OTT “good for cable”, but challenges investment

Over-the-top TV services such as YouTube should be welcomed by cable operators, according to Lutz Schüler, CEO of German cable MSO Unitymedia.

Participating in the Broadband Summit at ANGA Cable in Cologne, Schüler suggested that debate on network neutrality was going in the wrong direction. “If people want to watch YouTube, we should make this happen. We have the structure.” He earlier admitted that operators such as Unitymedia couldn’t just ask for higher prices from its customers for a higher level of service. “There’s just too much competition,” he said.

By contrast, Adrian von Hammerstein, CEO of Kabel Deutschland, noted that as YouTube added increasingly bandwidth-rich services such as HD, the burden fell on the cable operator. “We need to make investments, for which we need incentives. It’s as simple as that,” he asserted.

Harald Rösch, CEO of Kabel Baden-Württemberg, suggested that operators needed to develop an awareness in their customers of service availability, “and that they have to pay for it.” Alf Henryk Wolf, CEO of Alcatel-Lucent Deutschland, agreed that “if there’s no investment, there’s a problem.

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