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Phone Companies Get an FCC Spanking

August 28, 2006

A number of consumer advocacy groups and others have trying to encourage the FCC and government to put a stop to the consolidation of service providers that is taking place. They argue the old AT&T is being rebuilt and the telecom industry is heading in the wrong direction.

In response the FCC has publicly commented that there is more competition that ever from cable companies as well as wireless and satellite providers.

But the FCC’s comments about an abundance of competition seems to have been put to the test recently as Verizon has announced a new broadband surcharge. According to an article in the Wall Street Journal, last weekend, Verizon began emailing its roughly six million high-speed Internet subscribers, informing them they would no longer be charged the Universal Service Fund fee -- which was $1.25 or $2.83 a month, depending on speed of service. But it went on to say that it was instituting a "supplier surcharge" of $1.20 or $2.70 a month beginning Aug. 26.

Many point to this new fee as evidence there is a lack of real broadband competition in the market and they further argue the timing of this increase – just as the FCC decided broadband subscribers no longer had to pay into the Universal Service Fund, is especially sneaky.

It is for this reason the FCC decided to send a “letter of inquiry” to Verizon in order to ascertain the reasoning behind the surcharge.







TMCnet Whitepapers

August 23, 2006

Our new TMCnet whitepapers are generating quite a bit of interest and I thought I would share this with my readers. There is some very good content in the library and I had a chance to read a few of them.

AT&T has done a great job with some of their whitepapers. Some of the ones worth reading are Voice over IP Security and Critical Steps for a Successful VoIP Deployment.

Another whitepaper gaining lots of traction is Nortel's Top 10 Questions to ask IMS vendors: What's important and what to watch out for.

TI has a few worth looking at as well -- Remote Management: Critical to a New Generation of Digital Service Providers & Next-Generation Residential Gateways: Flexibility and High-Performance will be Critical.

Whitepapers are just such a great way to learn about a topic -- sure they aren't as glossy as four-color magazines but every now and then you need a break from all that color. It sort of reminds me of Pleasantville without those excellent chocolate chip cookies.







Google WiFi

August 17, 2006

Few companies strike fear in the heart of Microsoft and the incumbent telephone companies like Google. Analysts and journalists seem to delight in asking the software leader and the companies comprising the new AT&T how they will fend off the threat from Google.

Google’s influence is felt throughout the world and the government of France is concerned that Google is responsible for slowly destroying French culture. In response to the threat from Google in fact there is a new French search engine.

Then there is the threat to eBay as Google hones its Froogle search engine, payment and e-commerce products. Newspapers have a love/hate relationship with Google News but mostly hate as they see Google news replacing their sites as primary news home pages.

It would seem, everywhere you look, Google is wreaking havoc with existing business models and causing boardroom chaos.

The newest chaos is being felt in the offices of cell phone operators around the world.







Sprint Interview

August 15, 2006

Here is the partially edited interview I had with Tony Krueck, VP of Product Development at Sprint. This was a great interview for me as I really learned a great deal about what Sprint is up to and how they are embracing IMS. It is along interview but it wasn't edited down because there is some great content in here.

An eagle-eyed reader noticed this interview took place before the recent Sprint WiMAX news. Here is a link to that news.


Rich Tehrani 's Executive Suite is a monthly feature in which leading executives in the VoIP and IP Communications industry discuss their company's latest developments with TMC president Rich Tehrani , as well as providing analysis on industry news and trends.

Eicon Networks Buys Intel Dialogic Division

August 9, 2006

As I have been writing about for a few months, the Dialogic Division of Intel has been sold. Eicon Networks is the buyer and I am looking forward to finding out more details and sharing them with you.

This is potentially good news for the entire communications space for the following reasons. This division of Intel had the massive resources of corporate behind them but the challenge was for such a large company to focus on so many things. There are obviously synergies that will be lost as a result of this division being sold but on the flipside if this newly freed division goes back to its super-aggressive Dialogic ways -- it could result in much more rapid growth for not only for them but the industry as a whole.

Vint Cerf on Net Neutrality

August 3, 2006

Anti Net Neutrality Video

August 2, 2006

I don’t agree with much of this video but am always open to many points of view. This video says the best way to ensure competition on the Internet is to keep it free from regulation. I agree with this assumption if there are 5 or more solid competitors to choose from. Any less and there is risk of stifling innovation as broadband competitors own the pipes.

In reality in my area I have cable and DSL to chose from or two vendors.

Net Neutrality Today

June 28, 2006


This story has all the juicy details any story could want… Corruption, money, politics, and even religion… Wait, how did that get in there. Net Neutrality has become a soap opera of sorts and the only thing missing is bad acting and sex.

Seriously, there are religious groups praying for net neutrality and MoveOn.org must feel that Hilary Clinton will have an easy time getting elected – subsequently they have the excess bandwidth to focus on making sure the Internet has a single tier.

For some reason, in my mind the debate about net neutrality has crossed the line from a geeky tech issue to a more mainstream topic with a familiar cast of characters like Moby (those of you in your thirties probably know Moby and for those younger – suffice it to say that Eminem just doesn’t like him).

I must confess it is getting tougher and tougher to keep up with all the news on the topic but this article is a good summary and will keep you up to date on what you need to know for now. My favorite part?

“When you call these Senators, tell them you are from the Christian Coalition and to support Internet Freedom, the Snowe/Dorgan Net Neutrality Bill,” she wrote. “Please be praying at 1:00 p.m.








A CNBC Morning

June 27, 2006

This morning on CNBC I woke up to talk about net neutrality and an analyst who said Google makes a good buy regardless of what happens with net neutrality. From net neutrality the program went on to Comcast customer service -- I think they might have been focusing on heavy machinery while I was in the shower -- it is tough to tell with the water running. Someone apparently videotaped a Comcast customer service representative sleeping on their couch while waiting an hour for the Comcast office to pick up the phone. This reminded me a of a Comcast customer service blog entry I made almost a year ago.

Tom Keating Humor

June 26, 2006

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