The annual European FTTH Council conference is underway in Stockholm, Sweden (hashtag #ftth2014) and it will be a surprise to many given the small amounts of proper fibre in the UK diet that the council welcomed a Government Initiative last week.
"If the UK Government takes a closer look at the opportunities that FTTH creates in a wide range of public services such as eHealth, eCare for elderly and chronically sick people, eGovernment, eEducation, they will realise that fibre access is the best choice."
The FTTH Council Europe believes that public funds should only be invested in future-proof infrastructure. It is a waste of tax-payers money to spend it on short- and mid-term upgrades of existing networks, which results in an expensive multi-cycle upgrade path.
We hope that the British government builds its "Digital Communications Infrastructure Strategy" as a sound stepping board for future-proof decisions. This should include strong choices and visions. The British government has the chance to lead the country into a strong digital future. The FTTH Council Europe hopes that it will not miss this opportunity and will support any effort in the direction of a future-proof fibre access infrastructure."Karin Ahl, President of the FTTH Council Europe
The Digital Communications Infrastructure Strategy was published last summer, but the DCMS are now seeking views on the strategy for a digitally wealthy United Kingdom. It is in this respect that the UK Government is at least making moves to listen to wider stakeholders rather than just the usual advisors who spend more time in the corridors of power than they do involved in actual broadband deployments.
The uphill struggle that all those who know that a full fibre connection i.e. FTTH or FTTB should be future proof for many decades is convincing the accountants that the long term benefits are worth the short term costs to implement.
The current UK policy on broadband probably makes some people weep as they see missed opportunities, but at least we do have a policy and one that has survived some pretty tough public spending cuts, just maybe as we progress through different Governments in the next decade and Internet aware MP's are more common it may prove easier for the sensible voices to be heard.