Depending on where you live, high speed broadband is coming sooner or later! Each country is unique in its own problems with infrastructure and bureaucracy however, preventing such development. Let’s take a look at some case studies from around the world:
The United States
The US government recently announced that it would launch initiatives to increase high speed internet access across the US by making broadband dramatically cheaper. Barack Obama has issued an executive order which will force federal agencies across the United States to speed by the process by which network companies can install the fibre optic broadband infrastructure.
The Obama administration has underlined the need for broadband companies and road builders to work together in order to complete the fibre optic installation in the most convenient way possible. The plan has been referred to as ‘Dig Once’.
The Africa Coast to Europe cable is due to be switched on this December. Up until now, internet access in many African nations has been limited to slow-loading text-only websites. Mobile phones and text messaging are more popular than email in many countries. However, the new France Telecomm cable will be connecting 18 countries on the West coast of the continent, as well as the two landlocked countries of Mali and Niger. France Telecomm describes the area as “mature in terms of voice data and SMS” and sees great potential for increased revenue after the fall of certain repressive regimes. The real broadband speed test will begin later this year.
India and Pakistan
The government of India has recently approved the first nationwide telecommunications plan since the 1990s. India is the world’s fastest growing market for broadband and is also relatively low cost for most Indian consumers. The focus will supposedly be on wireless facilities as the country seeks to abolish costly roaming charges. The operator with the largest slice of the pie is Bharti Airtel, who have a 49 per cent share in the US company Qualcomm’s Indian contract. This puts Bharti Airtel into direct competition with the Ambani group, who are India’s only other 4G operators. Meanwhile nearby Pakistan has no 3G networks to speak of.
Regulators in New Zealand are still debating over the iPad 3 ‘4G capability’ drama that led Apple to issue refunds, apologies and change their point-of-sale marketing to reflect the fact that Australia has no 4G networks that are compatible with the iPad. It remains to be seen whether a similar investigation will be launched in New Zealand following the fine that Apple faced.
Is high speed broadband coming to your area, in your country? Or are there problems which could potentially take a long time to solve? The UK for example has an existing infrastructure of copper wiring that’s expensive to replace, coupled with a long process of deciding fair competition in the awarding of contracts. Let’s hope that the world has speedy broadband in the next ten years!