This has lawsuit written all over it. This also means that at&t is no longer protected by the DMCA. And this means that Ma Bell will likely be looking over your shoulder all the time.
It's easy to see why AT&T would be interested in addressing the studios' online piracy problem. The company needs Hollywood movies and TV programming for its new video service, which competes with cable TV. At the same time, illegal downloading consumes a large amount of the bandwidth on AT&T's networks, making it harder for the company's Internet services to deliver on the promises they make. [source]
In a slowing Broadband market (as well as cellular market), customer acquisition and retention will be huge. How do you keep customers or gain new ones when you are going to be monitoring everything they do online?
With the market flattening, investors have to wonder:
But where will all of these new customers come from? Verizon is fundamentally claiming that Fios will have 10% of the entire US broadband market. Since the service does not have a national footprint, the penetration will have to be much higher in the company's service area. [source]
VZ just announced its 1Millionth FiOS customer. Also, FiOS TV has 500k subs. It reaches 3M homes. That's 16% TV penetration and 30% internet. I would argue that with churn (announced as 1.5%) those numbers are high. VZ expects to spend $18B to reach 7M FiOS internet subs and 4M TV subs by end of 2010.
[Lightreading has different figures] Verizon claims more than 500,000 FiOS customers with 5 million homes passed by fiber. Its year-end target is 6 million homes passed. Verizon says of those 500,000 users, it expects to have 175,000 of them using a video service by the end of the year.
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