The UFB killer app

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Asian operators fret over the lack of a killer app for fibre service says Informa senior analyst Tony Brown.

They have it easy compared with New Zealand fibre service providers. As Brown says, Asians get around the problem delivering digital content.
Australian service providers have content deals with sporting codes to fall back on.

In New Zealand Sky TV has the best content locked up.

In other words, not only do New Zealand fibre service providers lack of a killer app, they can’t even offer the most obvious everyday app: content.

Consumers can work around this – and Sky TV – faking US or UK ip addresses and downloading content from Netflix, iTunes or even the BBC. That has to stay unofficial and kept out of any fibre marketing.

At some point politicians and government officials might look again at how content is regulated in New Zealand. It would be wise to do so earlier, not later.

Before anyone mentions it, high quality videoconferencing is not a killer app. At least not for consumers, it may sell fibre to businesses.

And anyway, over the top services like Skype and Apple Facetime already dominate consumer videoconferencing over copper. Things are unlikely to change with a move to fibre.

None of this should alter anything as far as UFB goes. Fibre is a sound investment in its own right. Simply running lines past every school, business and health centre in the county will pay off. Yet, it would be better if there was a compelling incentive for consumers to sign up.

8 thoughts on “The UFB killer app

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  2. I use the alleged ip spoofing to get overseas content; wouldn’t it be possible to get the BBC and other external players who have content to sell it to a company in NZ, who could then aggregate it and provide via UFB (for a fee)? The BBC are always moaning about having no money…

  3. Video, be it sport or entertainment is not the killer app. copper can already provide this, the only limit is the data caps of the plans. A killer app will require at least ten times the bandwidth that copper provides for it to be necessary. Its not obvious to me what that would be unless it means streaming video at ten times the number of pixels. I can’t interface with my computer any faster than my screen can present data to me, and I don’t need fibre to reach that limit. It seems to me that the only reason to need fibre is if the number of devices on client side of the fibre are at peak time saturating more than copper can handle. Therefore fibre requires a lot of devices acquiring a lot of content simultaneously, Hard to think of what that might be but I guess phones and tablets are the likely candidates.
    The other possibility is telepresence. I think that there will be strong upload and down load requirements for this. We could be in more than one place at a time so there is two or more screenfuls per second. Plus without offices, people may telepresence to our local. If we have ten people working together we may end up with 10^2 video telepresence sessions. Sounds crazy and confusing but so did jet travel in the 1930’s

    • Telepresence? Possibly. I see two barriers.

      First data caps don’t allow for a lot of HD video. Telepresence isn’t going to fly if data caps mean you can only do 30 minutes a month. Maybe that problem will go away with time.

      Second, fibre is available in a number of countries with plenty of advanced technology – Japan and South Korea among them – it hasn’t taken off in those places yet.

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