Express concerns over costs

CANNES — Providers of broadband services and content agreed Monday that broadband is all about added value for consumers and how to achieve it in a cost-conscious way.

“For content owners, the time to act is now,” said Erik Huggers of Microsoft Italy, moderating the Mipnet panel “What About Broadband” at Mipcom.

Hugh Williams of Video Networks, which operates three servers in the London area and plans another six in the U.K., pointed out that “broadband TV gives you what you want when you want it, while normally the schedule chooses for you.”

Demand for top quality, however, will mean high costs for providers. “The question is: When will the consumer ask for increased interactivity-on-demand?” Williams said.

Programmers offering an accessible service will find their future in broadband, he and others added. Popular niches could be travel health, or cooking, with the viewer jumping from the infotainment to commercial options.

Commenting on test projects for broadband satellite networks under way at companies including Microsoft, Robert Feierbach of Luxembourg-based Astra-Net said consumers will soon have cheaper access to new treats: “With the MHP standard now valid in Europe, the introduction of the MHP 1.1 version will have prices drop dramatically.”

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