This page provides a topical index to material on this website covering important broadband developments outside the United States.
Articles are listed below ordered by date of the newsletter they appeared in—newest to oldest. To search for all mentions of a particular country, please use the Google search box, on the top right of this page.
Update from Europe -- A Guest Article by Lynne and Henry Heilbrunn (BBHR 11/5/2006)
Lynne and Henry Heilbrunn recently returned to the U.S. after three months traveling through Austria, Germany, Holland, Hungary and Italy. We invited them to share with our readers what has changed for the broadband traveler over the four years since their last visit.
What happens when a market need is there, but standards have not caught up? For some silicon vendors in the powerline communications networking arena, the pragmatic answer is to supply your solution if you think it's a good one. Then you can adapt to the standards once they are in place and responsive. We heard more about this from the CEO of DS2—headquartered in Spain—which has announced their 200Mbps chip without waiting for HomePlug AV.
With cable operators increasingly attacking telephone companies core voice revenues, there has been much discussion of how telephone companies can go after TV services. Increasing DSL speeds and some moves to fiber make telco video services more feasible. We interviewed Roy Sherbo of MTS in Canada to see how one telco TV rollout has progressed during its first two years.
Fiber To Every Home In Reykjavik: A Guest Article by Hjalmar Gislason (BBHR 12/14/2003)
Reykjavik Energy has ambitious plans: to connect every home in its area with a fiber connection. The results of their initial trial in 100 homes were shared last month at the Digital Reykjavik conference. In this guest article, a conference organizer says that if the rollout goes forward, Iceland will be "a living laboratory for broadband" delivered to a whole society.
Spain Plugs Into Broadband: A Guest Article by Antonio Gomez (BBHR 11/16/2003)
Spanish electric utilities, together with the telecommunications operators in which they are stockholders, have started rolling out services based on Power Line Communications, to provide a serious alternative for broadband. The regulatory commission granted licenses to Spain's three main electric companies to offer voice and data services over their grids, and determined the companies must offer service to at least 40% of their customers prior to October, 2005. Our guest author sees PLC's role as both a competitively-priced broadband alternative and as a new driver in the digitalization of the country.
Tremendous changes have taken place in the UK broadband scene during the three years since our last extended visit. Although "Broadband Britain" is still more a goal than a reality, the progress is undeniable. We share a few impressions of the changes, plus what we heard in meetings with three distinctly different broadband service providers.
During our June visit to Spain, Telefónica showed us their "Hogar Digital" and their trial of home-based health services in operation today with actual patients. This guest article provides an overview of the project’s goals and its conclusions to date.
By Ana Altadill Arregui, Víctor Manuel García Muñoz, Miriam Ibáñez Lequerica, Jose María Montero Cebrián, Ana María Ruiz Blanco and Jesús Felipe Lobo Poyo
One reader let us know about the "Access to Broadband Campaigns" in the UK and Thailand. Another filled us in on how new VoIP offers in France may change the way voice is sold there.
Celeria: Wireless Access To Cable Networks: A Guest Article by Inés Vidal Castiñeira (BBHR 8/21/2003)
During our recent visit to Spain, we heard about Euskaltel’s Celeria Project. We invited Inés Vidal Castiñeira to share with you the Technology Department’s approach to providing triple-play services to low population density areas. Although Euskaltel already had a fiber ring infrastructure from which they reached end users with HFC and twisted pair, this approach was not cost effective for serving small municipalities. Instead, they developed a wireless approach to deliver digital video, cable modem and voice services to these customers.
During our trip to Spain, we met with the incumbent and several aspiring broadband competitors. Despite differences between countries, we found many common themes across borders, including the move to "all IP," innovations in wireless and PLC technologies, and public policy to spur broadband competition. Muchas gracias to our readers in Spain for sharing their insights with us.
We visited FastWeb in Milan, Italy, two years ago and concluded they were leading the way into the future of converged services. We followed up to understand their new offerings and the impact on results. FastWeb has exceeded its financial and market targets while continuing to introduce innovative services including VOD, video communications and networked PVR.
We followed up on a reader's question and report that several HomePlug devices are certified for use in Europe.
South Korea: Living Laboratory for Broadband: A Guest Article by Nancy Goguen (BBHR 1/21/2003)
South Korea has been a broadband success story, hitting 67% household penetration in 2002 and outpacing other countries around the globe. The critical mass of consumers using broadband in Korea provides a living laboratory in which to observe the factors (including population density, pricing, applications, competition and government policy) contributing to its explosive broadband growth. Nancy visited South Korea in November to learn about how users got hooked on the broadband experience and the early role Internet cafes played in making broadband applications fashionable and fun.
Twenty-five households in Germany are particpating in a field trial of networked home appliances, controlled by an OSGi-based residential gateway. Users will be able to know when the washing machine has finished or can switch an appliance on or off when away from home.