Originally published: April 29, 2010
Last updated: April 29, 2010 - 9:04pm
[Commentary] On-demand video is starting to out-compete broadcast, and it looks like that trend is going to keep going. The recent federal appeals court ruling against the FCC's net neutrality assertions will probably support the growth of on-demand video. Various forces are converging to open the floodgates for broadband service providers and content owners to deliver content on-demand. Likewise, the National Broadband Plan, published in March, presents significant challenges for broadcasters, calling for the reallocation of more than 120 Mhz of their current 300 MHz of allotted spectrum. The broadband camp is harnessing a host of new weapons to use in the battle against broadcast. Tablet computers and fourth-generation (4G) wireless smartphones are coming out this year. Other devices-including Apple's iPad, which operates on AT&T's 3G network, and HTC's EVO, which will operate on Sprint Nextel's 3G and Clearwire's 4G networks-will be among the first gadgets to truly embrace high-definition, streaming, on-demand video content and games. Broadband service providers and their network equipment suppliers are constantly strengthening their arsenals to support the on-demand revolution. Verizon and Clearwire are developing speedy 4G wireless networks using global technology standards such as LTE and WiMAX. Even more capable, fiber-optic-based wireline networks are rolling out in most metropolitan areas to bring lightning-fast broadband speeds to communities. Verizon's FiOS and AT&T's U-verse are prime examples. These networks will allow a growing base of users to shift from today's broadcast paradigm to one of on-demand usage.
[Dan Hays is a director in the Services, Electronics, and Software practice of PRTM, a global management consulting firm.]
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