An ever-increasing amount of entertainment, social activities and shopping takes place in and around the home. More and more services will be consumed there, including even work, democratic processes, and health care. It is of paramount importance that the telecommunications infrastructure of the homes is shaped so that it can carry these services. While not losing sight on the plurality of future services, we have chosen to focus on healthcare as a primary use case, in particular rural healthcare for the chronically ill elderly. These services are emotionally engaging, economically important and technically challenging.
Europe is a global industrial centre for telecommunications with a long-standing tradition of technical leadership. The broadband revolution, with the enormous value creation it has led to and the fundamental changes towards a new and sustainable lifestyle it spawned, is largely a European technological success. However, a gap is forming in the otherwise tight relation between operators and end-users as control over especially the in-home Wi-Fi networks is handed over to over-the-top providers such as smart speakers and smart home assistants. This would lead to home networking being under the simultaneous control of two competing systems and that the delivery of quality-sensitive services as healthcare could become impossible.