LONDON The UK government is investing £1 million to help companies and universities carry out initial research and feasibility studies into technologies that will be needed for the next generation of broadband beyond that currently available, so called Ultra Fast Broadband.
The funds and projects are being channeled through the Technology Strategy Board.
The feasibility projects Ė each costing between £30,000 and £100,000 Ė will, in turn, help establish European collaborations that will participate in larger EU-funded research and development initiatives.
The ultimate aim, the Board says, is the development of pan-European Ultra Fast Broadband that could see European companies gaining a massive competitive advantage on a global scale.
Mike Biddle, lead technologist at the Technology Strategy Board, said: "The challenge is to identify ways to address the technical issues facing the introduction of Ultra-Fast Broadband within the next decade and to build European collaborations to exploit the technology, while generating wealth for the UK. Our intention in providing this funding is to help British companies establish future European collaborations that will participate in larger EU funding initiatives."
One of the projects focuses on high volume photonic packaging for bi-directional duplexer components, the aim being to reduce component size and cost, and provide a cost-effective route to mass manufacture. Participants include Gooch and Housego and Oclaro, the group formed last month through the merger between optical component specialist Bookham and Avanex.
Oclaro is also leading a feasibility study into the use of low cost, tunable optical network units for WDM PONs. The study will examine the feasibility of shifting the burden of providing the stability and calibration of the laser to the network, thereby simplifying the ONU. Others involved in the project include ADVA Optical Netwoking, BT and Cambridge University.