Noam at FCC: OTT Will Be Regulated

WASHINGTON — Companies such as Apple and Amazon should expect their cloud-based video distribution systems to be regulated in the same manner that traditional video networks are now, Columbia University Institute for Tele-Information director Eli M. Noam suggested.

His comments came in the first of two Federal Communications Commission workshops on access to video distribution platforms held Monday (March 21).

Noam, a professor of finance and economics at Columbia Business School, said that for the purposes of market power, the power of the cloud, interoperability and interconnection will be serious issues.

Regulation will not likely be on the content or application level, but instead at the structural and network level, he said.

Telecom regulation won’t shrink or wither away as media moves to the Internet, Noam said. Rather, “it’s actually going to be more important because so many things will be moving over the Internet and the Internet, in turn, will be governed by some of those traditional regulatory principles” that now govern regulation of traditional broadband networks, Noam said.

Companies like Apple and Amazon will be the new dominant players in video, and that it will be a concentrated market, Noam said. People who think OTT will be a space where everbody can play “will be sorely disappointed,” he added.

John Eggerton

Contributing editor John Eggerton has been an editor and/or writer on media regulation, legislation and policy for over four decades, including covering the FCC, FTC, Congress, the major media trade associations, and the federal courts. In addition to Multichannel News and Broadcasting + Cable, his work has appeared in Radio World, TV Technology, TV Fax, This Week in Consumer Electronics, Variety and the Encyclopedia Britannica.