The Fixed versus Mobile Condundrum – Part II

I wrote about this topic back in January 2012 , but felt it was worth a revisit given this opinion piece that appeared in Forbes today titled “Why High Speed Broadband Fibre Is Becoming Irrelevant”

In this article, the author essentially states that fibre based broadband is an old technology and that through the evolution of mobile technology consumers won’t want or need fixed broadband – but more importantly – it would simply be wasteful for both governments and operators to spend valuable capital on fibre.

Yes, mobile broadband speeds are improving, but it is doubtful that end users will be receiving 1Gbps of symmetrical broadband from a wireless service anytime soon – if ever.

Secondly, the author seems to make no mention of applications requiring secure, reliable high-speed connectivity.  Video streaming services work best over a fixed broadband connection and while many of the devices accessing content do so via WiFi – it is a fixed broadband connection that enables WiFi.

Does every home on this planet need a fibre broadband connection?  Probably not, but in markets like the U.S. with strong cable competition – Telcos better start thinking more seriously about this – as the bandwidth gap continues to widen as I discussed in this post.

Additionally, there is enough evidence to show that having strong fixed broadband connectivity for both homes and businesses provides an economic advantage to many communities – just ask Chattanooga, TN and Kansas City.

So here are a few reminders (re-posted from my previous blog) as to why Fixed Broadband can (and will) remain relevant over the longer term:

  1. It is that fixed broadband network that enable mobile connectivity to begin with – how do you think bandwidth gets to cell towers

  2. It is that fixed broadband connected to a Wi-Fi device that enables Multi-Screen TV services and whole-home DVR

  3. It is that fixed broadband connected to your Wi-Fi router that enables Apple iCloud and iTunes Match

  4. It is that fixed broadband connected directly (or via Wi-Fi) to your Smart TV, Blu Ray Player, Gaming Console and OTT box that allows streaming video services

  5. It is that fixed broadband connection that allows multi-player gaming and XBox Live services

  6. It is that fixed broadband network that allows one person to take an on-line class, another to stream video and another to download music – simultaneously

  7. It is that fixed broadband network that has electronically transferred a critical medical document, x-Ray or Cat scan for evaluation and consultation

  8. It is that fixed broadband network that enables you to have a lower cost VoIP telephone service

  9. It is that fixed broadband network that allows you to use your Skype service

  10. It is that fixed broadband network that enables you to have that Facetime conversation with you grandmother, you parents, your children, your friends

  11. It is that fixed broadband network that connects your Wi-Fi device to everything else in your home and your community

Feel free to add your comments and arguments.

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