ANGA: Comfort from cable
May 10, 2022
At times, during the lockdowns, you began to wonder if you were actually missing getting up before dawn to drive to an airport to fly to a European city in order to walk around a show floor or sit in a conference.
And then you get to do it again, and the answer is: “not so much”. Actually, in truth, there is something reassuring about the ‘return to normal’ feel of the first big European convention to come back in the form of ANGA in Cologne.
Yes, if you’re British, it’s depressing to line up in the ‘other passports line’ and get a quaint physical stamp in your document as the officer behind the glass enquires “when are you leaving?” – and, yes, it is aggravating beyond words to navigate the pages of bureaucracy required to ship a few bits of paper, but at least we’re here.
There was more comforting familiarity in the conference hall as speakers bantered back and forth about the balance between public investment, municipal power, and open access competition. The German broadband cable market: some things never change. New government, new infrastructure plan, same controversies.
Some declare that unless competition is encouraged and red tape – particularly municipal and regional red tape – is reduced, Germany could become a ‘Gigabit also-ran.’ Seems unlikely. Germany is good at ‘walking the tightrope’ between state and private sector and there is certainly now an added imperative to drive development in carbon-lite digital infrastructure and industry.
The show is busy, the atmosphere lively, and you can almost see vendor pipelines filling again, at last. Early morning flight or not, nothing beats face-to-face.