Fast internet boost for online comunity TV
Community television station Cotswold TV is seeing a steady monthly growth in its viewing figures since it began broadcasting online in 2010 (formerly as Furry Feet TV).
But this burgeoning small
business is being held back
as slow broadband speeds
prevent viewers in some rural
areas from easily accessing
its online videos. Run by
Furry Feet Studios based at
Cirencester, the service has
become increasingly popular.
Currently around 80,000
viewers a month go online to
watch its mix of community
news and videos featuring
The station generates its income from attracting business members and providing a full video production service. It is about to expand its online community TV format to other areas. A similar service is expected to start in Wiltshire in the New Year based
on the same model. Potentially the service could be franchised and locally-branded by rural communities throughout the UK.
But while the business is successful, faster rural broadband is vital if online community TV is to reach its full potential, says founder and managing director Tom Wakefield. “Internet services are very variable around the Cotswolds,” he said. “From our point of view, upload speeds are very slow. It adds tens of hours each week to the time it takes to upload our videos.
“But the situation is even worse for some viewers. It’s quite disheartening when you speak to people and they say ‘lovely website, but it takes so long to load the videos’. “Obviously there are a lot of people who can watch Cotswold TV and our viewing figures are growing month-by-month.
“But given that we put out features about our local communities and that it’s supposed to be online TV for the people, we want everybody to be able to see it.”
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