NextGen Scotland 2012
7 June 2012
7 June 2012
Storified by Brian_Condon · Wed, Jun 06 2012 10:39:37
He is quoting Cisco research on the expected growth of broadband demand and the need for high capacity links.
He says that in spite of national doom and gloom on the economic front he says that in Milton Keynes they are experiencing rapid growth and much of that is critically based on the digital infrastructure.
Crister highlights a distinction between the former incumber telco’s and new communications providers – the latter often locally based. 200 out of 297 municipalities are building their own networks and majority owned by the public sector – and making money – a process which keeps local taxes down! He also cites the plentiful availability of dark fibre – enabling businesses to create their own private networks. He has just commented on the ‘uncultured values’ that justify the investment and help develop new models for investment for high-speed access. The new services that did not exist before are an indication of the boost to innovation and inward investment to rural and less-favoured areas. He describes a virtuous circle of investment engendering new growth and improvements in the quality of life. he cites savings made by city of Stockholm – savings that have lowered taxes and, at the same time, improved the quality of life and public services delivery.
The failure, she says, was that we neglected investment in the infrastructure and we now need to play ‘catch-up’ to accelerate growth.
Adam Ashenden of Prysmian
Adam then focused on the cables and ducts and the civil engineering challenges. In some areas duct networks existed and could be re-used but in other areas they worked with other utilities – including the sewer networks.
The city fibre ring needed to allow for extension to the airport but it also needed to link the three distinct areas. Part of the Prysmian solution benefited from their experience in Paris where they developed smaller cables with great capacity. They also developed a micro-ducting system to allow rapid deployment with air-blown systems – blown fibres are likely to last at least 25 years – vastly better than cables that are strained by pulling them in.
It is the experience and development capability of Prysmian and their ability to work with other agencies that contributes to these successful FTTH deployments.
His final point was that customer engagement was massively beneficial – many customers are happy to assist with the cable dig for the last few metres – reducing cost and gaining customer commitment.
Brendan Dick Managing Director BT Scotland & Managing Director BT Regions
Brendan first point – ‘Faster’ – was that from next year that businesses will be able to order fibre connectivity on demand. He also mentioned to predominance of businesses operated from home.
This would, he said, transform the way we live and work and will be a fundamentally key component of economic growth.
For Milton Keynes Brendan highlighted some local initiatives – ‘75% (more than 85,000 premises) have access to super fast broadband’. This is primarily ‘fibre to the cabinet’.
BT has apparently been surprised that take-up has been higher than the 35% they expected.
Brendan says that BT is engaged in future-proofing the UK’s telecoms network. They are now trialling faster speeds over combined fibre/copper networks. BY may believe in the utopia (of FTTH) but are rooted in the practical challenges of today – using mixes of technology to deliver basic broadband to 100% of the country.
BT seems not to be providing FTTC to Milton Keynes to business parks – does this mean that BT expects businesses to buy more-expensive provisions.
Brendan responded by highlighting the priorities (from the BDUK programme) to fill the most needy gaps.
A question about rural areas produced response that it was a matter of market priorities – looking for the most likely take-up areas first – but all of this must fit with the BDUK programme.
He expressed some satisfaction that their process was on schedule and the responses from Local Authorities had been very encouraging. The process had been greatly benefited from clarification of the State Aid issues and an umbrella agreement agreed with the European Commission.
The 2nd round for bids opened on the 10th May and will close on 6th July. The first round (January) resulted in 16 applications out of 39 being approved.
A further programme for Mobile investment – details on the DCMS website.
Major issue – Demand Stimulation – DCMS working with GO ON UK ( a ‘reincarnation of RACE Online 2012) – is a key part of the strategy. Robert is keen to see a strong business focus and a collaborative culture that brings together many organisations such as FSB.
FTTH Council was formalised in 2004 and is now a major industry organisation – with a vision for a sustainable future.
The FTTH Council Europe’s 10th anniversary conference (Feb 2013) will be held in London – the first time that it has been in England.
In line with the other FTTH Councils around the world the council’s league tables only count those homes and buildings that are actually connected by fibre.
Europe and CIS countries in total have more FTTH connections than the USA.
Take-up rates appear to be higher in CIS countries.
In the global rankings of countries with more than 200,000 households and more than 1% connected by FTTH. The Aisian countries (e.g. South Korea) are in the lead and Lithuania is the highest European entry.
In Europe there are 20 countries with more than 1% penetration and this table is lead by Nordic and Eastern European countries. Growth rates in Eastern Europe are now leading the market.
The Council have analysed projects by ‘type of player’ – Municipalities, Alternative Operators and European Incumbents. The first two categories have been important in driving Incumbents towards a more innovative approach.
In the ‘Race to Fibre Maturity’ (when 20% penetration is expected) the UK is not expected to achieve this until some time after 2022 – and long other most others. This prediction suggests that the UK may not achieve the EU’s broadband targets for 2020.
There are continental case studies available on the FTT Council website. NextGen is assisting the Council in finding additional case studies from the UK.
Objectives to understand the state of play in the Mk area and find recommendations for the city.
16% of businesses involved directly in ICT and the responses reflected a stronger response from this sector.
The results showed many areas are effectively rural with very low broadband speeds – but this was also apparent in the city centre.
32% rated reliability as poor. 86% had upload speeds of less than 2mbps.
The slides are detailed and will be available on the NextGen site as soon as possible.
On affordability the willingness to pay seemed to be limited to less than £30 – regardless of performance.
Several examples from local enterprises were reviewed in detail.
BDUK has awarded only £140k -to Milton Keynes – but MK council has allocation £2.4M and this is expected to be match-funded by operators.
Competition is seen as key – and whilst they welcome the work with BY they see the need to have a local dimension and get away from a ‘1 size fits all’ approach.
Fredi then finished by reviewing the challenges and opportunities – and the need for the infrastructure to match the future vision for the city.
Graeme Scott Technical Account Manager IFNL
This means no street furniture – the entire infrastructure is underground.
Telecoms is the same as any other utility.
TV requires 15Mbps per channel. Graeme highlights multiple concurrent applications.
Standard Service is 50Mbps down and 25Mbps upload speed. This is the fastest service in Milton Keynes.
This presentation highlights the value of a local operator – and further extensions from the scheme are being developed.
Prof Keith Straughan Interim Dean University College Milton Keynes
The evolution of city services – understanding the spiral of developments – requires a view of convergence of several human factors. Keith views that the technology focus of many models is mistaken – agriculture, education, water production – just three of the perspectives that are missing from government understanding.
Smart Cities demand increasing ‘knowledge sharing’. Keith cites Ofgem work on understand electricity demands.
Keith shows a new view of Smart Cities – but the hardest part is not technology but people factors – but it cannot move forward without an infrastructure that allows behaviours to change and evolve.
Magnet provides an IPTV service and Sky services as well a open open access network.
They have developed special service for gamers – and much of the benefits are being felt in the Financial Services world of high-frequency trading.
Beware the JCB – Mark cites the customer who refused the offer of a back-up link – and lost 4 days work because of a digger!
Acceleration – more capacity is always taken up – so why do people still ask why they would need 100mbps? Once they have experienced it they will never let it go.
Latency is a vital quality issue for business users.
Aertv is live and social – 29% of viewers comment on social media – and 29% of TV viewers are viewing it in the bathroom!
To Sharp Campus and a decent verbal punch-up on Manchester’s future as a Tech City.
Storified by Brian_Condon · Fri, May 18 2012 02:15:38
Storified by Brian_Condon · Thu, May 10 2012 12:06:24
The Technology Strategy Board is consulting widely about the Connected Digital Economy Catapult – “to address the challenges of maximising the economic value of the growing digital economy to UK businesses”.
This is an area of great interest to my colleagues and me at the Centre for Creative Collaboration and we have been involved in previous discussions (in the days of the ‘Technology Innovation Centres’).
On Friday last, I went to the Information Day held by the TSB as part of the process. Here’s some thinking in the form of an audioboo, based on the Storify summary I produced. My previous post has a liveblog made during the meeting which combines notes and collected tweets from the CDEC hashtag.
Here’s the Liveblog from the #CDEC meeting on 16 March 2012
When I was a kid – programmes about the future always had Jet Packs. But Sunday’s Home of the Future programme didn’t have any – though it does reduce one family’s energy use by 40%.
Working with Amplified, Christian Payne (@documentally) and I were asked to see whether we could help to generate conversations and wider interactions around a TV show, and more particularly to see whether we could help to add more members to and raise awareness of an innovation challenge which is sponsored by E.On the giant energy services company. The challenge, E.ON Innovation is about finding new ideas to help the UK save energy. It’s based around a Channel 4 TV programme “Home Of The Future”.
Amplified is a Not-for-profit; a social business, we have a network of freelancers (me included) who use social media to ‘cover’ events aiming to enable and encourage community participation around events, conferences and public conversations.
We are independent. We do loads of events, mostly for Charities or 3rd sector organisations; sometimes for big public organisations; occasionally for big companies. Our experience with bigger organisations, especially public companies has varied. Bluntly, if it’s about PR spin and ‘control of the message’ then ‘we’re out’ (as they say…) if it’s about conversation, good intentions and opening up then we’ll have a go.
We did our due diligence. The opportunity came through a conversation between Roland Harwood and Steve Lawson of Amplified on Twitter – actually they were talking about Jazz, I think, and then the idea of Amplified helping with the E.ON Innovation project came up. Amplified has worked with Roland and his 100% Open business a number of times before and he helped with Amplified getting started while he was at NESTA. Christian pinged his various networks asking about E.ON – you can read his post about it. I got stuck in to the websites.
I spent time on the Home of the Future website, read the background on 100% Open’s involvement and spent more time on the E.ON Innovation website and I read the Terms and Conditions. The Ts&Cs were interesting (bet this is the first time you’ve read that!).
You can submit your ideas on the “Open ideas track” where they can be seen by the members of the site and they can be openly discussed and voted on – with obvious impact on any potential rights you may have – and you’re eligible for the prize. There’s also a “Private venture track” and the document says “Private submissions are suitable for those who wish to enter into a business relationship with E.ON. You won’t be eligible for a prize.” If you go this route – 100% Open becomes your Agent; you can sign them up to a confidentiality agreement and your idea doesn’t get seen by E.ON until both you and 100% Open agree. The site makes it clear that you need to think carefully and take independent advice. In other words, you need to be a grown up about this stuff!
I like this approach. It’s completely transparent. And the other thing is – there’s no shortage of ideas; getting them to turn into something tangible is the difficult bit. As early stage and Angel investors often say “Ideas are easy; execution is hard”. Sometimes, collaboration and involving others can be a way to move things on; and you always have the option not to share stuff. For well developed ideas or businesses that have an existing product or service then you can opt for the private track.
We agreed terms of reference for Amplified’s work; we’d Tweet, do a liveblog, have editorial independence and use the same protocols we have developed in our other work on events. We’d use our judgement. The liveblog would focus on the programme and we’d have conversations around it and the E.ON innovation ideas. Then we’d review it – see how it was and have a chat with 100% Open about it – which is what we’re doing this week.
It was an odd experience – but fun. Normally with Amplified we are at an event, working as a team and there’s a lot of interaction; side chats and banter. And we’re in the same physical space as the participants at an event. This time it was all online; and it was fast and furious. The time really flew by, I watched the programme with my family; hearing their comments and following the timeline on both hashtags and monitoring the liveblog. The show itself is very ‘wow gadget’ and a bit light on implications – it’s entertaining. The fact that they’ve reduced the family’s energy consumption by 40% even with 3 electric cars and all the gadgets is impressive. I watched it again on C4+1 as my lot went off to do other stuff. As I’d seen the programme once already, I had a bit more time to look at Twitter and see what other people were saying.
We talked about it over a family dinner. Someone had tweeted (Christian, I think?) that it’s when you see programmes like that and other people’s responses to it – you realise that not everyone is an early adopter! My kids thought that it was only a bit in the future – and we talked about how difficult it is to see what might happen. We all know that we have to look hard at ways to save energy.
We also talked about all those programmes when we were kids – Tomorrow’s World, Horizon; and that we were promised jet packs. We were certainly promised jet packs!
Here’s the Liveblog – let me know what you think, especially if you have views about Amplified’s involvement: