Cable Companies Too Big?
The recent news about Comcast seeking approval to buy Time Warner has brought the issue of Cable/Broadband Company monopolies to the fore. This is an issue that can find strong advocates on both sides of the Democratic/Republican aisle. The strongest opponents of growing Cable/ISP companies increasing their monopolies are usually also strong advocates of Internet Freedom. The sense of threat to this focuses on the combination of Cable/Content owners also providing the pipes (aka connections/wiring infrastructure).
This has also come up in the news in the past couple of days in the case of Netflix agreeing to a deal with Comcast agreeing to ensure that their streaming service has ample access to their bandwidth. It seems almost like “protection money” in that Netflix customers have for quite some time been complaining that Comcast has been throttling their use of Netflix. It seems Netflix has caved to the bully’s demand that they’ll see that nothing happens to them if they “pay up”. (Note: This is my personal feeling and my feelings and opinions on this are not at all necessarily a statement of “Sciddy” opinion – because there is no official Sciddy opinion on such things, but I do expect there are some strong feelings about this across all political spectrums).
This Netflix issue also highlights the potential problems of content providers owning the pathways of the bandwidth: having the capability to give precedence to highest bidders for the “best performance”, essentially dialing back the clock on ”
normal people’s access to the airwaves (in this case, the “airwaves” of the Internet, which Internet Freedom advocates insist is “for all of us”, and is also the contention of the inventor of the Web protocols, Tim Berners-Lee)
What are your feelings on this matter? Seems to me this is a huge issue for those of us in the “older generation”, who greatly value keeping connected with friends and taking advantage of the latest communication tools which now include video conversations, and also value access to a variety of “Internet delivered channels” for our chosen viewing fare.