‘Europe needs a Gigabit movement’

Calix, one of the major forces behind the gigabit community wave sweeping across the US, is warning that Europe needs to foster a major effort to drive it forward and keep pace with North America and Asia in advanced broadband infrastructure.

The comments came on the eve of the Broadband World Forum in Amsterdam, where Andy Lockhart, senior vice president, international sales at Calix, said that major events in the US. such as the targeting of hundreds of communities for gigabit services by incumbent service providers like AT&T and CenturyLink, and the emergence of a variety of alternative service providers like Google, utility cooperatives, and municipalities, are positively changing the dynamics of the North American broadband landscape.

In North America and Asia, investments in gigabit capable infrastructure are stimulating economic development and creating new and much more competitive service provider business models. A recent study of 55 communities conducted by the economic, financial, and strategy firm Analysis Group found that gigabit communities had a significantly higher GDP (1.1 per cent) than those unserved by gigabit services. Regulatory, political, and economic barriers in Europe have discouraged this same level of innovation and investment, and without intervention will quickly result in Europe falling behind in global competiveness as well as a substandard consumer broadband experience.

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