jueves, 19 de septiembre de 2019

Broadband in Maresme and Mataró

Broadband is necessary. In Catalonia, the most remarkable changes that have been done in the broadband sector is related to the rural zones, a problematic that has been faced mostly via WiMAX technology, creating a network called Banda Ancha Rural (BAR). We will analyze this case and the Maresme and the Mataró case, with Neus Masnou, from UPF.

When it comes to the situation in Spain, the downloading speed is of 15,25Mbps, a little bit under the media on the European Union, that reaches a speed of 18,44Mbps.

However, even though the WiMAX connection arrives to most of the city (as seen in the map below), Mataró can’t be considered a place with a big need to cover rural zones; unlike other near municipalities like Argentona or Dosrius. This being said, Mataró did not experience much of a change in 2003, when a big deployment of WiMAX technology was implemented. In fact, in Mataró, the different institutions and companies related to the telecommunications technology have invested more in Optical Fiber.
If we analyse the positioning on Mataró inside the province of Barcelona, we can check that the city is in a good place compared to the average situation. In fact, it is in a very similar position than the capital of the province, Barcelona.
It is necessary to put the accent in the HFC technology, that has a wider coverage in Mataró than in most of the places in the province, being a 60-70% of coverage in a context of a 35%.
A very positive aspect of Mataró’s broadband coverage, it’s the fixed networks, which function perfectly, especially in the urban areas. However, it is obvious that, as it happens in the whole province, the wireless connections are way more difficult to control, which leads to it working to a very short speed (2Mbps as a maximum).
Mataró is part of el Maresme a region (county, in particular) that, because of its proximity to Barcelona and the coast, it has experienced a fast growth, with new enterprises settling down, including some from the new technologies departments.
This is one of the reasons why, since as early as 2011, there was awareness of the need to have an optimal broadband connection. With this context the Xarxa Comarcal de Banda Ampla del Maresme (XCBAM) was born. One of the main objectives was to increment the interest of El Maresme, so that new enterprises, the ones that needed a strong telecommunication structure, could easily settle in the region.
In a document, dated from 2012, the Consell Comarcal (which coordinates de XCBAM project) said that the aim of the XCBAM was to connect 19 municipalities with Optical Fiber(OF or FO) and 11 more with a mix of WiMAX and FO technology. The result of the project was supposed to be a complete network that connected all the City Halls in El Maresme through one main fiber-optic wire: the one on the C-32 freeway. This project included Mataró’s Tecnocampus Foundation as an interconnectivity point for two reasons: it was (and still is) the place that has the biggest ammount of operators in El Maresme and also because it was planned that the Xarxa Oberta de Catalunya (a big telecommunications company) would arrive to Mataró.
To this day, the project couldn’t be fully completed. While the intention was that the XCBAM connected 30 City Halls into net, nowadays it only consists of 18 fragments of Optical Fiberwires linking these 18 city halls and 18 “arquetes” connected to the C-32 freeway.
That means that the second part of the project, installing the main fiber wire and doing 11 more fragments of FO, was never done, due to the lack of money of the Consell Comarcal. Nowadays, they have an agreement with CTTI (Centre de Telecomunicacions I Tecnologia de la Informació), a public institution from the Generalitat, that has finished the work of getting this the 18 existent wires connected, since otherwise El Maresme would have 18 useless inconnected Optic Fiber cabling.
This way, the Consell Comarcal of El Maresme had to renounce to the commercial exploitation of the installations, although they spent almost 1.4 million euros on their constructions, and now the benefits go now entirely to the CTTI.
So, the interconnectivity of the different municipalities in El Maresme are basically controlled by the CTTI, but when it comes to the city of Mataró, specially the urban nucleus, it is in the hand of the different operators.
In the specific case of Mataró, it is necessary to mention the agreement between Mataró’s City Hall and the Xarxa Oberta de Comunicació i Tecnologia de Catalunya (XOC) in 2015. It was included into an extensa strategical plan (Pla Estratègic del 2015), a project that shows that Mataró was seen by the enterprises as the big opportunity for the telecommunications business in El Maresme.
The collaboration with the City Hall was in order to facilitate the access to the newest telecommunications network. To this day, the service the XOC offers in Mataró consists on offering connectivity so that the operators can take it and use it as they consider. This service that the XOC offers to Mataró, according to information directly given to me for this report, is usually of 1.000Mb (1Gb), an amount that each operator then distributes among its clients.
That is to say, the service of the XOC is to the wholesale market, so the amount of velocity that each home and each institution receives depends on the multiple private operators. To this day, the main ones, Movistar, Jazztel and Ono, offer Optical Fiber to the biggest part of the city and, as a result of this expansion, nowadays 95% of the mataronins have access to broadband connection, a lot of it via FTTH (Fiber to the Home) technology.
However, when it comes to the most industrial area of Mataró, it has to be mentioned that the agreement between the XOC and the City Hall did not include the whole area of the city. There was a part of it, the industrial estate of Mata-Rocafonda, that was included into the Consell Comarcal plan, but not into that newer project from 2015. The reason is that the industrial zones are never considered a priority in those terms, since there is no demand and the benefits are very low. Unfortunately, the XBCAM, which planed on strategically go through the industrial areas, remains unfinished to this day, because even when the help of the CTTI, the necessary connection to the Tecnocampus point hasn’t been possible.
On the opposite side of the industrial zone, the Tecnocampus Foundation, as well as another business closer to it (Eurecat’s headquarters), were connected to the Anella Científica in 2016. The Anella Científica is a project iniciated by the Consorci de Serveis Universitaris de Catalunya (CSUC) that has the aim of improving the connectivity between the different universities in Catalonia. It is based on an Ethernet technology that reaches 10Gbps and contains two nodes in Barcelona, to which the different institutions get connected at various velocities, depending on their needs.
When it comes to Mataró, the Tecnocampus, as a university and as a place with its own media, the need of a downloading and uploading data at a big velocity its obvious. And it’s the same thing with Eurecat Mataró, since it is a technological centre.
As we can see through the information given by the CSUC, each one of these institutions use a range of 200Mbps from Barcelona’s Giganet, including the fact that The Tecnocampus Foundation acquired an additional connection with optical fibre to the Anella Científica on the 1st of December in 2016, that goes at a 100Mbps speed.
So this zone in which the Tecnocampus is located, Laia L’Arquera, has become a focus of attention when it came to projects and companies related to broadband technology. The Tecnocampus Foundation has invested a lot in making the Optical Fibera universal source for all the enterprises in El Maresme and into improving the telecommunication technologies in general, including the recent construction of WiMAX antenna to where the FO couldn’t reach.
With all the investment done for and from the Tecnocampus’ area, we can conclude that Laia l’Arquera’s zone is hoped to be a pioneer in the field of the new technologies, with the obvious need of an optimal speed for the upload and download of data.
To sum everything up, the Tecnocampus zone is the one in Mataró that is more faced towards the future and the one area that shows the mataronins that we could truly become a Smart City.
We analyze broadband evolution (here, the Mataró 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 XXV Cable and Broadband Catalonia Congress (31 March-1 April 2020, Barcelona).

27 comentarios:

  1. Article molt interessant sobre la banda ampla rural. Felicitats!!!

  2. Bonica anàlisi sobre l'impacte de la banda ampla en entornos rurals.

  3. La banda ancha puede determinar el futuro de las áreas menos pobladas, y estudiarlo es imprescindible. De ahí que un blog como éste sea tan valioso.

  4. Thanks! We do an effort to disseminate the need of broadband, even in small villages. Go ahead!

  5. An interesting article! This will help enterprises to connect correctly and make online marketing campaigns!

    Congrats Joan Francesc.


  6. Este comentario ha sido eliminado por el autor.

  7. En Japón siempre nos ganan x10 en velocidad de descarga/subida. Y alcanzamos su velocidad al cabo de 5 años. 5 años de retraso tecnológico.

    1. De hecho, el Libro Blance de Delors (1993) surgió en parte por eso: la situación avanzada en Japón y Estados Unidos en tecnología. ¡Muchas gracias por tu comentario!

  8. No podem perdre de vista les zones menys poblades, això fa que aquest article sigui interests. Thanks.

    1. Moltes gràcies pel teu comentari, Maria! Certament, les zones rurals són fonamentals per a la sostenibilitat i per mantener a ratlla el canvi climàtic.

  9. Aquest article és molt inspirador doctor! Moltes gràcies!

  10. Al proporcionar mejor conectividad a zonas rurales o menos importantes que las grandes capitales, se promueve la economía en estas zonas ya que una mejor conectividad favorece al establecimeinto de nuevas empresas.

  11. Estic totalment d'acord amb al comentat aquest article!

  12. Vemos en este post la importancia de la banda ancha en el ámbito rural. También, la dificultad que se encuentra para que pueda llegar la señal en todos los puntos del pueblo. Pero gracias a banda ancha y el ayuntamiento de Mataró es algo más posible. Buen artículo para poder comprender la importancia que tiene la banda ancha en nuestras vidas.