Need Some Money to Grow Your Business? Comcast Can Help

comcast inInnovative Indiana start-ups and entrepreneurs are encouraged to check out the third annual Innovations 4 Entrepreneurs competition sponsored by Comcast Business.

Current and aspiring business owners can enter the competition for a chance to win up to $30,000 and participate in a day of mentoring with teams of business experts that will provide advice on how to implement their plan.

Based on a 250-word essay submission, applicants will answer the question: How could your business use technology to help enhance your business?

Rusty Dewitt, Indiana’s director of business services, says, “I get to work with our small business customers, and see the impact they have on the Hoosier economy. Hoosiers are innovators, hard workers, and incredibly industrious. That’s exactly what is taken into account when we decide which entrepreneurs get this award.”

Entries will be judged and two winners will be selected in each of the 15 Comcast Business regions: one winner for start-up companies (in business two years or less) and one winner for entrepreneurs (in business for more than two years). The 30 regional winners will each earn $10,000 in cash.

From the regional winners, six grand prize winners will be selected – three start-ups and three entrepreneurs – who will earn an additional $20,000 in cash, plus a trip to Philadelphia to spend a day attending group sessions with industry experts.

Visit Comcast Business Community for full program details. Entries are due by March 12.

Mark Cuban vs. Sen. Franken on Internet Bandwidth

IU grad and Dallas Mavericks owner/billionaire Mark Cuban recently took Sen. Al Franken (Minnesota) to task on his blog regarding Franken’s contention that if a pending $30 billion deal between NBC and Comcast goes through, then they must agree to post their TV shows online so everyone has access — and Franken seems to be pushing for caps on user bandwidth.

Some of this seems a little "inside baseball" (man, I loathe that phrase… how ’bout "inside ice dancing" in honor of the Winter Olympics?), but I’m sure our savvy readers will glean more from it than I. Anyway, it’s a relevant and interesting topic, and in his usual calm, sober way, Cuban drops the hammer on the former NBC employee. An excerpt:

According to the LA Times, “In written questions to Comcast and NBC Universal regarding their $30-billion proposed marriage, Sen. Franken — who has been one of the harshest critics of the deal — wants Comcast and NBC Universal to promise that it will put all its television shows online. He also wants assurances that shows that the companies put online be made available to every one and not just people who get their Internet service through Comcast.”

Also in the Times article: “As Franken notes in his questions to the two companies, “The Internet is the future of the media business.”"

Lets start with the first request that all NBC Universal/Comcast shows should be delivered over the internet.  Someone needs to explain to Sen. Franken that TV shows delivered over the internet consume bandwidth. A lot of bandwidth.  There are  reasons why Youtube limits the size of files that users can upload to it. The first is that video is the ultimate bandwidth pig.  The 2nd  reason is that bandwidth is not unlimited or elastic.  The more bandwidth that is consumed, the more bandwidth that must be added to maintain existing levels of service. That costs a lot of money.   Think that might push up internet rates to consumers ?

I get that no one really cares if Comcast has to spend money on capital improvements to add bandwidth to the home.  They should. Its pretty damn stupid to push consumption in a direction that will raise internet rates  to receive the same content for which there is already a phenomenal digital network in place to deliver that content.

Think about it for a minute Senator Franken. Comcast, and every large TV Provider has a digital network in place that can and does deliver gigabits of tv content perfectly,  every second of every day, to any TV set in any  home that is connected to their network. It works. Well.  What you are asking Sen Franken, is that Comcast duplicate the delivery of theirs and NBCUniversals shows on a network, the internet,  that is not, and has never been designed to handle the delivery of huge volumes of video and tv shows.

What you are forcing them to do is not only going to impact Comcast, its going to push ANY internet provider  on which NBCUniversal/Comcast owned shows are delivered to deal with the increased bandwidth needs your request requires. Increased bandwidth needs to the home means more money spent on infrastructure needed to support that delivery, which in turn is going to mean  HIGHER INTERNET RATES and/or caps on internet bandwidth consumption for consumers .   Did you even think through what would happen if NBCUniversal/Comcast was required to simulcast  the Olympics over the internet ?

What do you think? Who’s right here?

Should Government be in Charge of Cleaning Internet Pipes?

Is your Internet running slowly due to all the video content and advanced applications straining your provider? Does it have you angrier than a surly fishgator? Well calm down, fella. The government might be here to help.

But is that a good thing? The Small Business & Entrepreneurship Council says they’d rather let the private sector handle this one.

Robert McDowell:

"If we choose regulation over collaboration, we will be setting a precedent by thrusting politicians and bureaucrats into engineering decisions. Another concern is that as an institution, the FCC is incapable of deciding any issue in the nanoseconds that make up Internet time. And asking government to make these decisions could mean that every few years the ground rules would change based on election results. The Internet might grind to a halt in such a climate. It would certainly die of clogged arteries if network owners had to seek government permission before serving their customers by managing surges of information flow."