Larry Magid: Verizon Plans To Bring Cable TV To Mobile Devices
SAN FRANCISCO (KCBS)— Why cut the cord when you can take it with you? That’s the idea behind Verizon’s new plan, which will let its customers stream cable TV straight to their smartphones.
If you’re like me the first thing you’re probably thinking is how much bandwidth this will be taking up. The service is called video over the top. It uses Internet protocols, but on your phone to deliver video.
One of the things that I think Verizon is hoping for is to get some additional spectrum options from the Federal Communications Commission (FCC). When television went from digital to analog about five years ago, it actually freed up some of the bandwidth spectrum and now they’ll be reallocating that.
It’s not clear to me yet what they’ll be charging customers for this service. From Verizon’s perspective they come out on top since they own FiOS, a high-speed, bundled fiber-optic Internet, telephone and TV service. The network is mostly in the East Coast. They already have deals in place with HBO and other content providers.
The all important question is ‘how much will this service cost?’ We don’t really know quite yet. It really gets into the whole Net Neutrality issue of ISP and how they charge for faster services. Will there be fast Internet lanes for those who can afford it? I would think that we would pay more for mobile television than we pay to watch it at home through cable or satellite because spectrum is limited. However, if they charge too much for the system, it’s not going to fly.