Category Archives: Online media

Broadband in the City

Today the BBC reported that Londoners enjoy some of the fastest broadband speeds in the country. This is great news, but doesn’t tell the whole story.

There are still too many people in the Capital who struggle to get high speed internet access because their buildings have not had the required cables installed. Other people in large apartment buildings also struggle to get satellite or cable television installed because of the costs of rewiring the building. I hope that new wireless services can give these people more options for receiving broadband and digital television.

With that in mind, I tabled a couple of amendments today to a report on the “Digital Dividend” (see my blog from last Thursday) which seek to make these new wireless services more likely and offer the consumer more choice.

You can read the BBC’s story here:

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/technology/7431336.stm

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Filed under internet, Media, Online media

The iPlayer

In my last blog I wrote about the digital dividend and closing the so called ‘digital divide’. Broadcasters are obviously keen to hang on to as much spectrum as possible for new channels or high definition TV. But some broadcasters are already investing in new ways of distributing their content – over the internet.

You may be interested in this article from the Guardian on how the BBC’s iPlayer is changing the way we watch television.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/media/2008/jun/02/bbc.itv

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Filed under bbc, broadcasting, internet, Media, Online media, spectrum

Digital Dividend

The airwaves – or radio spectrum – are a finite resource. Radio spectrum is used to carry mobile phone signals, radio, analogue television, freeview, satellite signals, radar and much, much more.

A large amount of this spectrum is currently used for analogue broadcasting of the five terrestrial television channels in the UK (BBC 1 and 2, ITV, Channels 4 and 5).

Digital broadcasting, like freeview, makes more efficient use of the radio spectrum. This means more channels can be broadcast in a smaller part of the spectrum.

The Government hopes that everyone will switch over to digital television by 2012. This will free up a lot of the old spectrum for new uses. This is called the ‘digital dividend’.

The European Parliament’s Industry Committee, of which I am a member, is currently considering some of the best ways of reusing this spectrum.

I spoke in Committee on Tuesday and said that I am keen to see at least part of this spectrum used to end the so called ‘digital divide’ whereby some people have excellent access to the internet and other people struggle to get connected. This is sometimes because they are in remote areas or in older buildings which are difficult to fit with the required cabling. This is particularly important for London where it’s difficult to wire-up many older tower blocks. Wireless broadband could certainly help.

Access to the internet is becoming so important in everyday life, for access to the media, for internet banking, email and access to government services. We must make sure that no one gets left behind without proper access to the net.

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Filed under broadcasting, Digital Technology, Media, Online media, spectrum

MOBILE TV VERSUS FACEBOOK

According to a recent report from Ofcom, a quarter of 8-11 year olds who are online in the UK have a profile on a social network

Earlier this week the European Parliament Culture and Education Committee referred to media literacy amongst young people in a discussion of new media technologies such as mobile TV. Technology is moving fast and could have enormous educational benefits.

I have always taken an interest in the advancement of new technologies, particularly with regard to how we can protect children from associated dangers. I will be keeping a close eye on the Parliament’s discussions on the regulation of such new technologies, being careful to protect young people without generating fear about their use.

I would be very interested to hear whether you think mobile TV could replace Facebook as the next technological fad or will it flop? Please contact me with your response.

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Filed under Child Safety, Digital Technology, Facebook, Media, Mobile TV, Ofcom, Online media, Social Networking