QuickLinks - Convergence of telecommunications, media and information technology
Issue no. 226 - 3 March 2002
- Beyond the Box: How Will Television Evolve?
Is TiVo the model for television of the future? Is it Moxi Digital? What do consumers want—and who is best positioned to deliver it to them? A panel of entertainment experts at Cyberposium 2002 tuned in to some answers.
Issue no. 224 - 16 February 2002
- Bosnia & Herzegovina - Communications agency won't look after internet content
The Office of the High Representative (OHR), has decided to create a single communications regulator - the Communications Regulatory Agency (CRA). The CRA covers three main fields of modern communications: telecoms, frequency spectrum management, and electronic media. The CRA has only been given authority over the technical aspects of the internet, not over content-related issues.
- USA - Consumers Would Pay For High-End Set-Top Boxes - Survey
A new survey indicates people are willing to pay to buy advanced set-top devices, despite a longstanding custom of simply receiving the units from cable companies and renting them at cheap monthly rates.
Issue no. 223 - 10 February 2002
- Deutschland - Staatsminister: Internet-Angebot von ARD und ZDF begrenzen
Das Internet-Angebot von ARD und ZDF soll nach Forderung der baden-württembergischen Landesregierung auf programmbezogene Inhalte begrenzt werden.
- UK - BT's Bland cans TV plans
BT has ditched plans to become a TV broadcaster, ending weeks of speculation over the company's direction. Chairman Sir Christopher Bland told the House of Commons Media Select Committee that it was highly unlikely BT would ever become involved in making or producing content.
- Taiwan - $1 films spook Hollywood
A Taiwanese Web site is offering hundreds of videos on demand for just $1 each, trumping Hollywood's plans to deliver similar services and raising the specter of a new round of international copyright battles.
- USA - Vivendi to launch online video service
Vivendi Universal Net USA plans to launch MP4.com, a Web site that features a collection of short-form videos including animation shorts, feature film-related content, trailers and games.
Issue no. 220 - 19 January 2002
- USA - Senate Panels To Review Govt. Antitrust Reform Plan
Officials from the nation's top antitrust enforcement agencies have agreed to meet with the Senate Commerce and Appropriations Committees to discuss plans to modify the review process for media, telecommunications and entertainment industry mergers. The U.S. Justice Department and the Federal Trade Commission had been poised to announce a deal that would reallocate by industry the agencies' antitrust review authority. But a 1 p.m. signing ceremony to seal the deal was canceled, and reporters waiting for the ensuing press conference were told without further explanation that the ceremony had been postponed. see also FTC Commissioners Speak Out On Antitrust Review Debacle (Newsbytes).
- USA - Supreme Court Rules FCC Can Set Pole Rates
The U.S. Supreme Court ruled that federal regulators can control fees that utilities charge cable operators for using their poles to provide high-speed Internet service to consumers.
Issue no. 219 - 13 January 2002
- Swiss TV to pioneer live Olympic Internet broadcasts
Swiss television will set up a special Web site with live broadcasts from the 2002 Olympics, marking the first time an international sporting federation has granted full broadcasting rights on the Internet. But the venture in Salt Lake City is largely a pilot project and the Web site will only be available through advanced high-capacity digital lines, limited to subscribers of one service provider, Bluewin, in some Swiss cities, Basel, Geneva and Zurich.
- The Battle of the Boxes: PC vs. TV
(New York Times)
The rivalry between the PC and TV over which is destined to become the hearth of the home will take on new urgency when three prominent technology executives sketch out competing visions of their digital product lines.
- World Cup will miss the Net
Football fans will not be able to use the internet to watch World Cup matches live this May and June. Kirch, the German media group that holds the right to market TV and internet rights for the tournament, one of the two biggest events in world sport, has decided not to try to sell the rights that would enable buyers to offer this service.
Issue no. 218 - 6 January 2002
Issue no. 216 - 8 December 2001
- USA - Cable Modem Users Can't Get Help From FCC
For the hundreds of thousands of cable-modem users who lost their Internet and e-mail services this past weekend, and for the millions who still might, there is a stark reality: No government agency can help. High-speed Internet access is now as important to many small businesses as electric power and telephone service. Yet unlike those utilities, cable-modem service is not regulated by the government, even by those agencies that oversee Internet access provided by telephone lines.
- BBC offers documentaries on demand
BBC Worldwide Americas has licensed some of its TV series and documentaries to In Demand in its first video-on-demand deal. By the end of the year, about 1.3 million cable subscribers in the United States are expected to have video-on-demand availability, which enables them to call up shows as they want and to stop, pause or rewind them at their own convenience.
Issue no. 214 - 23 November 2001
- Analogue TV given the last rites
The final shutdown date for analogue TV services will be announced by the UK government next month. Its Digital Action Plan, published in October this year, set out a timetable for assessing the viability of switching off analogue services between 2006 and 2010, and the government will shortly confirm the date.
- UK to abolish 'personal' curbs on media ambition
The UK government aims to abolish media ownership laws designed to rein in Rupert Murdoch, introducing instead a regulatory framework "which has nobody particular in mind", according to a senior official. As ministers prepare to launch the year-long consultation exercise on the future of cross-media ownership, the senior official said the government did not think it made sense to frame laws "around one man".
- BBC calls digital TV summit
The BBC is calling a summit meeting for TV equipment manufacturers in an attempt to thrash out a workable framework for introducing cheap adapters to upgrade TVs to digital.
- Is broadband working?
House by house, the dream of UK homes with broadband internet connections is becoming a reality.
- Sony and AOL strike broadband deal
Sony and AOL Time Warner are to join forces on a deal to provide online entertainment via home networks, using games consoles, TVs and hi-fi stereos. The project is aimed at developing simpler ways of linking everyday electronic items to networks that are "always on". Sony and AOL Time Warner will create a platform to allow users to access the same content from their TV, mobile phone or games console, for example.
Issue no. 213 - 11 November 2001
- UK - BT applies for broadcasting licence
BT has applied to the Independent Television Commission (ITC) for a licence permitting it to provide video and other programming directly to its customers. It hopes to stream the content over its ADSL network -- which currently covers around 70 percent of the population.
- BBC Routes News Interviews Over Internet To Save Money
BBC-TV News is testing the use of the Internet to transmit recorded interviews for its news broadcasts, in hopes of replacing expensive satellite links.
Issue no. 211 - 20 October 2001
- UK - ITC urges change to UK media ownership laws
The UK's Independent Television Commission has urged the government to introduce interim legislation allowing greater consolidation in the media and communications industry. His comments were welcomed by companies such as Granada, which along with other media companies have been frustrated at the government decision to postpone reform of media ownership laws
Issue no. 210 - 14 October 2001
- JumpTV May Try New Angle On TV Retransmission
A Canadian Webcaster often described as the successor to ICraveTV has bowed out of hearings that might have set statutory tariffs for cable-company-like transmissions of off-the-air television via the Internet. But JumpTV's lawyer said that doesn't mean the company is backing down in its bid to become the first legal broadcast "retransmitter" on the Internet.
Issue no. 209 - 1 October 2001
- Broadband Britain
Special report. Download as PDF file. Britain failing to warm to the revolution. Broadband's rich potential for interactive business and entertainment services will be unleashed only when all the players in the supply chain are pulling in the same direction. Big boys making all the running Huge costs are forcing smaller operators out of the broadband market. Who's who in broadband Britain. Who are the main players in broadband Britain, how big is the market, pros and cons and how much will it cost. The pipe dream goes on A single broadband pipe delivering everything from telephony to video on demand to the home would be a reality but for the technological and commercial bottlenecks. Hunting the killer application. The slow pace of building the broadband infrastructure has led to media companies shelving much innovation and relying instead on known quantities for their content.
- Germany - Deutsche Fernsehanbieter einigen sich auf MHP
In einem Spitzengespräch von ARD, ZDF, RTL, der KirchGruppe und den Landesmedienanstalten haben sich die deutschen Programmveranstalter für eine schnelle Einführung des MHP-Standards für Digital-TV ausgesprochen. Ein einheitliches technisches System auf Basis der Multimedia Home Platform (MHP) soll künftig ein "Fernsehen ohne Grenzen" ermöglichen.
- UK - Blank screens as BSkyB turns off analogue signal
An estimated 100,000 people will switch on their television sets to find a blank screen where they used to receive a Sky service. British Sky Broadcasting, the UK pay-TV operator, is finally switching off its analogue signal and with it the remaining channels that have not yet been transferred to the digital platform.
Issue no. 206 - 3 September 2001
- Midlands digital TV trial
More than 300 households in the Midlands will be fitted with a range of interactive equipment as part of an ambitious government scheme to test consumer reaction to digital TV.
- Yahoo signs TV promo pact with Pax
Yahoo struck an agreement to promote family-friendly TV programs, the latest result of the Web giant's push to become an online partner for traditional media companies. Yahoo will feature information about Pax TV programs on its Yahoo TV site, an online guide for the day's shows. Pax, in turn, will direct viewers to Yahoo as part of its "Watch and Win Sweepstakes," airing commercials that tell people to log on to the portal for more information about the contest.
Issue no. 204 - 27 July 2001
- The Webification of TV is happening
Broadcast and cable television have become more graphically rich, more hypertextual and more real time, in large part due to the influence of the Web. However, as with e-business technologies more broadly, the greatest challenge for the established TV industry is to find a viable economic model in the age of the Internet. The economics of TV are heavily tied to interruptive advertising, which loses its value when people control what they watch and when they watch it.
Issue no. 203 - 19 July 2001
- China - Tussle over TV regulation in Beijing
The tussle for the future of the largest cable television market in the world took a new twist after China's telecommunications regulator gave a green light for convergence between internet and cable businesses - but the TV market regulator remained resistant to the idea.
- France - Les incertitudes de la télévision numérique hertzienne inquiètent les opérateurs
le gouvernement a fait connaître ses propositions sur la télévision numérique terrestre (TNT), également appelée hertzienne. Le régime envisagé sera très proche de celui qui s'applique aux programmes analogiques. Dans l'attente de l'ouverture de l'appel à candidatures, les avis restent partagés sur l'avenir de la TNT.
- UK - Ofcom start-up bill published
The UK government began the process of merging media and telecommunications regulation into a single watchdog when it published a bill paving the way for Ofcom, the proposed body. See also Ministers debate green light for Ofcom (vnunet)
- UK - TV in vanguard of change says ITC chief
Television rather than the internet will fuel the next stage of change prompted by new media technologies, one of the industry's top regulators said. Patricia Hodgson, the chief executive of the independent television commission, said TV was already beginning to drive new products and would give most consumers their first taste of broadband Britain.
- From front line to webcast
TVnewsweb had the inspired idea of bypassing news agencies and selling the film shot by camera crews direct to broadcasters, using a website as a shop window. So why has the company now folded?
- Tech survivors: The boxes that bring digital TV
The digital set-top box has seen spectacular rates of growth. The rapid expansion of digital TV into new markets and the development of additional interactive services are expected to contribute to continued strong growth over the next five years. One reason for set-top box optimism is the promise that the analogue television signal will eventually be switched off.
- TV's revolution postponed
Digital video recorders were supposed to replace analogue machines. But they remain a cult.
- USA - Cable's Long Reach
For the past three years, the cable industry has found that new services are being lapped up by consumers almost as fast as operators can answer phones and dispatch installers' trucks. And there are more enticements to come, each one with a price tag attached. One coming in the next year is video on demand.
Issue no. 202 - 5 July 2001
Issue no. 201 - 26 June 2001
- UK airwaves face shake-up
An independent review into how the UK government manages the radio spectrum - airwaves - was announced, heralding a shake-up of how the scarce resource is allocated. The review, conducted by Professor Martin Cave, will assess the most economically efficient use of the spectrum by both the private and public sectors.
- Europe Online Satellite ISP Reinvents Itself
Europe Online, the satellite-based Internet service provider (ISP), has relaunched itself as a hybrid dialup and satellite Internet operation. The Internet carrier is steering users away from real-time broadband access to the Net, and over to requested file downloads over the satellite connection. The new approach to sharing satellite downstream channel resources opens the way for near video-on-demand services.
- Movies Coming to a PC Near You, But Maybe Not Soon
Hollywood is in the deal-making phase of its campaign to distribute movies over the Internet and showtime for the resulting ventures is still some way off.
- New high-speed Net services from space
Hughes Network Systems announced plans to offer new broadband services from space.
- Portugal answers every couch potato's prayer
The launch in Portugal of the world's first commercial interactive television service using broadband set-top boxes may turn the lowly remote control into a central tool of the digital age. Armchair zapping will give Portuguese subscribers access to 50 television channels, high-speed internet surfing, e-mail, digital video recording, pay TV, video-on-demand and a rapidly evolving range of shopping, banking, information and other interactive services
- Special Report - Information technology
Will consumers be left to their own devices? As the convergence trend takes hold, service providers must stop pushing technology at people and listen instead to their real wishes. also Online government, Public sector, Wireless LANs.
Issue no. 200 - 14 June 2001
- Copyright Officials Keep Date With JumpTV
The Canadian Copyright Board, which is to hold hearings on statutory licensing for content retransmitting off-the-air television signals via the Internet, has rejected a bid by JumpTV's opponents to halt those deliberations.
- L'offerta televisiva in un sistema multi-piattaforma
Mme Viviane Reding, Membre de la Commission européenne responsable de l'Education et de la Culture, European Content for European Platforms Conférence, Florence, le 7 juin 2001 (en français).
- AT&T Quits Microsoft Venture
(New York Times)
Suggesting that sophisticated interactive television will remain a distant dream in the United States, AT&T's broadband division has dropped its commitment to an advanced set-top cable box that was supposed to showcase Microsoft's interactive television software.
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.