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James Murdoch attacks incumbent telecoms operators
Friday 02 November 2007 14:56:58 by Andrew Ferguson

A general rule no matter which country you live in is that pricing from the incumbent telecoms operator will almost always cost more than competitors and new entrants to the market place. With this in mind it is perhaps no surprise to see Mr Murdoch have a go at the UK incumbents over price and speed of broadband services.

"Our focus is on delivering good things for customers, and ultimately we think that really matters - from a regulatory perspective as well,

When we say we're going to go and challenge some of these big incumbent telecoms operators who've been charging too much for too little, for way too long, we think that's good for customers."

James Murdoch (Chief Executive), BSkyB

Barry Collins over at PC Pro spotted the original article in the Financial Times. One thing that many people in the industry and consumers in the know are likely to agree on is Mr Murdoch's argument that a HD (high-definition) sports broadcast is going to be far more efficient to distribute via satellite than it is through existing broadband networks.

Delivering HD content is a challenge both for broadcast solutions and even more so if using a broadband connection. It is like the days before broadband when online radio was available, but while the bit rate fitted onto a dial-up connection, the slightest bit of congestion would cause the audio to stutter. This is similarly the case with video content over broadband and worse if this is a high resolution or high bit rate feed. If a provider truly wants to embrace video over broadband, large investment in network capacity is required.


Posted by CARPETBURN over 9 years ago
I can only assume James Murdoch was stoned, ill or forgot his meds when he made these comments. In the early days sky broadband support was a pile of pants, and as for his claim his company is challenging prices and doing us all a favour, in addition wanting to give the world HD is that why they charge you 249 quid for a additional set-top box that over heats within a few months and also charges, charges 10 quid a month before you get any HD content and then also extortionate sub rates for sport and movies??
Pllleease hypocrite!
Posted by shaunhw over 9 years ago
Perhaps another 10 pounds a month for bandwidth (the same as Sky charge for HDTV over a satellite) will go to providing at least some of the bandwidth for HD downloads....
Posted by Mitch999 over 9 years ago
With Carpet on this one. Prime example of the kettle calling the plot black.
Why do they have a monopoly anyways?
Posted by chrysalis over 9 years ago
In terms of broadband pricing and value for money sky wins hands down over both BT Broadband and cable which is what he is talking about. Of course this mybe due to the forced low LLU wholesale costs imposed by ofcom and the fact sky are loss leading but James wont care when he made that comment.
Posted by 2doorsbob over 9 years ago
maybe chrysalis hasnt heard about virgin media's 3 for £30 deal with setanta sports included 2mb uncapped broadband and a telephone line with free weekend landline calls..i wished i lived in a cabled area
Posted by PeteK over 9 years ago
@Chrysalis... Quote "sky are loss leading".

Well they are ish but I would suggest it is another bank rolling exercise. They have yet another hook in on the customers home and the packages stack (just) against having a Sky subs and not having one vs subsidised connection and none subsidised.
It just further ties the user in, makes it less easy for them to jump ship when Sky have their next spat and NTL/TW/VM come rolling round offering the earth for nothing for six months
Posted by carrot63 over 9 years ago
Murdochs comments are a bit moot really until Sky start knocking out content worth paying for. I'm not holding my breath.
Posted by c_j_ over 9 years ago
Unregulated monopolies do deliver poor pricing, poor product, poor service. And big money to top management, and (when the accountants want to admit it) huge profits. Murdoch's own monopoly is probably one of the most infamous in the world, not just in the UK.

IF the BBC and the others involved ever finally get their own Freesat on-air(March 2008?), we'll see if the Dirty Digger can get any dirtier.

Freesat to launch in 2006:
Freesat to launch in 2008:
Posted by paulbeattie87 over 9 years ago
Got a few gripes, he says about broadband speed for one, well Sky why don't you come and unbundle my exchange pop some fibre to my front door?
Sky charge £200 for a HD Sky box which like all the rest is probably going to be crap, and they charge you £10 for something like 9 channels. BBC HD is not included as it’s free to view. What value.
You want BT to invest money they will never really get back in a expensive fibre network but don't want to pay any more money for it? Well in that case I want to swap the car on my driveway for a Ferrari but I don't want to pay any more for it.
Posted by Bruciebaby over 9 years ago
Well said. No-one wants to (invest) spend any money on the pipes that bring broadband to our doorsteps. On the other hand, HD bandwidth is going to exceed whats already available (apart from dedicated lines/cables) So unless someone puts up another sat or replaces all cable with fibre, we're no going to see HD anytime soon.
Posted by Kaufhof over 9 years ago
Ihe last two posters are spot on. People should also remember that the network which BT run is a National Resource. Do people really imagine it would still be available for "entertainment" in time of war?
Posted by CARPETBURN over 9 years ago
The man must live in lala land, to critisise other business about price, when the sky bozos run the most expensive TV service in the country is beyond stupid.
Posted by chrysalis over 9 years ago
2doorsbob I have heard about it but you not taking in what I said. Sky do NOT throttle their broadband VM DO thorttle theirs. So download heavily on that 2mbit service what happens? its no longer 2mbit for a few hours.
Posted by chrysalis over 9 years ago
to carret63, sky sports and us shows such as lost,24, prison break are great content for me thanks, the bbc however is another story my tv licence pays for stuff I dont like.
Posted by CARPETBURN over 9 years ago
quote"to carret63, sky sports and us shows such as lost,24, prison break are great content for me thanks" Maybe thats because people pay double or more than double a year for sky services compared to the BBC licence fee, and thus obviously sky can afford to buy programs like prison break first, and heck even if they lose money they just pump up the TV service cost each year until they make it back. Basically you can say the BBC are a greedy child but sky are a great big greedy monster the child sees in their nightmares.
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