Following a report from the LSE recently it was revealed that there was a £1.1bn shortfall in the funding required to provide broadband to the whole of the UK by 2015. It is of course imperative that the network is improved, but the underlying problem goes beyond that of simple costs: it is also about control.
Policies behind bandwidth management vary from sector to sector according to demand, legacy systems utilised and regulation. These policies are sometimes shared between network providers and between end-user organisations, but often differ. In the race to plumb more fibre into the UK’s soil, the management policies are being passed by. In the next three years increased data transfer, both in terms of speed and volume, as well as virtualised systems and storage are all going to contribute to this issue. You don’t solve a traffic problem by adding more lanes to a motorway, it simply means more cars.
The industry should be exploring more innovative means to handle this data influx to the network and overall UK infrastructure. Making the most of what is already in place, and ‘smart routing’ for data, load controls and volume management tools may well become crucial requirements of future enterprise service offerings, as well as featuring in national regulation.