Once a self-contained online environment, AOL is trying to increase its ad revenues by pushing content away from a subscriber-only model and popularizing its Web presence. AOL's November reorganization split the company into a content unit and a unit charged with shoring up the company's flagging ISP subscriber base.
Cable operators are preparing to roll out a new generation of video, phone and Internet services in the upcoming year. Among the most-anticipated developments of 2005 will be the unveiling of MSOs' DVR services.
Gary Winnick, former chairman of the fiber optic company Global Crossing that became synonymous with the overheated technology market of the late 1990s, will not be fined by the SEC and will not be exposed to civil charges for allegedly engaging in insider trading and artificially augmenting revenues through sham transactions. Although SEC staff recommended Winnick be fined $1 million, they were overruled by a 3-2 vote of the commissioners in which Republican appointees sided with Winnick and Democrats sided with the staff investigators.
Consumers have been slow to take up using the multimedia functions on their handsets, even though more mobile phone makers are offering such functions, according to a report by Continental Research. A major reason for the slow adoption is a lack of education about what the phones have to offer, Continental says.
SBC Communications is moving aggressively into the video arena to compete head-on with other providers. CEO Edward Whitacre Jr. says the company's goal is to offer a bundled package that includes wired and wireless phone service, high-speed Internet and video for a grand total of $100 a month.