QuickLinks - Convergence of telecommunications, media and information technology
Issue no. 169 - 16 September 2000
- Microsoft's blank screen
Despite $10 billion-worth of investments in cable systems in America and Europe, Microsoft’s television strategy is in trouble
- PCs vs TVs
The number of people who use the Internet while watching television - whether on the same device or not - is certainly growing fast, a fact that has implications for news providers and how they present their information to an audience that might be increasingly capable of dealing with more than one visual stimulus at a time.
Issue no. 168 - 9 September 2000
Issue no. 167 - 6 August 2000
- Communications Regulation in the UK
This paper sets out the views of the Director General of Telecommunications on an optimal approach to regulation in a world where technological change is removing many of the distinctions between telecommunications, broadcasting, and IT.
Issue no. 166 - 30 July 2000
- Convergence and broadcasting regulation
(Council of Europe)
The Council of Europe will organise a Conference in Strasbourg on 13 September 2000, on the theme "new digital platforms for audiovisual services and their impact on the licensing of broadcasters" which will bring together leading representatives from regulatory authorities and the new media.
Issue no. 165 - 22 July 2000
Issue no. 164 - 15 July 2000
- Australian Govt Grilled Over Streaming Net Content Review
Australia's Internet Industry Association (IIA) has called on the Australian Government to publicly explain and clear up the reasons for a mandatory review of streamed Internet audio and video content as contained in the country's recently passed digital television legislation.
Issue no. 163 - 9 July 2000
Issue no. 162 - 2 July 2000
- USA - FCC chairman to launch proceeding on "cable access"
The Chairman of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), William E. Kennard, will propose that the FCC begin a formal proceeding on the issue of multiple Internet service providers gaining access to a cable company’s platform.
Issue no. 161 - 25 June 2000
- Australia - Alston to push for digital TV solution
(Sydney Morning Herald)
The Federal Government will try to negotiate a compromise on the future of digital television, as Labor and the Democrats oppose restrictions on viewing options available to consumers. see also Damming the Internet stream (smh.com.au).
- UK - Telly visions
Telecommunications and media mergers are moving more swiftly than politics. New broadcasting legislation is needed sooner rather than later.
- USA - AT&T Keeps Cable
AT&T won a key battle for control of its cable network, as a federal appeals court rejected efforts by Portland, Ore., to open the network to competing Internet service providers. The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that AT&T doesn't fit the legal definition of a cable network. It is a telecommunications service, and therefore governable only by federal law. see also AT&T Wins in Dispute Over Cable Access (The Recorder).
- USA - Cablevision sues AT&T
Cablevision Systems has filed suit to block AT&T from assuming control of the high-speed Internet access provider Excite@Home and thwart its attempts to offer local telephone service over Cablevision's cable lines.
Issue no. 160 - 17 June 2000
- Australia - Digital TV in doubt as News pulls out of trials
The future of interactive digital television is in doubt after another big media group yesterday pulled out of datacasting trials. News Limited wanted to use the digital TV spectrum to offer new services, but confirmed the company would not take part in the trials because the federal Government's proposed datacasting rules meant the new service did not make commercial sense. see also Digital TV plans under a cloud (The Age).
- AOL strikes set-top box deal
The war of the set-top boxes is about to break out in earnest in the US. America Online struck a deal that could leave it with as much as 30 per cent of TiVo, a US company whose technology makes it possible to freeze, pause or replay images while watching live TV broadcasts.
Issue no. 159 - 11 June 2000
- South Africa sets up new media regulatory body
South Africa's telecommunications and broadcasting regulatory authorities are set to merge. The new body is the result of the South African Communications Authority Bill, amended to the Independent Communication Authority of South Africa (ICASA) Act.
Issue no. 158 - 4 June 2000
- Convergence Turns Out to Be a Strange Creature
(New York Times)
For all of the buzzwords in the technology industry, perhaps none is invoked as blindly, reflexively and totemically as "convergence." But, in fact, convergence is not really happening, at least not yet. And when it does, it will probably take forms much different than those generally envisioned today.
Issue no. 157 - 28 May 2000
Issue no. 152 - 15 April 2000
- Digital tensions hit Vegas
Brave words from broadcasters, eager to claim ascendancy in the world of digital media, failed to conceal the tensions rising among station and network owners gathered in Las Vegas.
Issue no. 149 - 26 March 2000
- AT&T launches local loop
AT&T opened a new front in the broadband telecommunicaitons battle as it launched the US's first commercial "fixed wireless" service for residential customers.
Issue no. 148 - 18 March 2000
- TV-Sender drängen ins Internet
Der Fernsehsender RTL präsentierte gestern seine Pläne für eine groß angelegte Internet-Offensive. Die Firma bündelt in Zukunft die Bereiche Internet, Teletext, WAP und den elektronischen Programmführer (EPG). Einen besonders hohen Stellenwert für RTL Newmedia habe die Verschmelzung von Internet und digitalem TV.
- USA - Tribune-Times Mirror merger a sign of megamedia times
Ostensibly an "old media" merger of two of America's biggest papers - the Chicago Tribune and the Los Angeles Times - the union really reflects how the news business is evolving in an era of high-profile "new media" mergers.
Issue no. 147 - 11 March 2000
- Broadcasters join for speedier downloads
A dozen major broadcasters are creating a national wireless network to deliver speedier Web downloads of digital media such as music, software or video games, without the need for high-speed cable or phone lines. The "iBlast" network will broadcast over a portion of the digital spectrum that the government has allocated to local TV stations to provide high-definition television.
- Microsoft joins TV alliance
Microsoft is poised to step up its efforts to strengthen its position in digital television by joining forces with NDS.
Issue no. 144 - 19 February 2000
- German and French groups to form net alliance
Deutsche Telekom, the leading German telecoms group, and Lagardère of France, the world's biggest magazine publisher, are to form a powerful cross-border internet alliance in a move that highlights further the importance of content on the web.
- ISP's end run to high-speed service smothered
Federal regulators put an end to at least one potential avenue for Internet service providers hoping to deliver high-speed Internet access by means of cable TV wires. see Internet Ventures Inc (FCC 00-37).
- USA - Lawmakers wary of Internet TV broadcasting
Internet companies are eager to carry broadcast TV programming over the Net, but lawmakers appear unwilling to quickly grant online firms a license to do so for fear of harming local television stations.
- Digital TV with an English accent
Video Networks delivers video-on-demand films, music videos, sports, news and classic television programming to homes in the U.K. over either a cable or ADSL (asynchronous digital subscriber line) connection to customers using dedicated set-top boxes. What makes Video Network's strategy particularly interesting is its ability to deliver digital television via telephone wires.
- Study: TV and Web Get Simultaneous Play
(The Industry Standard)
Cyber Dialogue finds more than 10.2 million adults, or 14 percent of the online population, have their TV sets on while they're surfing the Web. The figure represents an increase of almost 2 million adults compared to 18 months ago.
- UK - Live Premiership football on the Web
Premiership football matches will be broadcast live on the Internet if Britain's leading Internet service provider, Freeserve, gets its way.
- UK - BSkyB To Offer Satellite Boxes With Hard Discs
Unconfirmed reports suggest that BSkyB is preparing to launch its third generation of digital satellite receiver set-top boxes (STB). The digital satellite STBs, as well as supporting satellite broadcasts and Internet e-mail/Web surfing, will come with two hard discs. The hard discs will be used for real-time TV program recording, as seen on standalone "hard disc" TV recorders such as the Replay and TiVo STBs seen in the US.
Issue no. 143 - 12 February 2000
- AOL Europe to offer mobile phone access
AOL Europe, the internet service provider, has linked up with two of the world's largest mobile phone manufacturers, Nokia and Ericsson, to allow subscribers access to its online services from their handsets.
- Do Viewers Even Want to Interact With TV?
(New York Times)
The companies working to bring interactive television to the United States are endlessly optimistic that the big breakthrough for their industry is just around the corner, despite nearly 50 years of miscast experimentation and failure.
Issue no. 139 - 16 January 2000
- BSkyB: Regulator may ease restrictions
The UK competition regulator is to review the position of the BSkyB satellite network in light of the growth of digital television and the rapid consolidation in the pay-TV sector.The Office of Fair Trading will re-examine how BSkyB, controlled by Rupert Murdoch's News Corporation, supplied its channels to cable operators. The move means some restrictions imposed on BSkyB in 1996 may be removed.
- NBC, CBS in 'Virtual' War Over Digital Logo
'Virtual' war erupted between two TV networks as NBC demanded CBS stop using digitally-created images like the logo that blocked out NBC's huge video advertising screen in Times Square during New Year's Eve broadcasts.
- Telecoms and cable groups face a changing landscape
Cable television companies on both sides of the Atlantic have been the big winners so far from America Online's planned all-stock acquisition of Time Warner. This week's deal also looks set to shift the balance of power in the developing US broadband communications industry, altering the landscape for a wide range of telecoms and cable groups.
- AOL and Time Warner to merge
Internet giant America Online (AOL) and media conglomerate Time Warner have announced that they plan to merge. The deal will combine powerful brands like CNN, Netscape, Warner Bros, CompuServe and Time Magazine in one company. see also America Online and Time Warner will merge to create world's first internet-age media and communications company (Press release), AOL/Time Warner: A new media world (FT) and The Behemoth: Merger May Produce Rival Microsoft Has Dreaded (New York Times).
- Death Of Free Speech In Merger
The International Federation of Journalists (IJF) said that the merger between AOL and Time Warner will distort the independent media's coveted principles of separation between advertising and content.
- In Europe, Media Companies Are Seeing Phones as the Future
(New York Times)
The European zest for mobile communications has not escaped the notice of the media companies. In fact, the mobile phone is increasingly seen as a bridge between the converging worlds of traditional media and the Internet.
- Interaktives TV: Bertelsmann probt in Hamburg die Fernsehzukunft
Derzeit hat der Medienriese die TV-Welt des neuen Jahrhunderts, die im Frühjahr in zehn deutschen Städten getestet werden soll, an der Hamburger Reeperbahn eingerichtet. Im neunten Stock eines neuen Büroturms am Millerntor hat die Bertelsmann Broadband Group einen "Showroom" installiert, der Besucher auf die neue TV-Welt einstimmt.
- L'Europe prépare sa défense face aux géants américains du Web
Une fusion semblable à celle d'AOL-Time Warner n'est pas envisageable en Europe en raison de l'absence de poids lourds de l'Internet. Les grandes manoeuvres seront menées par les opérateurs de télévision et du téléphone.
- Merger puts ties in spotlight
What are the implications of the AOL Time Warner merger for its strategy in Europe? The attention of rivals and investors was concentrated on Bertelsmann, the German media group which is AOL's main partner in the region.
- Takeover May Increase U.S. Control of Internet in Europe
(New York Times)
The Internet may well be borderless, but it remains remarkably American. Here in Europe, America Online's planned takeover of Time Warner is likely to accentuate that phenomenon and increase pressure among rivals for alliances and mergers.
Issue no. 138 - 9 January 2000
Issue no. 137 - 18 December 1999
- Microsoft in deal on 'enhanced TV'
Microsoft aims to accelerate the introduction of "enhanced television" services that combine TV programming with internet-style information and e-commerce, through a partnership with Excite@Home, a leader in providing high-speed internet access via cable TV services.
- Not Your Father's Netcast
Researchers previewed the future of Webcasting with a first time demonstration of high-definition TV over the next generation Internet.
Issue no. 136 - 12 December 1999
Issue no. 135 - 5 December 1999
- Open Access Proponents Garner Support of State Legislators
The National Conference of State Legislatures Committee on Commerce and Communications has unanimously voted to table [Ed: i.e. to postpone indefinitely further consideration of] a resolution that would have put the group on record as closed cable access proponents. Supported by AT&T Corp. (T) and other cable companies, the vote rejects the argument that state officials do not have the legal authority to force cable companies to mandate open access to their cable networks.
Index page see also Audiovisual | Internet access and use | Telecommunications
Links to news items about legal and regulatory aspects of Internet and the information society, particularly those relating to information content, and market and technology.
QuickLinks consists of
QuickLinks is edited by Richard Swetenham email@example.com
- a free newsletter appearing approximately once a week. The newsletter is distributed by electronic mail through an "announcement only" mailing list. To be included on the mailing list, send a blank email to firstname.lastname@example.org (HTML) or email@example.com (Text)
- a Web site with frequent updates, an events page, news items organised by category as well as chronologically by issue and full text search.