Thursday, September 15, 2005

FTTH... the race is on

Following on a theme around Fiber-to-the-Home projects here in Thailand Geoff Long provided an update on the unfolding story in the Bangkok Post. He classifies it in his closing as the race to be the first such project in the South East Asia.

It would certainly be an exciting time and a good thing for Thailand to be up on the bleeding edge rather than being way behind like in the Telecoms arena (for those who are current on the NTC here in Thailand).

The benefits of a fiber based TV solution, given the ongoing disruption of service caused by rain to the current digital satellite UBC solution, are very appealing.

To my mind there should also be a solution to the persistent problem around digital service today, that of parallel feeds.

The apathy in adoption of digital TV in the UK, over the persistence of the choice of analogue, comes from two stoppers. Firstly that of unfamiliar technology. The digital, freeview, service is still an infant and as a result people don't trust it.

Secondly, and possibly more importantly, is the limitation of the current digital topbox hardware. People in the UK are used to being able to watch a soap opera on one channel whilst recording a competing offering on another channel. This is not possible with the digital services available today, the topbox provides a single feed as the decoder can only handle the single channel.

Sky+ in the UK have solved the problem such that subscribers can watch one channel and record or Picture-in-Picture a second channel.

For these services to be successful they need to be able to provide a differentiator. I believe that parallel feeds as well as triple play would be a very appealing service for the average subscriber.

It would certainly pull me away from UBC, but then I'm not that "sticky" anyway.

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