Tuesday, 13 March 2012

What's this blog for then?

This blog is primarily a place to present a somewhat sceptical perspective on the merits of superfast broadband.

There's no shortage of enthusiasts for superfast. Governments around the world are throwing money at it, equipment manufacturers are singing its praises, incumbents see the opportunity for weakened regulation in exchange for rolling it out and conversely new entrants hope that a replacement of legacy infrastructure will create opportunities for them.

However, there are few people making the contrary case: that there might be diminishing returns from ever greater bandwidth to the home, that the applications enabled by superfast broadband are likely to be primarily entertainment-related, and that therefore there is little reason for the government to be intervening to suppport superfast broadband. This blog will seek to set out that case.

Those seeking government support for superfast propose spending large sums of tax payers' money and making major interventions in the market. In markets such as Australia this includes a renationalisation of a large part of the telecoms market. It seems to me that this puts a significant burden of proof on those who would support such steps. However, I recognise that my own position is a minority one, and that suggests a higher burden of proof for me too. I will therefore strive to be evidence-driven wherever possible.

Superfast will be the focus of this blog, but I have other interests in telecoms more generally and also in media. I may post on these topics as the mood takes me.

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