This is another article in my series about broadband in Guernsey and what the future might hold. You might like to read the previous articles: Hands on with JT’s fibre to the home, Why fibre, and why now?, Guernsey broadband should aim to lead, not bring up the rear, and some other secondary updates linked in those. Or not; I’m not the boss of you. I’ve talked before about how I think using the mobile data network to skirt around the problems caused by underinvestment in the physical telecoms network is at best a short-term stopgap, and not something to lean on long term.
I don’t welcome a new majority Tory government in the UK. It doesn’t directly affect me since I live in a politically separate crown dependency, but nevertheless I still consider myself British as much as Guernsey, much of my family live in the UK, and the tone of the mainland does rub off on our culture here in general. I’m a left-leaning liberal and a strong supporter of progressivism, social and otherwise, and I see a pure Tory government as generally regressive, pursuing an ideology that, despite the aspirational rhetoric, largely favours the incumbent wealthy in society.
I’ve been banging on for a while about why I think the only future for Guernsey’s internet infrastructure to homes and businesses is to embrace fibre broadband, and that technologies like VDSL and 4G are limited stop gaps at best. Fortunately, there is one telecoms company in Guernsey who agrees with me, and that’s JT (I’m sure Sure will come around eventually). JT have a fibre network to supply our government buildings and schools already, and are actively interested in trying to roll it out to homes and businesses who are near to this network, to free us from the horror of spotty, inconsistent copper-based broadband.
Warning: this post contains images of me over the years. I take no responsibility for the damage this may cause to your retina and/or mental state. Time’s a funny thing; it just keeps on passing. There it went just now. And again. And here I am, burning your actual time postulating about how time passes. And again, with that apology. Sorry. I should stop now. Another thing is that we have this impression that there’s a “right time” for things.
Four and a half years ago, I decided to write a Mac tool for Git and Mercurial, which I’d eventually name SourceTree (aside: names are hard, and I was quite pleased with this one). I wasn’t happy with the Mac apps that were out there at the time and thought I could write something that fit my needs better, and by extension the needs of other developers who felt like I did.
This is part of a series of arguments I’m making for Guernsey to take the plunge and invest in all-island fibre broadband. I’m currently working with JT on their market test of small extensions to their existing fibre network to evaluate the viability of connecting some people to fibre with only private sector funds, but ultimately I’d like to see our government following examples elsewhere and investing in public/private fibre infrastructure across the whole island.
Those of you who follow my blog know that I have a keen interest in the provision of high speed broadband in Guernsey, including to homes. If not, you can catch up with my reasoning in this post a year ago, and this one a few days ago. The main issue right now for home broadband in Guernsey is that Sure controls the main fixed line network, and they are currently committed to a strategy of VDSL (fibre to the cabinet, copper to the home), which can provide a pretty decent, if not particularly future proof, service except for the fact that the rollout of new cabinets has been slow enough that there are still quite a few gaps where line distances make VDSL impractical; including both of the addresses I’ve lived in 2014.
Aside: I’ve decided in future to share my thoughts on local issues primarily through my blog rather than doing media interviews, for a number of reasons. I’m better at writing than I am at speaking, and I’m not as comfortable with the reactive, off-the-cuff and time-limited style that I’m forced to adopt when doing interviews. Sharing here on my blog I get to say what I want to say, at my own speed and in the way I intended, without someone else driving the direction of the discussion or editing my responses.
I’m now sometimes referred to as an ‘entrepreneur’, and occasionally I spend a little of my time trying to figure out what that actually means. I realise that a lot of the time, how other people perceive it is quite different to how I see myself. Much of the talk around entrepreneurship is about blue-sky thinking, of aiming for the moon shot, of being the big-talking guy who is always selling his next grand vision of the future.
Remember when you were a kid and pretty much everything was a spaceship? A cardboard box, an egg carton, a bottle of washing up liquid. There were spaceships everywhere in those days, you couldn’t go from the kitchen to your bedroom without tripping over three of the blighters. And to think NASA were paying top dollar for theirs, when the damn things were just lying around. Then you grew up and the skill of being able to turn anything into a spaceship with a single thought suddenly lost a great deal of its currency as a marketable skill.