The promise of faster broadband is unlikely to drive consumers to take up new fibre-based services, according to a briefing paper from broadband economists Strategic Networks Group.
SNG has been collecting information about broadband utilisation in a number of regions around the world; it said that once the build phase of ult
ra-fast broadband network initiatives wind down, network operators are finding that businesses, organisations, and individuals are not adopting the services in the numbers they had planned.
They said that one of the main problems is that “faster” is not a benefit, while promising “a new world of possibilities” was too vague to attract demand. “Benefits are what the pragmatist looks for when making a change or adopting a technology. So is it any wonder that “faster,” a feature, is not driving the network uptake desired?” argued the paper’s authors, Doug Adams and Michael Curri.
“Ultra-fast broadband networks are no different than the lifecycle of every technology service product since “high tech” was a wheel. It takes time – time that most networks just cannot afford.”
According to SNG data, users are typically slow to adopt applications such as teleworking, rich media and e-business services. However, it is these types of services that it said were key to the economics of fibre broadband.
“Getting past your network’s reliance on innovators and early adopters and across the chasm requires demonstrating value to the more pragmatic of technology adopters, the early and late majority,” it said.
“Unfortunately, the slow to adopt e-solutions are better served with ultra-fast broadband… so carriers are dealing with two challenges: 1) making the e-solutions relevant; and, 2) driving uptake so that individuals and organisations can realise these benefits.”