April 21, 2005

Dinosaurs Seek Protection

When a whiff of competition appears on the horizon what do bussiness in the American free market economy do? Why, of course, they head over to the nearest government regulative or legislative body to seek some form of protection:

Verizon Communications and SBC Communications' plans to wire American homes with high-speed fiber connections may encounter regulatory roadblocks, members of Congress suggested Wednesday.

Both companies are spending billions on fiber links that can carry everything from Internet service to voice and video. Verizon's Fios service already boasts speeds of up to 30 megabits per second with a digital TV package expected later this year......

These forays into digital TV are alarming television broadcasters and some cable companies, which view fiber service as a competitive threat. This week, for instance, Verizon announced that it plans to carry all of NBC Universal's channels on Fios TV.


"Stations would lose audience share and advertising dollars, and these dollars fund local programming that makes broadcasting valuable," Greg Schmidt, a lawyer speaking on behalf of the influential National Association of Broadcasters, told a House of Representatives panel on Wednesday. The NAB represents local radio and TV broadcasters.

Congress should prohibit SBC and Verizon from offering digital TV unless the companies follow an extensive list of government regulations, Schmidt said.

Now, some of you may find the relatively content free local news valuable but, really, if that stuff is the core value of broadcasting we are in deep trouble.

Read the whole article. It is full of fine whining, groveling and populated by congress critters who, seemingly only too eager to feed their patrons, should be put out to pasture.

Oh, and please don't get me wrong, Verizon and SBC are not really good players here. They are companies who have drank heavier than most from the protected from competition by regulation trough over the last hundred years.

Posted by Steve on April 21, 2005
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