cr> cable and TV update


My own opinions and observations are mixed here with some observations
from a Web site.

An interesting new Web site about cable TV is Multichannel News, at  While it has a lot of news that's of
interest only to cable company staff, some of it is definitely
relevant to us. Here are a few interesting things I learned.

Leslie Ellis, who wrote many of the articles, sees cable modems as an
important up-and-coming technology.  These let you connect to the
Internet (or your job, or anything else that requires a digital
connection) over your cable, and promises high speeds.  Downloads will
be several megabytes a second, an you can also send out data at
several thousand bytes a second.  Lots of cable companies are
interested, and customer surveys show that a lot of people are eager
for them.

I think it's a good sign that so many people want bidirectional
connections--they are not satisfied with what they currently get on
TV.  On the other hand, the reason cited for most people's interest is
telecommuting.  Maybe that's not so healthy, if speed-up and job
stress are making lots of middle-class professionals work at home.

Finally, a little note on TV spectrum.  This was the hotly-contested
commodity that got left out of the Telecom bill.  The government was
just about set to give away a big chunk of spectrum to existing TV
companies.  Then a bunch of public interest groups complained that it
should either be sold or be given in exchange for promises to provide
public-interest programming.  For background, see the Benton
Foundation site:

Anyway, Senator Pressler has just said that nothing will be done with
the spectrum for a year.

I can forward the interesting articles to people without access to the
Web.  (The articles are long, though.)


 Posted by Andrew Oram  - •••@••.••• - Moderator: CYBER-RIGHTS (CPSR)
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