December, 2010

Forget net neutrality, broadcasters pose a bigger threat to OTT video

Online Video For all the dire warnings from net neutrality supporters that ISPs might block or degrade competing over-the-top video services unless restrained by the FCC, evidence that was actually happening (or even likely to happen in the near term) has been painfully thin on the ground (as opponents of FCC action never tire of pointing out). At the same time, scarce attention has been paid to the far-more immediate and concrete threat to the development of a competitive video delivery market posed by the traditional broadcast networks, despite abundant evidence of the danger.

Even as the FCC was adopting its new net neutrality rules this week that will restrain the actions of ISPs, the broadcasters were claiming two more, high-profile victims, with nary a peep from the FCC or net neutrality supporters. Read More »

New FCC rules leave online video stuck in neutral

Net Neutrality The full text of the FCC’s memorandum and order in its “open internet” proceeding hasn’t been released yet so the details of the new net neutrality regime are not yet fully clear. But from what was announced at the commission’s open meeting Tuesday where the new rules were adopted by a 3-2 vote they won’t provide much holiday cheer for online and OTT video providers, largely because the rules leave the most important questions unanswered, or at least unclear.

On the plus side for online video providers, the new rules will prohibit the blocking of any “lawful” content or application, and will bar “unreasonable discrimination” against third-party content or services by broadband access providers. That would include things like an ISP blocking Netflix because it competes with the ISP’s cable TV service. Read More »

FCC breakdown in the toll lane? (Updated)

Net Neutrality The Washington telecom circuit is buzzing with anticipation ahead of tomorrow’s FCC open hearing where the commission is scheduled to vote on a chairman Julius Genachowski’s proposal to adopt formal regulations on net neutrality.  Genachowski released a “framework” for the proposal earlier this month that included permitting “usage-based” (i.e. tiered) pricing for wireline broadband access as well as tacit approval of “managed services” over last-mile broadband networks including paid prioritization of bits. The latter could be a boon to content owners and distributors by enabling them to assure end-to-end quality of service for video streams even as total internet traffic grows.

Read More »

Google won’t recover quickly from Google TV debacle

Web TV How’d you like to be the guy at Toshiba or LG who recommended going with Google TV right now? According to the New York Times, Google asked TV makers last week to delay their planned introductions until Google can make improvements to the software and to pull Google TV displays from their exhibits at next month’s Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. Toshiba, LG and Sharp have agreed to pull Google TV from the show floor while Samsung plans to go ahead with its planned exhibit of two Google TV models, according to the Times. Sony and Logitech are expected to continue selling their current Google TV-enabled devices but it is unclear how aggressively they will push them at CES. Read More »

Welcome readers of The Media Wonk

If you were searching for the Media Wonk blog you have been redirected here. I’m glad you found us.

Concurrent Media is the new online home of Paul Sweeting (that’s me), founder and editor of The Media Wonk blog. The entire Media Wonk archive has been incorporated into the new site and can be browsed and searched here. And while you’re here, click on over to the Concurrent Media home page and check out my latest stylings.

The Media Wonk blog made its first appearance in 2006, as part of Content Agenda, a website owned by Reed Business Information. Content Agenda went dark in 2009, when Reed decided to terminate most of its business publishing activities, and The Media Wonk blog was reborn as a standalone site.

In August 2010 I launched a new venture, Concurrent Media Strategies, LLC, which provides strategic business analysis and editorial services to clients on digital media, technology and public policy issues. The Concurrent Media website serves both as the online face of the company and the place where I now do most of my media-related blogging. In December 2010, The Media Wonk web site was shut down as a standalone blog and its archives moved over here.

I’m grateful to all those who have followed my writings over the years and have made their way to the new site. Welcome.