February, 2011

For content providers, the real net neutrality fight is just beginning

Net Neutrality The House Communications and Technology Subcommittee hauled all five commissioners of the FCC up to the Hill Wednesday to explain the agency’s recent net neutrality rulemaking, marking the opening gambit it would could be a long and messy fight between the commission’s Democratic majority and the new Republican majority in the House over the agency’s legal authority to enforce the new rules.

Uncharacteristically for such oversight hearings, Wednesday’s event drew nearly the full complement of subcommittee members, as well as cameo appearances from the chairman and ranking member of the full House Energy and Commerce Committee, and ran for more than three hours, signalling net neutrality’s surprising emergence as a major political issue heading into the 2012 election cycle, especially (if somewhat inexplicably) among Tea Party types in the GOP. Read More »

Attend NAB on Concurrent Media

Planning to attend the NAB show in Las Vegas in April? The folks at NAB are generously offering Concurrent Media readers free access to the exhibit floor, as well as to the opening keynote and state of the industry addresses, the info sessions, the content theater and the various specialty areas, or Pits, focusing on broadband, post production, pro audio and radio — a $150 value.

Contact me by phone or email for the special promotional code to use when registering.

All your customers are belong to us

Apple While publishers freak out over Apple’s demand for a piece of their iPad action, Apple Insider points to a newly issued patent that suggests Apple may eventually impose the same sort of vig on wireless service providers as well, now that the iPhone and iPad have been untethered in the U.S. from a single carrier.

The patent, titled “Dynamic carrier selection,” was originally filed in 2006, a year before the iPhone was actually introduced, and describes a method by which mobile devices could store multiple network addresses from different networks allowing the device to communicate with multiple network service providers. After receiving data from all available networks in a given area, the device or the user could the select which one to use according to various criteria, such as signal strength, cost, usage rules, etc. Read More »

Apple looks to close the book on browsers

App Stores A piece in the New York Times Tuesday set off a torrent of speculation over an alleged new move by Apple to “tighten control over [its] app store.” The story paraphrased Steve Haber, president of Sony’s digital reader business, saying Sony had been told by Apple that “some applications developers, including Sony… can no longer sell content, like e-books, within their apps, or let customers have access to purchases they have made outside the App Store.”

The hook for the piece was Apple’s apparent rejection of Sony’s e-reader app for the iPad, which let users buy e-books through the Sony Reader Store and to access e-books they had already purchased there from their iPad. From now on, Apple allegedly told Sony, “all in-app purchases would have to go through Apple,” which takes a 30 percent cut of all such transactions. Read More »