Migration to next generation networks will be important in enabling significant take-up of online video services. A study concludes, as informitv has often maintained, that video traffic can be accommodated by increasing the total bandwidth available, without necessarily using special techniques to maintain quality of service. Next generation networks will cope even when almost all television viewing is on demand and delivered over data networks in high definition.

The study was commissioned by the United Kingdom communications regulator Ofcom from Analysys Mason.

The study concluded that the migration to next generation networks such as the BT 21CN initiative will be important in enabling significant take-up of online video services at prices that are reasonable for consumers.

It suggests that video traffic could be accommodated by increasing the total bandwidth available. It is not essential to deploy advanced technologies to prioritise video traffic to ensure quality of service.

It recommends that there will have to be a significant reduction in the current data costs of wholesale backhaul connections from the exchange to the core network, if video services are to continue to grow without leading to significant increases in costs to service providers. It suggests that this should be achievable once BT Wholesale has fully migrated to 21CN by passing on the economies of scale associated with fibre-based Ethernet services.

The report predicts that even in its most aggressive demand scenario, in which almost all television is on-demand and consumed over IP networks in high definition, the cost implications may not be excessive.

Essentially, the report implies that the core networks will be able to cope with foreseeable demand over the next decade, but in the mean time, broadband service providers that are reliant upon reselling broadband access based on legacy technologies could come under pressure.

Delivering high-quality video services online by Analysys Mason is available from the Ofcom web site.