Tag Archives: broadband

Some thoughts on The Future

Here’s your one-sentence media future forecast: Everything will be online, and online will be hand-held.

Of course, internecine battles between AT&T and Apple, embarrassingly backward US wireless infrastructure and the overall anti-competitive climate of the US mobile market are the first things people often mention when media types get excited about the wireless future.   Look at Korea or Japan if you want to see the media distribution platforms of the future.    “All fine and well,” say the non-media types, “But if the pipes don’t work, why supply the pipeline?”

Because the old rules are irrelevant.   We’ve made this comparison before, but look at what happened to legacy airlines once Southwest toppled the barriers to entry?   All it takes is for one viable game changer to get on the field, and everything gets shaken up.   Carriers prevented the paradigm shift as long as possible, but sooner or later an iPhone was going to arrive on the scene and pull the rug out on a system that was not responsive to market forces.   Once that process starts, it is impossible to contain.

All it takes is one breach for the fortress to come down, and when it does, things that seemed inconceivable previously become ordinary pretty quickly.   After generations of media production and consumption based on centralized, capital-intensive processes, the idea that a small team with cameras, laptops and expertise can produce and distribute media content more effectively than massive corporations is still anathema to most people — but that day is at hand, and the future is looking good.


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US Lags Big Time on Broadband: Here’s Why

We agree with Lawrence Lessig about pretty much everything — we’ve written about him here before.    He’s best known for copyright reform advocacy, but his work has a broad range of interests related to the future of creative content.   Reliable, affordable and universal broadband access is critical to that future.  The broadband situation in the United States lags far behind the civilized world, and that has big implications for the American role in the digital revolution.   Everyone knows about Japan and South Korea’s place on the leading edge of communications technology, but even going from, say Paris to New York is like going back in technological time.   We could spill a lot of ink discussing the reasons for this state of affairs and what the implications are, but Lessig’s recent lecture on the state of broadband in the United States at the Storage Networking World (SNG) Conference hits it out of the park, so may we suggest you watch it in its entirety.   Here’s an excerpt of blogger Paul Venezia’s post suggesting the same, titled, “Lawrence Lessig Exposes a Rigged System”:

There’s no way to do justice to his presentation in print. Fortunately, you can watch the whole thing for yourself, and I encourage you to do so right now. It’s nearly an hour long, but worth every minute — seriously… Even the FCC itself seemed to believe that Washington wasn’t ready for a coordinated effort to free us from the shackles of the carriers. No matter the logic, the proof, or the reality of the situation, the companies who pour buckets of money into Washington seem to have it all locked down so tight there’s no room even for discussion.

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Filed under Copyright & IP Law