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Neilson: TV Watching On Par With Online Access
March 21st, 2010

The number of US TV watchers that also cruise the internet and USENET is up more than 35 percent from a year ago, according to a new report released Monday. The advertising firm Nielsen Co. said Monday that people who multitask this way spent an average of three and a half hours doing so in December. That’s up sharply from the two hours, 29 minutes that Nielsen reported only six months earlier.

The study reported by media newsgroups says  the number of Americans who “multitask” by watching TV and using the Internet continues to grow by reaching three and a half hours per month in the most recent quarter, with nearly 60% of viewers now using the Internet once a month while also watching TV.

Indeed more consumers watched TV while simultaneously surfing the Web in December ’09 , but these figures shouldn’t really come as a surprise if you take in mind the upward trend in simultaneous media consumption. People did admit to using the Internet around 34% of the time that they were watching television – 14% more than a year ago. These numbers don’t count those who are watching TV on the Internet itself or using to utilize both for the same purpose.  This is some decent news for the TV industry, since the fear is that Internet time is eating into boob tube viewing. Overall, TV viewing is up 1%, year over year, according to the report.

The original fear was that the internet, mobile video, and entertainment would slowly draw viewers away from the TV. However, TV viewership expanded simultaneously with internet usage.

“The rise in simultaneous use of the web and TV gives the viewer a unique on-screen and off-screen relationship with TV programming,” said Nielsen Company media product leader Matt O’Grady. “The initial fear was that Internet and mobile video and entertainment would slowly cannibalize traditional TV viewing, but the steady trend of increased TV viewership alongside expanded simultaneous usage argues something quite different.”

Here are the top 5 website according to Neilson that people are accessing while online:

1. Google
2. Yahoo
3. Facebook
4. MSN or Microsoft Bing
5. YouTube.

Online video consumption is up 16 percent year over year, with close to half (44 percent) of all online video being consumed at the workplace. “Online video is used essentially like DVR and not typically a replacement for watching TV,” notes Nielsen’s semi-annual Three Screen Report, which analyzes TV, internet and mobile video usage. Approximately 44 percent of all online video viewing is happening in the workplace, according to Nielsen, a stat that probably won’t be too surprising for those who follow events like March Madness on Demand, which has been made available live online by CBS Sports.

The use and access to USENET had not been measured in this survey; rather it’s combined with the total amount of time they spend online. With such a great increase in usage, and the ties with other mediums with Usenet, it’s considered that it had a certain impact on the final numbers.


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Google Soon To Begin Offering High Speed Fiber Connections
February 11th, 2010

Online goliath Google has been keeping busy as it has recently turned its versatile hand to mobile operating systems (Android) social networking (Buzz) and smartphones (Nexus One).  According to Google, it will soon build and test an ultra-high-speed broadband platform in a selection of trial locations across the United States, which will result in the delivery of Internet speeds up to 100 times quicker than current standards

Google has this week announced plans to redefine current Internet performance with a blazing fast experimental fiber network. On search engine and Google related newsgroups, they report that Google has a goal “to experiment with new ways to improve access to the Internet and make it faster for everyone.”

ISPs have traditionally considered selling voice minutes and, of late, data bundles. While so-called “over-the-top” services from Internet players such as Google have threatened ISP revenues from additional services, their core networks were never under threat. That is now set to change. Google will launch several experiments across the United States by deploying optical fiber. The search giant/world power announced it will build and test one-gigabit-per-second fiber connections to at least 50,000 homes in various locations across the US. The trial could expand to as many as 500,000 homes, according to the post. Google asked cities and states interested in joining the experiment to apply to Google by March 26 and said it eventually would build the network in a number of U.S. locations.

“We don’t think we have all the answers – but through our trial, we hope to make a meaningful contribution to the shared goal of delivering faster and better Internet for everyone,” the company said. It says it wants software developers to come up with applications, including “uses we can’t yet imagine.”  Hopefully, some if not many of them could be USENET related.

Google has slowly been crossing paths with ISPs, a fact that’s been more than obvious from its series of forays over the course of recent years. However, while ISPs have always looked at Google with a sense of alarm, this latest announcement is likely to set a firm line in the sand with other ISPs.

Some newsgroup subscribers have double-checked with Google to see if a fast wireless overlay could be deployed as part of the experiment. A replied post by a Google spokesperson states: “Google’s focused on fiber-to-home right now and has no current plans for additional deployments,”

It is quite possible that Google will back down from its stated “experiment” after the initial rollout. But it’s more likely that Google will continue with a phased rollout program until it can generate enough panic amongst the ISPs to create what it set out to create. Google has had mixed results with its previous efforts to provide communitywide Internet access. In 2006, the company launched a Wi-Fi network in its hometown of Mountain View, calling the move at the time “a way for us to give back to and engage with the community.” But Google’s efforts to provide free wireless Internet access throughout San Francisco fell apart in 2007, when Google’s partner, EarthLink, backed out of the deal.


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