All our present Internet troubles -- the bit-hoarding and net neutrality -- could begin to disappear if cable operators simply do what they're now promising, and deliver more two-way bandwidth. (Which is what other countries have.)
When you get right down to it, the Bells' attempt to get into TV is just another way of avoiding any increase in DSL speeds. Which is a hole you can drive a train through.
As Burstein told Business 2.0 recently "Comcast head honcho Brian Roberts is betting that the cable giant will go “50 meg down, 15 meg up pre-DOCSIS 3.0…in selected markets” by 2007." Compared to that, DSL at 1.5 Mbps is "so last century."
Maybe Dave's letter will have to become DOCSIS Prime. Not a problem. We'll always need great journalists like Dave. But the Bells? Who needs them?
Assuming cable chooses to let loose the bits, breaking the TV barrier on the speed it makes available to customers, it will gain market share, and the Bells will lose even-more subscribers. After all, why keep a phone line when cable can do everything the phone can? The Bells are already losing share to wireless. Now you have a second drain.
And in the face of that, the Bells will have no choice but to add speed, or (at the very least) implement true net neutrality with high throughput as a way to hold what share they have. A cable monopoly would allow it to degrade video signals competing with its base service, and in that case a Bell action allowing video -- even encouraging Internet video -- would be their only choice.
Or, they could die.
Which would not be a bad deal.