Opinions expressed in this piece are solely those of the author and do not represent the views of SNL Kagan.
This is the post where I share my wishes for the new year, aside from your good health, peace and prosperity. That trifecta always tops my list. But here are a few more I truly wish for:
I wish BIG media, telecom and tech will remember that we are their coveted customers and not just users. Drug cartels rely on users. Our providers really do need to serve us in a fair and transparent manner as they continue to bulk up. We are willing to pay for reliability and convenience because we tend to respect brands when they earn it.
I don't want to see the leading media and communications names on some year-end 2017 listicle of evil empires currently dominated by BIG pharma, agra, mining, oil and banking. As we close out 2016, all eyes in our world are on AT&T Inc. as the new colossus seeking regulatory approval for its pending acquisition of Time Warner Inc. Deal or no deal, may The Force be with us.
I wish my fantasy about broadband competition turns out to be more of a dream than a nightmare. I have more speed than I need, but less than I want. A gigabit is 52x faster than the average U.S. connection download speed of 19.3 megabits per second during the first half of this year. It's 20x faster than my current service from Charter Communications, Inc.'s Spectrum service.
I chafe at having to settle for one oligopoly as my internet service provider. The gigabit pipes coming to my area via AT&T fiber and Alphabet Inc.'s Google Fiber could be terrific, although I have no clue how reliable either provider will be or what it will cost. I wish FiOS, the fiber offering of Verizon Communications Inc., would also enter the fray. But FiOS is not. That’s OK. Spectrum is hearing footsteps, which has prompted it to noticeably improve customer service and speeds. So far my dream looks promising.
I wish all those still arguing about the recent national elections would chill. Our nation remains culturally diverse but politically divided, so instead of butting heads, let's binge watch. I would love to see all the red state devotees spend a weekend watching "Modern Family" while the blue state base watches "Duck Dynasty."
These are the two most popular shows with Clinton and Trump supporters, respectively, according to a recent analysis by The New York Times. Maybe if each camp takes some time to experience what the other side sees and feels, we all might learn something positive about each other, and our shared experience. That's the power of media, so let's use it.
I wish fake news sites would just go dark due to obsolescence. As twisted as fake news sites have been, they can't keep up with satirical news, or even Donald Trump's actual tweets. Fake news producers do it mostly for money although some may also have a political agenda. But they are no match for skewering left and right compared to The Onion, The Daily Currant, The Borowitz Report, The Spoof, "The Daily Show" or the Weekend Update on "Saturday Night Live."
I wish unspeakable things for all hackers and scammers on the planet. From ISIS to Putin, to the troll lurking in their parents' basement and the bored teen at the mall. May your fish not bite, your malevolent code decay and your hateful post flop. We're coming for you.
I have some less weighty wishes as well including that the networks show the national anthem instead of a commercial break at every game, and not just when someone is taking a knee. I also want Apple Inc. to focus more on cutting-edge hardware and software and less on accessories and chargers. I hope too that music artists will spend more effort showcasing their craft and less time highlighting their Instagram posts. And I sincerely hope that rapper, designer and entrepreneur Kanye West gets some professional help soon.
For the rest of us, happy Festivus. May all your wishes come true.