Right Idea, Wrong Comments


John Berthoud, president of National Taxpayers Union in his opinion piece for The Washington Times writes, “Wanted: More choices for consumers.” He feels that cable companies are evil for trying to stop phone companies from offering IPTV. Err… no! That would be local communities, which get a nice little change from incumbent cable providers. He is wrong in taking sides with phone companies, who well don’t want to cut those deals with local communities, because its “lot of work.” Such poppycock! He extolls the virtues of Verizon FIOS and SBC Project Light Speed. Well, these folks have no clear idea about content, where they are going to get it, and well haven’t really outlined their content strategies. Now, I am not trying to take sides – god knows how terrible the cable companies are – but lets not paint phone companies as paragons of virtue either. But then as I have always said, this is a great time to pontificate about broadband and IPTV. It gets you the headlines.


Jesse Kopelman

I agree with DocDoc here. I’d be happy to see all franchise fees waived. In exchange, all cable and telcos must refrain from lobbying against municipal broadband projects.


Om –

The cable companies just pass through the cost of the “bennies’ to the consumer – just another tax that we pay, just inditectly and hidden. In the Bay Area, compare the different cable rates for each city against the “bennies” that each city gets and you will see the pass through of costs.

Additionally, the added costs only provide benefit to a small subset of the community – look at the cost of the open, public channels with a production and editing facility that only benefits the very small group of people that use and watch this content. How many people actually watch the city council meetings that are broadcast and eat spectrum?

TANSTAAFL applies here.


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