When Netflix agreed to pay Comcast to stream its movies to the Internet service provider's customers without infuriating delays, it essentially yielded to monopolistic extortion. Comcast, which has just agreed to acquire Time Warner Cable, will soon be the biggest ISP in the U.S., and stuttering video transmission to its clients is not an option for Netflix. The outcome, however, is good for consumers: They will not be charged for what they are not buying.
Vodafone Group Plc is in talks about increasing its stake in Greek broadband provider Hellas Online SA as it expands Web and video services across Europe, people familiar with the company’s plans said.
Anyone who has survived a marathon phone session with an Internet service provider knows the frustration, not to mention the elevated stress level, associated with today’s automated world. In many cases, customer service has been supplanted by do-it-yourself phone menus and websites. In some cases, do-it-yourself beats doing it with a real person.