Time to Cut the Cord, Maybe…

To cut or not to cut isn't the question, as its where will all the extra bandwidth come from when we do and who will pay for it?

While it may sound as such, we aren’t speaking of the miracle of childbirth here however something almost as good.  Yes dumping the bill for Cable TV!  Ah the freedom of being liberated from that nasty monthly friend is a kin to when we cut the cord on the phone company and plunged feet first into the world of VoIP and near free phone calls so why not TV too?  Well in fact many people are going this route and saying enough is enough of the crazy high monopolistic prices brought to us via that nasty black cable which protrudes from our walls snaking around as an ivy to connect our TV’s to the world of Jeopardy and Wheel of Fortune.

This is all about to change, however there might be a fly in ointment  as a Sandvine report published five months ago called Netflix who also happens to be the leading reason for cord cutting the “king” of North American fixed download Internet data.  Their survey estimated the online video company drove 29.7 percent of all peak download time, which was a 44 percent boost in their share of the pipe since 2010.

However Sandvine has now come back and said, oops Netflix now accounts for 32.7 percent of all North American peak fixed access downstream content. This now places the venerable Netflix way beyond the other three top Internet protocols or services by daily volume—approaching double HTTP (17.48 percent), just shy of three times YouTube (11.32), and nearly four times BitTorrent. What Netflix is out doing even the pirates?  What’s this world coming to when a legitimate business beats the crooks?  No its not another  remake of a Starsky and Hutch flick, however proof that people are willing to pay a “reasonable” price for media and the DVD barons of the past where taking us over a barrel and not even kissing us first.

Yet there is a dark side with a question to be answered: How much of North America’s fixed peak download share can Netflix claim before the cable companies take them over a barrel?  As here the cable companies sit losing on both sides of the coin as they are losing the cord cutting consumers from their core business.  Then if that wasn’t bad enough, the likes of Netflix is sucking the daylight out of their bandwidth leading to high investments to provide more bandwidth and user dissatisfaction when it isn’t there fast enough.

However this also brings up a point I’ve been harping on for some time now as we in the United States simply don’t invest enough on infrastructure be it the aged power grid or now the Internet.  As it just isn’t sexy, yet we just expect it to be there when we need it and it should also growth to meet our needs too, right?  Well it doesn’t appear to be shaping up this way, in and in fact Netflix may have more in common than just their bright red color with “red” algae blooms as their $7.99 streaming deal could choke off real business meaning real economic harm especially as the nation moves to a work from home model and depends on that wire for then just soap operas and Dr. Phil.

Either way it’s clear there is going to be choppy waves ahead, so take your seat and buckle up tight as this ride is far from over…

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About Joseph Campbell

As a strong believer in the fact that "people work for people", it has been a life driver to better to understand the complexities of the various aspects which drive efficiency within this axiom, especially the concepts of leadership. Supporting this, I have been fortunate enough to having experienced this as leader on a global basis over the last decade and half. During this time it has been clear there are three core drivers being Life, Leadership and Economics.
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One Response to Time to Cut the Cord, Maybe…

  1. We cut the cord from cable about a year ago and we do not miss it at all. Armed with a Roku, a subscription to Hulu Plus and Netflix we canceled our cable and set out for our new life of streaming.

    What we found is that pretty much what we would normally watch is available. It may not be available the night it airs (as with Hulu, the TV shows are usually available the next day). Another great thing is no DVR needed. Most programs last at least a few weeks if not months on Hulu before they disappear so no need to record.

    What shows we can not get through the two services above we can get directly from ABC, CBS, NBC, etc websites. We have a hook up on our TV with separate speakers to hook up the laptop to watch some of these shows.

    I say it is time. With other services finding there way into this market through Xbox and PS3 as well, soon we will have live TV available via streaming devices.

    Good Luck

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