Unfortunately there are technical as well as busines and political reasons why they fail to grok the Net. A big one is DOCSIS, which is the standard framework inside which cable companies funnel Net traffic. DOCSIS all but requires that they think of the Net as just another TV channel. Because that’s how DOCSIS frames the Net. It’s something delivered over analog channels inside a coaxial cable. Carriers can “bond” channels to widen the bandwidth, but they’re still dealing with radio waves going down a coaxial pipe on one or more channels and back up on others. Asymmetry is built in, simply because the return upstream path is, by design, on lower frequency channels with less carrying capacity. It’s also useless to debate with a cable comapny the need (or lack of it) for QoS (Quality of Service), because QoS has been part of DOCSIS since 1999.
Fiber deployments have different capabilities and restrictions, although most of those are modeled on cable TV, for good business reasons. Verizon’s fiber (FiOS) system, for example, is not designed primarily for Internet users, but for couch potatoes. Those tubers are abundant and low-hanging (or ground-dwelling) fruit.
One can’t blame carriers for going after easy pickings; but one can blame them for wearing blinders toward the massive opportunities that appear when they deliver wide-open bandwidth on which nearly anything can run… and to discover their first-mover advantages there.
But, thanks to these ancient frames, the Net is seen by the carriers (and the FCC) as tertiary to their primary and secondary services: telephony and television, or vice versa. That’s why it’s still just gravy on your phone or cable bill.
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