What happened to space being cool?
DirecTV is writing down about $1.6 billion in the value of satellites it launched to provide high-speed Internet service, and has now decided to offer HDTV and other broadcast content with instead.It's a bummer for folks in the sticks, who often don't have any alternative other than satellite for broadband service. Along with the power line broadband questions in the previous post, it raises some serious concerns. The FCC has been loosening regulatory restrictions on telephone companies, under the theory that somewhere down the road, a plethora of alternative broadband technologies will emerge and create the real competition that everybody wants. Previously, Congress had tried to create that competition by forcing telephone companies to share their networks with rival ISPs. But things aren't going so well for those new technologies. Utilities aren't signing up to offer power line services. Satellites are being repurposed for TV content. WiMax wireless services are still several years away. So, it's finger crossing time. Let's hope the cable companies and phone companies really do decide to compete against each other strongly enough to produce real consumer benefits. Both sides are very concerned about helping the consumer, right?