In an article by Andrew Ferguson of thinkbroadband, estimates of £15 to £16 billion (A$32b) are often mentioned for the cost of rolling out Fibre to 80% of homes in the United Kingdom. But has anyone though of lookng at the benefits such a roll-out could have to the community? Anthony Walker from the Broadband Stakeholder Group (BSG) spoke to the BBC last week regarding the benefits FTTH has brought to the people of Ebbsfleet Valley.

The BSG has produced two documents, one providing a Framework for Evaluating the Value of Next Generation Broadband, and the second Models for efficient and effective public sector intervention in next generations broadband access networks. Both documents were launched at a Beyond Pipe Dreams conference yesterday.

They are both interesting documents and one wonders if such investigation has been given to the benefits that may occur to Australians. There was certainly the Broadband Advisory Group Report in 2003 and my own white paper published in 2005. But what of the reality that extra services can deliver. We hear a lot about IPTV, but one should consider the benefits of teleworking and the cost of petrol today; or our aging population and some of the realworld eHealth applications coming to market.


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