Digital Broadcasting

Digital Broadcasting

Policy and Practice in the Americas, Europe and Japan

Edited by Martin Cave and Kiyoshi Nakamura

Digital television is transforming both broadcasting and, as a result of convergence, the larger world of communications. The impending analogue switch-off will have a major impact on households all over the developed world. Digital Broadcasting considers the effects of digital television on the availability, price and nature of broadcast services in the Americas, Europe and Japan. It shows how this depends upon what platforms – cable, satellite, fixed or wireless broadband – countries have available for use and also upon government policies and regulatory interventions.

Chapter 14: Comparative Analysis of the Market Structure of Broadcasting and Telecommunications in Japan

Sumiko Asai

Subjects: economics and finance, public sector economics, innovation and technology, technology and ict

Extract

Sumiko Asai INTRODUCTION In Japan, the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications (MIC) is in charge of setting regulations and policy for both the broadcasting and telecommunications industries. Telecommunications services are defined as the transmission of information to specific persons using electrical facilities. On the other hand, broadcasting services are defined as the transmission of information to non-specific persons through a wire or wireless network. Transmitting information through electrical networks is common to both telecommunications and broadcasting. However, differences in the market structure and market performance are observed between these industries. In April 1985, Nippon Telegraph and Telephone Public Corporation (NTT Public Corp.) was privatized, and the entry of new players into the telecommunications market was authorized.1 The prices of telecommunications services have decreased since the introduction of this competition mechanism, and users have had a lot of benefits. Although the telecommunications market is actually dominated by several large-scale carriers and may not be regarded as perfect competition, even large-scale carriers are unable to maintain high profit margins at present, due to price competition and the threat of potential entrants. In this respect, we may say that the Japanese telecommunications market has changed from a monopolistic to a competitive market. Broadcasting consists of terrestrial broadcasting, satellite broadcasting and cable television (CATV). While satellite broadcasting and CATV have developed recently, the most familiar medium in Japan has been terrestrial broadcast services. Entry into the terrestrial broadcasting market has been regulated due to the...

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