The American Plan and reasons to export it abroad

American plan diagram

Why an American Plan? Why not any European Plan?

The image shows the actual offer of 4Mbps in US. The plan explains that a 4Mbps connection has to be a universal service in 2020. So it must be improved in nearly all the country to reach a 100% to the entire map. But I believe that 4Mbps are going to be the worst connected people in 2020, if the plan is going to improve networks with fibre…

The next paragraph is from the American Plan, a 12,15Megas PDF with 376 pages which contains very interesting data, and one paragraph about “digital culture” is exposed here because I believe that can motivate your brain mass if you are not going to read those 376 pages:

Why is it that banks have moved their data and transactions online over the past decade, but hospitals collect and disseminate data just as they did 20 years ago?

Why is it that printed newspapers are disappearing, but a high school student’s backpack contains the same 25 pounds of textbooks it did decades ago?

Why is it that many jobs are posted online, but too many Americans—particularly in low-income and minority communities— lack the access or skills to see those postings?

Why is it that a football helmet allows a coach and his quarterback to communicate, but first responders from different jurisdictions still cannot communicate at the scene of a disaster?

The private sector offers some hints to the answers to these questions. In their book Wired for Innovation, Massachusetts Institute of Technology Professors Erik Brynjolfsson and Adam Saunders[1] explore why certain companies benefit from the use of information technology while other similarly situated companies do not. They find that companies only realize the benefits of technology if they also change their fundamental processes and develop a “digital culture”[2]. Technology alone is not enough.

[1] Erik Brynjolfsson & Adam Saunders, Wired for Innovation: How Information Technolog y is Reshaping the Economy (2010) (Brynjolfsson & Saunders, Wired for Innovation).

[2] Brynjolfsson & Saunders, Wired for Innovation at xii–xiii.

Reading the American Plan I realized that everything is related to get people involved inside the project and it is the main purpose of the Administration due the expected positive effect on society.

But some politicians, after trying to imagine how is going to be the future of their village, city or state, are now believing that fibre is the solution, and not only one solution, is something that impacts in all the layers and points of a society: Health, Energy, Mobility, Education, Business, of course technology, and a lot of things that are not imaginable now, because we don’t have those networks installed and imagination sometimes is limited to what we have now.

I’ve seen another key point for the investors, from where is getting all the money ht US to finance this project? The answer is not really innovative: from selling free spectrum (something that everywhere is filled up and everyone is trying to catch some space from air, remember 3G spectrum Crash and the worst time to telecommunications) but innovation comes when they invest the money in wired Broadband. So, wireless telecommunications are feeding with money the fixed (wired) telecommunications, which at the same time is creating a massive fibre backhaul to allow wireless telecommunications in the future. At the end, we see that services can be improved, and all sectors receive benefits from those services.

On the other side, in Europe, we are waiting to obtain NGANs from private operators that have to see for themselves the benefits of it, and evaluate the private inversion.

Some European governments, like Holland, are trying to create a Neutral Network for their own country. Even in Spain, Asturias and now Catalonia, they believe, and know, that more broadband will lead to a prepared society, with more innovative solutions. We can talk about experiences in France, England, Germany, Finland… and try to remember if they are creating an entire network for Europe? Keep trying because we must say that clearly not. We must remember that despite that U.S. is a composition of States, the majority of its subscribers, 82% of American homes, are offered with broadband services from at least two wired cable companies. There is no connection to the Internet via local-access infrastructure that belongs to any incumbent; in Europe the normal panorama is to have nearly all the country local-accesses connected to one incumbent telephone company. That, is also the biggest effort we must do in Europe, if our incumbents are not ready to solve this network improvement, all the others must push for an open model that helps all the country.

So the formula to export it, as you imagine, is not clear and sure, but as I started this post, if we are searching for something that can lead to a great change in our country in 10 to 15 years ahead, our answer must be that a great wired network bears a great country improvement. And that reasons are the ones that can motivate you to do a change:

A patient can be monitored at home 24 hours a day, seven days a week. The elderly and frail can avoid frequent trips to the doctor’s office that might expose them to illness. A brilliant physics teacher can engage students in classrooms across the country. A working mother can advance her career by taking a job training course at her convenience. A small business in rural America can transact efficiently with customers and suppliers worldwide at any time.

This is also a paragraph extracted from the American Plan, but I think that those examples are so good enough that I do not bother you adding more of them.


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