformation and how Intel technologies, programs, and standards body efforts have helped the industry migration to SDN and NFV.
LRTV Custom TV
Distributed NFV-Based Business Services by RAD

7|18|14   |   5:38   |   (0) comments


With the ETSI-approved Distributed NFV PoC running in the background, RAD's CEO, Dror Bin, talks about why D-NFV makes compelling sense for service providers, and about the dollars and cents RAD is putting behind D-NFV.
LRTV Custom TV
MRV – Accelerating Packet Optical Convergence

7|15|14   |   6:06   |   (0) comments


Giving you network insight to make your network smarter.
LRTV Custom TV
NFV-Enabled Ethernet for Generating New Revenues

7|15|14   |   5:49   |   (0) comments


Cyan's Planet Orchestrate allows service providers and their end-customers to activate software-based capabilities such as firewalls and encryption on top of existing Ethernet services in just minutes.
LRTV Custom TV
Symkloud NVF-Ready Video Transcoding, Big Data

7|9|14   |   3:41   |   (0) comments


Kontron and ISV partner Vantrix demonstrate high-performance video transcoding and data analytic solutions on same 2U standard platform that is ready for SDN and NFV deployments made by mobile, cable and cloud operators.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
The Evolving Role of Hybrid Video for Competitive Success

7|4|14   |   4:09   |   (0) comments


At Huawei's Global Analysts Summit in Shenzhen, China, Steven C. Hawley from TV Strategies speaks to us about the evolving role of hybrid video for competitive success.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
How CSPs Leverage Big Data in the Digital Economy

7|4|14   |   4:48   |   (2) comments


Justin van der Lande from Analysys Mason shares with us his views on how telecom operators can leverage customer asset monetization with big data. His discusses the current status of big data applications and the challenges and opportunities for telecom operators in the digital economy era.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Accelerator for Digital Business – Future Oriented BSS

7|4|14   |   3:08   |   (0) comments


Mobile and internet are becoming intertwined; IT and CT are integrating; and leading CSPs have begun to transform to information service and entertainment providers. How should the BSS system evolve to enable this transformation? Karl Whitelock, an analyst at Frost & Sullivan, shares his views.
Upcoming Live Events!!
September 16, 2014, Santa Clara, CA
September 16, 2014, Santa Clara, CA
October 29, 2014, New York City
November 6, 2014, Santa Clara
November 11, 2014, Atlanta, GA
December 9-10, 2014, Reykjavik, Iceland
June 9-10, 2015, Chicago, IL
Infographics
Packet Design asks network professionals how they handle the cloud, SDN, and network management.
Today's Cartoon
Vacation Special Caption Competition Click Here
Latest Comment
Hot Topics
Is Windstream Boldly Setting a New Trend?
Carol Wilson, Editor-at-large, 7/29/2014
Sprint, T-Mobile: The Price War's On
Sarah Reedy, Senior Editor, 7/30/2014
Pics From Comic-Con -- Honest!
Mitch Wagner, West Coast Bureau Chief, Light Reading, 7/30/2014
If Not Muni Networks, Then What?
Carol Wilson, Editor-at-large, 7/28/2014
Verizon Applies 3G Throttling Policy to LTE
Sarah Reedy, Senior Editor, 7/25/2014
Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed