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Digital Engagement Event 09 - Universal Connectivity by 2012 - KIP MEEK
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Digital Engagement Event 09 - Universal Connectivity by 2012 - KIP MEEK


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Universal Connectivity by 2012 - KIP MEEK …

Universal Connectivity by 2012 - KIP MEEK
Latest Progress on broadband for all
The benefits for Government & Citizens
Beyond 2012

Published in: Technology, Business
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  • 1. Universal Connectivity by 2012 Digital Engagement Conference 6 th October 2009
  • 2. Agenda
    • Status: where are we on current policy?
    • Where universality fits in
    • Some universality hypotheses …
    • Next steps (in a perfect world)
  • 3. Universality costs – fibre to the home 68% of households 32% of households
  • 4. A universal service commitment …
    • The question is - do we have the imagination and (to use a pre-Thatcherite term) the public spirit sufficient to solve a really difficult problem in a way that benefits more or less everybody? An NGA USC would not have the same characteristics as the old British USO. Other USO’s – in Brazil, for example – because they were introduced later and after competition had been established, are funds contributed to by many parties. Perhaps an NGA USC should share this characteristic. A USC raises many questions, not least issues of governance and accountability (if others are contributing how far will they be happy to leave Openreach to determine its own cost base for actually delivering on much of it?)
  • 5. The Digital Britain Proposal
    • Use of 2Mbps by 2012
      • 11% of lines currently miss this target
    • Variety of solutions
      • Home wiring
      • Further (fixed) network investment
      • Wireless/satellite
    • Funding
      • £200m from government (Digital Switchover Help Scheme underspend and BIS Strategic Investment Fund)
      • Private sector
    • Network Design and Procurement Group being set up
  • 6. The value of a communications technology must be determined by
    • Its capacity
    • Its coverage
    • Its take-up
    • Its intensity of use
    • How measured?
    • Speed, symmetry
    • Urban only? Universal
    • What percentage buy the service?
    • 10 minutes a day? 3.5 hours?
    High Scores FTTH TV Fixed telephony Radio
  • 7. Broadband coverage trade-offs
    • Technology assessments implicit in DB: net value of universality
    Value Coverage Cost Coverage Maybe better Good Combination Poor ? Satellite Poor ? Mobile Poor Good Fixed 100Mbps 2Mbps
  • 8. The merits of investments associated with broadband are difficult to evaluate fully
    • Knowns
    • UK has high broadband penetration relative to its peers …
    • … but less high speed broadband than (for example) Korea, Hong Kong, Japan, the USA, some European countries
    • BT and Virgin beginning to invest in higher speeds …
    • … but even lower speed broadband not ubiquitous
    • Known unknowns
    • Demand for high speed broadband
    • Value of high speed broadband
    • Eventual competitive consequences of not having high speed broadband
    • Value of universal broadband
    • How this changes with speed
    • Interaction of capacity and coverage with take-up and intensity of use
  • 9. What to deduce from all this ? Launch programme to use technology to bring down costs in public sector ? This conference, Ofcom, MLF, etc. Pay equal attention to stimulating take-up and intensive use
    • Consider relationship between
      • speed and economic, social, public administration benefits
      • universality and economic, social, public administration benefits
    Universal broadband at 2 Mbps by 2012 is a sensible objective Watch speeds in rest of world and here; evaluate effects on inward investment Higher broadband speeds should not be the object of early government intervention In really complex environments, an educated hunch may be the least worst basis to proceed Whether/how to test opinions Opinions
  • 10. Percentage of UK public spending by department, 2008-9 Inc. HMT ex. HMT “ client facing departments”
  • 11. Advice to the next government
    • Stick with limited universality targets (and intervention)
    • Ensure technology-neutral intervention
    • Don’t worry about high speeds yet: monitor instead
    • Pay attention to stimulating take-up and use
    • Focus on using technology to reduce public sector costs
    • Consider investment/intervention to achieve this – but pay attention to detail