December 01, 2010

Call me crazy but...

...doesn't it seem like AT&T (or some other big competitor) could essentially kill Comcast dead by offering a pledge not to block netflix as part of their "switch" campaign? They already offer cash. Every time I go into an AT&T store for phone reasons, the offer to switch gets sweeter. (It was $500 cash last time.) I've been too lazy to do it so far, but I believe the netflix thing would cause mass defection, including me, if there were an option.

Posted by Dr. Frank at December 1, 2010 06:39 PM | TrackBack

The cable company monopoly on content delivery is doomed. A smart cable company would be looking to take market share from other cable providers, implementing a la carte pricing and provide customers with other perks and conveniences that would make switching to IPTV a less clear-cut decision. If Netflix were a cable company, that's what they would be doing.

You would think that by now, companies would be able to see the road to ruin that awaits anyone who spends their time and energy trying to defend market dominance that's based on old, obsolete technology (major record labels, Blockbuster, etc.), but I guess the natural human desire to desperately cling to what we already have tends to take precedence...

Posted by: miker at December 1, 2010 07:36 PM

Comcast wasn't going to (and can't) "block Netflix", no matter what the more hyperbolic NetNeutrality pushers (and Level3, at least momentarily for PR reasons) wanted us to believe.

They were going to charge Level3 extra for lopsided peering, just like Level3 did when Cogent was in the same situation with them.

(And indeed, just as everyone in the industry does when that ends up happening, regardless of the content responsible for the lopsided peering arrangement.)

Given that Netflix has other peering providers than Level3, and that Comcast was never going to "block" Level3 itself (bad for Comcast customers!), there's no "there" there.

Posted by: Sigivald at December 1, 2010 08:10 PM

Makes sense, Sigi, but I still see the makings of a fine marketing campaign in there somewhere.

Posted by: Dr. Frank at December 1, 2010 08:17 PM

The peering argument doesn't hold water because it's Comcast's own customers who are initiating these streams. If it was Level 3 passing their traffic through Comcast to someone other than Comcast's own customers, then absolutely they would need to abide by existing peering arrangements.

It may seem like much ado about nothing right now, but this issue is only going to get more and more prominent as cable companies search for ways to prop up their flagging business model without substantially changing it.

Posted by: miker at December 3, 2010 10:55 PM
Post a comment

Remember personal info?