While nearly all households in Europe can access basic broadband services, significant challenges still remain in delivering higher speed broadband to all. The aim is to offer speeds of at least 30 megabits per second for all by 2020. The European Union is more than half way to that target, with next generation access available to 113 million EU households, around 54%, at the end of 2012, up from 48% at the end of 2011. There is still a long way to go.
Bundled subscriptions, including pay television, broadband and fixed-line telephony on a single bill, will reach a third of a billion homes by 2018, an increase of nearly 210 million on the 2013 total. That is the latest forecast from Digital TV Research. Total subscription revenues for so-called triple-play services will rise from $78 billion in 2013 to $144 billion in 2018.
The first of a number of new local television stations has gone on air in the United Kingdom. Estuary TV in Grimsby will be available in the channel 8 slot on Freeview digital terrestrial television. It represents a modest start to a range of channels that could provide another tier of broadcasting in Britain, but may already be missing the opportunities of the next generation of digital networks.
As many cable companies in the United States continue to lose video customers to increasing competition, there is the prospect of further consolidation of operators. Time Warner Cable, which lost 306,000 video customers in the last quarter and 745,000 over the last 12 months, could be a target.
It seems that Intel will abandon its ambitions to launch its own virtual cable television service, widely reported to be called OnCue, and try instead to sell its technology to an existing service provider. The new Intel chief executive Brian Krzanich made no mention of the Intel TV service in his first annual investor presentation. Verizon has been suggested as a potential buyer.
On the United Nations official World Television Day, some fifteen years after the start of digital television transmissions, many countries have already switched to digital. ITU research shows that 55% of the estimated 1.4 billion households worldwide with a television receive a digital signal, compared to just 30% in 2008. Over half of television homes worldwide now have a pay-television subscription.