A wise warning from Shelley Powers:
|At issue is not that broadband companies are becoming overwhelmed, but that the same companies providing broadband are beginning to perceive that online video offerings such as Netflix WatchNow, Hulu, iTunes, and so on could become an eventual threat to their bread-and-butter operations: offering entertainment packages. Capping broadband use to prevent competition is against the law in this country. If this is the situation, when reason fails, the courts will then need to become engaged. I have to think the ISPs know this, and such knowledge will give them pause.|
The trick for carriers is not to protect doomed business models, but to pursue benefits to incumbency other than trapping and milking customers the usual way.
The Net is a sea of bits: a rising tide that lifts all but the boats that defy its nature. The carriers have enormous advantages here, and not just in billing out the usual scarcities, or leveraging the lame assumptions all carriers, cable included, inherit from the late Ma Bell.
For example, I have Verizon FiOS at my apartment in Boston. I get 20Mb of symmetrical service for about $65 a month. On top of that they offer some premium services, only one of which I want: offsite backup. I’d try to get it, but there’s no link to the service on that page; just a promo. So I’ll give up on that for the moment (I’m in Santa Barbara anyway) while I point to the Verizon FiOS Internet for Business pricing page. Here the prices start at levels much higher than home pricing. What’s the difference? I can see reasons for charging a bit more, but why that much? How much business does this kind of Old Skool captive-market tiering prevent rather than encourage?
For that matter, why should my Internet service take a back seat to television, which soaks up most of my actual fiber-to-the-home bandwidth. Says here that’s 2.4Gb downstream and 1.4Gb upstream. Most of the downstream is devoted to live TV that I don’t watch. Most of the upstream is wasted.
Think about what could be done with that capacity. Don’t think about any business that now exists, much less of protecting it. Just think about what new uses and businesses could grow in those wide-open spaces. Think about how those new businesses would justify even more fiber-to-the-home build-out by Verizon and everybody else.
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