Quite a predictable cliché and “truth”. Although undeniable progresses were achieved in recent years, chances of improvement are still consistent and objective everywhere. In Central London the fibre does not exist and the best ADSL barely reaches 20Mbps with ridiculous upload speeds. This last metric prevents the efficient exploitation of video-conference services and any kind of cloud storage because of the biblical amount of time needed to upload pictures and various files.
The theoretical 20Mbps reduce even more in specific time ranges during the day, when a lot of people stream contents. Working from home is a huge challenge and so is successfully supporting commercial activities. It is not a coincidence that in Soho/Westminster the number of IT start-ups is close to zero because of the lack of the basic requirement of connectivity.
Paradoxically a partial solution to the problem may arrive from mobile connectivity, but in the last two years performances of download and upload got drastically worse. 4G often supplies a connection which is fourth generation just in the name. But there are solutions which may be a big turn.
Personally I am interested in symmetric solutions or where upload speed – considered almost irrelevant in the past – reaches an acceptable level (>20Mbps) in order to work in a productive and efficient way. With the new Office 2016 suite for Mac, for example, I find more straightforward managing all the documents on oneDrive rather than local space. Obviously it is the connection speed making the difference in absolute terms. Waiting seconds to browse the hierarchical structure of the folders or tens of seconds to save a file may result unacceptable, especially if it happens on a regular basis, many hours a day, like my case. Fibre is the only acceptable and adequate solution. Also development and usage of new services like a basic need as a backup on cloud may be, find in connection speed a qualifying factor or a bottleneck. So, nothing new on the horizon: we need band in such a big quantity that it influences in a direct and explicit way the value of the building of the area.
A recent survey made in the USA put in evidence how the availability of fibre in a neighbourhood affects the value of the houses. Same thing happens in the UK. It is an obvious relation that is taking me to select the areas in this city with the best connectivity solutions available. It is the same for an eventual holiday place: whether the place is wonderful or not, it is impossible considering it as an option if there is no adequate connectivity.
Techno Geek. Book author. Lover of running, tennis and digital photography. Vice President EMEA in GoDaddy in the United Kingdom.
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