Adrian Wooster’s Blog

Adrian Wooster is a widely respected consultant working with INCA on the development of technical and business process standards to support the emerging patchwork quilt. We have syndicated the content of his influential and widely read blog for the convenience of INCA members and site visitors. You can view Adrian's site at http://wooster.org.uk

Broadband Poll

First of all, thank you for all the people who completed the poll.

And now the results.

Is the proposed BDUK framework good for the industry and customers?

  • 63% disagree
  • 21% are unsure
  • 14% agree
  • 2% were unaware of the framework

I suppose the upside is that the BDUK have done a good job of promoting the framework, but with only 1 in 7  supporting the framework it suggests more work is needed to engage with people.

Is the ’s 2015 broadband target still realistic?

Everything should be made as simple as possible. . .

The debate about what’s going wrong with the policy is becoming quite complex, messy and somewhat emotional.

For me, the key policy of making the UK the best “superfast” (meaning > 24 Mbps) broadband market in Europe is the right one. Delivering that in tandem with the bill and while supporting SMEs couldn’t be better. These are all things that get my total support – and I hear very few detractors (quite the opposite).

BDUK Framework update

Since I wrote about the impending BDUK procurement framework, there seems to have been a little movement which I think it right to acknowledge.

I wrote that a source told me that the framework would require revenues of at least £40m in each of the last two years – in the “final draft” I understand is due for publication tomorrow (Thursday 30th June) this has been reduced to £20m, and it includes the following paragraph:

“In line with the Coalition ’s policy on supplier diversity, DCMS is designing the framework agreement to maximise opportunities for Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) to form part of framework suppliers’ supply chains for projects where appropriate”

NGA closer to home

Over the past six months or so I’ve been sitting on Oxfordshire’s Working Group considering how we might make the best of our  landscape. Oxfordshire is the most rural county in the South East, making it challenging for , yet it also generates many more high-technology start-ups than most – not an easy balance to achieve, especially when you realise that, unlike Cambridge with its science parks, many of these small business that will lead the UK out of our economic woes are as likely to appear in converted barns in Cotswold villages as they are in the  dreaming spires.

Localism, innovation – and national frameworks?

I think it was Cisco’s John Chambers that once said that big companies can’t innovate, as he refocussed a large part of their R&D budget to nurturing and developing partnerships with small companies that could. Today we are seeing a similar trend in the pharmaceutical industry, where large internal research labs are being replaced by smaller external research companies.

And it is smaller, more nimble companies that are developing innovative business approaches, technologies, and service delivery models in ; not just in the UK but across Europe. Heavy Reading predicted that around 60% of European connections would be delivered by non-incumbents, with the largest sector being local municipal networks led by smart, small-scale innovators.

Mixed Ambitions

(Or why this isn’t an IT project)

Last year , when announced the BDUK competitions, I commented at the time that it felt like ambition was back on the agenda.

A year on, is really beginning to play out – or perhaps more accurately, a developing understanding of what it might mean is beginning to grow  as local authorities construct their strategies. This process has created a space for communities, the public sector and the telecoms industry to have a dialogue.

An observation on British broadband #2

One of my long-term predictions has been that Service Providers will ultimately disappear as we know them today. They were a necessary middle-man when we were trying coax our voice-grade network into the -era; dial-up would never have happened if banks of modems hadn’t been racked up and evolved from providing access to bulletin boards and mail hosts to an interconnected .

What’s super about the injunction?

Fast becoming the national centre for new media, Manchester stands to gain the most from the move by companies like Twitter to the UK. Yet it is allegedly a Mancunian footballer that is doing his damnedest to make the UK the last place on earth you’d think of locating a social media company.

The sad irony of the super-injunction fiasco is that if Twitter decide not to move to the UK because of a Mancunian footballer’s alleged immaturity to face up to his own actions, it may be the Mancunian economy that pays the price in the longer term.

Enough said.

An observation on British broadband #1

Some key announcements have been made in the last couple of weeks or so and its worth considering what they may mean for in the UK – I don’t know why it took me so long but the conclusion is quite startling!

Firstly, we are seeing a host of new models and investment announcements which are making the final third – the most rural parts of the UK – a viable and exciting place to invest in -optic broadband – providing you have the logistics and business model sorted. Fujitsu, Rutland Telecom, NextGenUs and Jendens – jointly and severally – all making headway in their own distinctive way.

An observation on Ireland

At a conference this week I saw a slide which provided a league table of countries according to some measure of , and it showed Ireland as being some places ahead of the UK – albeit with both languishing in the lower ranks. Mmmm I thought – doesn’t really tally with my by experiences. When over in Dublin recently I managed to upset over a comment I made on Twitter – thankfully no super injunction in place so it went no further!

Eircom’s current adverts promote “next generation broadband” but when you look at the detail its “up to 8 Mbps” – Ireland’s next generation broadband is the same speed as the UK has had for quite a few years on the surface of it (except its a lot more expensive!). So how do Eircom justify the monika “next generation”?