Competitive Landscapes… Are certainly changing, and changing faster and faster all of the time. Meanwhile, the Federal Confusion Commission is doing its job by making its regulatory fiats, proposals and floated punitive concepts ever more confusing… and, frankly, irrelevant. That’s why the speech by the NCTA’s Kyle McSlarrow last week was so important. The carefully considered, comprehensive, logical and realistic suggestion (first offered by the Progress & Freedom Foundation) that Congress take a carefully considered, comprehensive, logical and realistic look at the entire concept of what a regulatory regime (in the British sense) should be for the entertainment, information and communications industries… makes eminent sense. The current FCC has metamorphosed from its original purpose of regulating spectrum use to one of trying to prevent obesity in children. That makes no sense. Mandating a la carte makes no sense. Multicast must carry makes no sense… eminent domain of private spectrum? Kyle suggested the FTC as an example or model to emulate in that the FTC’s regulatory approach is one of oversight and enforcement–keeping in mind the Constitution, the 1st and other Amendments. As Steve Effros’ thoughtful column last Thurs pointed out, the change would be big and will take–as these things do–a long, long time to come to fruition. But this big idea is well worth the pain, the gamble and the consequences… all because the current regulatory regime has devolved into a very sick joke. Random Notes

  • The LA Market: Ripe for further consolidation? That’s one question I’ll ask Wednesday evening at the Southern California CTAM Chapter Leadership Dinner at the Marina del Rey Marriott. Don’t know if anyone has an answer yet, but I’ll bet there will be a range of opinions in the audience.
  • Orlando: Opening the Cable-Tec Expo this year is NCTA’s Kyle McSlarrow… and I get to follow him with the annual CEO panel. This year we’ve got a great wealth of experience: Cox’s Pat Esser, Discovery’s David Zaslav and Motorola’s Dan Moloney.
  • VIP IP? Yep, go to for a super list of attendees who will be hanging on every word (gaffe?) I say in Cannes next month.
  • When 100 Ain’t Enough? This weekend, the Encore Westerns channel will begin cablecasting a 100-hour marathon of John Wayne movies. I’d watch, but I’ve seen them all.
  • Bloomberg for ? Would you vote for a guy who would spend $1bln of his own money to get elected President? Well, maybe. Especially if he’d pick Nebraska Senator Chuck Hagel to run with him. Looking at the field in both parties makes for interesting speculation… and something of a bit of a worry. From my own perspective, gridlock sure beats rule by one party.
  • Speaking of Billions: Only $3bln for 32 class action law suits against Tyco? What’s Ed Breen saving his money for as Tyco Electronics comes into existence? Or, do you think he’s got some stealth way back into cable?
  • McGuirk @ Liberty: Good combo.
  • No Print? Interesting repeat of a semi-annual analyst idea from a Bear Stearns guy as he posited Time Warner retreating to “Just Warner” by spinning off or selling Time, Inc. Likelihood? Not right now… but quite likely someday. Meanwhile, the news-driven publications do a lot less original reporting and lot more “punditing” (a new word, that).

The Daily


Municipalities still minding broadband gap

We’ve heard a lot from the ISPs, the FCC and Congressional leaders on the digital divide and various efforts to close it, but what about the towns and municipalities that are affected by it? “The data that

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