Ahead of his speaking slot at Connected Britain 2019, I caught up with Truespeed CEO Evan Weinburg to get his thoughts on some of the key issues facing the UK telecoms industry.
Is full fibre and 5G a realistic goal for the UK?
Connecting everyone to full fibre is imperative. Fortunately a few privately funded infrastructure providers are proving that they can build out gigabit-capable networks in harder to reach areas of the country – and still make a profit. This is a sensible strategy, filling in the gaps left by the big guys that are more focused on cabling up our towns and cities.
The danger, though, is that taxpayers’ money will ultimately be wasted on unnecessary overbuilding by large players in these rural areas. Government, Ofcom and the industry must work together to ensure that it is not.
What do you see as the key opportunities for the UK resulting from the rollout of high-capacity digital infrastructure?
Making full fibre accessible in every corner of the UK will allow us to build and nurture a larger, more inclusive digital economy and boost our position on the world stage. Rural firms will have access to the same infrastructure as their urban counterparts, while a new generation of entrepreneurs will choose to set up digital businesses far from the madding crowd.
This will set in motion a much-needed rebalancing of the urban/rural divide as people leave our over-crowded cities to live and work in thriving rural communities underpinned by gigabit-capable broadband infrastructure.
What are your key predictions for the next 12 months? What trends will most shape the industry?
People are becoming far more savvy about full fibre – and a lot more tuned in to the difference between actual versus promised broadband speeds. We will consequently see a growing stream of disgruntled broadband customers demanding that their provider step up and deliver on the speeds they are paying for.
A more educated consumer base will lead to more robust guidelines around broadband advertising – and a reduction in the misleading promotional activity that has been a blot on our industry for far too long.
There will be a growing realisation that the full fibre rollout is a long way behind schedule and should have already been completed.
If you’d be interested to hear more from Evan and Trusepeed join us at Connected Britain, being held at the Business Design Centre, London on 18th and 19th June.