Monday, November 26, 2007

HD Coming to UK's Freeeview

The four broadcasters that participate in the Freeview digital terrestrial service in the UK have agreed on an approach to offering HD service starting in late 2009 or early 2010. The BBC, ITV, Channel 4 and Five agreed to approach that does not require the additional spectrum that they have been looking for to support HD services until now.

This will put significant pressure on BT to upgrade its access network to VDSL or FTTH to be able to support HD services. Its current ADSL network cannot supply enough bandwidth to most customers to support HD services today. BT Vision customers will want HD video on demand services to complement the Freeview HD broadcast services.

Most of BT's broadband competitors rely on wholesale broadband loops that it provides to support their IPTV offerings. They will also be in a bind if BT does not upgrade its upgrade its network or if there are limitations on unbundling of VDSL or FTTH loops.

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