Cable executive: 1Gbps broadband is only useful for piracy

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Comcast CEO Brian Roberts last week showed off his company's latest and greatest tech, which can download all 23 episodes of "30 Rock" Season 5 – close to nine hours of content – in 1 minute and 39 seconds. He then showed the speedtest.net result measuring the throughput, which indicated the connection was running at 1084.71Mbps.

It seems that at least one cable executive did not see the point. This individual is part of a group that still hasn't accepted the fact that the only way to fight piracy is to embrace the Internet. Here's the relevant excerpt from Multichannel:

Some take a cynical view of what high-bandwidth services will be used for. One very senior cable-tech exec, discussing the Comcast 1-Gbps demo, said bluntly, "I just don't see any other application for that other than piracy." (I'm not identifying him because the conversation was not a formal interview, and he wasn't expecting to be quoted.)

While some cable companies understand that their customers will eventually want to consume all their content directly from the Internet, the above statement shows that some still don't get it. If cable companies could provide the same content that pirates can get, in the same amount of time, there would be no reason for piracy.

Paying to get TV through cable and Internet through cable is becoming more and more redundant. The Internet encompasses what cable TV already provides. There are only two reasons why everyone doesn't simply pirate everything off the Internet: legality and accessibility. The cable industry has the power to satisfy both of those requirements. The industry should work together to make it happen, otherwise it will slowly be eroded.

Imagine paying one price for your broadband connection and the ability to use the Internet to legally watch whatever content you choose. If cable companies could pull this off, Netflix wouldn't have a market to work with.

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