Catalonia is not Sweden

After the FTTH Conference in Copenhagen, one of the conclusions is that Catalonia is not Sweden. I am not talking about the fiber penetration but about the business models and the way broadband networks have been developed there.

I can not see a group of people here digging the streets to install their own fiber and become a local operator. I can not, definitely. We are not that way.

However, I have a theory for that: the weather is different. I think this is one of the key factors because as you know, social life is widely affected by weather. We live in a Mediterranean country, a nice place to meet people in a bar and have a coffee, or to go for a walk at the beach… We can drive comfortably to meet others… so… why we need a broadband connection?

The point above discourages the deployment of community access networks. Others interested in the deployment of new access networks might be: municipalities, utilities and telecom operators.

The problem with them is not related to the weather, but to the lack of money or at least, a short-term business model.

Regarding telecom operators, the only one that has the money to face the investment is Telefonica but they want a favorable regulation. They are negotiating this with the CMT (Spanish regulation) and they have stopped investment until the situation is clarified.

Finally, municipalities do not know which road to follow. They do not have experience in network operations and they do not have money either so they are waiting for the Generalitat (Catalan Government) to deploy an open network. This is done under the IT-Cat consortium but it will take some time until the network is in operation…

The overall situation is not very promising… For instance, I have a 3Mb down / 320k up ADSL connection at home, paying for it 40EUR/month. I do not expect this will change in the short time… The counterpart is that in May I can go to the beach and enjoy the sun.

Sun or broadband, the decision is yours.


4 thoughts on “Catalonia is not Sweden

  1. By the way, what about applications? do we really need 100Mbps/1Gbps with the current available applications? maybe one of the most known applications is imageneo, however it is not an open application, it is under subscription and it seems that there are some doubts of its success (we do not have to consider users as just usres, we need interacting applications which makes users be involved on it). Business need high bandwidth, but people at home do not it yet. 3Mb are far enough for surfing, webbrowser, youtube, mailing and so… we need a business changing model where users may also become providers and therefore give them another reason of why not go to the beach and make bussiness or enjoy with real added value applications, then is when people will be demanding and willing to pay for….. we have to bring real HDTV interative applications, full capable simetric service (and in an open competition. with no competition tehre is no innovations, and with no innovation tehre is no success and, …. is CMT really aware about this??? ) or new emerging services and others applications which are developed on research enviroments in order to make people aware of the real potential and capacity of Internet.

    1. There are several theories for that… But the principle that is widely accepted is that if you offer the bandwidth, then this bandwidth will be filled by applications.
      However, we have to differentiate between closed applications (like imagenio, the one you pointed out) and open applications like Facebook, YouTube, P2P File exchange…
      These last ones are the ones that frighten network operators, as they get no revenues and do not control the bandwidth either… unless they use tools, like traffic policers, that are not very popular…

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