The lead United Nations agency for information and communication technology (ICT) announced Tuesday the first set of global standards for providing television services over the Internet, a move that is expected to fuel innovation and competition in an emerging field.
The standards for Internet Protocol Television (IPTV) were developed by the UN International Telecommunication Union ITU with input from leading service providers and manufacturers from the ICT sector. They "cement ITU's role as the global leader in IPTV standards development," the agency said in a press statement. Highlighting the importance of the guidelines issued, the Director of ITU's Telecommunication Standardization Bureau said they will "encourage innovation, help mask the complexity of services, guarantee quality of service, ensure interoperability and, ultimately, help players remain competitive." According to the agency, IPTV is a key element of a "triple-play package" of voice, video and data services, noting that "standardization is imperative if service providers are to offer high quality products with value-additions, such as video-on-demand services that will inevitably drive the market. "A combination of voice, Internet and video services over a single broadband link and from a single provider is foreseen as the ultimate goal of the broadband revolution," it added.