Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Singapore is installing fiber to every building

This figure is taken from a an ITU study on the Internet in Singapore that I worked on several years ago. It depicts the government role as an equity investor in the ISP industry. (The government has played a similar role in the oil, finance, shipping and biotechnology industries).

Continuing that policy, the government of Singapore is investing in fiber to every home, school, government building, business and hospital. Their Next Generation Plan is for 95 percent of buildings to have access to a 1 Gbps connection by 2012.

They will also follow the model of competitors using open, shared infrastructure, which seems to be working well in Stockholm and other cities.

There are caveats. Singapore is a small, city nation, and a very high percent of the population lives in apartment buildings. That makes this plan relatively cheap. Retail connectivity prices are also a question mark -- will there be sufficient competition over the shared infrastructure to keep them low?

If the network succeeds, and 1 Gbps connectivity becomes ubiquitous, what applications might they develop? What would you use a 1 Gbps link for?

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