The Smart Revolution Towards the Sustainable Digital Society
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The Smart Revolution Towards the Sustainable Digital Society

Beyond the Era of Convergence

Edited by Hitoshi Mitomo, Hidenori Fuke and Erik Bohlin

The objective of this book is to present a comprehensive evaluation of the smart revolution, including its social and economic impacts. It proposes a modern framework to help assess how recent Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) can contribute to societies as a whole. The authors offer a guide to how advanced network technologies have led to a greater variety of applications and social networking services. These allow people to connect with each other both at a more personal and global level, and will ultimately herald a new era of ICTs that will shape the “digital society".
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Chapter 15: NGA networks as basis for a sustainable digital society: European country studies (Germany, the UK, the Netherlands and Switzerland)

Ernst-Olav Ruhle, Matthias Ehrler, Natascha Freund and Martin Lundborg


The developments towards highly capable and high speed information and telecommunications infrastructures have received increasing attention over the last years. According to the figures provided by the various FTTH councils e.g. in Europe, North America and Asia, however, Europe is still lagging behind regarding the roll out of such infrastructures. Despite the fact that the European Union has taken massive initiatives for example by introducing the digital agenda for Europe, thereby aiming at the implementation of higher bandwidths for end-users, investment activity is still rather low and therefore, information and communication infrastructures as the basis for a sustainable digital society is not as far developed as on other continents. This paper elaborates the reasons for this development by describing general trends as well as by looking into specific case studies of four national markets, i.e. Germany, UK, Netherlands and Switzerland. The paper is organised as follows: In section 1 a general introduction to the development of NGA networks in Europe and the policies that have been adopted by the European Union to foster investment into NGA networks is given. Likewise, a focus is laid on reasons for still relying on copper networks to a great extent for technological as well as for commercial reasons. Sections 2 through 5 cover the country studies, thereby highlighting in each of the four countries the market situation regarding current generation access and next generation access, the analyses of the technologies implemented in the markets as well as the regulatory approach to dealing with the development towards next generation access. In section 6 we provide a comparison between these four countries and also highlight some specifics in comparison to other regions of the world. Section 7 contains our conclusions.

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