Across two weeks we ran two different polls to gain a better feel for what our visitors had to say about a couple of questions. The questions themselves arise from some questions that The Institute of Engineering and Technology will be discussing at its Quality or Coverage discussion that takes place on April 25th 2013 in London, with Andrew Ferguson on the panel of speakers.

The questions are obviously not the full scope of the discussion, but by bringing some data from a wider audience it is possible to help push forward a discussion and to help address priorities in what should be discussed.


What will the next internet driver be?

The first question looked at what area people thought would be a key driver for boosting Internet use. With TV services standing head and shoulders above the rest at 40% (cloud computing was some 24% percentage points behind) it is clear that the push in marketing that has resulted in the explosion of Internet enabled set-top boxes may be the way to go and may show what will happen in the next ten years.

Of course if you had asked in a poll five years ago, whether a handheld device (tablet) with a 7″ to 10″ screen would be selling in millions and be the top of many peoples Christmas lists we doubt many would have put it high on the list. So there is scope for something no-one has thought of to explode on the scene. That said choices like Telemedicine, 3d printing and cloud computing still got a reasonable share, so while it may not appeal to everyone it maybe that for certain sectors of market this are the most important, e.g. telemedicine with the ability to enable better remote monitoring and reduce GP visits for people might be popular with those who have managed long term conditions.


Which technology do you feel could be the solution to improving quality of broadband services in the UK?

The second question sits firmly in the quality part of the IET open discussion, and shows over half the 1,300 responding to this question nominating FTTH (Fibre to the Home or in its other name Fibre to the Premises) or FTTB (Fibre to the Building – usually deployed to flats) as the technology they think is the key to quality. Obviously this leads onto the discussion of how much coverage you can get for a certain spend on money, but it seems clear the general consensus is that FTTH/P/C is the best option.

The full fibre advocates are sometimes seen as almost religious in their fervour to push the need for FTTH networks, so it is interesting to see such a clear choice from a much wider audience.

The forthcoming early market launch of Fibre on Demand from Openreach will allow us to see how popular the best quality option really is, when people are asking to put their money forward. The B4RN option while noble has yet to be duplicated at any scale but for those wanting to roll-out fibre where the community can provide a mixture of labour and money it does offer an option, and another option for villages is Gigaclear who will deploy a FTTP product for a low installation fee, though many are confused by the burst style pricing, where you pay for a data rate that can burst up to Gigabit speeds. Then there is Hyperoptic who are steadily expanding their roll-out of FTTB, and a less mentioned provider like Ask4 who feature in our speed test data as one of the providers with really fast connections.



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