Whoops! How AMD (inadvertently) prepared Intel to crush cable companies

21627v1-max-450x450[1]by ,  (courtesy digitalTrends) There is a battle going on for your living room. Apple, Google, Microsoft, Intel, Netflix, Hulu,  and Amazon are battling U.S. cable companies, who want you to keep paying  hundreds of dollars a month, mostly for content you don’t use or will end up  watching online anyway. The New York Times reports this week that Intel is trying to  change the game and make it so you only pay for what you want to watch, but  cable giants are standing in its way. Clearly you want Intel to win, but  attacking an entrenched team of gigantic companies with deep pockets and  lobbyists is no easy task. But here’s the interesting part: AMD may have  inadvertently assured that Intel can win. Let me explain.

How cable came to strangle us

It should be no surprise that cable and telephone companies love the fact  that you pay them hundreds to get access to TV that, when I was a kid, was  broadcast over the air for free. When cable was first proposed, a lot of folks  argued that TV viewers just weren’t stupid enough to pay for something they got  for free. Apparently they were wrong, and that doesn’t exactly say wonderful  things about us. But the cable companies got regulated monopolies into our  homes, and what initially cost $10 to $15 a month now costs many of us close to  $100 for programming we really don’t have time to watch. In my own case, just to  get the Speed Channel and watch a small set of programs I want, I had to pay  nearly $20 a month for the entire “sports package,” most of which I really don’t  care about.

Intel wants to break this model, and the cable companies aren’t amused. I  mean, they kind of like the idea of customers paying tons of money for stuff  they don’t use. I really can’t blame them, but I’m rooting for Intel.

How AMD helped intel

As powerful as Intel is, it would really be no match for the massive power of  the telephone and cable companies. Through lobbying, these firms have a long  history of manipulating the government to get what they need, and Intel would  have simply been over matched. However, for the last couple of decades, AMD has  being pounding on Intel on anti-trust grounds and, as a result Intel has one of  the strongest anti-trust lobbying and legal teams on the planet.

I think Intel is going to win, and we’ll get vastly better pricing on  programing and services …

Locking up a market, as these cable and  telephone companies have done, looks and smells anti-competitive, and this is  the angle Intel is using to break out the service it wants to sell. Thanks to  years of attacks from AMD, Intel has the equivalent of a nuclear arsenal in this  space, and the company is raining down missiles on the anti-competitive efforts  of the defending cable and telephone companies, which are – by definition – regulated monopolies.

As a result, I think Intel is going to win, and we’ll get vastly better  pricing on programing and services that we wouldn’t have been able to see as a  result. I have every belief that if Intel can get through this gauntlet, the  service it will provide will be amazing. I’ve met the guy running the unit, and  he built the BBC’s system, which currently leads the world in digital content  delivery. In other words, the more you hate your cable or telephone company for  programing, the more you’re likely to love what Intel plans.

A crumbling monopoly

There is clearly a change in the wind. Americans are tired of paying tons of  money for programing they don’t watch, and more and more of us are unplugging to  live off of services like Hulu, Amazon, or Netflix. Intel is going to try to  break this market wide open using a legal weapon it originally developed as a  result of AMD’s challenges, and that weapon is currently unmatched in the  industry. Without it, taking on the entrenched telecom companies would likely be  impossible, so Intel oddly has AMD partially to thank for its state of  preparedness. In the end, assuming Intel is successful, we’ll get the service we  should have always had and be able, with Intel’s help, to give that one-fingered  salute to the industry that has been painfully harvesting our hard-earned cash  for decades. I can hardly wait.

Thank you. TiA.

One comment on “Whoops! How AMD (inadvertently) prepared Intel to crush cable companies

  1. Pingback: Intel Staffing Up Call Center for Internet Cable TV Service | TECH in AMERICA (TiA)

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This entry was posted on June 16, 2013 by in HARD TECHNOLOGY, INNOVATION, Uncategorized.

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