Day Two of the Broadband World Forum continued from where Day One left off—with a high standard of keynote speeches.
Dave Geary, the President of Wireline at Alcatel-Lucent got the ball rolling by congratulating the industry on what it had managed to achieve in terms of connectivity. He said that the industry should value the fact that it is in a position to impact millions of lives around the world in a positive way. However, there was still a lot of work to be done, with around 75m people in the US still not served by broadband, while 3bn were not yet connected in China – and a total of 4.5bn worldwide, which any way you look at it means there’s still a good way to go.
The good news was that fibre is being rolled out worldwide, and there was special mention for China where it’s being rolled out at an unprecedented level. Geary pointed out that it wasn’t all about fibre though, and said, “We need to leverage everything at our disposable to deliver broadband as soon as possible. The end user doesn’t really care how they are connected as long as they get access to the services and applications that they want.” Watch Dave’s presentation here
Both Karl Marx and football were referenced by Bruno Jacobfeuerborn, Group CTO, Deutsche Telekom though disappointingly not in conjunction with each other. First, he noted that 100 years ago Marx observed in Das Capital that the power for those who wanted to create wealth lay in those that had access to capital resources, but that if he were writing today he would say that it was those who had access to network connectivity. The clear message is that there is great power in being connected. He also used the example of the German football team, who found themselves 4-0 up against Sweden yesterday with 30 minutes to go, only to draw the match 4-4. Here the message was that even if you feel you have everything under control, “maybe you’re just not fast enough”. The call for action was for operators to ensure that their networks were always up to scratch – and to tighten up their defences at the back. >> Hear Bruno’s presentation
Tony Malone, CTO of Verizon observed that to keep pace with the rapid transformation in today’s industry, the Chief Information Officer needs to be more of a Chief Innovation Officer. Today’s students, he observed, are accessing information in way that people in business haven’t even begun to think of. He said that Verizon was building its success of four platforms – LTE, for which it was now a leader in the US with the largest national network, secondly with its fibre ‘FIOS’ network, providing big bandwidth to its customer; with its global 100Gb backbone networks and lastly with its Cloud solutions, which he claimed, “set the standard for enterprise cloud”, enabling organisations to run critical application in the cloud with confidence. >> Listen to Tony
Mark Hess, SVP of advanced products at Comcast gave a demo of the cable company’s slick Xfinity platform, a cloud-based service that provides a modern, fast efficient front-end for its customers to access content, not only on their TVs but also on multiple connected devices across the home. Hess pointed out that every button click on the remote involved a command going from the user to a data centre in Boston and back, but that the power of the cloud ensured that it was slicker than doing the rendering on the local device. It was also fascinating to learn that was the comparison between its old embedded development and new cloud-based development process; with the latter it took 12 people less than 6 months to come up with an iPad app, which has since had 18 revisions, showing the pace of change using the cloud enables. >> Watch Mark giving his presentation
The most entertaining session of the day though was provided by Eidos Life President Ian Livingstone, who described games as, the “forgotten” industry, despite it taking US$50bn a year, more than the DVD, movie or book industries – a figure that’s set to grow to US$90bn by 2015. While there are games created now of every genre and flavour, Livingstone was in battle mode. “We’re fighting broadband in many respects”, he said. “You’re holding us back in many respects – we want to do more”. He pointed out that despite growing broadband speeds, each version of Call of Duty was taking longer and longer to download as file sizes were increasing as games became ever richer and more ambitious. He pointed out that the next-gen consoles from Sony and Microsoft would still have to include optical media as global internet speeds were still too patchy to be relied upon as the only delivery method for games.
He also said that while 4G was a great step forward, it was still not the ultimate solution as even mobile games developers will always be pushing the limits of broadband. The final charming image was of one Sir Joseph Bazalgette, who in the 1860s faced great criticism for insisting that London’s sewers were built some six times larger that was deemed necessary by many – but that he was proved right and that his foresight meant that they did not have to be rebuilt in the 1950s. Indeed, some sewers in London are now being used to run superfast broadband cabling to provide the bandwidth the city craves. Livingstone’s final call to the industry was emphatic: keep going, and don’t rest on your laurels. Click here to listen to the full presentation
Remember you can view all the speaker presentation from Day 1 on our site – click here to see what is available