The death of TV as we know it?
Just one of the topics debated at the
Global Telecommunications Women’s Network Broadband forum
hosted at European law firm Taylor Wessing this month
Thirty key executive women in the information and communications industries gathered to discuss the prospects for the growth of broadband in all of its forms. The event was organised by the Global Telecommunications Women’s Network (GTWN) and was held at Taylor Wessing on Wednesday 1 October.
Janice Hughes, Chief Executive Officer at Spectrum Strategy Consultants, and chairwoman of the discussion said,
“Broadband is becoming a viable “replacement technology” for other forms of distribution. At a recent Royal TV Society event a vote taken of the audience resulted in a majority saying that broadband will bring about the death of linear TV, or TV as we know it, by 2010.”
Alison Ritchie, Chief Broadband Officer at BT, confirmed that the UK is the fastest growing of the major broadband countries in Europe according to data from a study by Arthur D. Little management consulting firm.
Susan Elkington, Executive Vice President at arrivo on demand, which focuses on the delivery of on-demand television and film content for distribution networks, said,
“Video on demand (VOD) is a ‘state of the art transactional model’ that drastically lowers customer churn (or disconnection) and increases buy-rates. Our view is that with broadband we are delivering the same experience as video so we should be able, in time, to license the product at the same time.”
However, Susan admitted that because of the level of financial re-engineering of balance sheets of many cable and telcos, the actual commercial deployment of VOD had been slow and is still not the norm in most of Europe.
Another key issue facing broadband is that whilst the requisite technology exists, there is still a problem in finding the right business models. Bridget Cosgrave, President of the Carrier and Wholesale Business Unit, Belgacom said “no one has come to me from Hollywood” about using her company’s infrastructure to deliver movies.
Kate Bulkley, a freelance journalist who was once described by Candace Johnson, president of Europe Online Investments and a founder of the GTWN, as the world’s best media and telecoms analyst, summed up the forum by saying that broadband is attacking the traditional business models of the TV business much as broadband has adversely hit the bottom line of the music business.
“More work needs to be done on business models in this new, broadband -enabled environment and that means different parts of the business from distribution to content need to work with each other as we have started to do here,” said Bulkley.
The importance of the event and its conclusions in the ongoing debate about broadband were highlighted by Ingrid Silver, who is a Taylor Wessing lawyer specialising in communications law and European Regional President of the GTWN.
“Both the calibre of the attendees and the discussion which took place demonstrated the immense potential which women have to influence the communicationssector. GTWN will continue to foster this debate in information and communication technologies, by bringing together senior women in these once divergent fields.”
Notes to editors
The GTWN is holding a breakfast on 14 October to celebrate its tenth anniversary during the ITU’s World Telecom 2003 in Geneva. Amongst the topics under discussion at the forum will be the impact of the new communication technologies on societies around the world, and whether the so-called ‘digital divide’ really does need to exist. If you would like to find out more about this event, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
The GTWN exists to promote the prespective of women and their role within the global information and communication industries by providing:
– a forum for debate and discussion of key issues;
– promotion of women at all levels;
– networking among women to achieve these goals; and
– role models and mentorship of women within these industries.
For more information contact the Taylor Wessing press office on 020 7300 4930/4234 or email email@example.com
Taylor Wessing is a European law firm with recognised strengths in IP/technology, corporate, finance, projects and real estate. www.taylorwessing.com