Tuesday, April 24, 2012

OECD - Measuring the broadband - a report on the economic value of broadband Internet access

The OECD has published Measuring the Broadband Bonus in Thirty OECD Countries
This paper provides estimates of the economic value created by broadband Internet using measures of new gross domestic product and consumer surplus. The study finds that the economic value created in 30 OECD countries correlates roughly with the overall size of their broadband economies. In addition, price and quality data from the United States suggest that widespread adoption of broadband Internet has occurred without a dramatic decline in prices, which reflects an unobserved increase in broadband quality that conventional government statistics do not capture.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Fibre - Global Gigabit Internet users - more devices, more complex home networks, more services

The FTTH Council has published a report on users of Gigabit Internet:
Early adopters of gigabit fiber optic service are online for three times the daily average of Internet users and tend to have relatively complex home networks supporting five or more devices
Suppliers include: Telia in Sweden, ZON in Portugal, Turkcell Superonline in Turkey, and NTT and KDDI in Japan, then in the USA EPB in Chattanooga TN, Paxio and Sonic.net in California, and Lafayette Utilities in Louisiana.

Heather Burnett Gold, President of the FTTH Council Americas, said:

Essentially, this study confirmed what one might expect, that those who subscribe to gigabit services have multiple applications in play at all times, including social networking, HD downloads, and streaming media via Netflix, Hulu and other sources, all while they participate in several multiplayer online games through multiple consoles
The full report is available to download.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Highlands and Islands - HIE's 3-year operating plan includes support for further broadband deployment

Highlands and Islands Enterprise has launched its 3-year operating plan, which includes investments in broadband roll-out. HIE Chief Executive Alex Paterson said
Our programme of regionally significant investments is designed to deliver benefits across the whole region. Superfast broadband in particular, is a service which will become vital to boost economic growth in the years ahead, and we're determined to ensure access across every part of the Highlands and Islands
The plan states:
We will work to ensure that the rollout of superfast broadband infrastructure delivers the best possible access for fragile communities and help to develop community skills to use broadband for business and social development.
HIE’s Digital Highlands and Islands project aims to create a digital region for which:
We aim to deliver superfast broadband infrastructure across the entire region through co-investment and working in partnership with a commercial company and public partners. Rollout is scheduled to be delivered in phases beginning in 2013.
Public funding is already committed from HIE itself and BDUK.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

OFCOM - possible licence obligations for coverage 95 and 98 per cent

In January the Office of Communications (OFCOM) launched the second consultation on the licence conditions for spectrum for mobile broadband. It had raised the option of increasing the population coverage from 95 to 98 per cent of the United Kingdom for at least one licence.

The OFCOM Advisory Committee for Scotland suggested that 95 per cent coverage obligation for each of the four UK nations would be a better target, achieving slightly more than 98 per cent of the UK, but doing so more evenly. This would raise the likely coverage in Scotland from 90 to 95 per cent, a substantial increase on the existing 85%. Unfortunately, it provided no indication of the likely extra costs.

The Orkney Community Planning Partnership wrote it was:

concerned about the scope of Ofcom’s proposals to extend 4G mobile coverage and fears it may further increase the unacceptable gap in provision between small remote populations, like Orkney, and those of urban UK and more accessible rural areas. This would have a detrimental affect [sic] on Orkney’s social and economic sustainability...
It argued for 98% of all sub-regional UK populations at NUTS Level 2. Once again there was not indication of the cost, of the likely revenues from the services nor even of the costs of the detrimental effects.

The Scottish Government:

And to reassert a further point from our response to the first consultation, we believe that the obligation should go further than be merely a 98% UK average but should apply to each constituent UK nation, and furthermore, every local authority area within each nation.
(See also response to combined award.) No indications are provided as to the additional costs, revenues or the social or economic benefits.

OFCOM now faces the challenge of producing an impact assessment with some of these proposals, estimating the considerable costs of extending coverage and the likely revenues.

Interestingly Sinn Fein called for devolution of telecommunications to the Northern Ireland Assembly.

Monday, April 9, 2012

UK - Everything Everywhere (merged Orange and T-Mobile) is sell 1800 MHz spectrum suitable for 4G

The FT reports that Morgan Stanley will organise the sale of spectrum in the 1800 MHz band. This is an obligation forced on Orange and T-Mobile when they merged their UK interests.

The spectrum could be used by an existing or conceivably a new entrant to provide 4G services across the UK.

OFCOM hopes to conduct an auction for 800 and 2600 MHz spectrum for 4G, possibly later in the year.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Fibre - Infinity driving BT revenues with £70 cash flow from each new subscriber

Proactive investors reports Morgan Stanley's view of BT is "overweight" as a result of settling its pension fund problems and in rolling out BT Infinity.
The US broker said the removal of the pension uncertainty adds 10p to its price target, which is now 280p, but it is Infinity, the company’s high-speed fibre broadband service, that is driving BT’s cash flow.

Every one million new Infinity subscribers generates around £70 million of incremental cash flow for BT, which could rise to £100 million if the group increaes market share as well, said Morgan Stanley.
Morgan Stanley forecast rising dividends.

BT Infinity offers speeds of up to 38 Mbps.

Monday, April 2, 2012

UK - The economic impact of BT across the UK - a report for BT

Regeneris has prepared a report for BT on its economic impact across the UK.

BT has 7,590 employees working in Scotland, with slightly more, 7,650, living in Scotland. The Gross Value Added (GVA) in Scotland was £586 million.

BT has published the report. It notes on:
Broadband impact: for the first time, this report also demonstrates the economic benefits resulting from BT's investment in fibre-based superfast broadband. BT's £2.5 billion programme will benefit as many as 10 million businesses and homes by the end of 2012 and make a significant contribution to the economy through creating GVA
On broadband, Regeneris observes:
For any one location such as a rural area, town or city it is expected that superfast broadband could create between £143 million and £19.8 billion in additional GVA. This equates to an annual increase in GVA of between 0.3% and 0.5%. The focus is on the business impacts which result from superfast broadband, which arise from a combination of improved business performance; business creation as a result of Cloud Computing and enhanced home working opportunities.

For a typical rural area (or set of rural counties) superfast broadband could lead to:
  • An annual increase in GVA of 0.3% per annum over 15 years. For every £1 a business invests in superfast broadband, this will create nearly £15 in additional GVA for the UK economy
  • 1,470 business start-ups as a result of Cloud Computing and support for 7,780 home workers
    Around 1,810 jobs created through business creation and improved business performance
For a typical UK town superfast broadband could lead to:
  • An annual increase in GVA of 0.5% per annum over 15 years. For every £1 a business invests in superfast broadband, this will create nearly £16 in additional GVA for the UK economy
  • 140 business start-ups as a result of Cloud Computing and support for 1,030 home workers
  • Around 225 jobs created through business creation and improved business performance
For a typical UK city superfast broadband could lead to:
  • An annual increase in GVA of 0.4% per annum over 15 years. For every £1 a business invests in superfast broadband, this will create nearly £14 in additional GVA for the UK economy
  • 320 business start-ups as a result of Cloud Computing and support for 1,580 home workers
  • Around 436 jobs created through business creation and improved business performance
For the UK's capital city superfast broadband could lead to:
  • An annual increase in GVA of 0.5% per annum over 15 years. For every £1 a business invests in superfast broadband, this will create nearly £10 in additional GVA for the UK economy
  • 6,600 business start-ups as a result of Cloud Computing and support for 73,000 home workers
  • Around 26,200 jobs created through business creation and improved business performance

Sunday, April 1, 2012

UK - Concern about the Internet has fallen substantially over 6 years, but some users still take risks

OFCOM has published its Adults Media Use and Attitudes Report. It notes that
UK adults’ concerns about the internet have dropped steadily since 2005, falling from seven in ten (70 per cent) users to half (50 per cent) by 2011
This is against a background of increasing amounts of time spent on the Internet:
The average user now says they are online for over 15 hours each week, an increase of five hours since 2005. The internet is increasingly part of people’s everyday lives wherever they are, and eight in ten adults (79%) now go online on any device in any location – up by 20 percentage points compared to 2005.
It was concerned that some users were still willing to take risks online in disclosing personal information.

World map of Internet access over time

The World Bank has published an interactive map of global Internet availability. Data can be plotted from a range of time periods from 1980 to 2011.

Bute - Trials of broadband using "white spaces" in the broadcasting band for broadband telecommunications

The Daily Telegraph reports that in a trial, residents of the Isle of Bute can get speeds of between 4 and 8 Mbps with a TV aerial.
BT is one of a number of partners collaborating in a year-long test to examine if rural areas can benefit from using redundant bits of the radio spectrum. The so-called ‘digital dividend’ from moving television from analogue to digital means that new areas of ‘white-space’ have opened up. A total of 32 8MHz wide channels will be available, and each could patch holes in broadband coverage. That’s particularly useful in areas where the local telephone exchange is a long way from rural residents, which means broadband speeds can be painfully slow.

Forfar - Faster broadband as BT continues to deploy fibre to another 150,000 premises in Scotland

The Forfar Dispatch reports that some 7,000 premises, both homes and businesses, are among 150,400 Scottish premises in the latest phase of BT’s £2.5 billion roll-out of super-fast fibre broadband in the UK. The service should be available by spring 2013.
It will take the number of Scottish homes and businesses being passed by the new super-fast network to almost 836,000 – almost 24,000 of them in Angus.
The Drum quotes Brendan Dick, BT Scotland director:
This is a further major BT investment for Scotland. Our roll-out of fibre broadband is going from strength to strength.

In these tough economic times, this exciting technology will give a big boost to local businesses and households. Sophisticated communications are the lifeblood of any successful community.

Super-fast broadband can give our businesses a significant competitive edge, helping them save money and improve their services at the same time.

Fibre broadband also has the potential to change the face of public services and revolutionise entertainment at home. Local families will be able to experience entertainment, shopping and a myriad of services delivered the super-fast way.

Improved advertising guidelines for broadband services - begin today

From today, new guidelines operate for advertisements on broadband services, adopted by the Committee on Advertising Practice (CAP) following a comprehensive public consultation. These help advertisers interpret the Misleading Advertising sections of the Advertising Codes.
CAP and BCAP reviewed these claims following a request by the ASA. The ASA was concerned about whether consumers could actually achieve advertised speeds and “unlimited” usage of telecommunications services.

CAP and BCAP consider that advertised maximum speeds should be based on the actual experience of an ISP’s customers. Advertisers should be able to demonstrate that the speeds claimed in their advertising can be achieved by a reasonable proportion of consumers.

As for “unlimited” claims, these are likely to mislead if telecommunications providers charge their customers or suspend their services for excessive usage, or impose immoderate traffic management, contrary to customers’ expectations of an “unlimited” service.
The two "help notes are available to download:

UK - OFCOM consultation on 600-700 MHz spectrum for mobile broadband, needed to cope with rapidly increasing demand

Computerworld notes:
Communications regulator Ofcom has begun a consultation on the future use of spectrum bands 600Mhz and 700Mhz, and suggests that the UK reserves them for mobile broadband needs.

Although the spectrum could be used for a wide range of services, including digital terrestrial television (DTT), emergency services and applications using white space devices, Ofcom indicates that its likely to be reserved for mobile broadband due to the expectation that there is going to be a rapid growth in demand for capacity.
It estimates that under a mid-level growth scenario, mobile data capacity demand will experience an 80 fold increase between 2012 and 2030.
Formally, it is called Securing long term benefits from scarce spectrum resources - A strategy for UHF bands IV and V published on 29 March, with responses due by 7 June. It observes:
... there is an unprecedented growth in the demand for mobile broadband capacity.
... the need for a long term strategic approach which can help both:
Matching the future supply of spectrum with demand for services capable of delivering significant benefits to citizens and consumers; and
Retaining sufficient flexibility to respond to uncertain future service, market and international harmonisation developments.

Responses will be published on the OFCOM web site in the summer.