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The way to lower prices for consumers and create a competitive video marketplace is to embrace online video as the future.
One of our Senior Staff Attorneys John Bergmayer testified before the Senate Subcommittee on Communications, Technology, and the Internet on Tuesday. His testimony described why the online video marketplace could lower high cable bills for consumers, while still allowing service providers the opportunity to obtain adequate profits. Representatives from the cable, broadcast, and satellite industries also came to detail their problems with the video market. One theme that rang throughout the hearing was the negative impact sports blackouts and drawn out retransmission disputes have on the public.
By imposing data caps on consumers, ISPs can charge content providers to be exempt from those same caps.
The quest to determine why data caps really exist may be starting to wind down. ISPs have admitted, either explicitly or implicitly, that monthly data caps have nothing to do with network congestion. And, while some have started to portray data caps as legitimate forms of price discrimination, that argument did not hold up to close scrutinty either. So what's left? Why are ISPs going to all of this effort to make customers deal with something they hate?
AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson has finally let the cat out of the bag. Data caps are all about forcing content creators to pay in order to reach subscribers. By creating data caps, ISPs create a new market that never needed to exist and never existed before: the market for not being counted against data caps. And that market can be big money. But it can also fundamentally change the way the internet economy functions.
We're teaming up with up with Eyebeam, an art and technology center in New York, to create an artist residency program. Interested? Apply below.
One of the things we struggle with at Public Knowledge is how to make our issues accessible to people. While we think the intricacies of copyright law and authority statutes are fascinating, not everyone can see how those things affect their lives. Some people don't have a visceral reaction when they hear about net neutrality or the end of the PSTN.
We wanted to change that, so we teamed up with Eyebeam, an art and technology center in New York, to create an artist residency program.
The goal of the artist residency is to make any one of our policy issues more compelling to the public. We are looking for someone (or a group of someones) who can use the technology that we advocate for - think open hardware and 3D printing - to make sense of the issues we work on.
The project is open to the creativity of the artist - anything from a fandango to an installation. The residency itself will run from September through February, with a flexible start date.
So please apply and spread the word!
If networks really were overloaded, would carriers try to cut special deals to bring even more streaming video onto them?
Last week’s announcement that ESPN was in talks with at least one major wireless carrier to exempt its video from data caps raised fundamental net neutrality issues. But it also raised an important question about the robustness of wireless networks. If wireless networks were really as congested and starved of spectrum as some carriers like to claim, why would they be negotiating to bring more video onto them?
Wireless carriers have long complained about their network’s inability to meet customer expectations. It was proposed as a justification to exempt wireless networks from net neutrality rules and destructively consolidate the industry (both failed convince the FCC). It also shows up as a reason to move away from unlimited data towards more expensive tiered plans, and generally to explain why carriers over-promise and under-deliver on service.
Dear USTR, copyright has meaningful non-economic and social value; keep it out of the U.S.-E.U. Free Trade Agreement. If you have to have it, make sure it protects all Americans and not just large content owners. (And make the agreement transparent and inclusive while you’re at it.)
Today we filed comments about the proposed United States-European Union Free Trade Agreement – the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP). We told the Office of the United States Trade Representative (USTR) that copyright is an uncomfortable fit for a trade agreement and should be kept out of the TTIP.
If the USTR still wants to include copyright within the TTIP, it should make sure that a copyright chapter in the TTIP will not impede Congress’s ability to change U.S. copyright laws.
We also asked the USTR to break from the past and not negotiate the TTIP in secret.
Content providers paying ISPs special fees to access customers is exactly what net neutrality is supposed to prevent. It is time for the FCC to heed its own warning.
News broke today that ESPN is in negotiations with at least one major wireless carrier to pay to exempt ESPN content from data caps. This type of structure, where content providers who pay get better access to customers, is exactly what net neutrality is designed to prevent.
At its core, net neutrality is all about making sure that the company that connects you to the internet does not get to control what you do on the internet (if you ever forget that, just head on over to WhatIsNetNeutrality.org for a reminder). Imposing data caps on consumers and then allowing wealthy content holders to buy their way around them is a recipe for stagnation online.
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