MORE OF THE SAME
In the Sunday New York Times today, runs an article titled "Calling Out the Cable Guy". Yet another long article on how the big, lumbering phone companies are desperate to get into the cable TV business to compete with the canny, well-situated and entrenched Cable companies.
It's one of those "it'd be funny if it weren't so tragic" situations, where the phone industry is spending tens of billions on infrastructure and effort just to offer us the SAME, dull cable fare offered by their erstwhile competitors under the guise of "digital", "hundreds of channels" with nothing really to watch, for so very long. And of course charge more and more per month doing it.
"The Baby Bells "see their land-line business as an ice cube melting in the sun right now, so they need to become a purveyor of content," said Todd Dagres, a partner at Spark Capital, a venture firm focused on media and technology."
Overall, not much new if you're already familiar with the story, but a good overview if you're not.
Of more interest is this suggestion as part of two others, on what the phone companies should REALLY do, by Carl Howe in his Blackfriars blog post:
"Sell upstream bandwidth. The whole concept of ADSL was created to deal with the limited bandwidth of copper wires. With fiber, there is no reason to throttle upstream bandwidth any more.
Consumers who want to run a homework server for their elementary school or stream a video to grandma would no longer have to jump through hoops -- usually involving hosting companies -- to do so if telcos start to offer symmetrical upstream bandwidth.
The great thing about this service? It's one that cable and satellite companies cannot easily replicate."
This is a sound suggestion, both competitively and in terms of something that mainstream consumers can eventually use.
Although the bottlenecks here again, are the restrictions placed by the media industry on moving and storing their content around, EVEN if you own legal versions of their music and videos.
It's a bandwidth related extension of the storage irony I touched on in the preceding post.