Only minutes after sending my latest blog comment on the future of pricing I read an article on what the phone companies are up to in the US.
They are losing the telephone game but are still in charge of the pipes, so they are of course looking for strategy where they can survive.
Why are the Bells and cable companies aggressively advancing such plans? With the arrival of the long-awaited “convergence” of communications, our media system is undergoing a major transformation. Telephone and cable giants envision a potential lucrative “triple play,” as they impose near-monopoly control over the residential broadband services that send video, voice and data communications flowing into our televisions, home computers, cell phones and iPods. All of these many billions of bits will be delivered over the telephone and cable lines.
By sitting on the pipe the phone companies can look into the packages sent from a specific user and charge for amount of data used for that user and from a specific application. The technology is there to do it.
And other players in the game may enter
Will Google, Amazon and the other companies successfully fight the plans of the Bells and cable companies? Ultimately, they are likely to cut a deal because they, too, are interested in monetizing our online activities. After all, as Cisco notes, content companies and network providers will need to “cooperate with each other to leverage their value proposition.” They will be drawn by the ability of cable and phone companies to track “content usage…by subscriber,” and where their online services can be “protected from piracy, metered, and appropriately valued.”
This strategy is also playing into the hands of the governments who wants to track terrorist activities (US) or censor the content (China).
I think we’d better dig down more fibers, and create more wireless connections in order to not be supervised and restricted by the phone companies!