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Internet TV Threatens Broadband Costs

Internet TV may mean yet more bad news for the pockets of broadband users, according to the director general of the BBC.

Following on from August’s revelations that 97 per cent of customers are not getting the broadband services that they are being sold, home broadband costs could rise even further if internet connected TV services take off.

As the demand for a higher quality service to support the delivery of TV via the internet rises, so too will the cost that internet service providers charge, according to the BBC’s Mark Thompson.

Thompson made this latest warning about the “cost of broadband decommoditising” at The Royal Television Society’s International Conference, where he also breathed new life into the debate about improving the country’s broadband infrastructure.

With the higher speed broadband requirements of IPTV platforms, such as the BBC-backed YouView, expected to encourage prices to rise, Thompson suggested that ISPs may feel more inclined to invest in the UK’s broadband infrastructure.

This would help Britain to compete with Scandinavia and Germany in the super-fast broadband stakes despite the coalition government’s decision to abandon plans to roll out nationwide broadband fibre.

Although Thompson remained tight-lipped on how much money the BBC’s underspend from the Digital Switchover Help Scheme would contribute to this, he did acknowledge that it was a “big problem”. In line with the views of our own round table experts, Thompson added that the ISPs and government needed to work together to find the estimated £2bn needed to fund the roll out.

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