The growth in broadband communications is having a profound economic and social impact in Europe and beyond. There is no information society without broadband infrastructure. The demand for broadband is being driven by increasingly sophisticated content and services (e-business, e-learning, e-health, gaming, …) running on highspeed LANs connecting a widening variety of office- and entertainmentterminals. Capacity is generally available in the core networks of developed countries, since this is being upgraded cost-effectively in-line with demand, thanks to the foresighted deployment of fibre and DWDM technologies over the last 10 years. The spotlight for providing users with broadband is therefore directed more onto the access network, where DSL, CATV, WLAN hot-spots, BFWA, Satellites, Powerline and fibre access networks are competing to bring higher bitrates to the end users. Availability of broadband holds much potential to stimulate the development of attractive new content,
applications and services. In turn, production of new content, applications and services will increase demand for connectivity that will improve incentives for investment. Because of this ‘virtuous circle’, a broadband strategy needs to be designed around supply and demand-side policies, supply being the infrastructure and demand the content side of broadband. The development of broadband content is still at the beginning. However, as access prices reduce, and take up increases, the market should naturally lead to the development of new innovative content. The near future Next Generation Access Network based on fibre is not a myth and can be realised today with aggregating available technologies spread across all kinds of access technologies (xDSL, ISDN, WLAN, GSM/GPRS, Ethernet, cable modem and in some cases satellite links), with backbone photonic core networks supported by well established transmission networks. The ambient networks and ambient intelligence aware applications are developing fast with sensors integrated to the appliances and interconnected across powerline, wireless and other types of networks that are creating the significant data traffic, in addition to the traditional voice and data/visual communication. Photonic access networks as an enabler technology can bridge the gap between the high bandwidth ambient networks and high capacity core networks. This will facilitate the users to exploit the potential advantages of broadband services and applications such as e-learning, e-health and infotainment. The user expectations in improving the quality of life rely heavily on Information Society technologies and services. This can be a reality when the network and service providers make this bridge of broadband access deployment a reality. With such a move, there will be the new services and applications that the user wants: with ease of use, adapted to his work and family environment and associated with cost-performance, but independent of underlying networks. This workshop discusses possible broadband access technologies as an enabler bridging the gaps between the user networks and the core networks to deliver end-to-end services and applications with appropriate QoS, Security etc., which is a major constraint in developing the information society. It will address the enabling technologies and business models necessary to realise the broadband access for all users.
Vol. 1 - 972-8865-17-1