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Just as cingular won't compete with sprint, verizon, tmobile
What happens if customers just plain old-- DON'T SIGN UP?
There is such a forward looking statement as DOORSTOP broadband service.. where you build it, pass consumer's homes, and they look at you like your selling E-Coli infected Tacos!!
Well, that's what many flavors of DSL are.. anal-retentive distance (and speed) limited broadband, and if you make it overpriced, that might as well be the $200 e-coli infected tacos... you'd have to be smoking some pretty good stuff to buy at those prices and terms...
Well, we'll see if AT&T can get customers for a service people really don't want on AT&T's terms.. AT&T can easily have it's hat handed to it in the coming quarters as it spends billions on a network that is already rubbing many communities the wrong way..
I have no interest in replacing my cable (essentially broadcast, all standard channels always present) with IPTV (essentially on demand, one stream per channel being viewed). I like being able to add splitters and connect as many tuners as I need without having to have a "set top box" for each channel I wish to simultaneously receive.
Unfortunately, the digital switchover (if it happens) will break this since I only have NTSC tuners. (I really suspect as the analog switch off date draws near, people will wake up and realize that all their bedroom TVs are about to stop working and raise a protest)
The reason splitting up AT&T didn't have the desired effect is that there was no incentive given to CLECs to build out their own infrastructure. If the single infrastructure is to support competition, one company can't own it. The problem is that during the long monopoly period, nobody else was allowed to build a telephony infrastructure, so by the time AT&T was split, there was no practical way to catch up.
Many potentially BAD things are going to happen to the consumer when companies move to "packet switched video" streams...
1. You will need to purchase/rent set-tops for EACH TV (extra cost)
2. You will need to pay higher fees for cable-tv service (you don't think the switchover is going to be FREE for the consumer do you?)
3. Your broadband and phone service will cost more (rate increases are likely in internet/phone service in the coming years, so be prepared to pay more soon)
4. Proprietary technologies utilized so that the consumer is more beholden to the company they get service from, which could end up in new cablemodem/network terminal or install fees, higher upfront or monthly tack-on fees.
5. Video franchise fees are going to make a "comeback" as the new tax-dejour similar to the "FCC LINE CHARGE" in POTS phone bills.
Forget $100 triple play, in the next 2-3 years, with buildout costs and rate increases it will be more like the $200 or $250 triple play with LESS service *fewer channels*, more proprietary equipment *think cell phone style set-tops and internet interfaces*, and much, much less flexibility than today-- tv outlets is just tip of the iceberg.