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Net neutrality, or challenges to it, hit the news again last week when a US federal appeals court took the side of Verizon and ruled against parts of the Federal Communications Commission's (FCC's) net neutrality rules.
I thought I'd take the opportunity to detail what net neutrality is, what the arguments for and against are, how it has been flouted in the past and what this latest ruling could mean for the internet and marketers in particular.
Firstly, let's look at last week's ruling. You can read the court transcript here, it makes for good reading on the issue.
QR codes often get slated for being ugly and unpopular with consumers, but they still frequently crop up on ads and billboards so marketers must still see some potential in these little pixelated squares.
Often the problem with QR codes is that they are badly implemented, while it’s all too easy to find examples of codes that are impossible to scan.
However, when marketers take care over the user experience, the technology can be put to good use, with Toyota being a notable example.
Having previously highlighted six examples of QR code campaigns that actually worked I thought it would be worth trawling the internet to see if any new case studies had cropped up.
While it may take a quarter or two to figure out just how well Nokia and AT&T's launch of the Lumia 900 did or didn't go, the device which both companies have bet big on has brought the kind of attention to Windows Phone that Microsoft was certainly hoping for.
That apparently has AT&T's biggest rival, Verizon, taking note.
Today Verizon and Coinstar's Redbox service have announced their joint venture combining streaming content with physical media rentals.
This new venture will launch the second half of 2012. Though you don't have to be on Verizon to use this product, this combined service will be marketed to Verizon's 109 million wireless and 9 million broadband customers as well as Redbox's 30 million rental customers.
That's what makes this partnership so powerful.
Are cable customers ditching their cords, or shaving them? While the debate over what cable customers are doing and planning to do with their cords continues, one thing is clear: cable players are concerned.
So in an effort to prevent cord cutting, they're increasing looking to find ways to embrace the channel cord cutting is blamed on the internet.
Rumors are swirling that tomorrow Verizon will announce the availability of the iPhone to its customers. Currently, AT&T is the only mobile carrier in the US that offers the iPhone.
AT&T's iPhone exclusive has been a financial blessing for AT&T, but for some consumers, it has been less-than-desirable, as AT&T has battled high-profile data outages that have left iPhone customers disconnected.
Long gone are the days when one could criticize Twitter for being a revenue-less startup without a business model. Today, Twitter does have a business model, and several commercial offerings.
One of those commercial offerings: Promoted Trends, which gives brands the ability to insert themselves into Twitter's Trending Topics list.
If there's one thing major mobile carriers don't like to do, it's work together. But that appears to be what they're doing in the mobile payment space. Considering how tight the market is, that's a move credit card companies might not be too happy about. Because while credit card companies may need carriers to get into mobile payments, they may also soon learn those same carriers don't need them.
The iPhone, despite the recent unwanted attention, is still arguably the most desirable smartphone in the world. But in the United States, the mobile carrier the iPhone is exclusive to, AT&T, is far from the most popular carrier.
It has been hampered by complaints about network quality, and while many argue that AT&T simply needs to invest more in its network, others argue that AT&T is the victim of the iPhone.
It seems all anyone's talking about in terms of online policy these days is Facebook's privacy kerfluffle. Which is kind of a big deal, but small potatoes, really, when compared to the really big, burning, important issue of the day: net neutrality.
This critical issue may not be at the forefront of news, opinion columns and debate in the media, but the fact that digital marketers and e-commerce providers are ignoring it is as baffling as it is inexcusable. The major broadband providers: Comcast, Verizon, AT&T and Time Warner want to tax content providers. They want to determine what sites their subscribers can access, and how quickly - giving priority, of course, to their own products and services.
American iPhone users have been quietly biding their time until Apple ends its exclusive contract with AT&T, hoping for better service, cheaper phones and lower monthly bills. But if the iPhone situation across the pond serves any example, those things aren't likely to happen any time soon.
Starting January 14, Vodafone is set to start selling iPhones in the U.K. But the company's cheapest deal will end up being more expensive over the lifetime of the device than anything currently offered to iPhone users. That's bad news for consumers who expected a little competition would make the iPhone more accessible to users.