MP Matt Hancock – The future is fibre


By 2020, global internet traffic is likely to be 95 times that of 2005 (Cisco VNI). In the UK, fixed internet traffic is set to double every two years. In response to these figures, MP Matt Hancock warned last week that Britain needs, “a digital infrastructure that can support this and provide ubiquitous coverage so no one is left out; with sufficient capacity to ensure data can flow at the volume, the speed, and the reliability required to meet the needs of modern life”.

Speaking at the Broadband World Forum (BBWF) earlier this week, MP Matt Hancock discussed the challenges and opportunities faced by businesses in the years to come. And he commented that technological development incumbent on network operators is “not just about reliability or meeting today’s needs. Our task is to prepare the world for enormously greater need”.

To meet this demand, Colt has announced a major investment and network deployment, which will deliver an optical network backbone delivering 100Gbps and a packet network capable of the same anywhere within its network – which covers Europe, Asia and the US. Unlike copper, fibre’s capacity is not limited by distance, and the Independent Networks Corporation Association (INCA) report states that fibre to the premise (FTTP) is the only fixed-line network technology capable of supporting a Gigabit Society.

Hancock agrees, “the future is fibre. Interim technologies, yes. Part fibre, great. Satellites, sure, where necessary. But around the world the evidence increasingly points to fibre as the underpinning of a digital nation.

“The future is about enabling gigabit speeds, high quality connectivity, right across the country. When it comes to fibre, it is a case not of if, but of when”.

Indeed, Carl Grivner, CEO of Colt, responded: “We are seeing a major disruption in the telecoms market, similar to that being played out now in cloud computing. Old business models are breaking down; technology is taking a major leap forward – fuelled by the same software defined and virtualised approaches; and enterprises are becoming digital natives. The boom in demand for network capacity has been well documented and we are going to be ahead of that curve.”

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