Viodi View

Viodi View – 03/28/16

With the first shipments of the Oculus Rift going out today, will we soon see a new world of content? How will virtual reality shake up the content distribution business, if at all? Will VR only have niche applications or will it become a new way of life, just like the smart phone has become an appendage for many of us? At this point in its life cycle, VR probably sparks as many questions by pundits as actions by the FCC cause speculation.

What Will the Rules Say?

FCC Wheeler's proposal for broadband transparency rules as of March 2016.
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NTCA’s Senior Vice President of Policy, Mike Romano, discusses what we might expect from the impending FCC order regarding universal service funding of broadband. He suggests that the order won’t be perfect and will need tweaking, but is hopeful that the order will improve regulatory certainty. He also addresses an anticipated FCC Notice of Proposed Rule Making that will morph current rules for protecting telephone subscriber data to include broadband.

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A Creative Proposal to Reduce the Cost of Content

Craig Moffett discusses the video market at the NTCA TEF conference.
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Video tends to be a driver for broadband, particularly in rural areas. The smaller providers serving rural areas are challenged with higher costs for providing video content than operators with national footprints; costs that are inevitably passed on to consumers. Shirley Bloomfield, Chief Executive Officer of NTCA, explains an idea, that was presented a few weeks ago to the FCC, for the creation of a mega video programming purchase cooperative. To give it a substantial base of subscribers, the anchor of this buying entity would be “New Charter” (Time-Warner/Charter combination).

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View an overview of what to be expected at the 2016 IP Vision Conference.
Learn more at IP Vision Show

Mr. Wheeler, Tear Down That Wall

Dave Fridley discussing the challenges he sees with the way the FCC 's process.
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The FCC is the biggest impediment to rural broadband deployment, according to long-time industry consultant Dave Fridley of FARR Technologies. Fridley, expressing the frustration felt by many of his clients and colleagues (and some pundits), suggests the organization’s process causes regulatory uncertainty for his clients, which translates into investment uncertainty. His comments echo FCC Commissioner Pai’s testimony before Congress last week that the FCC is falling behind in process reform and broadband deployment. A Tweet by the FCC last week further bolsters Pai’s and Fridley’s arguments that working to reach consensus.

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2016 MTA Convention & Tradeshow Overview

A collage of images from the 2016 MTA Conference and Trade Show.
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Minnesota Telecom Alliance president/CEO, Brent Christiansen, provides an overview the 2016 MTA Annual Convention and Tradeshow in this video filmed at the beginning of last week’s event. Overlaid on to his comments are video clips that provide a flavor of this annual conference that draws people from communications providers from the Upper Midwest. Stay tuned for more exclusive ViodiTV coverage of the 2016 Annual Convention and Tradeshow.

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2016 Open Networking Summit: Open Source Rules, But Are There Too Many Choices? by Alan Weissberger

A banner of the Open Network Summit 2016.
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The key themes of ONS 2016 were: disaggregation of networking equipment (hardware functions), virtualization of network functions, commodity hardware designed using merchant silicon, and open source software (from consortiums like OpenDaylight, ONOS, OPNFV, OpenStack, CloudStack, Open vSwitch, etc). There was also a presentation of an “Open Linux” network operating system from Cumulus Networks that runs on top of industry standard networking hardware (usually white boxes or bare metal switches).Undoubtedly, the key conclusion is that open source software (running on both vendor designed networking equipment or white boxes/bare metal switches with an “open” networking operating system) is taking over the networking industry!

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Some Tweets and Short Thoughts:

  • Beyond Netflix’s Hypocrisy: The Real ‘Throttling’ Debate – Tech Freedom’s Bernie Szoka’s suggests that Netflix is trying to have it both ways in throttling data for Verizon/AT&T mobile customers.
  • White House Seeks Feedback on GitHub for Government-Wide Open Source Software Policy @WPTavern – seems like a good idea
  • How Governments Can Promote Automated Driving – looks like an interesting white paper by renowned transportation law authority Bryant Walker Smith.
  • Interesting opinion piece by a former CIA operative that suggests “a Data Mining Royalty Fund” to ameliorate the potential joblessness that may result from the oncoming automation wave. Will something like this be needed?
  • Mobile as a marketing and customer acquisition tool is highlighted in this interview with Suddenlink’s VP of Marketing Strategy, Mark Mihalevich

The Korner: An Eye On Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality without Motion Sickness #CES2016

The ION VR headset diagram overlaid over the face of its cofounder.
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With a goal of not making people sick, ION VR, a Boise, ID based company, demonstrated at International CES 2016 a virtual reality headset that is modular and can adapt as technology changes. It leverages the smart phone one already has and can be adapted as new smart phone models are released. Most important, are the optics, which are designed to prevent virtual reality-caused, motion sickness experienced by some and allow for viewing of longer form virtual reality content.

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Author Ken Pyle, Managing Editor

By Ken Pyle, Managing Editor

Ken Pyle is Marketing Director for the Broadband Forum. The mission of this 25+-year-old non-profit “is to unlock the potential for new markets and profitable revenue growth by leveraging new technologies and standards in the home, intelligent small business, and multi-user infrastructure of the broadband network.”

He is also co-founder of Viodi, LLC and Managing Editor of the Viodi View, a publication focused on the rural broadband ecosystem, autonomous vehicles, and electric aviation. He has edited and produced numerous multimedia projects for NTCA, US Telecom and Viodi. Pyle is the producer of Viodi’s Local Content Workshop, the Video Production Crash Course at NAB, as well as ViodiTV. He has been intimately involved in Viodi’s consulting projects and has created processes for clients to use for their PPV and VOD operations, as well authored reports on the independent telco market.

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