What Do Cable Companies Think Of Net Neutrality?

from the staying-quiet-and-hiding-in-the-back dept

In the fuss over network neutrality, we've noted how it's the telcos making all the noise while cable companies are mostly keeping quiet. While we suspect that if the telcos can force content providers to pay up, the cable companies would soon follow -- and that keeping quiet for the moment is the smarter move politically and PR-wise. Now, some people are arguing that net neutrality could be a boon for the cable industry, if they create "connection centers" where content providers could place their data for delivery to cable-modem users without crossing one of the three major net backbones. This plan isn't very clear, but seems to be based on the idea that cable companies should get into the hosting business, and charge for that, rather than follow the telco model of charging content providers for the ability to access end users. That's just a slightly less vicious version of what the telcos want to do, but is based on the same principle -- unless content providers play ball, their data might not get delivered in one piece. The article is right, that cable providers can benefit from embracing net neutrality -- by using it as a competitive point upon which to win subscribers from the telcos' DSL offerings. But given the long-standing lack of significant competition in the broadband space, it's hard to see this happening. Surely if the telcos succeed, cable providers will think they're leaving money on the table and fall into line.
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  • identicon
    bjc, 13 Mar 2006 @ 11:14am

    Easy solution

    This whole 'net neutrality' debate could be solved quickly and easily if the big content providers would simply get together and say "We will not deliver content or respond to search queries originating from any of the following telcos..."

    How long would you stay with an ISP if they were blocked from Google, Yahoo, MSN, etc?

    The telcos need to realize that bandwidth is a two-way street and that without content, there would be no need for their services at all.

    I currently pay Rogers cable for up to 100GB of bandwidth per month on my cable internet connection. These fees presumably go to pay Rogers' expenses in delivering these packets to me. If they don't then there is a fundamental problem with their accounting and pricing, which is not my problem.

    The telcos shouldn't be able to make two different entities pay for the same packets. I think they will be sorely surprised if and when they try to.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      discojohnson, 13 Mar 2006 @ 12:57pm

      Re: Easy solution

      How long would you stay with an ISP if they were blocked from Google, Yahoo, MSN, etc?

      for a lot of america, the answer is "until another broadband is offered." many many places have only one other offering than one of: DSL or cable--dialup. it's fairly monopolized.

      however, p2p networks would fail miserably if the packets couldn't get over to someone on another node

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Rikko, 13 Mar 2006 @ 1:07pm

      Re: Easy solution

      How long would you stay with an ISP if they were blocked from Google, Yahoo, MSN, etc?

      I think the answer for virtually all mundane users (read: not Techdirt readers, not software types) is that they'll just do without them.

      Every layperson I've helped with their computers has never changes their vanilla configuration to any extent.. Windows 98 in many cases (dear god), Internet Explorer, and the MSN.com search because they use the default homepage that came with the PC.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Steve, 13 Mar 2006 @ 11:39am

    "if they create "connection centers" where content providers could place their data for delivery to cable-modem users without crossing one of the three major net backbones. This plan isn't very clear, but seems to be based on the idea that cable companies should get into the hosting business, and charge for that, rather than follow the telco model of charging content providers for the ability to access end users."

    The plan makes sense to me... it reminds me of OnDemand like Comcast has. Want to download the latest movie? Great, its already here, just start playing.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Panik Man, 13 Mar 2006 @ 1:45pm

    Hmmm

    Well, based on what I read and understand of there model.. you pay more if you use more, and you pay less if you use less, so where is my refund on my long distance? I pay a flat rate, so if i only use my phone 10% of the time, should i not get a refund? Should be a 2 way street, if i go out of town for a month, and i don't use my internet or phone for that period, I should'nt have to pay for it right? Old game, new twist, how do we screw the customer out of money, and make them believe there getting a deal the whole time....

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Xeoph, 13 Mar 2006 @ 3:28pm

    Lots to think about

    I whole heartedly agree with bjc's comment about being blocked from google, msn, etc. I howerver am in an area that only has one broadband internet provider and its 5mbit down and no limit.

    In response to the artical "keeping quiet for the moment is the smarter move politically and PR-wise" I also have to agree that keeping quiet is a good strategy but I would also have to feel that if my particular ISP tried to change their business model it would open them up for plenty of lawsuits. I dont know how ALL ISP's advertise their internet but mine advertises the content not the "pipes." Their own commercials would be enough for a case against them. One commercial in general spells the whole thing out as if you already are paying for the "pipes." The example is a small straw being DSL or dial-up and the large straw being cable - so what, if not the pipe, are we paying for?

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 14 Jun 2006 @ 11:40pm

    bla

    bla

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 5 Jul 2006 @ 5:19pm

    bla

    bla

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]


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