Net neutrality about the future of TV?

Net neutrality about the future of TV?

Summary: According to Jonathan Taplin, Net neutrality is about the future of TV--who ends up controlling the pipes. " Today its a battle of the most interesting content wins, but if Comcast decides who gets in the fast lane to the TV, they will once again be in control," Taplin said.

SHARE:
1

According to Jonathan Taplin, Net neutrality is about the future of TV--who ends up controlling the pipes. " Today its a battle of the most interesting content wins, but if Comcast decides who gets in the fast lane to the TV, they will once again be in control," Taplin said. Taplin was speaking on a panel at the OnHollywood conference. He was formerly (1969) the tour manager for Bob Dylan and The Band, and was a producer for Mean Streets, The Last Waltz, Until The End of the World, Under Fire and To Die For. He was also a media dealmaker for Merrill Lynch and is a founder of Intertainer, a video-on-demand company.

Taplin's proclaimation is a bit over-amped, like Hollywood, given that more content than ever is being created and it's not coming out of Hollywood, nor controlled by the Hollywood ecosystem--althought every content producer probably yearns for the big stage and bucks. Hollywood is losing control of what people watch, being influenced by the Internet as the "network" and is more clueful at this point than the telco/cable monopoly.

Taplin described how anyone can post video on Google, charge a few dollars and take advantage of the pipes in an open distribution system. Now people (Congress) in Washington D.C. are debating the future of that scenario, and they don't have a clue to what is going on, Taplin said. The notion that five players (big networks and studios) is insane, he continued, and the notion that a similar number of pipe providers (telcos and cable operators) will control access to the pipes in a way that a Comcast could set aside bandwidth and create a two-tiered Internet is an anathema.

 taplin_1.jpg

As I posted here, Net neutrality is become a face off in which the pipe owners don't want to be told how to run their business, especially not by the CEOs Microsoft, Intel, Google, etc. And, while the milder, formerly more regulated telco guys will likely make the proper capitulation to allay the fears of the Internet at large, the fiercely independent cable guys will not have anything to do with putting on bridle on their efforts to control their revenue pipes. It's a passive/aggressive war of words.

Steve Gillmor also weighs in on Taplin's comments...

Side note: Taplin had a message for News Corp.'s Rupert Murdoch. "It's ironic that Murdoch bought MySpace. He has $12 to $14 billion tied up in satellites and $500 million tied up in MySpace which will make more money over time.....he may have to write off satellites."  Agree on the MySpace cash machine, but satellites will coexist with the evolving terrestrial Internet.

Topic: Social Enterprise

Kick off your day with ZDNet's daily email newsletter. It's the freshest tech news and opinion, served hot. Get it.

Talkback

1 comment
Log in or register to join the discussion
  • Tapping In

    As I posted at Steve Gillmor's place - Taplin has a lot of things wrong (and Steve right). Even so Taplin's basic thinking is sound.

    The telco execs are looking to improve their margins. Partly, of course, they got themselves into this mess by refusing to compete - then merging to create new monopolies - plus never getting the Net in the first place and:
    - Leaving changing into media companies too late;
    - Not understanding that the future of media is a conversation (hey, just like a phone call!) - MySpace should have been bought by a telco with a clue, a telco didn?t, go figure; and
    - Not getting that their old model (comms = limited resources requiring management as such) is no longer valid and wasting investment on resource allocation systems instead of grabbing new transmission technologies and making massive bandwidth networks.

    To be fair, the publishers (aka Media Conglomerates) have played the telcos beautifully.

    Today's telco execs will no doubt say that they are suffering from poor past industry governance, and they would be right.

    They took on the job. The fact that they no longer like the job is their problem - not ours.

    Extending the telco's monopolies to cover the distribution of dusty content - and to charge a premium at both ends - is not required to build new Net infrastructure, this is palpable nonsense, and demonstrably so.

    If history is any guide, allowing the telcos to put ?intelligent? network technologies into the Net may just be enough to kill it. My personal view is that it is probably too late ? the Net will continue down the same path. However, a lack of Net Neutrality protection could slow the Net enough to stop me, my children, and my grandchildren (should I be lucky enough? ) from enjoying the enormous social and economic benefits of a great leap forward offered by the Net.

    STOP THE ROT ? SUPPORT NET NEUTRALITY TODAY. WRITE. CALL. SCREAM. IT?S YOUR FUTURE TOO!
    Stephen Wheeler