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ESPN interested in subsidizing mobile data plans to ensure users can stream video

post #1 of 24
Thread Starter 
With iPhone owners restricted by capped data plans on the largest U.S. carriers, cable sports network ESPN has expressed interest in potentially subsidizing those data plans to allow users to stream video without worrying about overage fees.

WatchESPN


ESPN has allegedly had discussions with at least one major U.S. carrier about the plan, according to The Wall Street Journal. The two largest carriers in America, Verizon and AT&T, both carry the iPhone and both restrict new customers with capped data plans.

The concept proposed by ESPN could guarantee that content streamed from the network would not result in data plan overage charges. The network has reportedly expressed interest in either paying carriers outright, or giving them a share of advertising revenue.

But the alleged deal isn't imminent, the report said, as questions remain about the economics, and the fact that any agreements could run afoul of government regulators.

Carriers such as Verizon and AT&T are said to be interested in content deals as a way of increasing revenue without raising fees for subscribers.

ESPN has aggressively pursued mobile streaming capabilities as smartphones and tablets have gained in popularity. The network's WatchESPN application allows users with participating cable subscribers to stream live sporting events from the ESPN family of networks.

WatchESPN


Content available on WatchESPN includes the NBA regular season and playoffs, major golf tournaments like The Masters and U.S. Open, college football and basketball, and thousands of other live events. The service also streams original ESPN shows like SportsCenter, Pardon the Interruption, and Mike and Mike in the Morning.

But smartphone users might be reluctant to use live streaming video services like WatchESPN on the go because of restrictive mobile data plan caps in place via wireless carriers. Both Verizon and AT&T charge customers a $15 fee for each gigabyte consumed in excess of their data plan cap.

Watching low-quality video for one hour uses about 200 megabytes of data, according to data compiled by GigaOm. For an hour of high-definition video, a user might expect to see 400 megabytes of usage on their mobile data plan.
post #2 of 24

What a horrible future…

post #3 of 24
I can imagine the cell carriers asking themselves this question:

"... how on earth can history get past people like me?"

- Captain James T. Kirk (William Shatner, "Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country," 1991)

Sent from my iPhone Simulator

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Sent from my iPhone Simulator

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post #4 of 24
The problem is AT&T and Verizon.

T-Mobile and Sprint don't charge overage for going over your limit - you get stepped down to 2G speeds (which might also pose a problem for ESPN frequent users, I suppose but isn't nearly as bad as being charged overage, IMHO).

That, combined with TMO's awesome family plans, is why I ditched VZ and ATT for our family (5 phones between 2 carriers).

Telecom giants can go screw themselves.
post #5 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

What a horrible future…

Why should the carriers brunt the burden of streaming what has been an explosion of data that grows exponentially every year?
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post #6 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by dasanman69 View Post

Why should the carriers brunt the burden of streaming what has been an explosion of data that grows exponentially every year?

Because that is what their business IS?

It baffles me why these carriers think data caps are a long term solution to prevent capital expenditures. Look at how many ISP's do not yet have IPv6. The ISP that I run my clients web hosts from have ipv6 enabled, but only one actually enables it to their customers.

All data caps do is hurt their business, because it tells companies like Google that they're better off building their own ISP's to put themselves (AT&T/Verizon) out of business. Eventually.
post #7 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by Misa View Post

Because that is what their business IS?

It baffles me why these carriers think data caps are a long term solution to prevent capital expenditures. Look at how many ISP's do not yet have IPv6. The ISP that I run my clients web hosts from have ipv6 enabled, but only one actually enables it to their customers.

All data caps do is hurt their business, because it tells companies like Google that they're better off building their own ISP's to put themselves (AT&T/Verizon) out of business. Eventually.

It's not a long term solution to capital expenditures. It's a long term solution to provide service to ALL their customers. Bandwidth isn't a limitless commodity and by limiting it's use ensures that there's enough to go around. Google doesn't have enough money to build it's own ISP coast to coast.
"Few things are harder to put up with than the annoyance of a good example" Mark Twain
"Just because something is deemed the law doesn't make it just" - SolipsismX
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"Few things are harder to put up with than the annoyance of a good example" Mark Twain
"Just because something is deemed the law doesn't make it just" - SolipsismX
Reply
post #8 of 24
Originally Posted by dasanman69 View Post
Why should the carriers brunt the burden of streaming what has been an explosion of data that grows exponentially every year?

 

BECAUSE THAT'S WHY WE'RE PAYING THEM IN THE FIRST PLACE.

 

My frigging stars. 


Either build out your effing network or go bankrupt. That's how it should be. Meet our demand or get the frick out of our way.

post #9 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

BECAUSE THAT'S WHY WE'RE PAYING THEM IN THE FIRST PLACE.

My frigging stars. 


Either build out your effing network or go bankrupt. That's how it should be. Meet our demand or get the frick out of our way.

Doesn't matter even if they build it out, there will always be limited bandwidth.
"Few things are harder to put up with than the annoyance of a good example" Mark Twain
"Just because something is deemed the law doesn't make it just" - SolipsismX
Reply
"Few things are harder to put up with than the annoyance of a good example" Mark Twain
"Just because something is deemed the law doesn't make it just" - SolipsismX
Reply
post #10 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by dasanman69 View Post

It's not a long term solution to capital expenditures. It's a long term solution to provide service to ALL their customers. Bandwidth isn't a limitless commodity and by limiting it's use ensures that there's enough to go around. Google doesn't have enough money to build it's own ISP coast to coast.

It also encourages content owners to connect their CDNs directly to multiple Tier1 providers in multiple regions and geos. I welcome this step and see it as a logical one toward a la carte Television subscription for mobile and home.
post #11 of 24
Originally Posted by dasanman69 View Post
Doesn't matter even if they build it out, there will always be limited bandwidth.

 

So this somehow magically excuses them from ever building out more?!

So this somehow magically excuses them from illegally capping, throttling, and blocking to pad their pockets and rest their laurels?!

post #12 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

So this somehow magically excuses them from ever building out more?!

So this somehow magically excuses them from illegally capping, throttling, and blocking to pad their pockets and rest their laurels?!

It's possible to be no more to build out. It's not endless. They have limited spectrum bands that will hold a limited amount of users.
"Few things are harder to put up with than the annoyance of a good example" Mark Twain
"Just because something is deemed the law doesn't make it just" - SolipsismX
Reply
"Few things are harder to put up with than the annoyance of a good example" Mark Twain
"Just because something is deemed the law doesn't make it just" - SolipsismX
Reply
post #13 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

 

So this somehow magically excuses them from ever building out more?!

So this somehow magically excuses them from illegally capping, throttling, and blocking to pad their pockets and rest their laurels?!


They are building out more. AT&T has announced it is investing billions on their networks. Verizon has spent billions in their fiber deployment so far. It just isn't happening as fast and as inexpensive as we would like.

post #14 of 24
Originally Posted by dasanman69 View Post
It's possible to be no more to build out. It's not endless. They have limited spectrum bands that will hold a limited amount of users.

 

Let me get this straight… There are no more bands. None. All of the kilo, mega, giga, tera, peta, exa, zeta, and yottahertz bands… are taken. None could be freed up.

post #15 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

Let me get this straight… There are no more bands. None. All of the kilo, mega, giga, tera, peta, exa, zeta, and yottahertz bands… are taken. None could be freed up.

Light has the highest amount of bandwidth, which is used in fiber optics and even that has it's limitations. Plus I think those higher frequency bands are dangerous to us.
Edited by dasanman69 - 5/10/13 at 5:47pm
"Few things are harder to put up with than the annoyance of a good example" Mark Twain
"Just because something is deemed the law doesn't make it just" - SolipsismX
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"Few things are harder to put up with than the annoyance of a good example" Mark Twain
"Just because something is deemed the law doesn't make it just" - SolipsismX
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post #16 of 24
Originally Posted by dasanman69 View Post
Light has the highest amount of bandwidth, which is used in fiber optics and even that has it's limitations.

 

Oh, we're talking landlines now? Simple:

RUN. MORE. CABLE.

post #17 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by dasanman69 View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

Let me get this straight… There are no more bands. None. All of the kilo, mega, giga, tera, peta, exa, zeta, and yottahertz bands… are taken. None could be freed up.

Light has the highest amount of bandwidth, which is used in fiber optics and even that has it's limitations. Plus I think those higher frequency bands are dangerous to us.

 

It's a bit misleading to think about it like that.  Light signals in optical fibers are not modulated like radio transmissions - they are just gated - and the data rate limitations are due to the frequency response of the electro-optical components (transmitters and receivers), not the inherent bandwidth of the light itself. 

post #18 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

Oh, we're talking landlines now? Simple:

RUN. MORE. CABLE.

You've missed your calling. Give up your primary job of mod'ing and go do it better, cheaper, faster, smarter than Verizon, Sprint, and AT&T. Call it Bionic or something equally as modern. As you a say, it's simple for you.

Oh wait - reality engines aren't fueled by hyperbolic ALL CAPS FORUMS POSTS.
post #19 of 24
Originally Posted by ChristophB View Post
You've missed your calling. Give up your primary job of mod'ing and go do it better, cheaper, faster, smarter than Verizon, Sprint, and AT&T. Call it Bionic or something equally as modern. As you a say, it's simple for you.

Oh wait - reality engines aren't fueled by hyperbolic ALL CAPS FORUMS POSTS.

 

So let me get this straight. You're saying that if you run a 100 GB/s fiber cable between two cities, it's physically impossible to just… do it again to give double the bandwidth? 

post #20 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

So let me get this straight. You're saying that if you run a 100 GB/s fiber cable between two cities, it's physically impossible to just… do it again to give double the bandwidth? 

You ever see those super wide highways meant to relief traffic congestion? They're usually packed with cars. The obvious answer doesn't always work. That's why some states have traffic lights at on ramps and control the flow of cars getting on the highway, the delay isn't more than a 10-15 seconds but it makes a world of difference. Limiting usage is a better idea than trying to meet demand because just when you've caught up it gets bigger.
Edited by dasanman69 - 5/11/13 at 12:55pm
"Few things are harder to put up with than the annoyance of a good example" Mark Twain
"Just because something is deemed the law doesn't make it just" - SolipsismX
Reply
"Few things are harder to put up with than the annoyance of a good example" Mark Twain
"Just because something is deemed the law doesn't make it just" - SolipsismX
Reply
post #21 of 24
Originally Posted by dasanman69 View Post
Limiting usage is a better idea than trying to meet demand…

 

What a horrible business model. 


…because just when you've caught up it gets bigger.

 

So then… now don't freak out… YOU JUST KEEP BUILDING IT OUT.

post #22 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

What a horrible business model. 

So then… now don't freak out… YOU JUST KEEP BUILDING IT OUT.

I'm gonna start calling you Wile E. Coyote, Super Genius
"Few things are harder to put up with than the annoyance of a good example" Mark Twain
"Just because something is deemed the law doesn't make it just" - SolipsismX
Reply
"Few things are harder to put up with than the annoyance of a good example" Mark Twain
"Just because something is deemed the law doesn't make it just" - SolipsismX
Reply
post #23 of 24
Originally Posted by dasanman69 View Post
I'm gonna start calling you Wile E. Coyote, Super Genius

 

What happens if your customers want something?

You make it. 


What if you run out and they still want some?

You make more.

 

 

Doesn't sound like it'll fail.

post #24 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

What happens if your customers want something?


You make it. 


What if you run out and they still want some?


You make more.



Doesn't sound like it'll fail.

One order of exploding carrots coming right up.
"Few things are harder to put up with than the annoyance of a good example" Mark Twain
"Just because something is deemed the law doesn't make it just" - SolipsismX
Reply
"Few things are harder to put up with than the annoyance of a good example" Mark Twain
"Just because something is deemed the law doesn't make it just" - SolipsismX
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