Marketing Strategist & Global Technology Evangelist

Battle is over content + ad revenue, not bandwidth

Comcast (trying to buy NBC Universal) and Time-Warner use cable as a low-cost way to distribute content. This is a battle over content, disguised as a dispute over bandwidth. ISPs (network operators) that own content attempt to guide subscribers to a "walled garden" of content that they provide, which is easy to do on the cable television side. The question is whether a Cable Modem (or DSL or WiMax) subscriber's agreement with their cable (network) operator permits that subscriber to use the bandwidth any way the subscriber desires, which would essentially turn cable companies (and other network operators) into "common carriers" that have no control over traffic (no ability to give preference to one type or source of traffic over another). Your wireline telephone is regulated by your state and is a "common carrier" service. Network operators do not want to be common carriers because their service levels, profitability, and services are controlled by Public Service Commission (or whatever your state calls them). As network operators (cable, telco, satellite, wireless) attempt to win you over with bundled services [video, voice, data (bandwidth), and even wireless], the line really blurs between whether subscribers are paying for bandwidth or content and whether operators are subsidizing the ISP portion of their business to attract you to their content. Network owners claim that they make capital investments that pay off for some other firm, like NetFlix. Non-network-owning, third-party content providers (owners), including online gaming, IPTV, Google TV, NetFlix, and many more have a vested interest in seeing an Open Web with features like Network Neutrality. Here is where I plug Open Web initiatives, such as Open ID (http://openid.net), Data Portability (http://www.dataportability.org), etc.

Marketing Automation & Drupal: Presentation by Jim Caruso to the Atlanta Drupal User Group (ADUG) April, 11, 2013