The International Telecommunication Union (ITU) organized a workshop 25-26 January at the organization's Geneva headquarters designed to inform regulators and other decision-makers on "The Future of Cable TV" in a converged information and communication technology (ICT) sector.
The workshop was held within the context of the European Regional Initiative on "Broadband Infrastructure, Broadcasting and Spectrum Management", approved at the 2017 World Telecommunications Development Conference. Through this initiative, assistance is provided to countries in need of assessment of the dynamics, challenges, and opportunities of diverse broadband technologies across Europe, including cable TV.
Participants at the workshop examined market trends, including an enabling environment and the role of national regulatory authorities in ensuring orderly market development; innovation and technology trends in view of the widespread availability of broadband internet and powerful connected devices; service and business trends which will impact the future of cable TV; and supporting international and regional technical standardization activity.
The two-day workshop also provided an opportunity for participants to share best practices and case studies on cable TV roll-outs.
The efficient collaboration of relevant standards bodies and responsible regulatory authorities will be a key determinant of the cable TV industry's success in introducing innovative new services, workshop participants agreed.
"The convergence being witnessed in the ICT sector has opened new opportunities for cable TV operators expanding their reach, improving content delivery, as well as expanding the range of services available to subscribers," said Brahima Sanou. "In building smart societies, policy makers, regulators, the private sector and all other stakeholders need to work together to bring out innovative applications and services that open the door to unprecedented knowledge, employment and financial opportunities for people everywhere."
"ITU workshops encourage peer-learning and an exchange of best practices that encourages innovation to be shared globally," said Chaesub Lee, Director of the ITU Telecommunication Standardization Bureau. "This cable TV workshop will help innovators to capitalize on advances in fields such as virtual reality and multi-platform, ultra-high definition TV, while also giving ITU standardization experts new insight into how their work could best support cable TV innovation."
Over 70 participants from 30 countries took part in the workshop. Four national regulators from the European region were represented at the highest level. They included: Marcin Cichy, President, Office of Electronic Communications (UKE), Poland; Jaromír Novák, Chairman of the Council of the Czech Telecommunication Office; Mihai Grindeanu, President, National Authority for Management and Regulation in Communications of Romania (ANCOM), Romania; Cristina Lourenço, Deputy Director International Affairs, Autoridade Nacional de Comunicações (ANACOM), Portugal. A keynote presentation was made by Matthias Kurth, the Executive Chairman of Cable Europe and former head of the National Regulatory Authority of Germany (BNetzA).
The outcomes of the workshop will be featured in a comprehensive industry paper to be released in February 2018. The paper will advance implementation of the European Regional Initiative aimed at assisting countries in need on matters related to cable TV, and bridge the requirements and needs of the various countries with the standards community. It will also contribute to the workflow of several ITU study groups including:
ITU-T Study Group 9: Broadband Cable and TV
ITU-D Study Group 1: Enabling Environment for the Development of Telecommunications/ICTs
ITU-D Study Group 2: ICT Services and Applications for the Promotion of Sustainable Development
ITU-R Study Group 6: Broadcasting Service