NBN would spur growth of HbbTV, save Seven West business, exec says

Australia needs to build its National Broadband Network (NBN) to pave the way for Hybrid Broadband Television (HbbTV) and, more importantly, sustain the Seven West's television business, Tim Worner, chief executive of that country's national broadband media business said.

HbbTV, he said, accelerates the integration of the Internet and television and the NBN accelerates the growth of HbbTV. Both benefit a Seven West TV business that's being hammered by the growth of TV-killing Internet content.

"For our business it's going to be important that the velocity with that particular project is maintained because the more homes that are connected to the NBN, the more opportunities there will be for a company of our size to take advantage of it," Worner said, according to a story in The Australian.

The national network, now expected to cost $37.4 billion, has become a political football in Australia with opponents promising a major restructure if elected to office. Whether that restructure slows up or changes the way the network is being deployed could impact Seven West but, Worner said, that's out of his hands.

"We can't make it (deployment) go faster or slower with the NBN. We probably don't have much of a say in whether it's copper or fiber, so we're concentrating on what we've got control over and that's being ready to take advantage of it," he said. "I think we are at the start of a brilliant renaissance in television and it's television's would-be murderer--the Internet--that can absolutely power it."

That empowerment, he said, would come from instituting HbbTV and blending linear television seamlessly with Australian-created Internet content.

"A critical part of our future will be Australian content," he concluded.

For more:
- The Australian carried this story

Related articles:
Australia NBN contractors, subcontractors battle over pay conditions
NBN Co. meets FTTH deployment goal, but competitors want lower wholesale prices
Australia's NBN Co. purchases iiNet's FTTP network

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