We discussed “wild cards” in the scenario planning process and the way they can disrupt what appear to be the assumed and most likely directions and timing for trends and events.

As Stephen Bartholomeusz discusses, the wild card to projections about the longevity of the commercial “free to airs” in Australia is the nascent National Broadband Network and its potential for remediating television as IPTV services.

As the government seeks to develop its digital economy strategy, it will have to consider the relationships and interactions between the networks, the pay TV services and the looming explosion of internet protocol television (IPTV) services within a 21st century regulatory framework…………

The wild card in the development of new policy settings is the government’s contentious commitment to building a new national broadband network, regardless of cost. Conroy’s willingness to do whatever it takes to buttress the questionable economics of the NBN – including using threats to undermine Telstra’s ability to negotiate the terms on which it might cooperate with the new network – ought to be a concern for the networks.

To make any sense at all of the cost of the NBN it needs, not just a monopoly and all Telstra’s customer base, but also new applications that drive traffic volumes beyond those of the industry today. Video – and IPTV in particular, given its mass market potential – is an obvious application…………

Read the full article

However, the network-centric regulatory framework is an anachronism in an environment where digital technologies are converging to create a new era for both content and distribution. They’ve slowed the tide but the future is now racing towards them.

Stephen Bartholomeusz


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