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.