Two far-reaching and inter-locking decisions are pending in Washington: Approval of the proposed Comcast/Time Warner cable/broadband merger, and a decision on whether or not to maintain the policy of net neutrality. With the stark exception of Netflix whose CEO, Reed Hastings, who has spoken out against the merger, traditional media companies like Disney, Viacom, HBO and Univision and video streaming services like Amazon, Netflix, YouTube, and Hulu have remained disconcertingly silent, apparently intimidated by Comcast’s bullying tactics. As for net neutrality, it is looking increasingly likely that despite attempts by the FCC to soothe consumer concerns, internet broadband will be separated into fast and slow lanes based on differentiated pricing of what has hitherto been a public utility. Where will these controversial issues end up? Will businesses of all sizes as well as consumers have equal access to internet broadband? Or will cable and broadband become the sandbox of one dominant corporation?
Philip Lay spent two decades as an account executive, general manager and entrepreneur, before becoming a strategy advisor and managing director with The Chasm Group in 1995.
Today Philip is visiting professor at IESE business school in Barcelona and serves on a public-company board alongside his advisory activities with boards, CEOs and management teams.
Major clients include Autodesk, Compuware, HP, NetApp, Rackspace, SAP, and Salesforce.com.