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European ISPs Fuel IPTV Uptake with Hybrid Superfast Fibre Optic Broadband

Posted: 16th Feb, 2012 By: MarkJ
youview uk set-top-boxbroadband forumThe Broadband Forum and telecoms analyst firm Point Topic UK have reported that, thanks to the growing deployment of cheaper hybrid superfast fibre optic broadband services ( FTTC ), Europe "continues to be the strongest region" for IPTV (Internet TV) growth.

It was revealed last month (here) that IPTV subscribers grew by 6.06% in Q3-2011 to total 54.4 million globally and Europe is the biggest market for IPTV (43.26%), followed by Asia (38.84%) and the Americas (17.39%).

Oliver Johnson, CEO of Point Topic, said:

"The future of Europe, at least for the next 5 years, is going to be dominated by FTTx. The cost of full fiber (FTTH) deployment, particularly the last mile, is prohibitive and so the industry and consumers need a stepping stone which is provided by hybrid solutions such as FTTx. FTTx provides a significant increase in bandwidth and an efficient use of existing infrastructure and allows the welcome continued amortization of costs."

A survey conducted by ISPreview.co.uk at the end of last year found that 57% of UK respondents were "interested" (i.e. 29% are "Very" interested and 28% have "Average" interest) in the new generation of broadband ISP based television services ( IPTV ) that are due to surface this year ( YouView ) from TalkTalk and BT Retail. Price (35.9%) and the need for good content (28.1%) were seen as the two most important aspects for IPTV to get right.

On the other hand a separate August 2011 study (here) by analyst firm Digital TV Research (DTVR) warned that broadband based IPTV services are "unlikely to ever make too much headway" in the UK, not least because of the market's existing dominance by major players like BSkyB ( Sky Broadband ) and Virgin Media .

Having the right connection technology to underpin a good IPTV service is obviously a key part of this equation but the product itself also has to be both affordable and attractive (content). It doesn't help that almost all of the content people want can already be accessed through connected TV's, Smartphone apps, Tablets, computers, games consoles and of course traditional TV. On the other hand competition always allows room for an attractive product to flourish.
Hybrid FTTx Leads the Growth in Broadband Access (PDF)
http://www.broadband-forum.org/news/download/pressreleeases/2011/BBF_FTTHCouncil.pdf
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