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Broadband the future – survey

THE new challenge for many businesses is to embrace digital broadband connectivity or perish and the big challenge for CEOs will be to recognise the opportunities and take the risk to try to exploit them.

This is according to a major international survey carried out by Ernst and Young who interviewed 127 international CEOs and senior executives from the communications, entertainment and enabling technology industries.

Nearly two-thirds of CEOs surveyed cited broadband connectivity as the most significant immediate corporate need.

According to the study, many factors have combined to trigger the sudden, dramatic increase in competition, including the globalisation of markets, deregulation, technology-compressed product life cycles, and enabling technologies that lower entry barriers for start-up competitors and established competitors crossing over from other industries.

They said broadband would be a factor influencing the way customers would experience communi-cations, entertainment and use technology over the next few years.

The study, Business Redefined: Connecting Content, Applications, and Customers, is based on in-depth CEO and executive interviews and analysis of secondary data from more than 100 information sources worldwide.

Digital broadband access and fierce competition among communications, entertainment, and enabling technology companies are prompting a total trans-formation of current business models, it says.

The global study also found CEOs and executives grappling with an unprecedented increase in comp-etition which is fostering a rapid development of new business models and a proliferation of new distr-ibution channels for information and entertainment.

“The study points to dramatic changes in consumer and business content production and distribution—whether the content in question is movies, news, software, or business applications,” Telecom Media Networks, Cap Gemini Ernst and Young vice president, Stuart Hartley, said.

“These changes are precipitated by the availability of widespread broadband network access ranging from DSL and 3G wireless speeds to direct fibre connectivity.”

The Business Redefined report identified households overseas currently connected with broad-band access “consume” more than 20 per cent more entertainment time than households without high-speed access.

The increase is compounded by the study’s prediction that, after years of delays, the rapid deployment of broadband connections is finally beginning to happen.

However, the rise in household consumption represents only part of the escalating demand for content and services.

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