Sunday, February 23, 2014

Here We Go ...

Gobble up the competition, and pretty quickly money changes hands:

Netflix has agreed to pay Comcast to ensure the subscription service's movies and TV shows stream seamlessly in a deal that underscores the power of distribution in the digital era — and could mean higher rates for consumers.

The nation's leading online video service and the largest U.S. provider of home Internet access said the agreement is designed to ensure that Netflix subscribers can watch the new season of "House of Cards" and other content free of the pauses and hiccups subscribers have reported in recent months. The agreement may pave the way for similar arrangements between Netflix and other Internet service providers, including Verizon and AT&T. ...

Netflix and Comcast declined to reveal terms of their pact, which was announced Sunday.

You bet the companies declined to reveal. No details for the unwashed. Having to pay the new rates will be hard enough. No need to upset the peasants with a breakdown/explanation of why.

Now that "net neutrality" has gone bye-bye, expect to see declining internet service and rising rates. As the Washington Post tells us:

... For the past two decades, the Internet has operated as an unregulated, competitive free market. Given the tendency of networked industries to lapse into monopoly—think of AT&T's 70-year hold over telephone service, for example—that's a minor miracle. But recent developments are putting the Internet's decentralized architecture in danger.

In recent months, the nation's largest residential Internet service providers have been demanding payment to deliver Netflix traffic to their own customers. On Sunday, the Wall Street Journal reported that Netflix has agreed to the demands of the nation's largest broadband provider, Comcast. The change represents a fundamental shift in power in the Internet economy that threatens to undermine the competitive market structure that have served Internet users so well for the past two decades. ...

Like it or not, we live in the land of, by and for conglomerates.


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