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Michael S. Willner spent his entire career in the cable television industry. He co-founded Insight Communications in 1985 and served as its CEO, a director and vice chairman of the board until the company was sold to Time Warner Cable in February, 2012.

As a young boy in Miami, Florida, Michael had a fascination with the television business at a very early age. He often rode his bicycle to the local NBC affiliate after school where the staff allowed him to help out in the studio while they produced and aired a live children's puppet show and the local news. Michael began his career in 1974 as the program director and news reporter for a small suburban New York cable system after graduating from the Boston University College of Communications. Soon after, he shifted his focus to general management and eventually became the chief operating officer of Vision Cable Communications, a cable company owned by a division of Newhouse Newspapers.

After starting Insight Communications, Michael quickly developed his hands-on style of management as CEO. He is a firm believer in open, honest communication. He personally ensured that employees and customers were always well-informed and had input and influence over important Company decisions. This commitment led to a secondary career - that of a leading man in a number of Insight television commercials in which he comfortably played himself with a great sense of self-deprecating humor.

Michael also became very active in industry affairs and has been one of cable's most active and effective ambassadors on Capitol Hill, testifying regularly before Congress on industry issues and pending legislation. He has served two consecutive terms as chairman of the National Cable & Telecommunications Association (NCTA), the cable industry's trade lobby and currently served on its executive committee for many years. Michael also served as chairman of the board of the Cable Center from 2007 through 2011. He served on the executive committee of CableLabs; on the board of directors of C-SPAN, and the Walter Kaitz Foundation.

A recipient of the NCTA's 2004 Vanguard Award for Distinguished Leadership and a 2005 inductee into the Broadcasting & Cable Hall of Fame, Michael has yet to achieve his greatest goal of winning an Emmy for his leading role in Insight's commercials.

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Gordon Barton

What if the ISP (Cableone) does not offer to let you pay for more bandwidth? I'd be happy to pay extra as long as it was reasonable. When I've requested to do so I'm told no, you have the most we provide.(100GB month) So tell me, how does the end user pay for more usage beyond the despicable .50 per GB overage.?
Any internet provider should have tiers of service you can purchase at a set rate.

Mike

"Bandwidth on the other hand, is paid for at
least twice and sometimes many times over."

And don't forget advertising. Almost all non-premium Internet-sourced material contains advertising either in the more traditional sense of in-line ads (which unlike DVR'd material is difficult or impossible to skip - think Hulu) or more browser-like pop-over/balloon ads (think UStream).

While this kind of advertising pays more directly for things like storage, hosting and delivery (and profits) rather than point-of-delivery method/"bandwidth", it probably wouldn't take much to alter the model to help pay for infrastructure and bandwidth improvements.

Nate

http://www.engadget.com/2011/05/22/nc-governor-will-let-cable-backed-bill-restricting-municipal-bro/

Care to comment on this Mike? Maybe making an 18 lane highway isn't as difficult as you make it out to be... or as expensive. Even though I've never had any problems with Insight Mike, it's articles like the one above that make me very suspicious.

Paul Templeton

Maybe the answer is to offer a cheap (capped) option for those who have low usage habits and a higher priced unlimited option for those who require more.

Paul Templeton

A lot of industry people are saying that the internet should be like electricity for the end used (you pay for what you use), but I am in disagreement.
The only profits from a utility like electricity comes from what the end user pays. Bandwidth on the other hand, is paid for at least twice and sometimes many times over.
Take Youtube for example. Google pays for the bandwidth to upload the video to you and you pay for the bandwidth to download it, effectively paying for the same bandwidth twice.
Somebody is making a buttload of money.
I think it would be fairer to look at the internet like a public highway.
You charge commercial users a higher fee (truck drivers) but for the end user it should be one fee for unlimited usage.
It is after all, the increasing bandwidth that is driving innovation on the web. Restrict that and you restrict progress.

Nate

Couple of things Mike, I clicked on the link and it was very non-informative. Do you have the study the story refers to? They use some very basic and broad statements... stating the average household watches 8 hours a day and that a 100% internet connected viewing system would equal the 600gb a month. Okay, that's nice... I really hope they're not counting over-the-air channels also. Network ABC, CBS, FOX, NBC, The CW, etc. accounts for a ton of viewing why is it fair to count that towards internet usage? If I cut the cord and have a cap, be rest assured I will be watching The Office via over the air digital NBC (Or via a recording on a media center pc with PVR) and NOT on a service like Hulu or NBC.com. See what I'm saying? Over the air programming should not be included in this study at all and I wonder if it was.

Also, you're talking about fees and who should pay to build up this infrastructure... haven't I seen blog entries somewhere ;) about the govt. taking funds originally earmarked for telephone line expansion and transitioning it to cable expansion... only to have those funds abused by cable companies and used in places with access to cable all ready? Seems like the government is all ready subsidizing it. Would you welcome more subsidization (and the govt. oversight that comes with it) or would you prefer no govt. money but higher bills for your customers? Food for thought.

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