Papers and presentations

If you have the appetite for the long-form version of some of the ideas on this blog, you may want to look at some of the following:

Superfast broadband: Is it really worth a subsidy? (Nov 2010, with second edition Feb 2011)
This is the first key paper, jointly written with my brother Charles, which looks in detail at the case for subsidising superfast, and critiques the arguments and evidence. It was also published in academic form in the journal info (who were kind enough to name it their paper of the year), and is starting to collect a good number of citations.

Are you considering a fibre subsidy? Questions to ask (Mar 2011)
This covers the ideas in superfast broadband paper, but in more digestible presentation format, for those who prefer pictures to footnotes. This presentation was originally given to group of Australian MPs, with variants used at conferences in Sydney and Budapest.

Does the Superfast Emperor have any clothes? A sceptical look at fibre subsidies (Sep 2011)
A three-page version of the superfast broadband paper, with various updates and a UK orientation.

Fact checking Stephen Conroy’s NBN speech to the Press Club (Dec 2011)
On 13 December 2011 the Australian Communications Minister Stephen Conroy gave a speech to the National Press Club, making the case for the NBN, Australia’s government owned high-speed broadband network. This note reviews some of his claims.

Written evidence for the House of Lords Select Committee on Communications (March 2012)
The UK's House of Lords looked into a range of questions related to superfast broadband. I provided written evidence, and later was invited to provide oral evidence.

A response to 'Broadband facts, fictions, and urban myths', by Prof. Rodney Tucker (May 2012)
Prof Rodney Tucker, a commentator on telecoms in Australia, had published an article arguing that many of the criticisms of the NBN were based on 'myths'. This paper responded, suggesting that those criticisms were a good deal more substantive than Prof Tucker had allowed.

Ultra-Fast Broadband – A Solution in Search of a Problem? (April 2013)
A presentation to a telecoms conference at George Mason University in Washington DC. This updates data for several critical issues related to superfast, and addresses the 'build it and they will come' fallacy.

Domestic Demand for Bandwidth (November 2013)
On behalf of the UK's Broadband Stakeholder Group, I developed a model and wrote a report seeking to forecast how bandwidth demand will grow over time. As far as I am aware, this is the first attempt (in the public domain) to take a methodological and comprehensive approach to this question. The results were very different from those sometimes casually thrown around - for instance, we found a median 2023 demand of 19 Mbps.

Exploring the costs and benefits of FTTH in the UK (March 2015)
On behalf of UK innovation charity Nesta, I considered the case for FTTH deployment in the UK, reviewing available evidence on the costs and benefits of such an investment, and considering how sunk cost in FTTC and continuing improvements in copper technologies affected incremental returns.

The broadband requirements of small businesses in the UK (September 2015)
Building on my earlier domestic bandwidth forecast, this report and model forecast the requirements of small businesses. Again, as far as I am aware, this is the first such methodical forecast in the public domain. A key finding was that there was enormous variation - a sole-trader plumber has very different requirements from a 49 person IT business for example. Customer use (for instance, hotel guests) were an important driver of demand for some businesses.

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