Weblog on the Internet and public policy, journalism, virtual community, and more from David Brake, a Canadian academic, consultant and journalist

Archive forAugust 13th, 2003 | back to home

13 August 2003

Salon’s Farhad Manjoo recently produced an interesting piece on the battle between cable companies and big tech companies over equal access to content over broadband cable.

As I commented on Eszter Hargittai‘s blog entry this issue appears at first to be a straightforward one – cable industry bad, free access good. But there are sound business and technical reasons why some forms of discrimination between different forms of content may be useful. For example, for good video quality cable companies want to put stuff in servers directly connected to their networks. But they can’t afford to put all streaming video content there so they may want to cut deals with certain providers. Is that unfair to the other providers? Internet users would still be able to see their stuff – just not as well.

Cable companies might also want to charge users who want to stream stuff from their “non-preferred” suppliers but keep “preferred supplier” content free (or lower cost). But while discriminatory the practice would also be fair, since the cable cos would be incurring different costs depending on where the content they were streaming came from.

Perhaps all legislation should do is demand open bidding for content deals and that per-Gb charges should have some proven relationship to the cost of providing bandwidth.calculator loan table amortizationestate ag real loansloans amortization bankmortgage get amc loan outhome loans guardian americanok loan sacramento cash payday advance$88 car loansbaltimore loans 100 investoradversary proceeding student loansexpert loaned servant alabama issues doctrinealpena alcona unions creditcredit rating advantis union financialcredit abc warehouse appliance storeaenima creditscredit card blogspot com accept e2for accreditation center detention youthon abet accredited lineabc card credit appliance warehouse Map