Poland is a very specific country and its cable industry may not necessarily benefit from the Digital Single Market (DSM), while Russia, despite not being in the EU, faces its own regulatory problems.
Speaking in the opening panel discussion at 42nd International Conference and Exhibition PIKE 2015 in Kraków, Tomasz Zurawski, the CEO of Vectra, said that with players such as Netflix now global, this is a challenging time for cable operators. However, end users will benefit most from the situation.
Zurawski added that Europe, as a single market, should be looking to rebalance with the US and Asia. Brussels should be helping not just the whole of the EU but individual countries, while at the same time recognising that the latter are different.
In the case of Poland, it is overregulated and looking for help from Brussels.
Meanwhile Mikhail Silin, the head of the Euroasian Association of Cable Television, said that Russia’s cable market was for many years based on balance. Now, however, things are changing dramatically and there is a concern when new regulations are being created.
Silin cited the example of net neutrality, which in theory sounds like a good idea, and the need to adopt a complex approach and consider all aspects of issues.
Silin also said that although there are different regulations in Russia to those in the EU the two probably have similar problems.
Speaking specifically about Netflix, Marek Sowa, a media expert, said it was important to note that it was just a subscription service without live sport and offering a library of older movies and TV series.
Cable operators should be more concerned with the likes of Google and Amazon. The threat they pose could leave them as little more than a dumb pipe.