martes, 7 de enero de 2020

Broadband and its local spreading

Which is the situation of Broadband at local sphere? Broadband Society embraces the municipal activity. It is known that broadband was born in extension of the path information does to all types of communication systems, like enterprises, media or your house. 

Broadband services were promoted by the potency of technology terminals, the support of new communication infrastructures – like fiber optic – and the initiative of administrations and industry (Redes de Banda Ancha). We analyse, in collaboration with Irina Carnicero Moreno, the Catalan case, focusing in Malgrat de Mar (a small village). 

Telecommunications and Information Society State Secretary (Ministry of Science and Technology) in Spain explains that the concept of “broadband” was firstly presented in the Plenary Assemble of CCITT (Consultative Committee for International Telegraphy and Telephony), nowadays known as International Union of Telecommunications, which took place in August 1989 in Brasilia (Redes de acceso de banda ancha: arquitectura, prestaciones, servicios y evolución) International telecom agents defined these new public networks as a service which has transmission channels with a higher capability than other primary access produced before. CCITT: "Qualifying a service or system requiring transmission channels capable of supporting rates greater than the primary rate".

A year before the international presentation, CCITT started developing Broadband project as itself, one step beyond of the obsolete ISDN (Integrated Services Digital Network): a network entirely digital which allowed the access to itself connection to many terminals. However, digitalization had already started before in 1960 decade with the IDN (Integrated Digital Network), but when the network was opened to universal access, digital networking technology spread to large scale.
In its beginning, the ISDN was a narrow band, with a little speed of 2 Mbps, but it was a very meaningful improvement according to the time when it was developed. But time ran, and ISDN improved its broadband audio, four times better than IDN – from 3.1 kHz to 7 KhZ –, using also digital channels of 64 Kbps of speed instead of a modem with a single access method which permitted sending package or around a circuit. It was distributed at technology market, arriving to particular houses in the 80’s.
It was in 1988, when CCITT approved ATM (Asynchronic Transference Mode), the technology which was going be used by the future Broadband ISDN. The aim of this new technological application was to integrate all types of networks and services, like voice, contents or video, of course guaranteeing a quality capability according to the terminal of use. 
Later, it continued getting better applications and capabilities, until is now configured what is known as Broadband SocietyDuring 90’s, it spread all over the world and until now also with different types of technologies and applications, as mobile, ADSL or fiber optic. More than ten years ago, broadband networks arrived at Catalonia.
Firstly, were private operators who started exploding broadband to the citizens, but they were providing big cities, and forgetting little and rural ones. In 2004, this inattention made the major of Manresa Jordi Valls to take action and help Generalitat to provide localities with a better qualitative broadband network service.
Then, Valls was the president of Localret (1997), a committee of 793 towns (now they are more than 800 cities) around Catalonia united for the development of telecom networks. Their aim is to give all citizens the appropriate access to the new technologies, broadband cable services in particular, which at their time were so demanded as a right to everyone.
It was necessary to take public action, because maybe private operators found that investing on little towns wasn’t so profitable. Pasqual Maragall, president of Catalonia in 2004, said it was a priority to install a broadband network around Catalonia, and it was going to be part of public budget: the project fixed in 160 million euros. The collaboration of local governments was crucial. In addition, Catalonia has an advantage: the country had a useful telecom infrastructure which permitted reduce final payments.
At that time, Catalonia had a public enterprise called FGC (Catalan Generalitat Railroad), which had a fiber optics cable network of 193.3 km around AMB (Metropolitan Barcelona Area) and fairly more regions nearby like Vallès Occidental, Baix Llobregat and Anoia. Last years, it has been improving.
Regional (comarcal) Council of Maresme was very interested on connecting all towns of the whole region. So, they stablished a project to configure the regional network. Local governments purposed a new broadband wireless network project to provide all regional governments what old infrastructures are delaying in local telecommunications.
WIMAR project was purposed in 2007. It was a wireless network with a tree structure, which would have eight base stations and secondary networks strategically positioned to improve local communication, management and services with high speed. It was a collaboration between different local entities like Tecno Campus Mataró and Regional Council of Maresme.
Broadband network was first installed in Premià de Mar in 2013, with fiber optics was used. They were going to connect 19 out of 30 localities of the region, and the others will be connected by radiofrequency instead. This was the first region of Catalonia to have a network like this. But the Regional Council wasn’t as fast as private operators, who started negotiating with local beings and made paralyse the project of a public broadband network in 2015.
However, one of the towns which is part of these 19 localities is Malgrat de Mar. Nowadays, Malgrat de Mar has three private points of broadband network near them. In 2016, fiber optic arrived in Malgrat de Mar by Telefonica, but it will be only profitable for the 85% of the village, who can navigate at high speed. It is interesting because, in Malgrat, the telecom enterprise used the current ways of copper cable, and not charging the city with more infrastructures and opening the ground.
Communication networks are in service to the citizens, to communicate each other, send and receive information and other types of contents. It is so impressive that someone saw what was going to happen next with digital technology, because once it starts to improve, it can’t stop, and it is proved with every technological or science breakthrough. Broadband network is only a way of improvement of the technologic chain. What will be next?
We analyze broadband 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).

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