Why 19Mbps won’t be enough
The present high speed broadband roll-out will see the UK lose its status as a first world economy, contends Wispa CEO Richard Brown.
Brown plans to challenge the Broadband Stakeholders’ Group conclusion that the average UK broadband user will not need more than 19Mbps download speed by 2023.
His talk to the Chartered Institute for IT (formerly the British Computer Society) in Wales will be webcast on Wednesday, 29 January at 18.00 on YouTube, while his presentation is available without commentary on Prezi.
Brown plans to examine the effect the BSG’s endorsement of BT’s fibre to the cabinet (FTTC) strategy in the light of competitive ubiquitous broadband roll-outs and historical UK investments in ubiquitous infrastructures.
Brown has been a vociferous critic of the government’s broadband contracts, arguing that done differently, it would be possible to deliver 100Mbps to all for less than the £1.4bn of taxpayers’ money that governments are giving BT.
“Predicting usage is pointless; enabling usage is essential,” he says. “Does it really matter how? No, but it really matters if.”
One of the killer apps is ultrahigh definition TV or 4k TV. Exactly two years ago BT was telling housing developers in-home networks would need to run at around 250Mbps to support 4k content cached in a local recorder. At this month’s CES International show, Netflix boss Reed Hastings suggested that a new codec, HEVC, would allow 4k to be streamed over a 15Mbps in-home such as Wi-Fi.
But getting the content into the house is going to be the problem, something content distribution network operator Akamai is looking at. Basically it means caching content closer to the end user, and that might mean giving Akamai access to your various devices so that it can pre-load content for you.
But what about live streaming the Olympics in 4k? That’s when the copper and air links between you and the core network are going to resemble a human trying to pass a kidney stone. And as painful.