Articles, PDFs, Slides

What is an OPLAN?
(PDF document, 119Kb) by Malcolm Matson — last modified 2007-12-04 09:36
What is an OPLAN? 1-page summary of some of the main defining characteristics of an OPLAN Reproduced from this website.

Stupid Revolution
(PDF document, 168KB) by Mike Chege – last modified 2012-11-01 05:48
Today, enormous strides in communication technology have made it possible for us to design and create a worldwide system of communication that can send sound, text and images to and from the remotest parts of the world in an instant. We believe that this new system of communication has the potential to reshape our lives, socially, politically, and economically, just as the Language Revolution reshaped the lives of our ancestors. Some people may call this new revolution the Information Revolution, but we choose to call it the Stupid Revolution in honour of its key enabling technology: the Stupid Network. (Originally published 2005).

WirelessCommunications & Computing Crossroads: New Paradigms and Their Impact on Theories Governing the Public’s Right to Spectrum Access 
(PDF document, 377Kb) by Patrick S. Ryan — last modified 2007-10-17 18:03
Abstract: Over the past few decades, many paradigm shifts have changed our view of the interrelationship of science and law. Future developments promise that wireless devices will continue to become simultaneously less expensive and more powerful. As distributed and mesh theories are being applied to wireless communications, we should endeavor to develop policy proposals that endow users of the new wireless devices with technology-neutral rights and obligations. The Wireless Device Bill of Rights – an initiative advanced by Bran Ferren, Kalle Konsten and others (and which borrows from the principles of Paul Baran’s research) – is one early model to address the rights and obligations of spectrum users by delineating simple rules for what users of the wireless spectrum (in an open spectrum environment) can do rather than what they cannot do. In addition to describing the Wireless Device Bill of Rights, this article questions whether Ronald Coase’s scholarship on wireless technologies – which was made prior to the widespread use of digital signaling – may be valuable today’s all-digital world. Patrick S. Ryan : University of Colorado at Boulder, Interdisciplinary Telecommunications Program; Catholic University of Leuven (KUL) – Interdisciplinary Center for Law and Information Technology (ICRI)

NepalWireless Networking Project – Case Study and Evaluation
(PDF document, 2872Kb) by Mahabir Pun, Robin Shields, Rajendra Poudel, Philip Mucci — last modified 2007-09-28 12:21
The paper documents the remarkable story and background to the OPLAN project in Nepal, driven by Mahabir Pun and his colleagues. Started by connecting Himanchal High School of Nangi, Nepal to the Internet, it has now expanded considerably. This project is an exemplar for the life-enhancing benefits to a community of an open access deployment of digital network technologies.

As Mahabir writes; “I worked step-by-step with the villagers and a team of international volunteers to achieve this goal. We built a micro hydro generator in the village. I learned how to assemble computers from donated parts in wooden boxes. By 2003, we had set up a limited Internet connection using Wi- fi technology. This project was formally started in 2003 as Nepal Wireless Networking Project to continue expanding the network throughout the area. Today, we have connected fourteen villages to the network and expanded our services to include telemedicine, distance education and telephone service. We have come a long way since 1996, but we still have much further to go. We hope it will continue to prosper due to the improving political situation in Nepal.”

VOIPOCALYPSE NOW: How Google, Skype and Yahoo! Will Change Fixed Telcos Models 
(PDF document, 446Kb) by Nick Holland, Senior Analyst — last modified 2007-09-28 12:08
Published by Pyramid Research, the Executive Summary states: “VoIP has been nothing short of a nightmare for fixed operators. Faced with the onerous choice of either losing PSTN revenues to third-party VoIP services or losing revenues to in-house VoIP, telcos can do little to stem the accelerated decline of voice revenues in an inevitable zero sum game. So far, VoIP has been predominantly the domain of telcos, cable operators, and third party providers such as Vonage. However, Internet goliaths (Microsoft, Yahoo!, Google, Ebay, and AOL) may shortly muscle in on the action. They certainly have the means, but do they have the motivation? We anticipate that these companies will indeed decide to move to the provision of VoIP services in both PC-dependent and PC-independent forms over the next few years. There are clearly revenues to be made, and with a large and relatively untapped base of Instant Messaging and P2P VoIP subscribers, it may not be difficult to monetize VoIP calls terminating on fixed and mobile lines. This could be highly disruptive for telcos, already sandbagging against the combined threats of fixed mobile substitution and VoIP offered by rival telcos, cable operators, and third parties.” : in-depth study for InfoDev
by Malcolm Matson — last modified 2007-04-27 08:00
The In-Depth Case study covering the experience was prepared as part of the OPLAN Foundation’s project undertaken for InfoDev at the World Bank. This study is of 7 open access network initiatives around the world selected by the OPLAN Foundation as being beacon projects. As founder of and educational leader of the “Djursland International Institute of Rural Wireless Broadband” Bjarke Nielsen has written the report on behalf of the Djursland society.

Proxicimmunication – ICT and the local public realm
(PDF document, 1327Kb) by William Davies — last modified 2007-03-21 12:09
Published by the Work Foundation (Chairman, Will Hutton) as part of their iSociety, this is an important contribution to the debate on the relevance of new ICT technologies to the local, community environment. From the Executive Summary: “Information and communication technology (ICT) is habitually seen as weakening the dependence communities have on shared locality. ICTs enable larger and more dispersed social groups to coordinate themselves through the use of telecommunications, publishing and broadcasting. Over the past decade, a number of new ICTs have entered mainstream society in the UK, including the internet and mobile phones, and early analyses tended to depict them as long-distance communication devices.The internet in particular was associated with globalisation, and seen to remove the constraints that geography places on social interaction.

Trends in telecommunications_services – does the traditional operator have the advantage? 
(PDF document, 142Kb) by George Salisbury — last modified 2007-02-09 14:27
This insightful article is significant both, for what it states and for who it is written by. The Author, George Salisbury, is a Managing Consultant for Detecom (part of the Deutsche Telecom family) and is in charge of the “technology Strategy” Group. He prefaces his insightful article with the statement, “The multi-faceted developments with telecommunications are leading to an increasing number of players entering the market who intend to use these developments to attack the traditional providers’ market share with new business models. It is with the backdrop of this increased competition that this article attempts to assess the traditional telecommnications service provders’ chances and to identify ways in which the telcos of the future can hold on to their position at the front of the field.”

France rolls out Open Public Local Access Networks
(PDF document, 53Kb) by Kenneth Murricane — last modified 2007-01-22 20:56
At the start of 2007, the Government of France is well underway in the implementation of a broadband strategy to ensure the provision of ubiquitous and affordable high-speed and very high-speed connectivity and services throughout France. The basis of the policy framework is unquestionable founded on OPLAN principles. The programme involves the building and operation of new IP (internet protocol) OPLANs developed through public-private partnerships on a regional and community basis but with substantial financial support from central government. The European Commission has given a ‘thumbs up’ to this vanguard grand plan for France.

Localising the Internet: 5 ways public ownership solves the US broadband problem
(PDF document, 1071Kb) by Becca Vargo Daggett — last modified 2007-01-10 19:38
This timely report notes that high speed broadband is becoming ever more widespread. But, it argues, the way in which that broadband is introduced may be as important as whether it is introduced. Many telecommunications companies are offering to build a citywide wireless or even wired network at little or no upfront cost to the city. That arrangement is especially attractive to local elected officials who fear that government lacks the expertise to manage a high tech network and who worry about the possible impact on their budget. “This is an excellent time to remember to look that gift horse in the mouth,” maintains Becca Vargo Daggett, the report’s author and the director of the Institute’s Telecommunication as Commons Project. “Even deals framed as coming at no cost to the city require the public sector to enter into extended contracts to pay millions for their own services over the new privately owned network. Cities owe it to themselves and their citizens to carefully evaluate the costs and benefits of public ownership.” Ms. Vargo Daggett also notes that cities that own infrastructure like roads and water pipelines should not fear owning the physical information network. “Concerns about obsolescence are overstated. Fiber optics is the gold standard, with essentially unlimited capacity and a lifespan measured in decades. Wireless technology is rapidly evolving, but its price is low and the payback period is short.” Moreover, unlike investments in traditional infrastructure, an investment in information networks can generate a significant return. “The investment will not only pay for itself, but can generate revenue that can pay for other important municipal services.”

A Dynamic Perspective on Government Broadband Initiatives
(PDF document, 400Kb) by The Reason Foundation — last modified 2007-01-08 11:00
This Reason Foundation study written by Jerry Ellig, former deputy director and acting director of the Federal Trade Commission’s Office of Policy Planning, outlines seven key factors that municipal officials should fully address before moving forward with plans for municipal broadband and Wi-Fi to ensure that the projects are technologically and financially viable. The study also cautions city officials to beware of “geeks bearing gifts,” suggesting that companies like EarthLink and Google are interested in providing free Wi-Fi because the deals will give them rights-of-way and valuable access to public infrastructure like light and telephone poles. This worthy study is seriously weakened by its failure to undertake any examination of the state-sustained ‘vertical integration’ of the current telecoms/cable sectors and, in our view, wrongly concludes, that the current competition between ‘service providers’ is evidence of a successful free market.

Actions Speak Louder Than Words
(PDF document, 181Kb) by Malcolm Matson — last modified 2007-01-04 16:41
January 2007 note on fund raising – circulated to mailling list

TriplePlay at affordable cost in Andhra Pradesh (India)
(PDF document, 1186Kb) by Y L Agarwal — last modified 2006-12-22 21:21
Not strictly an OPLAN, this rural development in India none the less holds interesting information and experience relevant to OPLAN development in emerging markets. This detailed case-study was written by Y.L.Agarwal for InfoDev, The World Bank as part of the broader local open access study undertaken for the Bank by the OPLAN Foundation

Knysna_Open_Access_Network Case Study
(PDF document, 423Kb) by Uninet Communications — last modified 2006-12-22 21:21
A detailed case study prepared by Uninet Communications ( of the OPLAN they have developed for The Knysna Municipality, part of the Eden District Municipality in the Western Cape Province of South Africa (SA). With a population of just 50 000 (as of 2001), spanning an area of over 1000 km1, this study, undertaken for the World Bank as part of the OPLAN Foundation’s wider study, provides a wealth of practical information and example of ‘best pactice’ .

Wireless Ghana – A Case Study
(PDF document, 1251Kb) by Boateng Ebenezer; Gideon Amoah; John Atkinson — last modified 2006-12-22 19:47
An in-depth case study of the Wireless Ghana project commissioned by and developed for the World Bank’s infoDev group. This document has been prepared by a team of individuals working with Community Based Libraries and Information Technology (CBLit) at the Apirede Community Resource Center (ACRC), in the Eastern Region of Ghana. Wireless Ghana is a project of Community-Based Libraries and Information Technology (CBLit), a non-government organization based in both Ghana and the United States. The Wireless Ghana project is a rural project. It was initiated at the Apirede Resource Center (CBLit’s first Community Resource Center) in 2005 in response to the local community’s requests for connectivity to help them break their isolation and move their children and community closer to the 21st century, and be competitive with their urban counterparts. Apirede is in the Akwapim1 North district in the Eastern Region of Ghana. This district has seventeen towns and several villages with a total population of about 1.2 million people.

Municipal Provision of Wireless Internet – FTC Staff Report
by Malcolm Matson — last modified 2006-12-22 20:57
An extensive historical, technical and political summary of the development of MuniWireless in the USA. Published in September 2006 by staff members of the Federal Trade Commission, USA. The Summary CONCLUSIONS: The decision of whether, and through what vehicle, a municipality should facilitate or provide wireless Internet service requires a highly fact-specific analysis that is not amenable to a one-size-fits-all policy recommendation. For example, the situation of a large metropolitan area served by multiple wireline telecommunications providers and high-speed cellular Internet technology is quite different from that of a small rural town with only one or no wireline telecommunications providers and low-speed cellular service. Moreover, municipalities offer their residents varying levels of governmental services, some of which may potentially be supported more efficiently through the addition of a wireless Internet network. Accordingly, rather than attempt to provide a single answer, this report provides guidance for policymakers considering whether and how a municipality should involve itself in the provision of wireless Internet service. It sets forth a framework that recognizes that the relevance of arguments for and against municipal involvement may vary depending on the particular factual circumstances. In addition, by identifying a range of operating models, the framework suggests a variety of options available to policymakers. Guiding this approach is a concern for competition principles, and the framework’s overall approach attempts to reduce the likelihood of competitive harm in this area. Finally, the report discusses process considerations, such as transparency and accountability, that can improve the decisionmaking process overall.

Telecentre Hardware Costing Sheet for Pakistan(Microsoft Excel spreadsheet, 35Kb) by Salman Ansari Technology Consultants (Pvt) Ltd — last modified 2006-11-26 20:29
Practical Excel costing sheet for detailed development of a ‘telecenter’ – relevant for anywhere in the developing world

Telecenters and Community Resource & Information Centres in Pakistan:  Vol 1 
(PDF document, 4808Kb) by Salman Ansari Technology Consultants (Pvt) Ltd. — last modified 2006-11-26 20:17
These document is a brief study of the phenomenon of Telecenters as they have evolved in different parts of the World and in Pakistan. Considerable useful information and case studies are available on the Internet and full use is made of these. The report was developed for The World Bank. Most of the time reports like this give outlines and general directions and can not be applied directly. It was decided to take a thoroughly practical approach with reference to the situation valid today. As such, this document also analyses different approaches to creating the actual Telecenters and addressing challenges which will be faced. Another facet is the involvement of prospective large size Telecenter operators and inserting their case studies and directions.

Images of Amsterdam’s Citynet under construction
by Malcolm Matson — last modified 2006-11-13 13:58
A series of images taken throughout the day showing the various elements and stages of the meticulous constructiona dn re-instatement in an Amsterdam of the Citynet fibre OPLAN

Sweden – IT Policy Strategy Group Report
by Malcolm Matson — last modified 2006-11-11 16:48
On 18 June 2003, the Swedish Government appointed an IT Policy Strategy Group. In addition to exercising an advisory role vis à vis the Government, the Group is to play a proactive role in efforts to achieve the IT policy goal of an information society for all. Another central task is to seek in collaboration with other players in the community to maintain Swedens leading international position at the forefront of IT development. The report of the group is here.

INEC Declaration on Open Networks 
(PDF document, 47Kb) by Malcolm Matson — last modified 2006-11-10 13:29
Text of the INEC Declaration on Open Networks as presented to the Broadband Cities 2006 Conference, Stockholm, Sweden on 8th November 2006.

Seattle – Report of Broadband & Telecommunications Task Force(PDF document, 2191Kb) by Malcolm Matson — last modified 2006-10-14 18:08The Seattle City Council created, with concurrence by Mayor Greg Nickels, the Task Force on Broadband and Telecommunications in summer, 2004. The Task Force was charged to explore and report on the feasibility of using municipal resources in a network that is available to the public using broadband technologies. The work of the committee included evaluation of broadband technologies such as broadband over power lines; Wi-Fi, Wi-Max, and other wireless applications; and end-user fiber-optics build out. The Task Force explored the future of broadband and broadband experiences of other cities and governments, and assesses City of Seattle assets that could help shape the future of telecommunications information services for the City, its citizens and its businesses. The thirteen-member Task Force was chaired by Steve Clifford, the former CEO of King Broadcasting. Seattle City Council Resolution 30684 directed that members of the Task Force should have the following expertise, experience and attributes: * Members of the business, technology, and telecommunication communities; * Persons with a background in community technology; * Persons with expertise in technology and telecommunications law and regulation; and * Citizens with an interest in technology, telecommunications, and the delivery of services to residents and businesses in Seattle.

How To Accelerate Your Internet: A practical guide to Bandwidth Management and Optimization using Open Source Software
(PDF document, 5966Kb) by BMO Book Sprint Team — last modified 2006-10-17 04:57
The book helps network architects understand and troubleshoot problems related to managing Internet bandwidth, which often result in unnecessarily high operational costs in the developing world. Network connections are very expensive in most parts of the world, and it is often costly and difficult to add additional network capacity. Therefore, effective management and optimization of bandwidth is crucial. Research and education benefit significantly from Internet resources, yet the majority of institutions take little or no action to manage their bandwidth usage. This waste results in high operating costs, slow network connections, and frustrated network users. The goal of the book is to provide practical information on how to gain the largest possible benefit from your connection to the Internet. By prioritizing certain kinds of network activity, reducing the impact of spam and viruses, providing local content caching, and performing extensive monitoring and analysis of network usage, Internet consumption can be brought to manageable levels. This makes it possible to provide equitable access for all users, even when the available bandwidth is quite small. But technical solutions only solve part of the problem. In order to prioritize network traffic, an organization needs to have a clear idea of the intended purpose of the network connection, as well as insight into how the connection is being used. The book addresses this complex topic by covering the three major components of effective bandwidth management: Effective policy, extensive monitoring & analysis, and solid network implementation. In addition, troubleshooting techniques, advanced performance tuning tips and tricks, and real-world case studies are also provided.

A Critique of the Grand Plan
(PDF document, 118Kb) by Dr John G. Waclawsky — last modified 2006-10-10 08:00
The author offers ten reasons why IMS is a bad idea and says: “The dark side of Quality Of Service (QOS) is that it can be used to limit bandwidth and functionality” “HTTP traffic is an enormous threat to IMS, as it does not require redirection from the signaling plane” “How to pay for the Internet’s underlying communication infrastructure is the key question” “IMS is just a veiled attempt to prop up an aging, monopolistic, circuit-oriented business model”

What You Need to Know
(PDF document, 250Kb) by Dr John G. Waclawsky — last modified 2006-10-10 07:57
Can the IP Multimedia Subsystem enable new services, converge wireless and wireline networks and keep service providers firmly in the driver’s seat? The author addresses this and leave us with a number of notable quotes: “IMS functions signal and track usage, but IMS doesn’t provide features or services” “UMTS Releases are just steps in the migration toward full 3G implementation” “The desire to monetize the Internet means some form of IMS will probably be implemented”

Closed Archiotectures, Closed System and Closed Minds
(PDF document, 250Kb) by Dr John G. Waclawsky — last modified 2006-10-10 07:51
After OSI, how can anyone still believe in network technology innovation through system standards groupthink efforts?’ Some key quotes from the paper: “People, including standards makers, can’t see into the future” “The lack of flexibility in tightly-coupled architectures makes it hard to experiment” “The market is abandoning the planned future of mobile wireless” “In an open architecture, developers can experiment with new applications, services and technologies”

Where Do System Standards Go From Here?
(PDF document, 316Kb) by Dr John G. Waclawsky — last modified 2006-10-10 07:53
The goal of any standards group should be to generate end-user value, argues John G. Waclawsky, Ph.D. in this paper written when he was a member of the senior technical staff of the mobile wireless group at Cisco Systems. Notable quotes from the paper include: “Most vendors would rather be system integrators than commodity box and part suppliers” “The telcos and their suppliers want to “circle the wagons” against the threat of component technologies and business models” “Incumbents use the slow pace of system standards to help protect their markets and business models” “Market-based projects with “cookbook” outputs would help the system standards bodies remain relevant”

The Pew Report Summary on the Future of the Internet – September 2006
(PDF document, 80Kb) by Pew Foundation — last modified 2006-09-24 23:38
The internet will be a thriving, low-cost network of billions of devices by 2020, says the latest survey of the Pew Internet Foundation – a leading technology think-tank. The Pew report on the future internet surveyed 742 experts in the fields of computing, politics and business. More than half of respondents had a positive vision of the net’s future but 46% had serious reservations. Almost 60% said that a counter culture of Luddites would emerge, some resorting to violence. The Pew Internet and American Life report canvassed opinions from the experts on seven broad scenarios about the future internet, based on developments in the technology in recent years.

WiFI Neutral Operator: Promoting co-operation for Network and Service Growth
(PDF document, 215Kb) by Jorge Infante; Miquel Oliver; Carlos Macian – Research Group on Networking Technology and Strategies – Universitat Pompeu Fabra, Spain — last modified 2006-08-21 14:46
In this paper different issues for the deployment of a Neutral Operator using WiFi technology are presented. We propose a business model, a network architecture and an organizational structure for a WiFi Neutral Network, characterized by an access and transport networking infrastructure shared among different entities under a common agreement. The Neutral Operator basically allows to share investments, promoting competition in the different business sectors such as services (access to Internet, to audiovisual contents, to corporative intranets, etc. offered by the service providers) and access networks (collect and transport user traffic from different coverage areas to the points of presence of the Neutral Operator). The business model is particularized for the Catalonian case, a seven-million population region, in the south of Europe.

The Market for WiFi in China: Opportunities, Enablers and Challenges
by Malcolm Matson — last modified 2006-08-16 11:39
With its large population and burgeoning urban middle class, China is emerging as a key market for a wide variety of technology and consumer electronics products. Wi-Fi is no exception. This paper, prepared by Analysis with sponsorship from the WiFi Alliance (June 2006), outlines the key market drivers, enablers, and challenges to Wi-Fi in the China market. At a glance, the following key points emerge:

  1. Increasing competition among silicon providers, and the decreased prices it will bring about, is expected to drive innovation and inclusion of Wi-Fi functionality in a wide variety of devices.
  2. Chinese telecom operators, who initially invested heavily in hotspot deployments, have shifted focus to the provisioning of home Wi-Fi networks as a value added service to basic broadband access. Consumers also purchase equipment on their own and set up networks in their home.
  3. Widespread product interoperability, robust security, and simpler configuration are key factors that will enable market growth in all segments in China (enterprise, home user, and telecom deployments).
  4. It is expected that most operators will later provide voice and data services over converged and Voice over Wi-Fi mobile phones, but the business model for these services is not year clear in the China market. However, with nearly 400 mobile subscribers in place and dramatic growth expected in the coming years, this presents an attractive opportunity for handset manufacturers.
  5. In the core PC networking segment, pure access point (AP) devices are giving way to devices with stronger routing and firewall functions. Similarly, the network for non-embedded Wi-Fi cards will shrink and ultimately disappear as Wi-Fi functionality becomes standard in PC equipment, particularly laptops.
  6. Laptop shipments into China are increasing and expected to reach 8 million units by 2009. Laptop pricing is decreasing, enabling a larger group of Chinese enterprises and consumers to purchase them. Laptops remain the first target device for Wi-Fi in China, with 90% of Chinese shipments Wi-Fi enabled by 2007.
  7. The enterprise market segment, already taking shape in China, will be the most attractive in the near term, with the home user market growing more slowly, driven by consumer electronics and converged phones.
  8. The public access (hotspot) market in China currently boasts some 10,000 hotspots, including 1,000 at universities and colleges. Investment in public access has currently slowed, but may be driven by the opportunities to provide Value Added Services and advertising in the future.

COLT Crash
(PDF document, 115Kb) by Malcolm Matson — last modified 2006-08-14 13:31
Times report on 22nd November 1999 reporting Malcolm Matson’s forecast of COLT Telecom share price crash.

The OPLAN vision of the City of Eindhoven
by Malcolm Matson — last modified 2006-07-26 16:09
According to independent research published in July 2006 South Korea has lost its long-held position as the country with the highest ‘broadband’ penetration and has been overtaken by three European countries, one of which is the Netherlands.

Since 2000, broadband has been high on the political agenda in the Dutch city of Eindhoven. Following the publication of the policy memorandum Glasrijk Eindhoven (‘Fibre-Rich Eindhoven’), the development and deployment of a fibre-optic infrastructure there has been proceeding apace. A working fibre-to-the-home network serving about 7000 households has recently been completed. In September 2005 a dark-fibre network more than 90 kilometres in length for businesses and other organisations enters service. Both of these initiatives are on the verge of upscaling. So now is a good moment to reflect upon the role of a local authority in the ‘fibre-wiring’ of its community. This article concentrates upon the development of the infrastructure and less upon the services it carries. For regular readers of IT Management Select, the article is of interest in the context of the commercial use of such an infrastructure and because it opens up opportunities for the supply of broadband services.

Brainport Navigator 2013
(PDF document, 1997Kb) by Brainport Eindhoven — last modified 2006-07-26 15:50
Brainport Eindhoven, that is the title ascribed to the Eindhoven Region/Southeast Brabant in national policy memoranda at the end of 2004. A national title with international allure. Not only is Brainport the engine of the Dutch economy, it rates highly at a European level. The continuance of Brainport is important, for the region’s economy as well as that of the Netherlands. And so a Brainport programme has been developed: Brainport Navigator 2013; Beyond Lisbon! The Brainport Navigator defines the route to the target and the ambition: to excel as an international top technology region.

Infodev Study on Local Open Access Networks for Communities and Municipalities
(PDF document, 458Kb) by Malcolm Matson — last modified 2006-07-26 15:32This study is part of a set of resources and toolkits being made available by infoDev to sub-sovereign areas, municipalities and communities who aim to improve the welfare of their citizens, increase business competitiveness and encourage open and accessible local government through the use of ICT.

Expression of Interest
(PDF document, 165Kb) by Malcolm Matson — last modified 2006-07-18 15:06
On July 19th 2005, infoDev announced its proposed Study and Toolkit on what we refer to as Open Public Local Access Networks (OPLANs). The OPLAN Foundation was encouraged to submit an Expression of Interest which it did and was subsequently appointed to advise infoDev and prepare an extensive Study on the topic. It was subsequently further retained to develop this Study into a powerful interactive web version.

OPLAN White Paper
(PDF document, 1027Kb) by Malcolm Matson — last modified 2006-07-18 12:59“There is now general acceptance that we benefit most if the ‘atoms’ comprising the materials and products of our industrial age pass, free of tax or duty through the sea and airports of the world. So too, in the emerging information age, should the ‘bits’ of the knowledge economy pass across the abundance of network capacity and through the ports of our computers without attracting the bandwidth toll which is currently levied by the telecoms industry, operating on an outdated business model based upon allocating network scarcity”

Economic Analysis and Network Neutrality : Separating empirical facts from theoretical fiction
by Malcolm Matson — last modified 2006-07-26 13:19
This Issue Brief was Prepared by Dr Trevor Roycroft ( for the Consumer Federation of America, Consumers Union and Free Press. It is a well argued case for preserving ‘network neutrailty’ and makes important links to local access infrastructure. The paper is in large measure a response to Prof Christopher Yoo’s paper, “Promoting Broadband Through Network Diversity.” February 6, 2006. Available at:

Regulatory Creep and Regulatory Withdrawal: Why Regulatory Withdrawal is Feasible and Necessary
(PDF document, 266Kb) by Prof. John Cubbin and David Currie – City Business School— last modified 2006-05-30 19:23
An inspired paper co-authored by David Currie when Dean of the City University Business School (London). It argued for the importance of separating ownership of the telecoms network from the supply of telecoms services and argued for the splitting up of British Telecom as an integrated business. Shortly thereafter, Lord Currie (by then) was appointed the Chairman of OFCOM – which has grown in size and influence every since!

Americas_Technology_Future_At_Risk: Broadband and Investment Strategies to Refire Innovation
(PDF document, 1301Kb) by Clyde Prestowitz — last modified 2006-04-05 10:10
An erudite paper with a wealth of data nd references written by Clyde Prestowitz and published by The Economic Strategy Institute, Washington DC, in Q1 2006. Although written from a US-centric position, it provides a global perspective of broadband developments and lays the cause of the US ever lagging position in terms of true broadband connectivity firmly at the door of flawed public and regulatory policy.

Digital Community_best_practices
(PDF document, 100Kb) by Intel — last modified 2006-03-31 12:17
This Intel document provides local government stakeholders with a process overview of the implementation stages involved in the development of a Digital Community metropolitan-area broadband solution. It reviews the issues of core-group needs analysis, building a business case and community consensus, funding scenarios, private sector partnering, and network management.

The Internet: A Common Endeavour…How the Pieces Fit Together
(Microsoft PowerPoint presentation, 2256Kb) by Jim Forster – Cisco Systems — last modified 2006-03-31 12:17
Jim Forster, Distinguished Engineer with Cisco Systems and a supporter of OPLAN strategies gives an informed presentation of ‘the way it is’ and concludes that regulatory environments should be liberalized; communities should be empowered to connect themselves with wire and wireless and we should resist trying to ‘harmonize’ everything.

Local Network Costing Model
(Microsoft Excel spreadsheet, 362Kb) by Analysis, Cambridge — last modified 2006-03-31 12:17
This spreadsheet is version 1 of the Analysys model of a third party infrastructure franchise, which was developed by Analysys with funding from Corning Developments Inc and McNicholas. You are welcome to use or develop this model for your own purposes – all that we ask is that the following text be included in any document that presents results derived using the model, or any development of it: Results presented here were derived using [a model based on] the Analysys third party infrastructure franchise model. However these results have not been derived or validated by Analysys, and are therefore solely the responsibility of [name of the organisation that derived the results]. Copyright in the model is reserved to Analysys Consulting Ltd © 2003.

Cities brace for Broadband War
by Malcolm Matson — last modified 2006-07-26 13:16
This CNET article by staff writers Jim Hu and Marguerite Reardon, sets the background to the battle to get an OPLAN developed in Lafayette, Louisiana, USA. Although a highly US-centric article, this is evidence of the emerging “mother of all battles” for control of the “First Mile” which Malcolm Matson has long herladed. May 2nd 2005.

The Stupid Revolution, Open Networks and the Democratization of Communications by Malcolm Matson — last modified 2006-07-26 13:15Mike Chege, an enlightened Kenyan economist living and working in Nairobi, writes a personal but very readable account of OPLANs and all that they imply. with many interesting anecdotal references. Heavily influenced by David Isenberg. Written April 5th 2005

Mesh Wireless and Open Access Fiber Networks as at November 2004
(PDF document, 30Kb) by Gordon Cook — last modified 2006-03-31 12:10
Mesh wireless and open access fiber are laying the ground work, (according to this piece by Gordon Cook of the The Cook Report on Internet Protocol), for customer owned networks. Meanwhile, enterprises, trapped between security concerns and their need to use the public internet are motivated to seek protection. Reference to the OPLAN concept as developed by Malcolm Matson and the Djursland rural wireless OPLAN in Denmark.

Network Ownership Grows at the Edges
(PDF document, 22Kb) by Gordon Cook — last modified 2006-03-31 12:17
Gordon Cook of the The CookReport on Internet Protocol provides a subjective summary as of October 2004 of the growing tendency for user-controlled network infrastructure – with reference to Malcolm Matson and the OPLAN concept.

ING Report on CityNet Amsterdam
(PDF document, 375Kb) by Damien Chew, FCA – ING — last modified 2006-03-31 12:17
A excellent market summary of CityNet – the planned OPLAN for the City of Amsterdam (Netherlands). With a wealth of qualitative and quantitative information about this vanguard open access network – with ING as one of the investors, this readily accessible analyst’s note provides an informed market background to this important OPLAN initiative.

Broadband City, A Roadmap for Local Government Executives
(PDF document, 4746Kb) by Cisco Systems — last modified 2006-03-31 12:17
The aim of this Cisco Systems publication is to offer local government executives a roadmap in addressing the opportunities offered by broadband. Drawing on the experiences and lessons learned by pioneering local governments in the deployment of broadband networks, Cisco sets out a roadmap for the development of these networks.

The four stages in the process are:

  • Stage One: Developing a Vision and Securing Buy-In
  • Stage Two: Selecting the Right Strategic Option
  • Stage Three: Creating the Consortium and Detailed Business Plan
  • Stage Four: Starting Operations

OPLANS – Analysis, Background, Context & Interpretation
(PDF document, 977Kb) by Malcolm Matson — last modified 2006-03-31 12:17
A view of the emergence of the OPLAN principles from various perspectives – technological; historical; economic; political. An important primer on the topic for the non technical reader

The OPEN Architecture of the Digital Communication Platform: Economic & Legal Principles from sustaining the Digital Revolution
(Microsoft PowerPoint presentation, 3507Kb) by Mark Cooper – Stanford Law School — last modified 2006-03-31 12:17
Open transportation and communications networks are deeply embedded in the DNA of capitalism and are the lifeblood of democracy. The Internet is the purest form of an open communications network we have ever experienced. But, there are constant threats to its openness at every layer.. Mark Cooper presents strong arguments for the open access case in this presentation.

Liberty, Free markets and the Information Age: Personal reflections on Djursland 2004 – reflections
(Microsoft Word Document, 35Kb) by Malcolm Matson — last modified 2006-03-31 12:17
Malcolm Matson reflects on the manner in which the “free networks” movement is unwittingly based on fundamental principles of free trade and open markets. At the first gathering in 2004 of what is now WSFII, hundreds of individuals from 33 countries gathered in this remote Danish region to consider how to promote and develop ‘free networks’. That they were espousing principles of ‘free trade’ enunciated by Adam Smith, would have been anathema to many of them. This personal reflection builds the argument and makes the observation. Originally written and circulated amongst a small number of leading free-market think tanks and institutes around the world known to the author.

(PDF document, 1020Kb) by Bill St. Arnaud — last modified 2006-03-31 12:17
The “Problem” as stated in this informative and well argued OPLAN presentation from Canada’s CANARIE organisation, is that telcos are talking about building a two tiered Internet as an high speed un-congested channel for their telco video-traffic (triple play) leaving a small ‘slow lane’ for all other service and application providers by such parties as Google, MSN, Yahoo etc – unless they pay!! Teleco and cable cos could end up squeezing out ASPs and ISPs from providing effective service to their customers. CANARIE postulate “customer owned networks” as a solution to this and one that is prefereable to relying on regulation to prevent this telco plan for deploying a two-tiered internet

Stadsnäts – Future communication in Open Urban Networks
(PDF document, 477Kb) by Stadsnäts — last modified 2006-03-31 12:17
The Swedish Urban Network Association’s printed brochure outlining its work. Representing as it does, network owners as well as operators and suppliers, this gives a top level overview of the Association’s pioneering work in one of the most advanced OPLAN countries in the world – Sweden.

OPLAN Presentation to Stedenlink
(PDF document, 6757Kb) by Malcolm Matson — last modified 2006-03-31 12:17
The OPLAN generic presentation as given to the Stedenlink gathering in the Hague – February 2006

Assigning Broadband Rights
(PDF document, 261Kb) by Bruce M. Owen — last modified 2006-03-31 12:17
An enlightened and well argued paper by a leading economist (Bruce M. Owen – Gordon Cain Senior Fellow at Stanford University’s Institute for Economic Policy Analysis) published in Regulation in the summer of 2004. Considering the tendency towards ‘vertical integration; of local infrastructure with content and service, the author asks (and addresses) the question, “Could private control of access and standards lead to a balkanization of the Internet?” Time has moved on since this excellent paper was written and the arguments are even more pertinent.

The Broadband Community of the future becomes a reality with the help of Emtelle 
(PDF document, 879Kb) by Emtelle — last modified 2006-03-31 12:17
Emtelle, the blown fibre vendor, tells the story of the Nuenen OPLAN of 8,000 homes in The Netherlands in which it was closely involved. A simply, non-technical summary of what happened.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>