Digitally Transforming South Yorkshire - the digital region project - http://www.digitalregion.co.uk
From the funding body’s point of view this is an attempt to bring broadband to as many people as possible. Lots of the money has come from Yorkshire Forward: incentives to rejuvenate and regenerate the region. Also has EU funding.
Main contractor is Thales - their interest is in using the project as an urban test-case for metropolitan networking.
There is a similar project using WiMax in Nottingham.
Will most people just do what they already do now but faster? Will it be a similar difference to the step between dial-up and broadband? What don’t people do already because the network is too slow? Just because the network exists it won’t necessarily get used.
What else will the initiative do? Public training courses? Cheap hardware? How will people be educated about the possibilities opened to them by this network.
Difference between installing a WiMax network - a new network that causes disruptive innovation - and incrementing the speed of an existing network - iterative innovation.
If this is an economically deprived area, how do we know people will want to pay for this service? What are the consumer costs going to be?
Gaming will probably be an early use of extra bandwidth.
Cottage industry of home data centres?!
Will it change home-working practices? Can run VPN and citrix applications at home just as well as you do in the office. Remote video editing applications?
What if you had infinite bandwidth? No limits? Instant transfer?
Questioning whether people need this speed of broadband at all: but innovation hasn’t necessarily been based around what people need - net connectivity is desirable. People want the convenience etc.
Having a glut of bandwidth means you don’t need to worry about other people using your networks: maybe society will change its attitude to opening up home wifi connections for sharing. Could a municipal wifi system evolve out of ubiquitous 100 MB/s.
Why is this being done? Because BT won’t let anyone else exploit their infrastructure and theirs is crumbling. This is not so much about duplicating a network as replacing it.
Other regions and countries already have this kind of network - what has happened in places like South Korea, Malasia, Taiwan?
Pervasive wifi could bring augmented reality in public spaces.
100 MB/s would allow a much more multitasking paradigm of internet use in the household. Currently, families have to choose between watching iPlayer, downloading the latest linux distro or calling people on skype. The extra bandwidth would allow people to stop worrying about choking their own network.
Video conferencing / video calls could become much more widely adopted, but depends on hardware being ubiquitous and price being very low or zero.
Chris Dymond: What can we do with 100 MB/s broadband?