Broadband is generally believed to be a bellwether of national competitiveness, and developing broadband an effective way of addressing such 21st-century challenges as poverty, climate change, and an aging population. According to estimates, a 10 percent increase in broadband penetration translates into 1.3 percent GDP growth.
Statistics show that more than 30 countries have made national broadband commitments, reflecting a trend that governments are reshaping the broadband landscape by way of investments or regulations. Of these countries, the developed ones are embracing broadband for network speed enhancement, while the developing ones are doing so to improve broadband penetration. These commitments include Malaysia's HSBB, Singapore's iN2015, and the U.K.'s NGA.
Technically speaking, fiber access has become an important approach to broadband penetration improvement and is developing rapidly. Many operators have laid down fiber broadband plans in line with the development goals and regulatory environments of their operating countries, and are making encouraging progress.
On August 31, 2010, the FTTH service was launched on Singapore's Next Gen Nationwide Broadband Network, signifying that its iN2010 vision is becoming a reality. "The Next Gen Nationwide Broadband Network is really the foundation of iN2015," said David Storrie, CEO of Nucleus Connect.
With territory-scale deployments scheduled between 2010 and 2015, France Telecom's commitment to FTTH has never wavered since its first pilot project in 2006 and predeployment in 2007. It unveiled in July 2010 its "conquest 2015" plan in which the company confirmed a €2 billion investment plan that will provide 40% of France's population with fiber network access by 2015.
In the U.K., BT Openreach has announced a total investment of 2.5 billion pounds to reach two-thirds of U.K. premises with fiber access by 2015.
Beginning in 2007, FTTx construction in China has come a long way over the years. In 2010, the government reiterated the importance of the Three-Network Convergence project and announced its intention for a 150-billion-RMB investment in fiber broadband over three years. FTTx is destined to boom here.
As information consumption continues to increase, the days before we achieve ubiquitous broadband access and bandwidth saturation are numbered, if Moore's Law still holds. Consumption in the forms of personal storage, security, environment monitoring and control, and personalized communications will become prevalent. As the Internet continues to spawn new applications, the Internet of Things and the Internet of Vehicles are not far behind.
Indeed, the development of national broadband is eliminating the global digital divide, making the world a better place through better communication.
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