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Delivering better quality broadband for the gigabit society

Here at Vodafone we are committed to delivering a Gigabit Society, a world where consumers and businesses benefit from widespread connectivity of 1 gigabit per second, low latency and reliable performance delivered by robust, future-proof fixed and mobile technologies. At the heart of the Gigabit Society vision is the need to upgrade, or in some cases replace, existing network infrastructure to make sure that we are able to meet the needs and expectations of customers now and in the future.

Vodafone has built Europe’s largest Next Generation Network, passing 99 million households – 36 million of those are reached by our own fibre and cable network and the rest through wholesale arrangements with partners. As a result, we are also Europe’s fastest growing broadband provider with 18.6 million customers (including Vodafone Ziggo). Although speed is important, a gigabit broadband network also needs to deliver stability and reliability for our customers.

There are three key elements that make up all broadband connectivity, which are all equally important in delivering a truly gigabit experience:

  • Speed: do customers have enough bandwidth to do what they want to do online?
  • Quality: is it responsive, stable and reliable?
  • Functionality: what can customers actually do with it?

So while we’re working on upgrading the physical network, laying the foundations that allow us to deliver next-generation speeds, we’re not resting on our laurels. Our next focus is to deliver next-generation quality. Much like Sir Dave Brailsford’s approach to Team Sky, making sure we’re getting the very best out of our networks is all about ‘marginal gains[1]‘: making lots of small adjustments to every different element, which cumulatively make a massive impact.

One of the things my team is focused on at the moment is latency. Often when a customer complains of poor broadband it’s actually a latency problem. People are increasingly impatient when it comes to waiting for their tech to work – these days, they expect their webpages to load within the blink of an eye (150 milliseconds).

So even if their network has the speed to manage this but the latency is unresolved, you’ll still have an unhappy customer.

Delivering better quality broadband for the gigabit society

References

  1. ^ marginal gains (www.bbc.co.uk)

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