Telecom / Recently Commented

America Planning for the Closure of Its Copper Network

In an interesting move the FCC's Technical Advisory Council has outlined the need for setting a 'sunset' date for the closure of the circuit switched network. This is a first step that eventually could lead to the replacement of the PSTN in the USA, rather than letting the network slowly fade into oblivion the FCC proposes the bring the issue in the open so that it can be properly evaluated and discussed. more

Whom Do We Regulate when the Phone Monopolies Are Gone? - Universal Access

After a more than 100 year run, the end is nigh for plain old telephone service (POTS). Through most of recent history POTS was provided by monopolies, which were regulated at both the federal and state level. The new world is much more competitive; we can talk via cell phones, computers, traditional phones hooked to a variety of devices instead of the old phone line, and a plethora of new gadgets like tablets. Voice service no longer has to be vertically integrated. more

World First: Merger of a Telco and a Power Company

I have long been advocating that new business models, based on a trans-sector approach (breaking down silos), need to be developed in a rapidly changing green and digital economy. I very much welcome the vision of two American companies, who have not just talked about it but have actually done it. As far as I know, Hancock Telecom and Central Indiana Power in the USA are the first telco and power company to merge in order to reap the benefits of converging and transforming industries. more

Whom Do We Regulate when the Phone Monopolies Are Gone?

Once upon a time in a universe not very long ago phone service in the US was provided by regulated monopolies. AT&T was the big one and there were (and are) hundreds of small ILECs (Independent Local Exchange Carriers) around the country. These monopolies were regulated both at the federal and state level. Then we began on the long road toward competition and deregulation. more

Planning for the Ugly End of the Phone Network

Consumers who have a choice are quickly deciding they don't need the old copper-based phone network, often known as POTS for Plain Old Telephone Service. We use our cellphones for talking even when we're not mobile. The cell phones have built in phone directories, easy ways to return calls, the ability to call a number on a web page; and we don't share them with our parents or children... It's a good year for traditional phone companies when they don't lose more than 10% of their POTS lines. more

The Ugly End of the Phone Network

I was a little early. "By the end of President Obama's first term, there won't be any more copper landlines left in the country, I blogged just after Obama had been elected. Before that I'd prophesized the end of POTS (Plain Old Telephone Service) by 2010. Nevertheless, the end is nigh. And it's gonna be ugly without some planning. more

The ENISA Botnet Report: Thoughts on the State of Play in Smart Phones

At the ENISA presentation on her botnet report at eco in Cologne, 9 and 10 March, one of the slots was dedicated to threats to the mobile environment. The message I was supposed to come home with was: we can still count the numbers of mobile viruses manually, <600; the problem will never be the same as on a fixed network as traffic is monitored and metered: We detect it straight away. We are studying the problem seriously. Are mobile operators really prepared for what is coming? more

Moore’s Law and the Economics of Abundance

Moore's Law explains why the price of everything electronic keeps going down; but now Moore's Law is starting to have an effect on much more than technology prices. The costs of energy, medicine, law, education, financial transactions, and government itself are falling because of Moore's Law's relentless progress. But these cost decreases are not being fully reflected in the prices we pay for all these things. more

Why Wireless Broadband Is No Alternative to FttH

The mainly politically-driven debate - FttH versus wireless broadband - is spreading uninformed messages and half-truths in the market. And confusing messages from mobile operators are also blurring the picture. All well-informed people confirm that this is a nonsensical debate -- both infrastructures will coexist with, and supplement, each other. more

AT Kearney Takes Side With Incumbent Telcos to Defend the Old World

In my job as part of a consultancy company, I know there are two types of reports our clients are interested in - those that are written for the customer to be used internally and those that are to be used externally. Quite often, instead of well thought out and researched pieces, these last-mentioned reports are created simply to underscore the opinion of the party paying for them. So when I received research by AT Kearney on A Viable Future Model for the Internet, I immediately checked who had paid for that report. more

Cable Trounces the Telcos

Yesterday, Netflix posted graphs of how well various ISPs deal with Netflix video streams. The results are striking. All the cable companies easily beat all the phone companies with the exception of Verizon where we're seeing a mix of DSL and FiOS results. more

Biggest Deal in Telecom Policy Since the AT&T Divestiture

The biggest communications policy moment since the AT&T divestiture has just happened: The $100 million-dollar-march (or more -- what Comcast spent to make sure this happened) has ponderously, self-evidently reached its conclusion with the FCC's approval of the merger between Comcast and NBCU. It wasn't the subtlest campaign; it didn't need to be; it was effective in its discipline and heavy persistence. The tweets are flying and the journalists are already weighing in. more

Has the FCC Created a Stone Too Heavy for It to Lift?

After five years of bickering, the FCC passed an Open Internet Report & Order on a partisan 3-2 vote this week. The order is meant to guarantee that the Internet of the future will be just as free and open as the Internet of the past. Its success depends on how fast the Commission can transform itself from an old school telecom regulator wired to resist change into an innovation stimulator embracing opportunity. One thing we can be sure about is that the order hasn't tamped down the hyperbole that's fueled the fight to control the Internet's constituent parts for all these years. more

WiFi in All U.S. Federal Buildings

Legislation has been introduced in the US that will require all public federal buildings to install WiFi base stations in order to free up cell phone networks. The Federal Wi-Net Act would mandate the installation of small WiFi base stations in all publicly accessible federal buildings in order to increase wireless coverage and free up mobile networks. The bill would require all new buildings under construction to comply and all older buildings to be retrofitted by 2014. It also orders $15 million from the Federal Buildings Fund be allocated to fund the installations. more

Bad Timing: Comcast, Netflix, NN, Cable Modems, and NBCU

Comcast, the largest broadband provider, largest pay-TV company, and third-largest telephone company in the country, distributes communications services to more than a third of the country. Today Comcast's existing overwhelming market power was on display in major public battles with (1) Level 3 and (2) cable modem manufacturer Zoom. The takeaway from today: No market forces are constraining Comcast -- or any of the other major cable distributors, none of which compete with each other. more