NEWS: Minister tells cable industry to act now in digital TV contest

campaignlive.co.uk, Friday, 18 October 1996 12:00AM

The cable industry must move fast if it is to compete effectively with BSkyB’s plans to launch digital TV in the UK next autumn, the science and technology minister, Ian Taylor, said in the opening address at the European Cable Convention this week.

The cable industry must move fast if it is to compete effectively with

BSkyB’s plans to launch digital TV in the UK next autumn, the science

and technology minister, Ian Taylor, said in the opening address at the

European Cable Convention this week.



‘All key decisions on digital - strategies and partnerships - are being

made now,’ he told delegates. ‘There is no point cable companies

thinking about digital in 1998 or 1999. They must prepare for it now.’



Taylor praised the UK cable industry’s achievements so far. In the past

year alone, cable revenues have more than doubled to over pounds 1

billion; a further pounds 1.8 billion has been invested in the cable

infrastructure and more homes continue to be connected - a further two

million were passed in the last 12 months, bringing the total to around

seven million.



He went on to pledge that, should the Conservatives win a general

election next year, they would work to encourage the continued growth of

cable in the UK.



‘This Government wants to ensure a stable regulatory environment to

underpin further investment,’ he said, adding that no regulatory charges

under a Conservative government were expected before 2001.



Taylor’s concerns about digital were echoed by subsequent speakers from

the cable industry who underlined the need for cable operators to match

the choice promised by digital satellite TV.



The Telecommunications International Inc president and chief operating

officer, Adam Singer, said: ‘When digital launches we must be in a

position to carry all of it.’



This article was first published on campaignlive.co.uk

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