The Net Neutrality Mystery

obama-teaching-1My friend Andy Regitsky, whom I have known for more than 30 years, follows the FCC, blogs about them, and teaches courses on — among other things — how to read and understand their confusing orders. Andy knows more about the FCC than most of the people who work there and Andy says the new Net Neutrality order will probably not stand. I wonder if it was even meant to?

You can read Andy’s post here. He doesn’t specifically disagree with my analysis from a few days ago, but goes further to show some very specific legal and procedural problems with the order that could lead to it […]

Net Neutrality, Apple, and the future of TV

Screen Shot 2015-03-18 at 11.12.17 AMI’ve been hesitant to comment on the FCC’s proposed Net Neutrality rules until I could read them. You’ll recall the actual rules weren’t released at the time of the vote a couple weeks ago, just characterized this way and that for the press pending the eventual release of the actual order. Well they finally published the rules last week and I’ve since made my way through all 400+ pages (no executive summary commenting for me). And while there are no big surprises — much less smoking guns — in the FCC report, I think that taken along with this week’s Wall Street Journal story […]

TV 3.0 is already here

PhilcoRetroTVEthernet inventor Bob Metcalfe, when I worked for him 20 years ago, taught me that we tend to over-estimate change in the short term and under-estimate it in the long term. So it can be pretty obvious what is coming but not at all obvious when. And what we know about the when of it is that making money from new technologies is often a matter of investing right before that bend upward in the hockey stick of exponential change.

We all know television is bound to enter a new era sooner or later. Heck, I’ve written dozens of columns on the subject over my 17 years in this job. But this is the first time […]

Net neutrality is dead, but it probably doesn’t matter


powellLast week the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia shot holes in the U.S. Federal Communications Commission’s version of net neutrality saying the Commission was wrong not in trying to regulate Internet Service Providers but in trying to regulate them as Common Carriers, that is as telephone utilities. The FCC can’t have it both ways, said the Court, and so the Feds get to try all over again. Or will they? I think events are moving so quickly that by the time this particular argument is worked out all the players will have changed and the whole argument may be moot.

If you read the court’s near-unanimous decision they leave the […]

2011 prediction #4: Bufferbloat may be terrible, but your cable ISP won't fix it

As explained ad nauseam in prediction #1, bufferbloat is going to be a growing problem this year as Windows XP machines are replaced and more people are downloading Internet video. But terrible latency, jitter, and dropouts may not be all bad if you are a cable ISP. That’s because cable ISPs are first and foremost cable television providers and the main victims of bufferbloat are video services like Hulu, Netflix, and YouTube that have become the natural enemies of cable TV. Cable video-on-demand services, while also digital, use separately-provisioned bandwidth and sometimes even different signaling technology, so the ISP’s competitor to Netflix isn’t bothered by bufferbloat at all.

Bufferbloat also affects BitTorrent, which ISPs hate, though they’d hate it a lot less if they’d eliminate […]

By |January 4th, 2011|2011|29 Comments