When your internet service provider is also a content company, there’s an inherent conflict of interest: by delivering other companies’ content, they’re also providing a service to a direct competitor. I’ve never understood how Comcast owning NBCUniversal is anything but an attempt to create one giant monopoly stretching from content creation to delivery.
And seriously, nobody wants that. I’m not sure there’s a single person who’s actually happy with what Comcast or Time Warner is providing: expensive bundles of channels you don’t watch, exorbitant fees on equipment you’re forced to rent, quality that can barely be called HD, and frequently no alternate service provider in your area.
There’s so much more to this – the long history of underhanded and anti-competitive practices in the telecommunications industry, the weird rules and laws regarding cable, broadcast, and satellite TV, the continued blurring of the line between television and internet – but it makes me too angry to think about. We’ve been getting screwed for years, online media has a chance at changing a broken system, and I hope there are enough policy makers that see it.