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UK Govt launch another attack on BBC, C4 & S4C

Culture Secretary questions if "we need" PSBs

HC
Hatton Cross Central (West) Midlands Today
Although the team behind Spitting Image will be devastated...
Readers are warned that this post contains some flash photography
MA
Markymark Meridian (Thames Valley) South Today
. The whole point of public service broadcasting is to broadcast stuff that the commercial sector don’t (or won’t) bother with.


It hasn't always been like that, it's evolved over the last 25- 30 years into that situation,

The UK used to have first rate commercially funded PSBs, and their existence was good and healthy competition for the BBC

Totally unsustainable now of course.
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Avatar credit: © BBC, ITA, BREMA 1967
CA
Cardiffian Wales Wales Today
. The whole point of public service broadcasting is to broadcast stuff that the commercial sector don’t (or won’t) bother with.


It hasn't always been like that, it's evolved over the last 25- 30 years into that situation,

The UK used to have first rate commercially funded PSBs, and their existence was good and healthy competition for the BBC

Totally unsustainable now of course.

Were the ITV regions ever PSBs?
We still have Channel 4 now of course
MA
Markymark Meridian (Thames Valley) South Today
. The whole point of public service broadcasting is to broadcast stuff that the commercial sector don’t (or won’t) bother with.


It hasn't always been like that, it's evolved over the last 25- 30 years into that situation,

The UK used to have first rate commercially funded PSBs, and their existence was good and healthy competition for the BBC

Totally unsustainable now of course.

Were the ITV regions ever PSBs?
We still have Channel 4 now of course


Of course they were ! ITV was set up in 1955 to replicate what BBC TV was doing, by means of competition. The ITA/IBA required them to produce a range of PSB programming that was broadly in line with the BBC's

Same for ILR* in the 70s, and C4 in the 80s, and (to a lesser extent ) C5 in the 90s.

*This hampered the ILRs, but that's quite another story......

The legacy continues today, some would say as lip service, just enough that they are able to continue occupy EPG slots 3, 4 and 5.
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Avatar credit: © BBC, ITA, BREMA 1967
TJ
TedJrr Anglia (East) Look East
....//......The legacy continues today, some would say as lip service, just enough that they are able to continue occupy EPG slots 3, 4 and 5.


Indeed, and in many ways, the argument now is to balance the value of privilege received by being on PSB muxes and having cherished DTT epg rankings, with the costs of undertaking non-commercial activities that are required by license obligation. This isn't an easy equation though; for instance, if ITV had no obligation to produce regional news it may well choose to do so at some level due to the need to grab early evening audience from the BBC. So the PSB cost isn't the whole cost of doing the regional news, but only the cost of going the extra from the probable commercial specification to the license obligation.

Equally, valuing the privileges of being on a PSB mux with single epg digits numbers isn't straightforward. In any case, a broadcaster who receives this privilege has a direct interest in undervaluing it.

Someone asked it ITV and C4 were PSBs in the IBA days. No, they weren't. They weren't even broadcasters, the ITA/IBA was the broadcaster and held the ITV brand. The companies were programme contractors only and operated in the shadow of The Authority , which was a broadcaster and a statutory undertaking. C4 was a wholly-owned subsidiary of the IBA, even in the same VAT group with it. The whole concept of being a PSB comes from the selling of licenses in the early '90s, the license holders then became actual broadcasters.
Last edited by TedJrr on 13 November 2020 4:14pm - 3 times in total
MarkT76 and Markymark gave kudos
BK
bkman1990 UTV Newsline
You couldn't think that PSBs could be streamed online in this era because the UK's broadband infrastructure is currently in such in a poor state for a supposedly 1st world developed country. If the Government want to give equal preference to both PSB's/online streaming services to provide some form of PSB programming in the form of legislation to everyone within the UK population; a lot of money & resources will have to be invested, and I mean billions & billions of £'s over the medium to long term, in improving the overall condition of their infrastructure first particularly during Brexit from the new year.

The UK broadband infrastructure is improving among companies in the commercial sector alright although I don't know how big those improvements are at the moment. This expert panel on the Future of PSB in the UK over the coming years could ask these commercial companies to frontload the full cost of their plans over it's full duration while spreading that cost via higher bills to people who live across the UK using their broadband & mobile phone services. A situation could arise in where the Government could not apply these rules with other easier measures to lower overall costs for consumers.

I think that a job is a huge task to carry out among a huge amount of British people in the current climate. A lot of people who are of a right wing opinion are knowingly very proactive in doing things with the commercial sector in providing some form of good to their own sections of the community with less benefits for everyone else looking to get some of it's big benefits. It's very difficult to see how this expert panel for the UK broadcasting sector will be able to achieve it with that type of backdrop currently in the mix.

Making cuts/adjustments to how PSBs would run in the UK is going to be another challenge that will be tricky. There are some commercial broadcasters in the UK that have their own commitments already made to make their own programming to try & attempt to increase profit for their business. The expert panel in this case would probably have a role in setting conditions on how commercial PSBs get a specific quota set up to make PSB programmes for the UK population. But how can they do it when also trying to maintain a profit because these businesses are probably not here to last forever. If a commercial broadcaster goes up for sale in the UK; any new buyers that would purchase them to run them as a business would have to commit a small portion of their financial resources from their business into programming for PSB.
TE
Technologist London London
You couldn't think that PSBs could be streamed online in this era because the UK's broadband infrastructure is currently in such in a poor state for a supposedly 1st world developed country. ......
The UK broadband infrastructure is improving among companies in the commercial sector alright although I don't know how big those improvements are at the moment. .......
.

While uk broadband may not be as good as so,e other countries whuch are more urban and with more blocks of flats etc ...
Look at this from Ofcom https://www.ofcom.org.uk/__data/assets/pdf_file/0038/194897/uk-home-broadband-performance.pdf

74 % have taken up a greater than 30Mbit/sec service which allows97% to get a Netflix uhd service .....
( something like 96 % more than 6mux freeview viewers have>30Mbit/s past their door)
And average down load used is 67Mbit/s
And it has getting better .....

So there is or will be very soon more than enough IP delivery to the home ...
Some if it paid for by the BBC from LF revenue .
I think there would have been more take up if the uk regulators had not killed project Kangaroo in 2009 .... and that CC ruling still could limit Britbox...
as it is limiting developments in the Free**** platforms .

IP Delivery is here and should be an important part of what ever the UK TV / moving picture service /industry / culture should be...

As for PSB ..... are commercial PSB financilly viable with the expections that are applied to publically owned PSB?..
MA
Markymark Meridian (Thames Valley) South Today
You couldn't think that PSBs could be streamed online in this era because the UK's broadband infrastructure is currently in such in a poor state for a supposedly 1st world developed country. ......
The UK broadband infrastructure is improving among companies in the commercial sector alright although I don't know how big those improvements are at the moment. .......
.

While uk broadband may not be as good as so,e other countries whuch are more urban and with more blocks of flats etc ...
Look at this from Ofcom https://www.ofcom.org.uk/__data/assets/pdf_file/0038/194897/uk-home-broadband-performance.pdf

74 % have taken up a greater than 30Mbit/sec service which allows97% to get a Netflix uhd service .....
( something like 96 % more than 6mux freeview viewers have>30Mbit/s past their door)
And average down load used is 67Mbit/s
And it has getting better .....

..


We also have some of the cheapest broadband provision in the world too.

Friend of mine in the middle east pays about 70 quid /m (for something capped to about 10 Mb/s)
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Avatar credit: © BBC, ITA, BREMA 1967
NG
noggin Founding member
You couldn't think that PSBs could be streamed online in this era because the UK's broadband infrastructure is currently in such in a poor state for a supposedly 1st world developed country. ......
The UK broadband infrastructure is improving among companies in the commercial sector alright although I don't know how big those improvements are at the moment. .......
.

While uk broadband may not be as good as so,e other countries whuch are more urban and with more blocks of flats etc ...
Look at this from Ofcom https://www.ofcom.org.uk/__data/assets/pdf_file/0038/194897/uk-home-broadband-performance.pdf

74 % have taken up a greater than 30Mbit/sec service which allows97% to get a Netflix uhd service .....
( something like 96 % more than 6mux freeview viewers have>30Mbit/s past their door)
And average down load used is 67Mbit/s
And it has getting better .....

..


We also have some of the cheapest broadband provision in the world too.

Friend of mine in the middle east pays about 70 quid /m (for something capped to about 10 Mb/s)


However we have terrible high-speed broadband provision compared to many other countries in Northern and Western Europe.

Stockholm, for instance, in Sweden has 97% homes able to get a fibre IP connection (that's fibre to the premises or fibre to the home - not VDSL fibre to the cabinet)

As an example of typical costs :
200Mbs for £25/month
1Gbps for £50/month

Increasingly 'cable TV' is now multicast IPTV over fibre IP connectivity (with DVB-C RF-over-fibre and DVB-C over coax increasingly being retired)

Sweden has a very sensible approach to fibre provision. The ISPs and Telecomms companies aren't responsible for the consumer fibre network - the local council is. The council have fibred their towns and cities, and then rent the fibre capacity to ISPs. If you live in an apartment building you'll have each ISP land in a central apps room, and then you'll be patched, over fibre, to your chosen ISPs' fibre switches, with this fibre connection landing in a cupboard in your flat, alongside your main power distribution and breakers, and any legacy phone lines and coax cable/aerial feeds.
Last edited by noggin on 15 November 2020 3:38pm
MA
Markymark Meridian (Thames Valley) South Today

Sweden has a very sensible approach to fibre provision. The ISPs and Telecomms companies aren't responsible for the consumer fibre network - the local council is. The council have fibred their towns and cities, and then rent the fibre capacity to ISPs. If you live in an apartment building you'll have each ISP land in a central apps room, and then you'll be patched, over fibre, to your chosen ISPs' fibre switches, with this fibre connection landing in a cupboard in your flat, alongside your main power distribution and breakers, and any legacy phone lines and coax cable/aerial feeds.


How many ISPs are there, because you may not necessarily have your chosen ISP having a switch in the apps room ?

I'm surprised they didn't go for the 'radius server' approach Openreach use here, where you are connected to the same DLSAM (ADSL and FTTC) or optical terminal box, and your connection to your chosen ISP is simply defined by the router credentials set ?

It makes migrations possible without anyone having to physically visit anywhere
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Avatar credit: © BBC, ITA, BREMA 1967
LL
London Lite Founding member London London
I'm in the minority here, I have access to ADSL2+, VDSL, Virgin Cable and not one but TWO FTTB providers. One of them offers up to 3GB for £99pm.
NG
noggin Founding member

Sweden has a very sensible approach to fibre provision. The ISPs and Telecomms companies aren't responsible for the consumer fibre network - the local council is. The council have fibred their towns and cities, and then rent the fibre capacity to ISPs. If you live in an apartment building you'll have each ISP land in a central apps room, and then you'll be patched, over fibre, to your chosen ISPs' fibre switches, with this fibre connection landing in a cupboard in your flat, alongside your main power distribution and breakers, and any legacy phone lines and coax cable/aerial feeds.


How many ISPs are there, because you may not necessarily have your chosen ISP having a switch in the apps room ?


There are only a relatively small number of 'big names'.

I believe the patching approach is used because it can be agnostic between DVB-C RF-over-fibre and IP-over-fibre connectivity - rather than requiring an all IP approach. You just fit the correct optical converter/modem etc. at the other end.

Quote:

I'm surprised they didn't go for the 'radius server' approach Openreach use here, where you are connected to the same DLSAM (ADSL and FTTC) or optical terminal box, and your connection to your chosen ISP is simply defined by the router credentials set ?

It makes migrations possible without anyone having to physically visit anywhere


Yes - but that would mean DVB-C over fibre providers weren't able to offer their services.

I don't know what approach is used for standalone houses, and how the local council handles things. (I suspect that is done at the IP level)

One nice side-effect of this approach is that getting a dedicated IP connection for broadcast is now effectively trivial - as you can book a fibre IP connection (NOT over the public internet) if you discuss with the local council your requirements. In some cases I believe dark fibre is also an option point-to-point. (Satellite uplinks are now very rare in Sweden for either news - which uses bonded 4G largely - or broadcast backhaul - which uses fibre near universally.)
Last edited by noggin on 15 November 2020 4:47pm - 2 times in total

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