The majority of governments around the world have now accepted that national broadband networks are the way forward with over 140 countries around the world having concrete national broadband networks in place.
The challenge now is to put these policies into practice and implement these policies. Ultimately all of these broadband plans will require national fibre optic networks. There simply is no other technology that can handle the capacity of data and applications that will be needed to run the cities and countries from today onwards. This infrastructure needs to be robust. It has to have enormous capacity. It needs to be secure and to be able to protect privacy.
All agree that a broadband infrastructure is needed to face the economic and social challenges that lie ahead and broadband infrastructure is perceived by all to be critical for the development of the digital economy, healthcare, education, e-government and so on. The resource-rich countries have embarked on large-scale FttP projects in order to diversify their economies.
With more and more countries rolling out FttP networks, the knowledge base of the technology has increased, while at the same time the cost of deployment has decreased. Around the world, FttP has become the norm in Greenfield deployments.
A well-designed network will be able to support different applications in the future, including those not well supported by either today’s ‘telecom’ or ‘Internet’, or other applications not even conceived yet. The most important technological consideration should be that it is flexible.
It will take time to achieve the big social and economic benefits and the key reason for this are that the availability of fast broadband is sufficiently new and insufficiently ubiquitous that we cannot yet expect to see all of the productivity benefits.