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Back in November 2004 we heard that BT was going to change the world by offering us all "oodles of TV, films, music and games as it beefs up the content available for its broadband users" (Quote from the Register 30/11/2004)
This service was due to launch on January 1st this year, and BT Retail chief exec Pierre Danon was pretty hyped up about it. In November he said "This is a truly exciting time for us as we feel that we are about to cross the chasm from an early adopter market to one which will , a fledgling mass market."
Big stuff eh? BT made sure that their customers would be able to take full advantage of this service, too - they ramped us all up to 2Mb earlier this year.
So what happened - where do I go to "fully embrace the full potential of broadband"?
Pierre Danon has moved on, and Andrew Burke is now filling his shoes, if not fulfilling his promises. Dan Marks, the president of Universal Studios Networks UK was going to join BT to "oversee" BT's video-over-broadband services. Is he actually overseeing anything - does anyone know?
A little BT bird tells me that someone wasn't happy with what was planned, and wanted to tweak the plans. Are they still being tweaked - anyone know?
I don't know much about the detail of BT's ambitions but I do know that 2Mb broadband is not nearly fast enough to deliver reasonable quality, full screen video/films in real time and I can't imagine many people patient enough to wait many hours with their computer tied up downloading at a slower rate. I also know that most domestic BT broadband sevices are capped at 2GB/month - not many films downloadable from that without paying extra, very high, fees.
Think you need a minimum of 8mb to make it feasable
[QUOTE]but I do know that 2Mb broadband is not nearly fast enough to deliver reasonable quality, full screen video/films in real time
That's assuming that people *can* get 2mb as quite a high percentage of people are limited to 1 mb (as in my case) or even 512 kb.
Perhaps I should have put "even 2Mb broadband is not - - -"
Cries of FOUL ! BOO ! HISS ! UNFAIR ! from the opposition (cable etc) and BT have had to re-think their plans. As long as Cable, Sky, and the likes have money to throw at the regulators then BT have to fight with one arm tied behind their back. BT trialed a good scheme in the Norwich area quite some time ago quite successfully, but were again thwarted by the opposition. Some day - - - - - -
BTs forthcoming VoD freeview DVR to look forward to.
Basically it's a hard drive recorder with 14 day forward EPG and 7 day backward for full VoD.
Even better, they will subsidise the cost incurred by manufacturers to ensure it hits a retail price of £70. click here
Incidentally, about 15 years go, BT offered to run fibre optic cable into every home in the country, free of charge. This would have cost them in the region of 15 billion pounds. The offer was rejected in order to allow the cable companies to get "a foot in the door". BT were banned from providing VoD services. That ban has now ended.
What sort of bandwidth we get if we all had fibre optic cables running into our homes?
to provide a free high-speed cable to every home in Britain. They did it because they thought that there would be a massive market for services down a cable - broadband, Online banking and shopping, films, etc., etc.
They were right of course, and the Prime Minister of the day - Mrs. Thatcher - knew it. She also knew that it would place enormous power in BT's hands, and that the big cable companies might pay hugely for concessions, so she vetoed the BT plan.
The cable companies did pay hugely for concessions, and the rest is history. But for that one decision we would now all have access to very fast internet connections and BT shares would be very much higher than they are.
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