Ashley Highfield, 2006 and TV on the internet

My boss at the BBC; Ashley Highfield is asked by the Independent to predict the “people who will make the most impact in the next 12 months”. His choices:

Ben Verwaayen, 53, Chief Executive of BT
“After many years of tinkering at the edges of the media industry, BT’s stars may be coming into alignment in this corner of the firmament. With broadband fast enough for television watching at less than £10 a month, internet penetration set to pass two thirdsof the UK and on-demand content rights issues being resolved, coupled with a great looking TV over iP service, 2006 could be the year BT becomes the next Sky.”

Sergey Brin, 32, Co-founder of Google
“Well hardly a new kid on the block. But what they’re planning on doing in “video search” has a direct and very significant relevance for the BBC and other broadcasters. They plan to index every piece of information in the world. Having recently seen some of their stuff in development, I’d not bet against their plans for world domination”.

Over in the Guardian, Matt Wells in a survey of 2006 media also refers to BT’s upcoming TV proposition, a similar offering from Wannado/Orange, mainstream marketing of TV via mobiles and the long heralded and, currently under trial, BBC’s TV/Radio over IP offering MyBBCplayer as potential things to watch over the next 12 months;

” Breathing life into Mark Thompson’s vision of viewers being able to consume BBC content at any time on a variety of devices, its progress will be closely watched. The corporation is also expected to launch a new search offering.”

Perhaps Matt and Ashley should have had a look at my restless colleague Ben Metcalfe who, wary of the developments above, pinpoints the constraints for businesses dependent on on demand IP services as he also has a go at the 2006 list game:

The speed of Internet access in the UK ’slows down’ as the average monthly transfer soars from 3Gig/pm to 50gig/pm. UK ISP’s, being billed by their bandwidth usage in telephone exchanges by BT (and LLU provides), cannot continue to support ever growing amounts of P2P. They concentrate on revenue-generating services such as VoIP and use connectivity profiling and shaping to limit P2P, Usenet, downloads, etc (maybe only providing access via these kinds of connections at 25% of the user’s normal connection speed). This causes problems for content providers building on-demand IP-based services and generally frustrates users.

Those new year predictions are hard to escape wherever I look but two of the best are this ironic two liner (as a commenter swiftly points out) moan from the man who invented Entertainment Weekly; Jeff Jarvis and back from blogging retirement Simon Waldman’s 12 month Web Apps round up.

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