FCC ‘probing’ whether cable company ISPs have sabotaged Internet video

“Most people realize that the cable and broadcast industry has worked tirelessly to protect its legacy cash cow from disruption,” Carl Bode reports for techDirt.

“Dish was forced to make its ad-skipping DVR less useful if it wanted streaming licensing rights. Fox, Disney and Comcast/NBC for years kept Hulu from being too disruptive. ESPN sued Verizon for trying to offer more flexible TV lineups,” Bode reports. “Apple keeps running face first into broadcasters terrified of real disruption with its own TV plans. That’s before you even get to cable companies busy capping and metering usage to hurt streaming services, while zero rating their own services for competitive advantage.”

“Gosh, it’s almost as if there’s a broad, coordinated, decade-long effort to keep legacy television expensive, barely-competitive, and shitty,” Bode reports. “Enter the FCC, which, according to a Wall Street Journal report, is ‘probing’ whether there’s a coordinated effort by the cable and broadcast industry to keep Internet video from truly taking off.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Let’s hope this FCC “probe” leads to something meaningful, something that increases competition, for a change.

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “Arline M.” for the heads up.]


  1. They need to put something in place to force the companies to always keep unlimited data. My worry is internet streaming tv coming more popular, its just a matter of time before they start doing tiers/data caps for your home internet. They need to not allow that now before it gets out of hand!

    1. Comcast caps already exist in Atlanta and several other “test” cities. Only recently one could get around via upgrading to unlimited (if throttling at 22GB is truly unlimited) but guess what – fit costs $35 (or 70%) more a month!

    2. I do not agree, cashxx. What unlimited plans tend to do is subsidize the access of a very small percentage of users while making the rest of us pay for it.

      I support the concept of a reasonable fee for high-speed access and a base level of data throughput – say 50GB – followed by reasonable metering costs on an incremental basis – by the GB, for instance. All access should be at the maximum available speed. That approach enables people who need access to get good quality access at a reasonable cost without having to buy into a big plan. It also enables people who want to transfer lots of data to do so if they are willing to pay for it. If you want 500GB per month, then you need to pay a reasonable cost for utilizing that resource.

      This approach will only work if the base cost is reasonably low (say $25 per month) and the per GB cost is also reasonably low (say $0.25 per GB). Under that pricing scheme, 200GB would cost $62.50.

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