What we all know . . . . . is mostly based on old assumptions that may well have been rendered obsolete. Evidence-led policy/decision-making may limit forward thinking but at least it doesn’t negate the need for ‘reviewing the situation’.
This need for current evidence is hugely important to local authorities as they seek (or are given) more responsibility to support their local economic growth. Empowerment, devolution and decentralisation are all in the melting pot for any new government - and the currency of the evidence base is particularly important in policy areas where the fundamentals are rapidly shifting.
Take, for example, what we know about investment in future-proofed Fibre to the Premises (FTTP) broadband infrastructure. What we all know is that it’s horribly expensive, of dubious viability and there’s uncertainty around whether folks really need it. BUT, what we all know is largely based on analysis that was produced more than a decade ago – analysis that some would say was a wee bit suspect even back then.
How important then is it that Local Authorities seeking to spend public sector funds on digital infrastructure are fully aware of cost reductions, improved deployment management, dramatic shifts in uptake of better services and the scope for increased revenues for network operators and dividends for investors?
It should not be a surprise that the old ‘rules of thumb’ have shifted a bit – and it should be no surprise that hindsight reveals the unintended consequences of now-outdated motivations.
By bringing together best-practice experience from our own and other countries new models for investment can now be considered – and, moreover, considered in the context of what we can now deduce will be future requirements.
Based on his multi-country experience, Richard Jones, Chief Commercial Officer of VentureNext, has offered has offered to share an interactive business model that illustrates some of the challenges with investment in FTTH. Knowledge sharing in this arena is beneficial for all parties – investors, suppliers and citizens – and provides a way to refresh ‘what we all know’ in this vital area for future economic growth and societal development.