Verizon and AOL: It’s All About Ads and Mobile Video

AOLIn 2001, at the height of the dot com bubble, AOL acquired Time Warner for $164 billion. The giant of content and distribution was diluted (and deluded) by the king of narrowband, just as the broadband Internet was taking hold. We all know how that story ended.

Now, fifteen years later, Verizon intends to purchase AOL for $4.4 billion in cash. On the surface, this deal may seem expensive, if not retro. But viewed through the lens of today’s media landscape, it is strategic, and perhaps even prescient.   Read More

Beyond Resolution: From HD to 4K

4K imageUltra HD is destined to be the next great leap forward for high-quality home entertainment. Just as HDTV gave us more than a fourfold increase in video resolution over standard definition, Ultra HD (aka 4K) allows another quadrupling of picture clarity. (4K refers to the nearly 4,000 pixels per line of video.)

Ultra HD offers a truly immersive visual experience, featuring exquisite detail and eye-popping colors. Homes will be filled with entire curved walls of video, displaying images so stunningly clear and realistic as to look and feel like wide windows to the world.   Read More

Net Neutrality, Part II: The Road Ahead

15543567837_528f750d31_zNet Neutrality, Part I discussed the FCC’s selection of a Title II regulatory framework. In February 2015, broadband Internet service was reclassified as a heavily regulated “telecommunications service,” superseding its thirteen-year-old status as a lightly regulated “information service.” This change occurred after a loud clarion call emanated from Silicon Valley and consumer advocacy groups, culminating with nearly four million comments submitted to the FCC. The debate was cleverly framed in such a way as to equate Title II with an open Internet, deceptively branding those opposed to Title II as being against net neutrality.   Read More

Net Neutrality, Part I: Did the FCC Miss the Mark?

4889490203_328cee595f_mThe FCC finally has control over broadband Internet Service Providers (ISPs) such as Comcast, Verizon, and Sprint. On February 26, 2015, the agency decided to employ Title II of the Communications Act of 1934, empowering itself to implement net neutrality rules.

The dramatic rise of Internet video, occupying a rapidly growing share of our aggregate bandwidth, fueled this raging debate over the rules of the road. The discourse devolved into a conflated cacophony of political and technical jargon, all under the guise of net neutrality.   Read More