Value Chain Alignment with QoS and SLA Propositions

I see a very clear relationship between QoS guarantee / service level agreement and the confidence that network operators have in offering premium services. Ultimately content delivery without SLA makes a premium proposition difficult.

I also see that the closer to the subscriber edge that the rights deals can be made, and the content directly acquired to the remaining QoS-enabled network segments, the higher is the premium. Cable TV and IPTV services in these models are higher quality and therefore command higher premiums than OTT services with lower SLA structures. As end-to-end SLAs do become introduced more comprehensively, even for OTT services, more globally centralized premium rights models will become possible.

The regulation focused on advertised speeds by ISPs through the late 1990s and most of the first decade of this millennium ensured that 512Mbps was at least generally possible on a 512k line. I can see a similar situation arising in the policy and regulatory space where content publishers that offer a commercial service will increasingly be pressured to guarantee a minimum service level or return some of the service fees. While I believe that some OTT operators do try to offer this type of SLA, presently I am unaware of any regulation enforcing this. So I do expect, where there is commercial success, to swiftly see regulators take an interest in interfering.

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