At 1:33 PM -0500 11/5/08, John Shutt wrote:
As I have said before, the entire IP infrastructure would be brought to it's knees if 100 million U.S. TVHHs had to rely exclusively on IP streaming for their television.
But that's not going to happen over night, and the IP infrastructure continues to evolve rapidly to support new applications. The reality is that a growing number of people are using the Internet today to watch TV and it is not breaking the infrastructure. It MAY be breaking the sweet deals that the incumbent broadband providers have in this country, where broadband service is 2-3 times more expensive than in many other areas of the world.
Use of the white spaces for broadband services could change the competitive picture dramatically, ESPECIALLY since new ventures will not be encumbered with billions of dollars of debt for spectrum, as are the telcos who scarfed up the 700 MHz spectrum. There is a strong likelihood that we will see new broadband providers emerge using point to multipoint technologies similar to those that the IEEE is proposing to standardize. Broadcasters have already stated that this use of the white spaces would not cause interference problems.
What is more important s that we will be adding more capacity to the infrastructure at a time when the telcos and cable are also gearing up to increase capacity - especially in the newly acquired 700 MHz spectrum. This increased capacity will have two significant benefits:
1. It will put competitive pressure on pricing and on the ability of the incumbents to put usage caps on their services.
2. It will enable many more homes to move to an Internet streaming/download strategy for their entertainment fixes. A strategy that opens up the content playing field as well.
We are already seeing where the media conglomerates are headed. The content that has been exclusive to OTA broadcasters is no longer exclusive; and equally important, this content is available on demand AND in downloadable versions for place shifted viewing. And did I mention that there are fewer, but better focused ads? Meanwhile, broadcasters will still be in the business of appointment TV, or background noise.
So it is HIGHLY likely that some of the new white spaces broadband services will be used FOR THE SAME PURPOSE as the service being offered by broadcasters - the delivery of entertainment content!
So maybe this is NOT a case of one industry trumping another. Maybe it is part the "change" that we are about to experience...
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