Thursday, September 07, 2006

Media Consolidation and Net Neutrality

In some ways these are the same issue. As media consolidates like Clear Channel petitioning the FCC to own say 10 radio stations in Tampa instead of 8, less choice to the consumer. And more importantly less viewpoints aired. With Disney set to air a slanted 9/11 "documentary" and Sinclair airing a similar 9/11 movie, perhaps consolidation isn't a good thing. Most consumers are not enlightened and easily influenced by old media (radio, newspaper, TV). To get further consolidation, they point to the Internet and New Media (blogs, RSS feeds, international access) as creating enough of a counter viewpoint. Unfortunately, two things get in the way:
  1. We have almost reached maximum penetration on internet access - in other words, almost everyone who owns a computer has internet access. But the 30% or so without a computer do not - and probably don't want.
  2. If the Gorillas of Cable and Telco create a walled garden similar to your access on a cell phone, what happens to all the New Media viewpoint that was used as the argument for consolidation?
  3. It reminds me of UNE-P. The Bells got LD/272 Relief based on UNE-P penetration. After relief was granted, they took back UNE-P - but did not give back LD. So consumers are stuck with Ma Bell Monopoly again.

When will the sheople wake up?

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