Internet a competing distribution channel for terrestrial television network
A report published by the Ministry of Transport and Communications finds that the Internet should be developed into an alternative distribution channel for audiovisual content alongside the television network. Distribution of content must be market-based, and content must be easily accessible to everyone.
In spring 2014, the Ministry of Transport and Communications appointed a working group to establish how users of wireless and fixed internet connections could receive audiovisual content offered on the Internet in as cost-efficient, extensive and simultaneous way as possible.
The terrestrial television network and the Internet are the primary distribution channels for audiovisual content, i.e. broadcast of image with or without sound. The challenge for internet distribution has been that current broadband networks do not allow for a simultaneous transmission to an audience of millions in the same way the television network does.
According to the working group, in order to make distribution of audiovisual content on the Internet more effective, the frequency range capacity for distribution must be increased. Technological solutions for effective use of capacity already exist and can be adopted swiftly. However, before these are adopted, actors must agree on a common approach so that distribution is market-based and fair.
The working group feels it is important that actors represented in the working group continue currently ongoing negotiations on different solution options. The working group feels that decision-making on an increase of capacity and a possible distribution method should not be regulation-based, as this is too cumbersome an option while solutions and business models are still in their development phase.
During its term, the working group heard equipment manufacturers, consumer data terminal manufacturers and service providers that use the internet as a distribution channel, as well as representatives of other key interest groups. To support its work, the working group commissioned a consultation report on distribution of AV content via the Internet in Finland.
The Internet as a distribution channel for audiovisual content. The working group's report (Publications of the Ministry of Transport and Communications 37/2014) is available in Finnish on the Ministry of Transport and Communications website at www.lvm.fi.