Digital Daily Dozen 2/16/16

Why Do Consumers Increasingly Want to Be Less Connected, Not More? (Ad Week)  

With New York and other cities embracing the concept of the “smart city,” making free Wi-Fi available anytime, anywhere, many consumers are looking to get less connected to their fellow urban dwellers, not more. Horizon Media’s Kirk Olson and Sheri Roder have been tracking this trend for some time.   

What It Means for Consumers and Brands That New York Is Becoming a ‘Smart City’ (Ad Week) 

New York is one of a couple of dozen cities around the world edging ever closer to becoming what is known as a “smart city,” an urban location tightly connected with advanced forms of technology involving not only mobile devices and ads but sophisticated forms of healthcare, energy, transportation, property management, etc.  

Liberty Global commits to ‘quad-play’ services in Europe (FT)    

Liberty Global will commit to offering bundled TV, broadband, telephone and mobile across Europe in its race against other leading telecoms providers to market “quad-play” services. Mike Fries, chief executive of the US cable group, said that Europe was evolving into a quad-play market.    

Why companies are becoming more likely to pay when struck by ransomware (Network World)   

A quarter of companies have made their mind up when it comes to a ransomware attack. They’re paying the ransom, according to a new study. Twenty-four percent of companies say they would pay. And not only would they cough-up the money, but 14% of the polled would pay $1 million or more to prevent the attack.    

Internet, Edge Providers Unite Against FCC Privacy Regulation (Inside Sources) 

A coalition of Washington’s most influential Internet service and content provider interest groups are joining forces to push back against new, potentially stronger data privacy regulations from the FCC. Groups sent a letter to FCC Chair Tom Wheeler urging the commission to follow the FTC’s footsteps. 

FCC Proposes Voluntary Set-Top Privacy Quid Pro Quo (Broadcasting & Cable)

FCC chair Tom Wheeler is proposing to require third parties to agree to voluntarily adhere to existing privacy regulations to get access to set-top data. Wheeler talked up his set-top box proposal, sounding as though the FCC might be trying to apply consumer protection regulations to technology companies and app developers.    

After Nearly Going Pop, Google’s Project Loon Heads Into Carrier Testing This Year (Recode) 

Google’s “moonshot” to deliver Internet to remote parts of the world using high-flying balloons has survived a brutal development phase, and will enter testing with carriers in Indonesia and elsewhere this year. But Project Loon almost didn’t make it.   

Zenefits and Regulation (Stratechery) 

Uber, Lyft and Airbnb break the law frequently, but they are generally able to steamroll regulators. Zenefits, however, ran afoul of authorities. Ben Thompson argues out loud what Silicon Valley mostly keeps to itself: Startups should break the law when it works for their business model. Don’t do it when it will get you in trouble.    

No Retrans ‘Crisis,’ Say NAB, CBS (TV News Check) 

CBS executives, led by CEO Leslie Moonves, met with FCC Chair Tom Wheeler earlier this month and urged the commission to terminate its review of its retransmission consent procedures, or at the least, to take no action while the review is open.  

Subscription Services Grab Lion’s Share Of Online Viewing (Media Post) 

Subscription streaming services such as Netflix, Hulu and Amazon take up nearly two-thirds of all online viewing, according to a new report. Streaming services have a 65% share of all online video viewing — with video sharing sites like YouTube and Vine at a “surprisingly low” share of 19% of total viewing.   


The divide is deep in our Twin Cities. Only 57 percent of residents of the Phillips neighborhood have computers with Internet access, as do 65 percent of residents on the Near North Side, compared with 82 percent of households citywide. That’s why an 11th-hour save by Internet provider Comcast deserves our thanks.   


CenturyLink — home to just over 6 million broadband providers — said that it’s looking into using data caps. “Our competition is using metered plans today,” said Stewart Ewing, CenturyLink’s CFO. “And we think it’s an area we have to explore and consider.” Ewing added that CenturyLink intends to start trials, likely later in 2016.    


CALIFORNIA PUC POLL  (LA Times- Commentary)  

The deregulation lobby operates on faith — the faith that government regulation is unnecessary because the magic of competition is all that’s needed to keep consumer prices under control. But is it so? California has been running a sort of laboratory test of this theory since 2006, when the state PUC deregulated landline phone prices.