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[ NNSquad ] Re: Why Apple Can't Kill Cable
Your point about conflict of interest is correct. The question is what we do about it.
Both FedEx and UPS share our common roads so they are both equally advantaged or disadvantaged and adjust their business models accordingly.
If the ISP sees those using its transport as a threat you have a problem that cannot be solved by legislation. The CLEC model failed. Benign neglect or "responsible" network management is sufficient to prevent effective competition.
This why we need to remove the conflict of interest to get a level playing field.
For now as far as I know if I watch Comcast content over Verizon's FiOS I would have no problem as Verizon seems to just passing packets. But if I try to watch Verizon content over Comcast I would run afoul of their "responsible" network management policies as stated.
This is why I don't see any viable state short of a shift to an infrastructure model.
As to whether carriers use IP protocol (not TCP/IP, IP) I see it as moot. I do believe they are increasingly using IP when they can. But as I pointed out in http://rmf.vc/?n=FiOSRealityCheck they can still have an analog channelized mindset. In fact Verizon VoD is indeed over IP and goes through my router but suffers from the artifacts of older protocols.
I agree that a la carte is a nonstarter. But let's remember that you can
still have packages without have "cable" per se. Comcast is already talking
about taking their business model over IP.
Sure you are able to purchase individual episodes on Amazon for $1.99 or get
a some on Hulu with commercials. But that model doesn't begin to approach
the economics of scale that drive today's industry. As you (Lauren) note,
bundling does give us channels that might not be viable on their own. This
is similar to the problem newspapers face the parts (the individual stories)
are not the same as the whole.
So let's not confuse our agendas. It's one thing to object to having to buy
services from the company that owns a particular pipe. It's another to
complain about the economics of bundles.
After all, what restaurant will give you 75% off your meal because you only
use one seat at a table for four?
[ Actually, digital cable is of course already (MPEG) TCP/IP. The
question is which "artificial" channel on the cable or DSL you're
watching. Are you tuned to the ISP's own offerings that don't
count against bandwidth/usage caps and are exempt from other
limitations? Or are you trying to watch programming from the
"outside" where all of these limitations apply, but that have to
(in most cases) come through the same physical circuit under
generally unilateral and arbitrary control of the same ISP?
I fail to see how this kind of situation can be fairly handled
across the spectrum of ISP subscribers without some form of
ISP regulatory apparatus.
-- Lauren Weinstein
NNSquad Moderator ]
[mailto:email@example.com] On Behalf Of
Sent: Wednesday, December 23, 2009 12:20
Subject: [ NNSquad ] Why Apple Can't Kill Cable
Why Apple Can't Kill Cable
http://bit.ly/5ZAIbq (Hollywood Reporter)
I'll note again here the discomfort I feel whenever I see loud
proclamations about the "evils" of cable channel bundling. Clearly
there needs to be more subscriber flexibility in this area, but I
can't eliminate my concern that a total "a la carte" system would
undermine the funding and availability of many fine speciality
channels (e.g. History International, Science, channels dedicated to
Russian and Africa, etc.) in favor of a nearly limitless palette of
lucrative sports and premium movie channels. Many of the lesser
watched channels probably could not survive without subsidization
related to the mass audience favorites.
I've noticed a significant expansion recently in speciality channels
on TWC since they got Switched Digital Video (SDV) "more or less"
working. I'll bet that some of them only have a relative handful of
viewers at any given time -- but many are still well worth watching.
That diversity is to my mind a good thing.