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Is Proposed Hillsboro, Ore. Municipal ISP Network Viable?

Building a $66 million, municipal ISP network would be "marginally" viable at a 28 percent "take" rate, a study by Colorado firm Uptown Services predicted in 2015.
That might be an optimistic expectation of market share for any well-run ISP operating a fiber-to-home network and competing against a elco and a cable TV operator where one or both of those competitors are vulnerable because they have not, or cannot, invest in their own networks.
Much hinges on whether the Hillsboro network plans also to sell video service or voice. If not, actual take rates might be as low as 20 percent, and possibly lower.
Many municipal ISPs that report adoption rates (penetration, or the percent of homes passed that actually buy service) boosted by their sales of video and voice services. So the adoption rate is based on “units of service sold,” not the “number of homes buying service.”
At least so far, where a municipal ISP offers only internet access, early adoption rates--even wit…

New Thinking on Mobile Market Structure?

Very few regulators or would-be competitors most places in the world would consider  a facilities-based approach to fixed line telecom services workable in the present market. Simply, revenue upside is too limited and investment burdens too high to support two or more facilities-based fixed network providers.

There are a few exceptions, especially small countries, city states or North America, where cable TV networks were transformed from one-way video broadcast networks into full duplex communications networks.

In the mobile area, most regulators have preferred four providers to three contestants. That thesis will soon be tested in the U.S. and possibly a few other markets as antitrust and telecom regulators have to make a decision about whether to allow the merger of Sprint and T-Mobile US.

The larger policy environment is challenging for Sprint and T-Mobile US in that regard. Some argue the present administration is going to more merger friendly than that last. Then there is the Depa…

Google, Facebook Antitrust: Correlation is Not Causation

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For some, it might be clear that the Microsoft antitrust action lead directly to the rise of Google and Facebook. Others are not so sure. Some argue the Telecommunications Act of 1996 “succeeded” in bringing innovation and competition to the U.S. telecom market. Others might argue most of the change came from mobile and internet sources.
Those precedents are more relevant today, now that calls are made for antitrust action against Google and Facebook.
The problem, some might argue, is that it is not entirely clear that any of those earlier “pro-competitive” actions actually were the drivers of innovation and new competition.
There arguably remains significant disagreement about the actual effect of the antitrust action against Microsoft, which prohibited Microsoft from bundling its browser with its operating system. Some argue the action created the climate that lead Google and Facebook to emerge. Others dispute that notion.
The precedent matters as many now argue Google and Facebook n…

Will New Internet Access Platforms Disrupt the Market?

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Among the bigger questions coming to the fore in the internet access business is whether 5G can become an effective replacement for the fixed network, and whether fixed wireless can do the same to the cabled networks.
The corollary is that some contestants have more motivation to ask such questions than others. Verizon, for example, has the smallest fixed network footprint among tier-one internet access suppliers in the U.S. market.
Comcast, for example, passes (can actually sell service to these homes) about 54 million homes. Charter Communications passes some 50 million home locations.
AT&T’s fixed network passes perhaps 62 million U.S. homes. Verizon, on the other hand, passes perhaps 27 million locations.
If fixed wireless proves to be a more-affordable way to create high-speed internet access at gigabit rates, Verizon can use the platform inside and outside its present fixed network territory. That is important in several ways.
Use of 5G fixed wireless could allow Verizon to o…

Amazon is Key to Selling Direct-to-Consumer Premium Channels, Study Finds

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One traditional concern of programming networks pondering a shift to streaming distribution is the additional cost of marketing direct to consumer. In a linear environment, that marketing effort is undertaken by the distributors (cable, telco, satellite).
As it turns out, the solution for retailing video services is akin to the retailing of many other consumer products: Amazon.
Amazon Prime Channels account for more than half of all direct-to-consumer premium-channel subscriptions, according to The Diffusion Group (TDG).
More than 53 percent of HBO direct-to-customer accounts were purchased from  Amazon Prime Channels. Some 72 percent of Showtime direct-to-consumer accounts were sold that way. Some 70 percent of Starz DTC accounts also were sold by Amazon Prime.

source: The Diffusion Group

The Era of Zero-Touch, One-Touch and Low-Touch Activation is Coming

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It is possible that mobile revenue, globally, will peak as soon as 2021, a fact that drives mobile operator and fixed line telco interest in possible internet of things revenue streams, to say nothing of video entertainment and advertising revenues.
In fact, so much will revenue sources have to change that we might call the coming eras starting with 5G the post-mobile era, in the sense that consumers using phones will not be the growth engines any longer.
In fact, much 5G consumer revenue will simply displace existing 4G account revenue, which is why the emphasis has to be on entirely-new sources of revenue coming from someplace other than demand for mobile phone usage.
So connectivity revenue growth, for any tier-one mobile operator, will not, in the future, be driven by consumers and businesses using mobile phone service and mobile internet access.
That same trend can be seen in the Wi-Fi space, where the new WPA3 Wi-Fi security protocol is expected to include features that enables