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The May 17, 2009 Issue Provided by System Dynamics Inc.
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Your Voice -- Reader's Comments

"Fibre to the Cabinet" In Yorkshire

Jim Farmery of Yorkshire Forward (the regional development agency charged with improving the Yorkshire & Humber economy) wrote "In the UK government's annual budget statement yesterday we announced a 100m investment in fibre to the cabinet in South Yorkshire (covering 1m people). The business model is based on the public sector being anchor tenants of an open access network managed by Thales and owned by the public sector partners. Ive attached the release but we are keen to let as wide an audience as possible know this is happening as we want to invite businesses to come and test new stuff on our network!"

A further email clarified the relationships between the organizations: "Yorkshire Forward are the provider of state government funding and have a contract with Digital Region, a new company with shareholders made up of the local city and town councils Rotherham, Doncaster, Sheffield and Barnsley.

Thales are a French technology company who are building the network and managing it on behalf of Digital Region. They have a time bound contract to build the network to our specification and manage capacity on it selling to both public sector customers and also private sector service providers.

This way the public sector spending has been brought to bear in order to get a network built that can then be made available on an open access basis" to "service providers selling services to households and businesses."

Jim is "responsible for the project delivering" -- his team manages "the contract with the new company formed to deliver this."

He said "Work begins this month and the first customers should be connected early 2010." If anyone wants "to get involved and use our 1m households and businesses as a test bed to get in touch they can email me and well take it from there."

Third-Party Apps in Tru2way

David Beckemeyer, an entrepreneur and consultant who was previously CTO at EarthLink, wrote that he liked our coverage of tru2way and asked: "What's the status of opening the platform to third-party apps? I consider the mobile phone space before iPhone and after as a model. Is there an 'App Store' equivalent being considered by the Cablecos?"

We replied: "Supporting third party apps is clearly lower priority than getting core apps (guide, VOD) and video-content-related apps (Showtime, STARZ, HSN, TWC, etc) running.

We're all for third-party apps and share your view of the iPhone model. We wrote about opening up tru2way for third-party apps at some length in the Sept. 2008 issue of Broadband Library".

Sandy added "At the recent Cable conference, Comcast CEO Brian Roberts said they are thinking about the equivalent of an apps store. Don't remember if it was in his talk onstage, or his comments at the CableLabs booth re Starz Enteract. That's a good sign."