End-to-end fiber

Teleportation is unlikely to become a widespread mode of transport just yet. However, fiber-based internet has genuine potential to replace the physical movement of atoms (eg, business travel, couriers, doctor's visits, etc), with transmission of bits.

Last decade, the OECD governments measured their success with broadband uptake. Now they look to fiber, expecting even greater productivity boosts and GDP growth. In developed markets, this means fiber to the premises, often under government sponsorship, given that earlier regulation has removed the profits for fixed network re-investment.

The emerging market opportunity is even greater. Fiber-based backhaul boosts wireless broadband. By 2020, as the mobile teledensity in emerging markets is likely to approach 100%, ubiquitous fiber-based backhaul will make the internet available to the entire world's population. Watch it take off - the next one is a decade of fiber.

Pawel Grochowicz is a telecom consultant based in New Zealand 

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