A Lords committee said today that all television should be broadcast via the internet, leaving the airwaves free for mobile phones.
The government should draw up plans to have every channel, including those from the BBC, broadcast over the internet, freeing up the spectrum for other uses such as mobile phones, the House of Lords suggested.
"Eventually the case for transferring the carriage of broadcast content, including public service broadcasting, from spectrum to the internet altogether will become overwhelming," the Lords communications committee said in its report on internet infrastructure.
However, the committee concluded that Britain will need a better broadband network to cope with future technologies
Committee chair Lord Inglewood said: "If broadcast services move to be delivered via the internet, then key moments in national life such as the Olympics could be inaccessible to communities lacking a better communications infrastructure."
The committee said the airwaves are better suited to mobile, and their use for TV could be considered "wasteful". It said the date for a second switchover could be some years away, but recommends that the government, regulators and the industry start planning now.
"People will perhaps feel fed up, but going from analogue to digital may not be the whole journey," said Inglewood. "Now we are finding we may go from digital to internet."
A broadband connection could become a universal right, he said, as and when all channels including public service broadcasters such as the BBC and ITV are delivered over the web.
"The government's strategy lacks just that – strategy," said Inglewood. "The complex issues involved were not thought through from first principles and it is far from clear that the government's policy will deliver the broadband infrastructure we need – for profound social and economic reasons – for the decades to come."
July 31 2012 - waveguide.co.uk
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