Last week, Shaun Fensom and I went to Birmingham for CBN to talk to Digital Birmingham about NGA strategy and developments in the wider City Region. We realised during a sequence of discussions with regeneration specialists and others that there’s been ‘language capture’ going on. The telecoms industry, in it’s usual way, has used the ‘naming of things’ to confuse the picture. So ‘First Generation Broadband’ aka ADSL was never really ‘broad’, and Next Generation Access is undefined, largely. But we’ve got ‘Superfast Broadband’ now; well, some of us have. So that’s all right then.
There’s an overfocus on speed. And a lack of visibility of connection quality, the need for symmetry, levels of contention, latency and jitter. In the past, in Regeneration and Planning ‘connectivity’ meant roads, airports and rail. The good news is that there is increasing realisation on a regional and City-regional basis that Digital Connectivity is increasingly important and needs to be planned in; and not left to the industry to not-deliver it.
So we need a new term. and Shaun and I agreed we would blog about it. So here it is. We need “Transformational Digital Infrastructure” – it’s not just about the technology. And it’s not some false polarisation of the “Pipes and/or Poetry” mafia.
It’s a much richer picture of the human and technical networks needed to bring about Digital Britain.