Summit Notebook

Exclusive outtakes from industry leaders

200MB? It’s only human nature to want more


Broadband subscribers want as much speed as they can get their hands on, even if it’s way beyond what’s needed by the most avid downloader of music, keen watcher of video¬†or biggest Facebook addict, reckons cable operator Liberty Global’s CEO.

Maybe he would say that, but Mike Fries says today’s subscribers are signing up for speeds of 100-200 MB to be safe in the knowledge they won’t be left behind whatever the next stage of the Internet — a bit like owning a car with a top speed way beyond the limit.

“Intuitively, you would say: ‘What the heck does somebody
need this for?’,” Fries told the Reuters Global Media Summit.

“But in the end we find that increasingly when you say to
somebody for the price of a Volkwagen you can have a Porsche,
generally they take the Porsche. It’s just human nature.

Liberty Global goes to school on digital video


fries.jpgLearning from others’ mistakes always makes business easier. At least that’s what Liberty Global is counting on as looks at digital video coming to television around the world. Chief Executive Mike Fries tell us a few of the lessons he took away from the roll-out of digital video and products like DVRs in the United States. “Be patient with your box development.” “You want to have everybody on the same platform.” “Be disciplined about the economic model… don’t spend too much on the box.” “It’s about the applications, not the content.”

All about the applications? Fries elaborates: