Sweden’s B2 Bredband has signed a deal with BBC Prime to enable their 70k subscribers to watch it through their PC. This is the first deal that BBC Prime has signed and it’s good to see BBC Worldwide becoming adventurous with the way they deliver their content.
Ben Verwaayen, CEO of BT announced the reduction in the wholesale price of ADSL from 1 April to 14.75ukp this morning. They’ve set a target of one million ADSL user by summer 2003 and pledged to improve network performance and quality of service, which is needed.
Reports in the UK Sunday Times that BT will cut its wholesale price to 20ukp, which should lead to retail prices of around 30ukp from the current 40ukp. I’ve heard from someone who is close to top BT management that they might half the price. We’ll should get to know the facts on Tuesday.
Alliance Atlantis Motion Picture Distribution are to provide films for the first Canadian VOD trial. 1,000 customer of Toronto-based Rogers Cable will take part in the trial.
Alcatel and Italian broadcaster RAI have announced they will be streaming their 24hr news channel, RAI News 24 over 3G at 384 kbit/s during the 3GSM World Congress in Cannes. I’m looking forward to reports on its results.
Another broadband connected device, this time a TV from Panasonic. It will also have a dial-up modem and is reported as being able to download content at off-peak hours ready for viewing later, so I assume PVR functions.
Ultra Wideband (UWB) – its civilian use has been talked about for a while (the military been using it for about twenty years) and now the US FCC has revised some of its rules to enable be used commercially.
Its major advantages are low-cost implementations and low-power consumption – leading to one example of it use being to tagging goods to track them on a dock-side or in a ship. Civilian uses are currently less clear but with single devices peaking at over 50Mbps over 10m, distribution of high-quality video over short distance would be possible.
MGM have agreed to have their movies distributed by Intertainer. This adds to the deal they did last year with Universal. Viewers will be able to watch the movies on-demand (VOD). Intertainer currently only distribute their content to users who live in a number of region in the US and have at least a 580kbps connection. Not a great deal of chance of them distributing in the UK as the base BT ADSL service offers UPTO 500k – even if they could sort out movie distribution deals.
An initial ruling by a US federal magistrate on patents held by SightSound Technologies states they cover the distribution of audio and video content over all telco networks, including the Internet. The ramification of this could be that all online music and movie venture will have to pay a license fee to SightSound.
After a tiny trial of twelve companies, BT is now rolling out their satellite delivered broadband across Scotland.
The fact that there’s satellites footprint over the area gives them 100% coverage, no matter how remote the location. Sadly the service is significantly more expensive to install (a minimum of nearly £900) and use than ADSL, so to get things moving government bodies are subsidising it.