Cloud computing: Federal attention not necessarily a good thing

Right now, this doesn't directly impact the cable industry. Tomorrow it could, so it's a situation that bears watching. Cloud computing, which has been picking up steam within the enterprise space and even within some cable back-end operations, is starting to attract the attention of the federal government. According to InformationWeek's David Linthicum, that's not necessarily a good thing.

"I just can't help but think that governments will treat cloud computing providers like they do other regulated utilities, such as power, cable TV and water," he wrote. "No matter where you fall on the issue of government regulation, you have to admit that industries that are regulated behave very differently from industries that are not."

Cloud computing is just now starting to creep into the cable industry as companies like ActiveVideo promote its use for interactive applications and cable operators look to the cloud as a storage/retrieval point for masses of information that cannot logically be stored in the network and especially in a cable box. Much of the industry's cloud computing goals, in fact, are linked to its connection with the Internet and, as Linthicum points out, that, too, is under regulatory fire.

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