John Dvorak’s opinion piece about the telecom industry is bordering on the ridiculous. I think he should stick to gadget reviews and leave business analysis to someone else.
While there is some truth to the notion that Washington (including the FCC) is slow and in some cases motivated by personal power, in general the Telecom Act of ’96 was successful. His suggestion that Cisco should be embarrassed for selling products that its customers wants is just plain dumb.
Yes, telecom is consolidating. Yes, in the near future there will be only a handful of big service providers. But, so what? How many mega telecoms do we need? The answer is: it doesn’t matter.
The market will solves these problems over time — even with an imperfect government. The Internet has proven to be far too potent and flexible to be contained, even under the most oppressive circumstances (i.e., China).
How about the top 5 reasons why Big Telecom will lose the battle over hijacking the Internet:
- Google, Yahoo and eBay (Skype)
- Microsoft and Linux
- Intel, Samsung, Airspan Networks and the rest of the WiMax Forum
- Comcast, Time Warner Cable, Cox and the other cable MSOs
- 2 billion+ citizens living within democratic nations
I’ll echo the sentiments made in my commentary regarding AOL’s decision to charge mass emailers. When large service providers make business decisions that are not in the best interest of their customers, they lose those customers. If the mega telecoms decide to start charging more to get VoIP packets, they will simply be adding fuel to the fire — further driving customers away.
I say, let them. Let them charge for emails and VoIP packets and IPTV and whatever else they want. Within days, the CLECs and other younger nimbler upstarts will seize the opportunity to provide more value. More competition. More choice.