Not the Internet 1

In the Washington Post, an SBC spokesman attempts to clarify CEO Ed Whitacre’s remarks suggesting the phone giant will seek payments from Internet-based applications:

“Mr. Whitacre’s comments are being misinterpreted. They were not made in the context of the Internet, but rather SBC’s $4 billion investment in its new fiber network to provide Internet-based video services,” Balmoris said.

Ahh, so broadband over fiber isn’t going to be “the Internet.” It’s going to be a private, tolled garden controlled by the phone companies. The network operators are building the network, so they believe they can control what applications and content appear on the network, at what price. Tell me again how this is different from the narrowband Internet of yesteryear, and the DSL/cable modem broadband Internet of today?

The clarification only makes me more worried about the broadband future.

One comment on “Not the Internet

  1. Rob Frieden Nov 4,2005 3:42 pm

    Even assuming that Mr. Whiteacre was referring to IPTV, I still think he get’s it wrong. Content providers often self-provision, i.e., pay to bring content to a public peering point. From that point isn’t it fair to assume that subscribers’ broadband subscriptions entitle them to both upstream and downstream delivery of content? If yes, doesn’t this include the SBC portion upstream and downstream to the peering point, or even to the IPTV’s on premises server?

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