Malcolm Matson – Founding Director
“As most of you know, for over three decades now I have been promoting, in one form or another, the concept of open public local access networks (OPLANs). Indeed, when in 1990 I founded COLT Telecom (Europe’s first all-fibre public telecommunications network) it was to be an OPLAN for central London. Both the citizens and businesses of London as well as COLT’s shareholders have paid a high price for its decision to abandon the OPLAN strategy and adopt an old-style business model as pursued by the rest of the telecoms industry.
I have long argued that OPLANs will bring unimagined economic and social benefit to individuals and the local communities in which they live, work and otherwise interconnect. So in reality, the work of this new Foundation has been going on for a long time. However, at this critical moment, as we transition from the old capacity-constrained world of telecoms to the new digital age of abundance, the task of educating people of the immense benefits of OPLANs must be accelerated. I have an ever increasing number of public speaking engagements and meetings with opinion leaders and those formulating public policy in this country and internationally. Likewise, there needs to be a place where the hundreds, if not thousands, of emerging OPLAN initiatives around the world can be highlighted for all to see and where they can appreciate that they are part of a global movement of the people to re-capture the primary value and benefit of digital communications technology. With your active involvement and support – especially as a Founding Supporter, we can spread that message further and faster and expand the educational work of the Foundation.
Thank you for taking the time to digest the contents of this ‘holding’ website … and to many of you, thank you for your support and encouragement over the past years when at times it seemed that the concept of an OPLAN was forever ahead of its time. That is no longer the case – time has caught up!
I am extremely grateful to the other Directors in whose safe hands the sound governance of the Foundation rests. I also acknowledge the support of an eminent and eclectic group of OPLAN supporters from around the world who have agreed to join our Council of Reference. Between them, the Directors and Council of Reference constitute a truly solid Foundation!”