FURTHER BEHIND... OR AHEAD?
After World War II when Germany and then Japan shot ahead in technological skills, remember how everyone remarked that those countries
"lost the war and won the future"? Who do you think will be the
first to have the new "electronic highway" or ISDN delivered directly
to living room television screens?
Would you believe that land once called East Germany? It's true.
Just as some Third World companies leap-frogged some industrialized
countries during the past decade, those five eastern states that rejoined the integrated Germany after the collapse of Soviet communism
are lining up to be first in some aspects of telecommunications. How
can they do this?
Because they have no status quo to defend. No locked-into the past
management. No rigid unionized contracts. Their internal communications system, antique by our standards just doesn't work in today's
world. It is far easier to replace with a totally new network than
to repair. So they will be putting in the very newest, well ahead of
the rest of the world. And that's the Integrated Services Digital
Network, a fibre-optic cable network that allows vast amounts of
television, facsimile, data, phone, radio and future broadband multimedia and other communications to travel to any destination the cable
takes it. It will also allow computer-based video processing and
access to world-wide data banks!
They are calling their version FTTH for Fibre-To-The-Home network. It
is being provided by Telekom Division of the Bundespost, the highlyefficient German communications authority. Tenders will be accepted
from both domestic and foreign contractors for segments of the
installation process. By 1995 the Bundespost hopes to have linked to
the system 1.2 million homes in former East Germany. This is not a
market-driven project. They don't even know how much of it will be
used. What they do know is that it will be cheaper to lay glassfibre now than trying to fix, find or replace what is there now. Talk
about losing the war!
Leipzig was chosen as the first test area. The project there is
underway as you read this. The advantages are many. The city has a
well-educated German population presently poorly-employed. FTTH will
provide excellent operational experience (don't be surprised to find
German companies bidding on Canadian installations whenever the CRTC
or the FCC in the U.S. gets around to doing the same thing over here)
and will offer participating companies the opportunity to acquire
valuable know-how for later FTTH technology transfer to other world
areas. Telekom will commence their equipment-procurement process by
* * *
chapter index |
back to Main Chapter Listing
back to Home Page