sábado, 9 de marzo de 2019

Broadband evolution: the case of Gavà


The telecommunication world has been constantly changing during the last years thanks to all the technological advances that have been appearing in our Broadband Society. Because of that, all the network infrastructures needed to improve to be as actualized as the digital world, and also to have the possibility to offer the best and fastest service. So, all these developments need more bandwidth to let the user be able to have access to these new applications and contents, with less download times and more appropriate costs. 


This is the reason why the broadband development became one of the main purposes of many countries in the world, such as has happened in Spain. The country connected to the Internet for the first time on 1990 and since that moment, theinformation technologies have been constantly evolving and improving. In the present article we analyze, with Laia Calaf Navarro from UPF, the broadband evolution in the concrete case of Gavà, one of the biggest towns from the Baix Llobregat county.

When the Internet arrived to Spain in 1990 there was just one network option available: the ARTIX net, that in that moment just had a 64 Kbps broadband speed. But nowadays, we have more than 10 different types of technologies to choose depending on the broadband speed needed in each case. The Fiber to the Home (FTTH) is now the fastest growing global broadband technology with significant developments occurring around the world and its use has been increasing a lot during the last few years.
In September of 2017, this kind of technology exceeded the Digital Subscriber Lines (DSL) for the first time in Spain. According to the National Commission of Markets and Competition data, there were 5.6 million DSL lines in the country in that year facing the 5.7 million of FTTH lines. So, it was the moment when Fiber Optic became the most popular and used technology around all the Spanish State.
In respect of the Catalan area, according to a report from the Ministry of Energy, Tourism and Digital Agenda, in 2015 the FTTH had a 68% of technological coverage in Catalonia. However, in June of 2017 it had a 83% of coverage, showing an increase of a 15% in less than two years. All these data prove that fiber optic technology is leading the broadband world increasingly.
The basic fiber optic system consists in transmitting device that converts an electrical signal into a light signal, an optical cable that carries the light and a receiver that accepts the light and converts it back into an electrical signal. This type of technology offers a Triple Play service, that consist in the packing compound models telephony, data and video via a single gateway. Also, a FTTH cable allows you to reach up a speed from 100 megabytes per second up to 1 terabyte (TB) per second, depending on what each person wants or needs.
Focusing on the Baix Llobregat case, in December of 2014 Gavà became the fifth fastestmunicipality in the whole Spanish State in broadband attending to data from a Netindex survey. In that moment, the town had a fiber optic broadband speed of 67.6 megabytes per second exceeding big cities such as Barcelona or Madrid, and also some other from around Europe like for example Berlin or London.
Catalonia has a total of 947 municipalities in its territory. Nowadays, according to the report from the Ministry of Energy, Tourism and Digital Agenda mentioned before, only 148 of all these municipalities have between the 90% and 100% range of coverage of FTTH technology. But as we can see in the map shown below, Gavà is one of the few municipalities that have the 100% range of coverage of this technology. Meanwhile, other towns from the Baix Llobregat area also have a full coverage. That is the case of for example Viladecans, Sant Climent de Llobregat, Sant Boi, El Prat de Llobregat or Santa Coloma de Cervelló, among others. So, as this region is very close to Barcelona, the big city of Catalonia, its municipalities also have a high coverage regarding the use of the FTTH.
Furthermore, according to data from the Statistical Institute of Catalonia (IDESCAT), in 2011 the 69.9% of households in Gavà had broadband Internet connection and this number increased up to the 83.5% of houses in 2017. These numbers show an increment of 13,6% in 6 years. So, this growth shows that it is getting closer every time the full Gavà population connection to the fiber optic broadband network.
One of the main reasons of these changes is probably the fact that fiber optic offers some advantages facing the ADSL installations. The main difference is the material of which the network is composed: while ADSL is composed of copper wires that send an electrical signal, the fiber has glass or plastic threads that send light signals. So, the fiber optic makes available to the user the speed that he actually contracts, one thing that doesn’t happen with the ADSL since it can suffer interferences in navigation due temperature or voltage changes.
There are 4 different companies that offer fiber optics in Gavà right now: Movistar, Vodafone, Orange and the MásMóvil group (that includes Yoigo). All of them have different fiber optics speed options to choose. The first three offer a minimum of 100 Mbps, then they offer a 500 Mbps or 600 Mbps option and a last one of 1 GB. In respect of the last company, the MásMóvil group, it offers a minimum of 50 Mbps fiber optics connection, then a 300 Mbps and finally the possibility of 1 GB. Jazztel is another popular company of the telecommunications world that offers fiber optics in Gavà, but it has been giving some connectivity problems lately.
Even though that the fiber optic broadband is the most used technology in the houses of the population of Gavà, it is not the only one. The Baix Llobregat region also has good coverage in relation to other high speed technologies. It is the case of ADSL at 2 Mbps, also ADSL at 10 Mbps or fixed networks at speeds at or above 100 Mbps, among others.
In July of 2011, the city council of Gavà launched a network of free Internet access that we know as GavàWifi. It was born with two purposes: promote new communication technologies and make them accessible to citizens.
The connection of this network has a limited speed stablished at 256 Kpbs that was set by the service regulator (the Telecommunications Market Commission) and based on the current legislation. As you can see on the map shown below, there are 28 access points around the town (24 in municipal buildings and the other 4 on public roads).
In 2013, two years after its creation, there were around 7.170 people using thisservice. The 55% of the users were young people under 25 years old, showing a good response from that part of the population. Although it doesn’t offer a very fast Internet connection, it has shown since its creation a great acceptance from the Gavà citizens, especially from the youngest people.
In conclusion, Gavà is a town that enjoys its very high connectivity levels, as it has a great coverage of the most actualized and innovative technologies of the telecommunication world, such as the case of the FTTH broadband. Attending that Gavà is very close to the capital of Catalonia, it has a very complete and large broadband coverage that gives to the city the possibility to be as updated as the big cities around the world.
It is very positive for the town to have different broadband technologies available that are very powerful and that allow the entire population to have access to the Internet with high speeds. Then, initiatives like GavàWifi show the willingness of the city council to be updated on the digital era and to facilitate to the citizens the incorporation of technology in their daily lives, such as happens in the actual world.
We analyze broadband evolution (here, the Gavà case) in this blog, in Research Group about Digital Journalism and Marketing and Broadband and in Research Group on Innovative Monetization Systems of Digital Journalism, Marketing and Tourism (SIMPED), from CECABLE,  Escola Universitària Mediterrani of UdGUPF and Blanquerna-URL, in Twitter (@CECABLEresearch), Google+, in the group of LinkedIn, in the page of LinkedIn, in the group of Facebook, in Instagram (CECABLE), in Pinterest and in this blog. We will go in deep in the XXIV Cable and Broadband Catalonia Congress (9-10 April 2019, Barcelona).


21 comentarios:

  1. Un article molt intreressant sobre realitats locals que afecten els ciutadans. Enhorabona!

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  2. Really interesting! As we are concerned about, day by day, communication it became one of the most valuable treasures in this world. In terms of tourism, we should advance to a global communication where we can share and add new knowledge, and thorough developing new kinds of it as the one in the text, we can only make these easier and more direct!

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  3. Really interesting! As we are concerned about, day by day, communication it became one of the most valuable treasures in this world. In terms of tourism, we should advance to a global communication where we can share and add new knowledge, and thorough developing new kinds of it as the one in the text, we can only make these easier and more direct!

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  4. Muy interesante la propuesta de Gavà. Creo que la mejora de las redes inalámbricas directamente favorece a la comunicación de los ciudadanos y al turismo, de manera global nos permite estar interconectados continuamente de una manera más rápida y efectiva. De esa forma, hace más satisfactoria la oferta turística para los visitantes!

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  5. It is a great article about technological advances in Catalonia. Nowadays we live from it and it is the functioning of the world.

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  6. increíble cómo ha avanzado internet y sus formas de comunicación y el largo camino que nos queda todavía por recorrer!

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  7. Un artículo muy interesante! Creo que es un avance muy importante para la ciudad , las comunicaciones y el turismo.

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  8. Després d’haver llegit aquest article sobre el nivell de connectivitat i de velocitat en banda ampla a nivell espanyol i a Gavà, puc dir que actualment Gavà està al mateix nivell d’actualització tecnològica que les grans ciutats del món. És evident que el comportament dels mercats i les necessitats dels consumidors han canviat i seguiran canviant. És per això, que el màrqueting ha d’estar en constant modernització ja que cada cop més ciutats tenen la voluntat d’estar actualizades en l’era digital.

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