In the face of growing opposition and subsequent holdups from the country's cable MSOs, South Korea's information and communication minister urged the rest of the government to help IPTV companies launch their services without further delay. The announcement marks an about face for the minister who ruled out the prospect of IPTV offerings from fixed-line telco operators in February. The financially weak cable industry said IPTV poses a serious threat to their business. Cableco advocates also argue that telcos are communications companies, not broadcast companies. The differentiation could make it difficult for IPTV providers in that country because of its regulatory laws. The minister suggested the service is a broadcast service and should be called "Internet media" so as to iron out the legalistic bickering.
Despite all the regulatory silliness, South Korea is the place to watch for emerging technologies. The country claims the top spot worldwide for high-speed Internet connections per capita, with more than 12 million of its 48 million citizens having broadband access.
For more on South Korea's IPTV push:
- take a look at this piece from TelecomAsia