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Analysis for 'Regulation'

  • Verizon Challenges Net Neutrality Regulations

    Yesterday Verizon appealed the FCC's new net neutrality regulations in the DC Court of Appeals, alleging that the FCC has exceeded its authority. The move is a little surprising given that last August Verizon seemed accepting of net neutrality, by submitting a joint net neutrality proposal with Google. What the two submitted and what the FCC eventually passed are different in a number of ways, but one way that they're similar is in the light regulatory touch granted to wireless Internet ISPs, which was a key focus of Verizon's given its massive wireless business. Even the treatment of wired ISPs wasn't terribly onerous, which is one of the reasons why a number of consumer advocacy organizations are also threatening a challenge to the FCC.

    Other than trying to subvert the FCC's authority generally, it's not entirely clear to me what Verizon's trying to accomplish here. One thing's for sure, Verizon will have plenty of help from Republicans who are also challenging net neutrality.
     
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  • In Approving Comcast-NBCU, the FCC Blesses the Cable Model

    Reading yesterday's FCC press release approving the Comcast-NBCU transaction, my main reaction was that rather than using the opportunity to try to force fundamental changes in the core cable business model, the FCC, through its key conditions, instead essentially blessed it.

    Comcast - and by extension other pay-TV operators - must be delighted that their core packaging and pricing philosophies were basically untouched. Cable networks and studios should also be happy that their ability to monetize through the monthly affiliate model remained intact as was their flexibility to monetize online (mostly). As a result, the large ecosystem of participants in the video ecosystem (e.g. talent, production personnel, etc.) should also be happy that their economic well-being won't be disrupted. Lastly, investors in the pay-TV ecosystem should also be happy; it's always a good day when the government chooses not to meddle in markets that are working pretty nicely from investors' perspective.

    To get more specific, in the press release there are 7 key conditions under the heading, "Protecting the Development of Online Competition" that Comcast and/or Comcast/NBCU are required to follow. These relate to online video and I have listed them out below. After each one I have added my analysis/reactions.

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  • 5 Items of Interest for the Week of Jan. 10th

    Even though I was very focused this week on the CES "takeaways" series, there was still plenty of news happening in the online and mobile video industries. So as in the past, I'm pleased to offer VideoNuze's end-of-week feature highlighting 5-6 interesting online/mobile video industry news items that we weren't able to cover this week. Enjoy!

    Level 3 fights on in Comcast traffic dispute
    Level 3 is showing no signs of relenting on its accusations that Comcast is unfairly trying to charge the CDN for Internet traffic it delivers to Comcast's network. In an interview this week, Level 3 said it may use the "Open Internet" provisions of the FCC's new network neutrality rules to press its case. Level 3's challenge is coming at the 11th hour of the FCC's approval process of the Comcast-NBCU deal; it's not really clear if Level 3 is having any impact on slowing the approval, which appears imminent.

    Comcast-NBCU deal challenged over online video proposal
    Speaking of challenges to the Comcast-NBCU deal, word emerged this week that Disney is voicing concern over the FCC's proposed deal condition that would force Comcast to offer NBC programming to any party that had concluded a deal with one of NBC's competitors for online distribution. The Disney concern appears to be that the condition would have an undue influence on how the online video market evolves and how Disney's own deals would be impacted. While the FCC should be setting conditions to the deal, the Disney concerns highlights how, in a nascent, fast-moving market like online video, government intervention can cause unintended side effects.

    YouTube is notching 200 million mobile video views/day
    As if on cue with my CES takeaway #3, that mobility is video's next frontier, YouTube revealed this week that it is now delivering 200 million mobile views per day, tripling its volume in 2010. That would equal about 6 billion views per month, which is remarkable. And that amount is poised to increase, as YouTube launched music video site VEVO for Android devices. YouTube clearly sees the revenue potential in all this mobile video activity; it also said that it would append a pre-roll ad in Android views for tens of thousands of content partners.

    Google creates video codec dust-up
    Google stirred up a hornet's nest this week by announcing that it was dropping support for the widely popular H.264 video codec in its Chrome browser, in favor of its own WebM codec, in an attempt to drive open standards. Though Chrome only represents about 10% market share among browsers (doubling in 2010 though), for these users, it means they'll need to use Flash to view non-WebM ended video. There are a lot of downstream implications of Google's move, but for space reasons, rather than enumerating them here, check out some of the great in-depth coverage the issue has received this week (here, here, here, here).

    Netflix usage drives up Canadian broadband bills
    An interesting test of Canadian Netflix streaming showed that a user there might have to pay an incremental $12/month under one ISP's consumption cap. That would be more than the $7.99/mo that the Netflix subscription itself costs, leading to potential cord-shaving behavior. This type of upcharge hasn't become an issue here in the U.S. because even ISPs that have caps have set them high relative to most users' current consumption. But if streaming skyrockets as many think it will, and the FCC allows usage-based billing, this could fast become a reality in the U.S. as well.


     
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  • Online/Mobile Video's Top 10 of 2010

    2010 was another spectacular year of growth and innovation in online and mobile video, so it's no easy feat to choose the 10 most significant things that happened during the year. However, I've taken my best shot below, and offered explanations. No doubt I've forgotten a few things, but I think it's a pretty solid list. As much as happened in 2010 though, I expect even more next year, with plenty of surprises.

    My top 10 are as follows:

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  • Net Neutrality: Here Today, Gone Tomorrow?

    Though the FCC passed new net neutrality rules yesterday, the fight is far from over. Republicans immediately vowed to block the rules when they take over the House in January, and threats of industry lawsuits flew. Even liberal supporters of net neutrality were unhappy that the rules didn't go far enough. While the rules are here today, whether they will be tomorrow is very much an open question.

    While everyone agrees that a well-functioning Internet is core to American society and the economy, net neutrality's challenge from the start has been between those who believe in pre-emptive regulations because big ISPs can't be trusted, vs. those that don't see a sustained pattern of ISP misbehavior warranting proactive FCC involvement.

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  • 6 Key 2011 Trends in Online and Mobile Video

    Yesterday Colin Dixon from The Diffusion Group and I presented a webinar describing our 6 key trends for 2011 in online and mobile video. Colin is one of the sharpest analysts of the pay-TV and online/mobile video industries and we had no shortage of ideas to sort through. Our list is a joint effort, and during the webinar we each presented the 3 trends we felt the strongest about. In today's post I share and explain each one. At the end of the webinar we conducted a poll asking attendees whether they agreed or disagreed with our predictions. I've noted those results in bold font. If you want to download the slides and/or hear more of our detailed discussion, just register for the on-demand version of the webinar and you'll be emailed a link.

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  • 5 Items of Interest for the Week of Nov. 29th

    Following the Thanksgiving break last Friday, VideoNuze's end-of-week feature of curating 5-6 interesting online/mobile video industry news items that we weren't able to cover this week, is back. Read them now or take them with you this weekend!

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  • New Net Neutrality Ad Campaign Draws in Google's Co-Founders

    When it comes to net neutrality, I've learned to expect the unexpected, as any sense of a formal process was long-ago abandoned in favor of an ad hoc free-for-all by interested parties. That was epitomized by the recent partnership between Google and Verizon which joined up to go rogue by proposing their own net neutrality recommendations in August. Though they thought they were moving the ball forward on the issue, they were promptly scorched by net neutrality advocates for endorsing vague private Internet lanes and exempting wireless from any new regulations.

    Now the latest chapter in the net neutrality battle is unfolding with an online ad campaign, featuring an online petition directed to Google's co-founders Sergey Brin and Larry Page, to live up to Google's corporate motto "don't be evil" by walking away from the Verizon deal. The campaign is funded by the Progressive Change Campaign Committee and other advocacy groups like MoveOn and Free Press. The petition's web site states that over 334,000 people have signed on so far. Ironically the ads are being bought through Google itself, and on Facebook.

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  • 5 Items of Interest for the Week of Sept. 6th

    Though it was a short week due to the Labor Day holiday, there was no shortage of online video industry happenings this week. As I've been doing each of the last few Fridays, following are 5-6 noteworthy industry stories for your weekend reading pleasure.

    Ooyala Raises $22 Million to Accelerate Global Expansion
    Online video platform Ooyala's new $22 million round is a bright spot in what's been a pretty slow quarter for online video industry private financings. Ooyala's new funds will help the company grow in the Asia-Pacific region. Ooyala said it is serving 550 customers, double the level of a year ago.

    Google TV to Roll Out World-Wide Next Year
    Even though the first Google TV-enabled devices have yet to be deployed, Google CEO Eric Schmidt said this week that he envisions a global rollout next year. The connected device landscape is becoming more competitive for Google TV given the growing number of inexpensive connected device options.

    Business Groups Question Net Neutrality Rules
    Three pro-business trade groups urged the FCC to drop its net neutrality initiative, citing the "flourishing" broadband market and concerns that regulations will curtail new investments and hurt the economy. It seems like everyone has a different opinion about net neutrality, so the consensus needed to move regulation forward is still down the road.

    ESPN, YouTube Link Up for Promo Campaign
    This week ESPN and YouTube kicked off their "Your Highlight" campaign, enticing ESPN viewers to upload their own sports clips, with the best ones to be shown on SportsCenter. Then the best of the best will win a trip to ESPN's studios to watch a SportsCenter taping. It's a great promotional concept, using online video to further invest ESPN viewers in the brand. Whoever thought it up deserves a shout-out.

    Life Without a TV Set? Not impossible
    Another interesting data point to tuck into your back pocket: according to a 2010 Pew study, just 42% of Americans feel a TV set is a "necessity," down from 64% in 2006. Pew interprets this as a loss of status for the TV, as other devices like computers and phones have become video capable. The perception of convergence is taking root.


     
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  • Justice Dept Considering Online Restrictions For Comcast-NBCU

    An article in today's WSJ, "Comcast Gets Static on Net TV" describes how the Justice Department is scrutinizing the online video implications of Comcast's deal to acquire control of NBCU. According to the article, the Justice Department is digging in to try to understand what, if any, implications the deal could have on online-delivered TV shows and movies from NBCU.

    The article points out that nothing is likely to come out of the investigation that could derail the deal. However, the results could provide the foundation for the Justice Department to impose restrictions on Comcast's flexibility to decide where and how NBCU's premium programming could be distributed online. The purpose would be to head off Comcast somehow gaining preferred and/or exclusive access.

    The investigation is merited given the size of the deal and yet the yellow caution flags should be up regarding the government making too many assumptions about how the online video market will unfold. As I've written a number of times, we are continuing to see surprising deals, technologies and products which challenge popular assertions that online video and incumbent pay-TV models are on a collision course with one another, with one winning at the other's expense. Just in the last few weeks, the Netflix-Epix deal, the Cox-TiVo partnership, and possibly this week 99-cent broadcast TV rentals from Apple all show that the market is incredibly dynamic, with a blending of online and traditional distribution becoming more common.

    That said, Comcast already has huge market power, and control of NBCU's top-notch assets mustn't deprive others of access from which consumers gain. Finding the delicate balance between just enough safeguards, but without limiting innovation, is the key.

    What do you think? Post a comment now (no sign-in required).
     
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  • Google and Verizon Net Neutrality Proposal Comes With Big Loopholes

    Responding to rampant rumors last week concerning a potential side-deal on net neutrality, Google and Verizon held a conference call this afternoon unveiling a "Legislative Framework Proposal" by their respective CEOs Eric Schmidt and Ivan Seidenberg. The proposal is meant to influence other net neutrality stakeholders, including the FCC. Google and Verizon insisted there's no companion business deal between them.  

    On positive side, the companies' proposal tries to break the Washington net neutrality logjam by endorsing an open Internet backed up with a sensible, transparent and non-discriminatory approach that mainly leaves it up to networks to act responsibly. However, the proposal comes with at least 2 big loopholes which until clarified, will no doubt undercut a lot of the proposal's credibility.

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  • 5 News Items of Interest for the Week of Aug 2nd

    In addition to producing daily original analyses focused on the evolution of the online/mobile video industry, another key element of VideoNuze is collecting and curating links to industry coverage from around the web. Each week there are typically 30-40 stories that VideoNuze aggregates in its exclusive news roundup. Many readers have come to depend on this curated news collection to ensure they're always up to speed.

    Now, to take news curation up another level, on Fridays I'm going to test out highlighting 5-6 of the most intriguing news items of the week. In case you missed VideoNuze for a day or two during the week, you can check in on Friday to see the these top 5-6 industry stories of the week, some of which VideoNuze may have covered itself. Synopses and implications are noted. Enjoy and let me know your reactions!

    Wired to Produce Short Films For iPad
    The tech magazine recruits Will Ferrell for four short videos that lampoon inventions that failed to take off. Exclusively for its iPad app. More evidence of print pub capitalizing on video.

    Motorola and Verizon team up for TV tablet
    Enjoying success with its Droid smartphones, Motorola now looks to challenge the iPad, with its own tablet device, using Google's Android OS. A partnership with Verizon could mean new online video features for the phone giant's FiOS service. Another sign of evolution in the pay-TV business.

    Bewkes: Rental Delays From Netflix, Redbox Is Paying Off For DVD Sales
    The 28-day DVD delayed release window Warner Bros. struck with Netflix earlier this year is helping the studio gain better sales for films The Blind Side and Sherlock Holmes. The deal helps Netflix position itself as a valued partner in the midst of declining DVD sales.

    Dish to stream live TV on iPad, other devices
    Dish Network takes place-shifting to a new level with plans for an iPad app that would allow remote streaming, likely using its Sling technology. Subscription TV, mobile video viewing and cool devices converge.

    FCC Calls Off Stakeholders Meetings
    The FCC's private net neutrality negotiations are off the rails as a reported bilateral deal between Verizon and Google causes controversy. Next steps are unknown as the FCC's plan to keep Internet playing field level hits a major pothole.
     
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  • With Google-Verizon Deal, Net Neutrality Uncertainty for Video Providers Rises

    A possible private deal between Google and Verizon, for how the latter will handle traffic on its wired and wireless networks, means the prospect of the FCC brokering a net neutrality consensus among key stakeholders just got less certain. The inconsistency that could result isn't good news for online and mobile video content providers seeking assurance that delivery of their content won't be affected by network operators either technically or financially.  

    To put this possible deal in context, the FCC has been trying to forge a net neutrality agreement among key parties in the wake of a recent court decision that severely curtailed its regulatory authority. The talks have been conducted in secret and the parties have pledged not to disclose their progress. The policy goal is to ensure network owners don't bias for or against any kind of traffic, so that the Internet's longstanding openness will be perpetuated.

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  • Net Neutrality Takes Another Twist

    Another day, another twist in the ongoing net neutrality saga. Yesterday brought news that the FCC plans to redefine broadband transmission from an unregulated information service to a regulated telecommunications service under what's known as Title II. The FCC's move came several weeks after an appellate court ruled that the FCC did not have authority to sanction Comcast for blocking BitTorrent traffic.

    No surprise, industry groups were quickly up in arms about the policy change, concerned about the uncertainty it brings (with legal challenges surely forthcoming), plus the implications for continued network investments. Like everything else in Washington, net neutrality is now gripped by a partisan divide. Republicans are against any new regulations and Democrats favor them.

    As I've written before I continue to believe a policy of regulatory restraint, accompanied by vigilance, is best for now. The broadband ISP business is for the most part quite competitive and ISPs have huge incentives not to block certain traffic. For now I continue to think letting the market sort this out is the best approach.

    What do you think? Post a comment now (no sign-in required).
     
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  • Verizon CEO: No Mobile Spectrum Shortage, FCC Should Butt Out

    Were you as surprised as I was to read yesterday that Verizon CEO Ivan Seidenberg is questioning the need to reclaim broadcast spectrum for mobile data use? Instead he believes that ongoing advances in technology will address any potential bandwidth squeeze. His comments represent a weird reversal because Verizon has been (for obvious reasons) a key proponent of gaining access to this spectrum. As I wrote a few weeks ago, the bandwidth reclamation concept is one of the most contentious in the FCC's recently released National Broadband Plan.

    I'm not clear on what's going on here. The iPad's release this past weekend is yet another reminder of the infinite mobile data uses ahead. Meanwhile recently-amped up rumors that Verizon will get getting the iPhone later this year means lots of data increases from Verizon itself. Throw in the coming proliferation of Android devices as yet more evidence of mobile data's rise. So why would Seidenberg now cast doubt on the spectrum reclamation effort? Beats me. Any ideas?

    What do you think? Post a comment now (no sign-in required).
     
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  • Hurray - Net Neutrality is Dead, For Now

    Yesterday's ruling by the D.C. Court of Appeals that the FCC didn't have the authority to cite Comcast for blocking BitTorrent traffic effectively kills "net neutrality," at least for now. That's a good thing and everyone who's interested in seeing continued innovation by broadband ISPs and new video competitors should be cheering the decision. I've been writing about the FCC's unnecessary net neutrality intrusion into the well-functioning ISP market for several years (here, here, here), and it's very encouraging to see this unanimous court decision.

    For those not familiar with net neutrality, it would give the FCC the ability to regulate how broadband ISPs manage their networks in order to ensure that all content is delivered without any bias. Since net neutrality advocates have lacked any sustained pattern of broadband ISP misbehavior to point to as evidence for net neutrality's need, they have instead relied heavily on the argument that pre-emptive regulation is required because ISPs can't be trusted to keep their networks open, and that potential conflicts of interest (many ISPs like Comcast are also big video providers) will inevitably lead ISPs to favor their own services over others.

    Concerns about impending, yet hypothetical ISP "fast lanes and slow lanes" have made great soundbites for net neutrality proponents and politicians. And yes, Comcast bungled how it blocked the BitTorrent traffic, and then how it explained itself. There have also been a handful of other ISP infractions. However, if the 70 million plus broadband households were asked to name a single instance where they felt their ISP degraded their access to a certain web site or video service, I am convinced that very few would be able to think of any.

    This reflects the fact that broadband ISPs maintain open networks, rightfully policing against illegal behavior or disproportionate use. The ISP business works quite well, and in most parts of America, substantial competition exists between 2 or more providers (with more wireless ones on the way). Further, new video services and devices, which depend on ever-faster, and open broadband networks continue to proliferate, suggesting ample confidence by their backers that robust network access will be available. Consider: did Steve Jobs hesitate to introduce the iPad, which is heavily video-centric, out of fear for network availability? And how about Netflix, ABC, Discovery, MTV and other video providers who quickly introduced apps for the iPad - did they balk due to network concerns? Of course not.

    Earlier this week, I calculated that at least $277.4 million was raised by early stage video companies in Q1 '10, bringing the total to at least $570.2 million over the last 4 quarters, despite the worst market circumstances in ages. As I've said many times, investors and entrepreneurs are undeterred though there are no formal net neutrality rules.

    It's also important to remember that broadband networks have been built with private capital, in the process creating tens of thousands of well-paying technical and customer service jobs, plus countless other by the content and applications providers who freely ride these broadband pipes each day. And innovation continues, with numerous announcements of 50 and 100 megabit/second services now available. Tinkering with this vibrant sector of the economy with new regulations introduces the risk of unintended consequences.

    Rather than presuming that broadband ISP will disrupt their own success formula by arbitrarily blocking supposed competitors, the FCC would be better off staying relentlessly vigilant of ISP behavior. If ISPs do misbehave - thereby offering clear evidence of the need for regulation - the Congress and the FCC should be prepared to act quickly. Until then net neutrality remains a solution in search of a problem, and Washington has plenty of real problems to work on without tackling imaginary ones.

    What do you think? Post a comment now (no sign-in required). 

     
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  • Review of FCC's National Broadband Plan Begins; Questions on Set-Top Box Language Should be Asked

    The FCC's new "National Broadband Plan" is now beginning the process of congressional review, which may result in a number of changes. According to this B&C article, Republicans have concerns with proposed revisions to the Universal Service Fund and the FCC's proposed mechanism for reclaiming up to 500 megahertz of broadcasters' spectrum over the next 10 years. Separately, Republicans also object to the FCC's net neutrality proposals.

    In my "first look" analysis of the Broadband Plan a couple of weeks ago, one thing I didn't take note of was a small provision in the plan to "change rules to ensure a competitive and innovative video set-top box market" Several VideoNuze readers brought that provision to my attention, wondering what it really means. I'm not 100% sure myself, but it would seem to benefit Google's new "Google TV" Android-based set-top box, which I wrote about earlier this week. Congress should be sure to question the FCC closely about its set-top goals.

    What do you think? Post a comment now (no sign-in required).
     
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  • The FCC's National Broadband Plan: A First Look

    The FCC released an executive summary of its "National Broadband Plan" yesterday (more details are expected today), which it has been developing for most of the last year at the direction of Congress. Regardless of your political beliefs, when the government decides to weigh in on key telecommunications issues, it's important to understand its positions and their potential implications. This is particularly true given how dynamic the digital, broadband and mobile landscapes are.

    Based on my reading of the Executive Summary, here are my first reactions to some of the most important parts of the plan:

    Spectrum reclamation/mobile use - One of the most anticipated pieces of the plan is what the FCC would propose to do with spectrum currently allocated to local broadcasters. Many believe that with the shift to digital delivery, broadcasters should give back some of their spectrum for more pressing uses - mobile being at the top of the list. On the other hand, broadcasters are seeking to keep their spectrum for HD and mobile TV services.

    The FCC's proposal, to free up 500 megahertz of spectrum within 10 years, of which 300 megahertz would be used for mobile within 5 years, seems like a good starting point. It pragmatically recommends that the spectrum be freed up through "incentive auctions," with some of the proceeds going to broadcasters. This means broadcasters should be able to run business cases and economic comparisons on the pros and cons of keeping or giving back some of their spectrum, with the government tweaking the incentives to accomplish its bandwidth goals. Given the exploding interest in mobile devices and video apps (e.g. March Madness on iPhones), more bandwidth for mobile use is crucial to achieve.

    Competition/transparency - While the FCC makes a host of transparency recommendations for broadband service providers, it wisely did not include "open access" mandates, where broadband ISPs' networks would be opened up for others to use. That would have upended broadband ISPs' business models, likely leading to years of litigation and little progress toward desired goals. The FCC's recommendation for things like market-by-market price and service benchmarking and service disclosures are consumer-friendly and not onerous to broadband ISPs. To the extent that consumers gain access to the information they'll help fuel competition as well.

    Promote rural access - The FCC correctly wants to address the issue of broadband "haves" and "have nots," brought about by the hard economic realities of wiring less dense, rural communities. Much as the government sought to subsidize prior infrastructure projects like electricity and telephone service, the FCC now seeks to shift necessary money from the Universal Service Fund to support broadband buildouts in rural America. So long as the FCC policy doesn't spread to more suburban or urban markets that already have robust broadband infrastructure, this seems like sound policy.

    Expand digital literacy - A small item in the overall summary, but one which could be quite impactful is the idea of creating a "National Digital Literacy Corps" to teach digital literacy and raise broadband adoption. The practical reality is that even the fastest broadband pipes mean little if citizens on the receiving end don't know how to use a computer or a web browser. Many people today live their lives digitally, but many others still don't. Incenting some of the former group to channel their energy and knowledge to the latter group is in everyone's interest.

    The FCC understands how crucial broadband is and also articulates 6 longer-term goals (e.g. 100 million homes with 100 mbps access) which set the bar high for America to keep pace with other countries. Video delivery is already one of the key areas impacted by broadband adoption and under the new FCC plan it is poised for still further change. Overall, the FCC seems to recognize that broadband fuels further innovation in our economy and that it is important to be supportive of its continuing buildout. The Plan now has to make its way through reviews and approvals.  

    What do you think? Post a comment now (no sign-in required).

     
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  • More Thoughts on Google's Expensive Fiber-to-the-Home Plan

    In yesterday's post, "Google's Fiber-to-the-Home Plan Could Cost $750 Million or More" I sounded a skeptical note about the company's intention to build out 1 gigabit/second experimental broadband networks to between 50,000-500,000 U.S. homes. Yesterday I was a guest on the Emily Rooney radio show which airs on WGBH 89.7 FM in the Boston area, and I provided further detail on why I think Google's plan is suspect. (Click here to listen; you need to select the Feb. 11th show and my segment starts at about the 21 minute mark.)

    While Google's plan has stirred up a lot of conversation, I've yet to talk to anyone who believes it will have much actual impact. I know this will sound cynical, but if Google's real intent with the gigabit experiment is to promote the company's net neutrality position and influence Washington broadband policy-making, I think a far better use of its resources would simply be to spread significant lobbying largesse around to key legislators. Regrettably, that's a much more direct way of getting Washington's attention. Building physical residential fiber networks is very heavy lifting, even more so for a company that's operated strictly in the ether. And the potential cost of this project is daunting, even for Google. If anyone has some real insights into what Google's thinking here, I'd love to hear them.

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  • Replay of Yesterday's Net Neutrality Webinar is Now Available

    Yesterday VideoNuze and The Diffusion Group hosted "Demystifying Net Neutrality," the first in our 2010 webinar series. Our guests, Barbara Esbin, Senior Fellow and Director, Center for Communications and Competition Policy, Progress & Freedom Foundation (against) and Chris Riley, Policy Counsel for Free Press (for) did an outstanding job advocating their positions. Net neutrality is extremely complex and we had a flood of questions, which our guests did a great job of addressing.

    Though Chris made his points well, personally I'm still not persuaded that net neutrality regulations are needed now. As I wrote last fall, my core concern is that no sustained pattern of broadband ISP behavior has been proven. Colin and Chris argue that "corporations can't be trusted" and that inevitable biases will arise for the biggest broadband ISPs who are also the biggest video service providers. All of that may be true. But until it's proven, it's dangerous business to start tinkering with the well-functioning Internet. The FCC should stay vigilant, but not pursue net neutrality regulation now.

    What do you think? Post a comment now (no sign-in required).

     
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