Cable industry criticism - Susan Crawford

What we need is competition--where's the FTC? Oh that's right, busy chasing Google on meritless claims--

Cable industry criticism: Susan Crawford, Cardozo Law School professor | BGR: "If you’re unhappy with your cable service, you aren’t alone. And according to Susan Crawford, a communications policy expert and a professor at the Cardozo School of Law,America’s cable companies aren’t just guilty of charging higher prices for sub par service, but also of stifling competition and innovation in the United States broadband market. In an interview with NPR’s Diane Rehm, Crawford makes the case that “a handful of cable companies have become monopolies that stifle competition and innovation,” which is a major reason “why Americans pay more money for worse Internet service than consumers in most other developed nations.” In Crawford’s view, most major ISPs are very similar to the railroad and steel monopolies of the 19th century, in that the providers face minimal competition in areas where they operate and benefit from high barriers to entry for prospective new providers. “If you’ve got a commodity that everybody needs as an input into their businesses, like take railroads for example, and it costs a lot to initially build that network so it’s hard for someone else to enter, and you can cooperate with your colleagues who are also providing that service, and you can divide up markets, you’ve got a monopoly business,” Crawford explained. “We’ve seen this happen with wired Internet access in the United States.”

FCC Chairman calls for gigabit internet in all 50 states by 2015 | The Verge: "Google Fiber is finally bringing gigabit internet speeds to users in Kansas City, but that's not good enough for the FCC. Chairman Julius Genachoski just issued the "Gigabit City Challenge" — he wants to see all 50 states have at least one community with gigabit internet by 2015. "American economic history teaches a clear lesson about infrastructure. If we build it, innovation will come," Genachowski said in a statement. "The U.S. needs a critical mass of gigabit communities nationwide so that innovators can develop next-generation applications and services that will drive economic growth and global competitiveness." To meet Genachowski's aggressive goal, we'll need to see a lot more providers than Google step up their game in the next few years. Gigabit internet remains scarce in the US . . ."

Microsoft pushes ahead with its own take on WebRTC — Tech News and Analysis: "Microsoft has been working for some time on web-based real-time communication, and could one day use this kind of technology to take Skype to the browser, as well as make it interoperable with other messenger platforms and applications. The company started to participate in efforts to standardize this kind of browser-based communication last summer, albeit with a somewhat different take than others. Previous efforts around web-based, plugin-free voice and video chat were largely driven by Mozilla and Google, with the latter contributing a lot of its technology to an effort dubbed WebRTC, which is short for web-based real-time communications. Work on WebRTC had been progressing in 2012, and parts of the technology has already been implemented in Chrome and Opera."

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