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It is not unreasonable to ask, “Why is the OPLAN model beginning to emerge around the world as the favoured model for delivering local connectivity?”

The telephone, given to the world by Alexander Graham Bell over a hundred years ago, proved beyond any shadow of doubt, that ‘conversation’ is the very stuff of human life. More recently, the staggering growth of the internet is further demonstrating the natural and near insatiable appetite that communities, households, businesses and individuals have on a global level to “converse” - to be ‘creators’ of content and value as well as ‘consumers’.

This potential for ‘conversation’ over the internet is entirely due to its ‘open’ nature - where ‘a-bit-is-a-bit-is-a-bit’. The development of OPLANs is taking place as communities and cities (especially the public sector) want to derive similar benefits within and throughout their locale as well as affording ‘open access’ to all and any service provider beyond the confines of the local community. The combination of ‘open’ and passive local infrastructure, coupled with the possibility of local and global content and applications generated and consumed by anyone with the imagination and enterprise to do so, has tremendous potential to stimulate and promote new ways and enhance existing ways of: But as with earlier technological revolutions, it is not for the elite or the expert to pronounce or prognosticate on the likely uses and benefits of such disruptive technology. Rather, it is when the market at large, unimpeded from unnecessary restriction or control, starts to deploy it and experiment with it, that unimagined and unforeseen benefit is derived. Nobody predicted that in the 19th century, the railways would improve the nations’ teeth! But they did just that by bringing calcium-rich fresh milk from the countryside to the heart of the city – and delivered countless other unforeseen surprises and benefits to mankind. The OPLAN business model facilitates just that sort of innovation in our local communities by unleashing the full power and potential of the three seminal digital technologies of the second half of the 20th century – the silicon chip; optical fibre and cognitive (software controlled) radio spectrum