Building a broadband network based on Fiber-To-The-Home (FTTH) is a big investment. Once the fiber is deployed Telcos usually offer IPTV as one of the main revenue generating services to pay-back the investment.
Some Telcos argue that once they put all this huge capacity available to the user, anyone can benefit from their infrastructure investment to provide advanced services. With 100Mbps broadband, Unbox or iTunes downloads are clear competitors to IPTV, and Telcos are concerned that they invest for others to profit.
Telcos enjoy substantial revenue from monthly fees now that Broadband is a mass market. Only these fees should pay back the infrastructure, considering that fees increase over time, while the Moore’s Law applied to network equipment will deliver increasing bandwidth at lower costs.
Internet is an engine of innovation, and the Society demands it stays like that. An open Internet with flat data rates has enabled a number of applications we would have never enjoyed with a metered model: YouTube, Bittorrent, Google Earth, Skype or SETI@home. Doesn’t ISPs benefit from these applications to pull demand for higher bandwidth and therefore higher broadband fees?
We need Internet the way it is today. That does not mean that Telcos have to made all their IP capacity available for basic broadband service. IPTV is one of the services that should run on an overlay IP network, with differentiated traffic from Internet in order to preserve QoS. “Leased lines” services based on MPLS tunnels are also being sold at a premium compared to regular broadband access. High QoS, carrier-grade communications services powered by IMS are also an added-value on top of regular broadband. Managing the Digital Home network is another opportunity for growth for Telcos, as the Digital Home gets more sophisticated with IPTV, Home Automation, Femto cells and multiple connected devices (NAS, Media Servers, Media Players, IP Cameras, digital frames and WSNs)
Internet the way we know is a cornerstone of the digital revolution that is bringing so much progress. Telecommunication companies should be the guardians to preserve it and make it grow.