"The issue of open access has become contentious because cable companies offer one of the fastest connections to the Internet. Consumer groups and ISPs have urged regulators to force cable companies to give consumers choice so prices will remain low. Cable companies have said the market should shape any decisions."
And cable companies are cashing in on it big time. Cox offers. Time Warner has Road Runner. But wait, don't I remember hearing something about a Time Warner/America Online merger?
"AOL Time Warner will have three primary revenue drivers: subscriptions, advertising and commerce, and content. He said AOL and Time Warner will act as catalysts on each other’s businesses, creating new growth opportunities by taking advantage of cross-promotion, brand value and scale."
One cannot mention convergence without mentioning Ted Turner. For all intensive purposes he is the "Convergence God".
" In 1970 he bought a failing UHF (ultrahigh frequency) television station in Atlanta, Georgia, and by 1975 Turner had transformed it into the first “superstation,” WTBS... Turner bought the Atlanta Braves baseball team in 1976 and the Atlanta Hawks basketball team the following year... In 1980 Turner launched Cable News Network (CNN), the first 24-hour television news station... In 1985 Turner purchased MGM/UA Entertainment Company, which owned the Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM) and United Artists (UA) film studios. Within months Turner sold most of the company, but he retained MGM's massive library of films...In 1988 he launched Turner Network Television (TNT)... In 1993 Turner bought the motion-picture studios New Line Cinema and Castle Rock Entertainment... In 1996 entertainment giant Time Warner acquired Turner Broadcasting System (TBS), the parent company for all of Turner's businesses, in a deal valued at $7.6 billion. The acquisition made Time Warner the world's largest media and entertainment company. Turner became vice chairman of Time Warner's board of directors and head of the division containing TBS businesses."
Earth-Link?? Wait, let me get this straight. AOL Time Warner. AOL owns Netscape, Time Warner has a partnership with Earth-Link. Earth-Link has a partnership with Sprint. This is more confusing than a following the family trees on General Hospital!
But what about MSNBC? That's right we already know goverment contract holding General Electric owns NBC so what is this? A joint venture to create a 24-hour cable news network to compete with CNN.
"To ensure its place among news services, MSNBC struck a deal with Cox Communications (one of the country's largest cable operators with 3.3 million subcribers) to make the new network available. NBC, in addition to presenting Cox with a $6.4 million launch fee, has also granted the company exclusive rights to MSNBC through the year 2001..."