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Lords suggest TV case to move UK TV to Internet “overwhelming”
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Lords suggest TV case to move UK TV to Internet “overwhelming” - 31-July-2012, 11:20

Lords suggest TV case to move UK TV to Internet “overwhelming”

Joseph O'Halloran | 31-07-2012

Just as the UK’s TV viewers are enjoying coverage of the Olympics over every conceivable channel, the UK’s House of Lords is recommending that every UK TV channel should be broadcast over the web so as to free up spectrum for profitable mobile services.

In essence, the “Broadband for all—an alternative vision” report by the Select Committee on Communications of the UK’s unelected second chamber, argues that despite he fact that there is barely an aspect of daily lives in the UK that is not touched in some way by the

Internet, there is a very real risk that some people and businesses are being left behind, that inadequate access to the internet and all its benefits is actually afflicting their daily lives,

“prohibiting them from harvesting the fruits of the information revolution.”

The Lords believe that there has to date been an “insufficient focus on properly thinking through questions of first principle”, with moreover, an “absence of an all-encompassing vision of pervasive broadband connectivity as a key.”

Just as there is national planning for the national, regional and local hubs of

transport network in the UK, the Lords suggest that there should be national planning for a communications network of local, regional, national, and internet exchanges where different operators can site equipment and exchange traffic, all linked by “ample” optical fibre that is open to use by competing providers.

TV will play a crucial part in any such moves. The Lords say that the strongest driver of consumers moving from basic to enhanced broadband will be IPTV services. It cites the “widespread involvement” in YouView and the recent battle between BSkyB and BT Vision for rights to broadcast Premier League football games as reinforcing this point.

Most significantly the report asserts that it is likely that IPTV services will become ever more widespread, and eventually the case for transferring the carriage of broadcast content, including public service broadcasting, from spectrum to the internet altogether will “become overwhelming”.

Yet the report also says that there remain questions as to what extent will the advent of superfast broadband affect the ways in which people view and use media content. In this category also includes the question as to whether broadband networks have the capacity to meet demand for new media services such as interactive TV, HDTV and 3DTV content.

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