Viodi View – 08/31/11

With August coming to a close and the Labor day weekend upon us, summer vacations will soon be distant memories.  September will usher in the hectic pace of trade shows and conferences.   Time is not only running down on summer, but the FCC’s clock regarding the deadline for approving the AT&T-T-Mobile merger is ticking away again.  In this next piece, Alan Weissberger provides a summary of where that process stands and he, as well as many commenters question the transparency of the FCC in this particular review.

FCC Restarts 180 Day Clock on AT&T/ T-Mobile Merger- Cutting through all the Hype! by Alan Weissberger

(cc) photo credit: Rachel Strohm

The FCC restarted the informal clock on the AT&T/ T-Mobile Merger effective August 26, 2011.  The central issue in the proposed $39 billion acquisition is whether the combined company would benefit consumers enough to overcome concerns that the deal could limit wireless competition.  It’s interesting to note that neither company has yet to deploy an LTE network, but clearly AT&T wants T-Mobile’s cell towers, spectrum, and equipment to expand its LTE network footprint.  Click here to read Weissberger’s complete analysis, as well as the link to the non-redacted version of the AT&T letter that briefly appeared on the FCC website that provided insight on the capital required to build out LTE  from 80 to 97% of the population, but only 55% geographic coverage of the U.S.

Breaking News – Reflecting DOJ’s Lawsuit, FCC Concerned About Competition from AT&T-T-Mobile Merger

The Department of Justice filed suit to block AT&T’s proposed acquisition of T-Mobile today.  In their analysis, Stifel Nicolaus believes that the DOJ is intent on blocking the deal and that this isn’t a negotiating tactic.  In a written statement, FCC Chair Genachowski said,

“By filing suit today, the Department of Justice has concluded that AT&T’s acquisition of T-Mobile would substantially lessen competition in violation of the antitrust laws. Competition is an essential component of the FCC’s statutory public interest analysis, and although our process is not complete, the record before this agency also raises serious concerns about the impact of the proposed transaction on competition….”

It will be interesting to see what impact the DOJ decision has on the FCC’s approval process that Weissberger wrote extensively about this past week.

Retransmission Consent 101

Retransmission Consent 101
Retrans Consent 101

A government bailout for broadcasters is how retransmission consent was characterized by Matt Polka, president of the ACA, in the panel he moderated at the Independent Show.  In this brief interview after that panel, Polka provides a brief overview of retransmission consent and how the market has changed since the rules were created almost two decades ago.  Unfortunately, we lost the audio after about two minutes into our eight minute interview, but some of the highlights of the panel are included as bullets the following post.

Everyone is a Journalist:

A typical citizen journalist camera
A Typical Camera for Citizen Journalists

The power of low-cost video and image capture coupled with the distribution power of social networks is literally changing the face of government across the world.  An important ruling this week from the U.S 1st Circuit Court of Appeals provides legal reinforcement for the idea that the lines between a journalist and a private citizen with a camera have blurred.  Click here to read more.

Report Tracks Migration of Small and Independent IPTV Operators to Multiscreen Providers

MRG just released a report which I contributed to regarding the prospects of multiscreen video and how it will soon become a standard part of an operator’s offering.  I enjoyed contributing to MRG in my new role as an analyst.  I look forward to this relationship with MRG as being a great complement to the reporting we do through the Viodi View and ViodiTV.  Click here for more information on the report.

Some Tweets and Short Thoughts:

  • Adara Technologies win of Baldwin Telecom’s business is significant, as Baldwin has always been an innovative provider, including being the first WI independent telco to deploy fiber to the home technology.  Screenplays Magazine has an excellent overview of Adara Technologies and their Hosted Switched Digital Video technologies.
  • In that same issue of Screenplays Magazine, there is an excellent article about Advanced Digital Services and their new service that promise to take existing 2D content and cost-effectively convert it to 3D; which is critical for content owners that want to take existing content libraries and repurpose them for the 3D world.  In my briefing with ADS CEO Tom Engdahl a few weeks back, he indicated that some older TV content, such as westerns with their many outdoor scenes, were good candidates for 3D conversion.
  • Smart Phone by a nose – technology more important to youth than sense of smell – interesting insight in this report.
  • Cable May Plow More Cash Into Clearwire” – maybe they will just wait and pick up the pieces – sort of like what happened with @Home.

The Korner – Sneak Peek of the Internet Peering Book

Bill Norton - aka Dr. Peering
Bill Norton - aka Dr. Peering

One of my summer 2012 highlights was a brief road trip made to Lake Tahoe to speak at a U.S. Telecom event.   As it turns out, I had the good fortune to bring my 10-year-old son along on the 4+ hour drive from Silicon Valley to this second deepest lake in the U.S.

Along the way, we were joined by a fellow panelist, Bill Norton – also known as “Dr. Peering” – who entertained us with games and explained how he was in the middle of publishing a book to explain how Internet peering worked. During our journey, Norton demonstrated how he used games in his workshops to teach executives about Internet settlements.  The technical and economic aspects surrounding Internet peering are central to Norton’s just published book.

In this interview, filmed at Parks Associates’ Connections™  conference, we catch up with this former member of the founding team of Equinix and former chairman of NANOG and find out his motivation for authoring this book. The publication is timely, as the foundation he provides is relevant to understanding topics, such as net neutrality, over-the-top video and the role of telcos and cable providers.   Stay tuned for the review.

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