Breaking the Cable Monopoly & Facebook Buys Drones!

Facebook is doing a deal to buy high-altitude drone manufacturer Titan Aerospace according to a source for CNBC. Drone Restrictions

At first blush, it’s a plan to bring Internet connectivity to the unconnected portions of the third world, but that’s not where the revenue is. The revenue will come by overbuilding and overflying first world nations where local franchise agreements and high barriers to re-cabling insure you have one, and only one, high-capacity broadband wire coming into your house.

This could be the death of cable. At least at the current price point.

At first blush, this might seem like science fiction, but I’m telling you – this IS the way the new media are going to eat the old media’s lunch – an idea at which I gestured in the last couple of paragraphs this recent blog about the Comcast/Time Warner deal.

Issues surrounding net neutrality, proposed legislation that might undo the entire media framework as we understand it now, and this deal are gesturing at the future. It is all darned complicated, and it’s hard to see how it is going to shake out, but at the end of the day it’s about who gets paid, how they get paid, and how they can access the rate-paying public with new technology and service pathways that is going to make the last decade of media dealing seem tame in comparison IMHO.

For consumers, a wireless, high-speed connection to the Internet that is not tied to the cable company’s coax cable feeding into your house is great news. It makes true “over the top” programming and do-it-yourself content aggregation possible, and it is going to crush revenue models – which is NOT good for content creators who might end up taking a double hit if the compensation rules and other protectionist frameworks are legislated out of existence.

If Facebook can become a high-altitude ISP, run the major content platforms on the Internet – and cut its own deals for content – it’s going to be a game changer. The advent of high-flying, solar powered drones delivering high-bandwidth connectivity to the entire world is an obvious idea – another “wire” had to be built – and there’s no way it was going to cost out to bury cable or fiber – just ask AT&T and Verizon.

This is real. This is big. This is cool.