Broadband isn't taking off in the UK because broadband content providers are unwilling to recognise that adult content is needed to drive adoption, leading telecoms executives have been told.
An audience of 300 UK telecoms chiefs heard that they should consider partnering with providers of adult entertainment to drive broadband adoption.
The lack of broadband-specific content is regarded as one of the key factors in the failure to persuade potential ADSL customers to pay £40 per month, rather than the £15 per month they currently pay for unmetered narrowband.
Less than one per cent of those homes capable of receiving ADSL broadband services have signed up to do so.
"Adult entertainment will be the most popular form of content for any new digital content platform," said Berth Milton, chief executive at Private Media Group, one of the world's oldest and largest providers of adult material.
Milton explained that broadband represented a major leap in quality for a business model already proven over dial-up access.
"[Our customers] are paying Eu5.7 for a five cm by five cm window at three frames per second. What will they pay for full-screen, near-video quality?" he asked.
Milton advised providers to look on adult content as they would news, sport, weather information, games or music, and warned that any new platform would struggle without adopting adult material.
David Ferguson, commercial director at Bulldog Communications, a wholesaler of broadband connections, agreed that adult content provided a sound business model.
"Erotic content needs broadband to make it work and provides a clear business model," he said. "There's a lot of DSL service providers which think that porn is one of those applications that could be a driver for them, but they're in denial about how they're going to do it."
But BTopenworld, the UK's leading ADSL provider, believes that other applications will provide more compelling reasons for people to upgrade their internet connection.
"Games and music are more important for us," Ben Andradi, chief operating officer at BTopenworld, told vnunet.com. "We haven't ruled adult entertainment out but we're doing other things first."
Andradi also questioned whether adult material was the right image for BT. "There's also a branding issue," he said. "Is it right for the BT brand?"
Earlier, Andradi had told the audience: "We do have some responsibility towards the content we provide ... we're seeing a lot of interest from customers about restricting areas of the internet."
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