Cable companies have managed to stay afloat amid the cord-cutting crisis thanks to their booming broadband businesses. But some analysts see that safety net beginning to fade. Jonathan Chaplin, managing partner at New Street Research, said that the firm has lowered its broadband subscriber estimates for the second time in 2022 for both Charter and Comcast. "We have limited conviction in a quick recovery, given limited visibility all around," he said regarding Charter. "We are hoping for a turnaround later in the quarter but have low conviction," he added about Comcast.
Congress hasn't budged on President Biden's pick for a key tie-breaking Federal Communications Commission seat as the clock ticks down on the chance for a vote.
The global climate for journalists has become more perilous as autocrats weaponize the media to consolidate power. Those efforts are increasingly being carried out through surveillance and digital attacks.
Elon Musk doesn't seem to have much of a vision for how to actually run Twitter, if his takeover bid succeeds. He's not alone. A small group of tech moguls believe America is in the midst of what they call a "free speech" crisis, and they're investing time and money to change the terms of public discourse. But so far, they've made more headlines than progress.
New, independent digital outlets and nonprofits have begun to fill some of the gap left by fading local newspapers. Limited resources and the pandemic have driven many toward providing community news, information and services rather than traditional accountability journalism. There are now more than 700 independent local news startups in the US and Canada, according to Local Independent Online News Publishers (LION), a trade organization. LION now has over 400 paying members, up from 177 at the start of the pandemic according to executive director Chris Krewson.
Newspapers all over the country have been quietly filing antitrust lawsuits against Google and Facebook for the past year, alleging the two firms monopolized the digital ad market for revenue that would otherwise go to local news. What started as a small-town effort to take a stand against Big Tech has turned into a national movement, with over 200 newspapers involved across dozens of states.
Overseas telecom providers, increasingly frustrated with American tech firms whose apps are gobbling up bandwidth, are pushing them to pay more for it. Any effort to reslice the "cost of internet bandwidth" pie could shake up the entire industry, make new winners and losers, and put new pressure on US tech giants.
Conservatives are aggressively building their own apps, phones, cryptocurrencies and publishing houses in an attempt to circumvent what they see as an increasingly liberal internet and media ecosystem. Many of these efforts couldn't exist without the backing of major corporate figures and billionaires who are eager to push back against things like "censorship" and "cancel culture." It's still not clear whether demand will match supply.
In an unexpected twist, two conservative news networks — Newsmax and One America News Network— have come out in support of President Biden's progressive Federal Communications Commission nominee Gigi Sohn [Senior Fellow and Public Advocate at the Benton Institute for Broadband & Society], despite a broad conservative consensus against her. If Sohn is confirmed, her appointment would give Democrats the majority they need to rewrite regulations for the communications sector.