Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Net Neutrality Looks Set To Stay

The FCC has again come out strongly in favour of net neutrality, which is excellent news for companies ranging from major online broadcasters to Google, but not such good news for ISPs.

FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski is largely to be praised for his speech, and for setting up the Open Internet website.

The irony is that the mobile marketplace started with the opposite model - a number of totally closed walled gardens, which are now opening up and becoming service agnostic, resulting in a significant shift of power away from the network operators. (A more free market approach might have been taken in the past by the FCC with regards to the internet also, but the Obama administration is returning to the paternalistic approach established by Al Gore when he was VP.)

As a result the networks are being hit by a double whammy and must rapidly look at ways of monetizing the rapidly increasing demands on their infrastructure and declining revenues from mobile data. In the US, Verizon and AT&T have been smart, in Europe the incumbents have been slower to adapt and there's now an enormous onus on the major network operators to become content and added value providers.

This is exactly the sweet spot that Vidiactive is working in - the ability to monetize content services without having to establish a content service in the first place.