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Re: Equal access to content
- From: Christian Kuhtz
- Date: Thu Nov 03 10:10:25 2005
I think this whole debate is really funny. Back in the days, email
was content, USENET was content. Then FTP. Then IRC and the like.
Oh, eventually the "Web" emerged. And so on. And somehow, because
it's now movies or whatever, the rules changed.
Give me a break.
Truth is, the RBOCs keep trying to treat non-telephony like
telephony, and it's fundamentally broken. They keep trying to
impose a PSTN billing model on the world and really have trouble with
any other models. MSOs are realy the same. Disruptors have emerged
and will disrupt the post-mature industry. It's not like this is the
heyday, as much as there's an illusion of that in certain
boardrooms. Money that could've been used to evolve has been
squandered on dividends, inefficiencies etc over periods of decades.
MSOs are a bit different there.
So, to now sit here and somehow justify this as is really funny to
watch because when all you know is hammers, everything looks like a
nail. And it'll work for a while. Screws will go in eventually.
But at some point you'll figure out that you're just out of luck
because you haven't spent any money being near the leading edge, the
'fast follower' monicker has become a joke all in itself, and you're
not able to figure out what else you need to add to the toolset
before all other costs eat you alive (pension funds, healthcare,
costs to maintain existing 'paid for' infrastructure that has finally
reached its limits for good, etc -- there are enough riders of the
apocalypse). So, your hammer will be inefficient and you will have
no money left to buy a next gen hammer. Or if you do, all other
lines of revenue that sustain you will suffer and break your back.
It's a catch 22.
Or that's my admittedly cloudy crystal ball.
Now, they all got what it takes to be successful. The rbocs with
their yellow pages were the google advertising revenue of decades
past. They got the basic elements, but they cannot innovate
themselves out of a wet paper bag because they're all terrified of
cannibalization of existing revenue. Only if they do cannibalize,
they stand a chance. And if that's no executed right, it'll break
their spines in the process as their dividend happy investors will
dump them wholesale.
And, let's not forget that the RBOCs aren't the only ones doing
this. MSO perspectives are just as bad. MSO's are actually much
more protective of their 'content' and how gets to do what on their
network for what price. And at some point in the future, they both
will look like a lot of energy companies (or steel, pick your poison).
The content debate is nicely spun, but it's really ridiculous hype.
What people derive value from is what 'content' is. But apparently
the industry has as a whole fallen into this spin trap.
Particularly how ownership has replaced licensing in all this.
Ownership doesn't even exist in some virtual reference.
I can't help but find all this amusing.