The UK should consider scrapping terrestrial broadcast content in favour of internet-delivered content (IPTV), according to a House of Lords report on broadband accessibility.
The report says the move away from TV down the aerial would drive the take-up of faster broadband and would allow Government to impose a Universal Service Obligation (USO) on ISPs, requiring them to deliver a guaranteed level of service to homes.
It also, suggests that because radio spectrum is mobile and most people watch their TV from a fixed location, “it might be argued that spectrum’s current use for fixed, broadcast purposes is wasteful.”
The Lords Communications Select Committee says it does not favour moving to internet delivered TV yet but has called on the Government to “to consider the desirability” of such a switch and make plans for implementing it at a future date.
The report cites BT’s recent acquisition of football rights for its BT Vision service and the launch of YouView as examples of how the TV market is changing towards streamed content and away from broadcast.
The committee states: “It is likely that IPTV services will become ever more widespread, and eventually the case for transferring the carriage of broadcast content, including public service broadcasting, from spectrum to the internet altogether will become overwhelming.”