The Clash of the High-Tech Titans

Here's a great article from National Journal's "Insider Update: The Telecom Act", that does a really good job laying out some of the key issues and debates in the media/telecom legislation that's currently being written.

Some key points include:

1.) The battle between Telecom & Cable companies as both hurry to introduce new services to more consumers = convergence of phone, television, internet, etc., provided by single company (monopolizing pipes that bring in content into homes).

2.) Big cable & telecoms "red-lining" approach to rolling-out new services in more affluent neighborhoods. See, "SBC presented a slide show outlining its $4-billion-to-$6-billion "Project Lightspeed," a multiyear expansion of its fiber-optic networks. One slide highlighted the company's plan to focus most of its initial investment on affluent neighborhoods, where households would be willing to pay from $110 to $200 a month for a package of video, telecom, and data services."

3.) Barton-Dingell legislation as a precursor of what's to come in upcoming battles on capitol hill involving upcoming legislation.

4.) Sen. John Ensign's bill that's working to cut state and municipalities' ability to negotiate franchise fees to big cable & telecoms, by creating a new "interstate" playing field.

Many more items in the article for discussion.

Check it out here.

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