War for the Web
27 03.12

Verizon and Cable, an unlikely friendship

Normally you would expect two companies offering the same services in different ways to compete with one another. That’s the principal of the free market, let the best product win, et cetera. But with Verizon, Comcast, and Cox, competitors in the same industry offering the same services to consumers, this isn’t what is happening. The FCC is investigating through a series of hearings. I cannot possibly give a better, more detailed explanation of what is happening than Harold Feld of Public Knowledge, so check out his explanation here: Harold Feld’s Insanely Long Field Guide to the Verizon Deal.

What I can tell you is a bit about why this is important. Wireless spectrum is what is used to offer broadcast television, cell phone service, wireless Internet access, and other wireless connectivity in this country. In 2008, when the switch to Digital TV took place, Spectrum that had previously been reserved for analog television became available for other uses, and the FCC auctioned it off in hopes that private companies would develop the spectrum to offer connectivity. The major cable providers Comcast, Bright House, Time Warner and Cox all bought some at the time. They haven’t done much with it since.


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