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Broadband Revolution Ushers in "Next Big Thing"

MTV Networks' COO Michael Wolf, speaking at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, tells us that "the next big thing" is already here, and it's not (directly) just about consuming media whenever and wherever users want. While next generation portable devices are certainly cool, the bigger idea, he said, is video and multimedia. Before, spending time on the Internet had more to do with communication; people would check e-mail, chat, or search for specific information. Even the early Internet business models revolved around text ads placed next to search results. The broadband revolution is now allowing more consumers to download and stream video on the Web, paving the way for an entertainment revolution. By extension, consumers now want to be able to have that kind of media control wherever they are, which is why all the hype about full motion video on cell phones and portable video game consoles. One major deterrent to progress: standards. Said Motorola USA's CEO Edward Zander: "We definitely need to sort out standards. For example, we are launching TV globally amidst competing, multiple standards." To that effect, Federal Communications Commission Chairman Kevin Martin said the regulatory environment will be "corrected," and "the rules will keep up with technology." Hmm. Whatever that means.

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