What is corporate doublethink?
Corporate doublethink is the ability of corporations to hold two competing markets and business plans at the same time in public view. The most obvious instance of this is the existence of cable companies that also provide internet services. Cable companies like Comcast have been able to hold two separate, competing views in the public’s eye while in private working towards only one. They have the ability to provide cable subscription services while also providing internet services. For years, these services have coexisted with few overlapping interests. Today, though, with the rise of Netflix, Hulu Plus, Amazon Prime, and countless streaming websites, Comcast and other cable companies are finding themselves promoting opposite interests. More and more people today in younger generations are forsaking the costs of cable TV for the costs of internet. With less advertisements and more control over what to watch, younger adults are turning away from traditional cable packages. As sporting events are streamed online, the cable companies are finding that their internet services are cutting into the bottom line of their cable services.
How does this affect my internet?
Well, the cable companies have chosen Television. With data capping, a refusal to update infrastructure, and attempts to charge both ends of the internet (users and websites) for data, Comcast and are cable companies are fighting tooth and nail against change.
Can’t I just go elsewhere?
Luckily, this stagnation on the part of cable companies has pushed for innovation by other companies. Competition by Google fiber and AT&T Fios are pushing data speeds faster than ever before. Unfortunately, the expansion is slow and rife with roadblocks from politicians and the companies themselves. Because most companies own the existing cable infrastructure, new internet companies must have the capital and incentive to take on building new networks.
Why hasn’t the government stepped in yet?
While the amount of lobbying and ignorance in the government should answer this, you may be surprised to learn that the government did try to improve internet across the country by giving $2 billion dollars to cable and internet companies. Unfortunately, the money was never used for infrastructure and no audit has been done to actually determine what happened to it. Tax dollars at work!
In the end, folks, the internet is the “New World” of the 21st century. The capabilities of what can be done on it are still being explored. Business, exchanges, communications, entertainment, and the myriad of other uses for the internet must be improved for a 21st century economy. Here is one simple fact that I’ll leave you with. In 2013, you could get 500 megabytes per second for over $300 per month through Verizon. In Hong Kong, you can get 500 mbps for around $25 per month.