Cable will put schools on-line 'before digital'
Saturday 13 April 1996
"We are actively deploying our links to schools and universities," Bob Frost, chief executive of the Cable Communications Association, said yesterday. "The structure is already there, while the alternatives such as digital satellite would require additional hardware and software."
Mr Frost, whose association represents Britain's cable operators, made his remarks in the wake of reports that Mr Murdoch had offered satellites for every school, in return for the Government's support over his planned introduction of digital satellite services in the UK.
"There's no question that we will have a functioning system connecting schools first," Mr Frost added. The cable industry is halfway through a pounds 10bn-investment programme to roll out broadband cable services across the country.
The Government has been looking at ways of encouraging the growth of the information highway in the UK, and has been concentrating on connections to schools. The Labour Party unveiled a controversial agreement with BT last year under which the telephone operator would connect schools and other public institutions with fibre optic lines, in return for the freedom to broadcast entertainment services over its network.
The information highway, including connections to the Internet, so-called "distance learning", and other interactive services, is a high priority at Number 10, where Deputy Prime Minister Michael Heseltine has been taking a lead.
Mr Heseltine met Mr Murdoch over lunch six weeks ago, to discuss how Mr Murdoch's News Corporation might help develop a function "educational information highway" in the UK. Two weeks later, the Government introduced an amendment liberalising ownership restrictions on investments in domestic satellite services.
Cable and telephone lines now being installed in the UK are capable of supporting two-way communication of video, text and audio signals. Digital satellite, whereby signals are digitised and compressed, is also capable of interactivity, but there are presently no such services available in the UK.
According to satellite experts, a digital service would require new hardware in space, as well as extensive hardware and software on the ground.
Mr Murdoch's offer is believed to have been limited to the supply of satellite dishes, leaving institutions and the Government to provide the additional hardware and software required.
Mr Murdoch's BSkyB is the dominant pay-TV player in the UK. The company has said it would introduce new digital services within the next two years.
- 1 Man on naked bike ride gets ejected after becoming aroused
- 2 Charles Kennedy 1959-2015: A gifted, compassionate politician whose career was cut short by the 'demon drink' - latest news
- 3 Ayyan Ali: Pakistan's top model now appears in the courtroom rather than on the catwalk
- 4 Fifa corruption: Europe plots to stage an 'alternative World Cup' in place of Russia 2018
- 5 Jaden Smith wears gender fluid dress to high school prom with Hunger Games actress
Photographer who performed naked shoot in China's Forbidden City sparks outrage
Ed Miliband returns to the backbenches but it's all a bit awkward as he tries to avoid eye-contact with fellow Labour MPs
Man on naked bike ride gets ejected after becoming aroused
Charles Kennedy 1959-2015: A gifted, compassionate politician whose career was cut short by the 'demon drink' - latest news
Isis tortures 14-year-old Syrian boy and films it in graphic video for 'propaganda purposes'
Migrants in Kos: Photos show real tragedy after Brits abroad complain of 'awkward' holidays
Thousands of teenage girls enduring debilitating illnesses after routine school cancer vaccination
British tourists complain that impoverished boat migrants are making holidays 'awkward' in Kos
Michael Gove determined to scrap the Human Rights Act – even if Scotland retains it
Threat to scrap Human Rights Act could see UK follow Nazi example, warns UN official
Why this year's general election was the most unfair in Britain's history
iJobs Money & Business
£70000 - £90000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Financial Reporting Manager i...
£23000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: They win lots of awards for the...
£13500 - £20000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This nationwide enforcement com...
£25 - £30K: Guru Careers: We are seeking a highly-motivated and ambitious Comm...