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Broadband

Game Over for LECs

February 23, 2006

I have been meaning top read this article for a few weeks. It is the Verizon view on network neutrality and there are some good points made by the telecom giant. But here is a thought that hasn’t come up yet. Let’s assume that Verizon charges Google for high-speed access to their customers and let’s say that Google tells Verizon to find the deepest lake they can and take a high-dive into it.

Google then sends its customers a Tivo like device that delays broadcasts a bit.

No EVDO VoIP

February 20, 2006

In case you missed it, Fred Goldstein's article on network neutrality makes the point that LECs aren't thrilled with much of the Internet freedom we all enjoy and love to lock you into using their services. I never noticed that the EVDO terms of service (TOS) have onerous restrictions. For example Verizon's TOS state the following:

Unlimited NationalAccess/BroadbandAccess:
Subject to VZAccess Acceptable Use Policy, available on www.verizonwireless.com. NationalAccess and BroadbandAccess data sessions may be used with wireless devices for the following purposes: (i) Internet browsing; (ii) email; and (iii) intranet access (including access to corporate intranets, email and individual productivity applications like customer relationship management, sales force and field service automation).


NexTone on IMS

February 14, 2006

IMS Forum

February 12, 2006

The IPCC announced they will be changing their name and altering their coverage to IMS becoming the IMS Forum. Michael Khalilian and his team at the IPCC have done an amazing job for the VoIP industry. The association started as the Softswitch Consortium and has now evolved into the IP Multimedia Subsystem. This is huge news and is great for those companies looking to get into IMS as this association should further the needs of service providers and equipment providers alike.

For more information check out the IPCC website until the new IMS Forum site is up and running.

West Buys Intrado

January 30, 2006

TMC's Customer Interaction Solutions (CIS) Magazine has been ranking the teleservices outsourcers for more than two decades bestowing the coveted Top 50 award to these companies. Another of our business units is the Internet Telephony brand. Sometimes these two brands cross over. This happens in the case of IP contact centers or hosted contact center solutions or call centers dedicated to telecommunications carriers.

Now we have yet another example as West Corporation a world leader in teleservices outsourcing has purchased Intrado a world leader in 911 solutions.

Asterisk's Mark Spencer Speaks

January 24, 2006

The keynotes at Internet Telephony Conference & Expo keynotes kicked off today, the first day of this four-day event, with Mark Spencer of Digium/Asterisk to a huge audience.
 Mark started his talk by saying that his company runs VoIP on a network that is as he calls it "the the worst case scenario" and doing so allows them to find out if products are broken before others find problems. As developers they are thrilled to run on a network not designed for perfect voice delivery but not everyone in the company is as excited by this strategy (for obvious reasons).

Spencer says he also has to be sensitive to customer calls as people associate telephone quality with the products you make. Mark mentioned that his phone system was recently inundated by callers looking for a very funny message (Mark indicated the sound clip is available on CD and did not explain how you could hear it if you missed the conference). The message is a funny take off on a busy call center.


Bush to Nominate Robert McDowell to FCC

January 23, 2006

President George W. Bush is expected to nominate telecommunications lawyer Robert McDowell to fill the third Republican seat on the five-member Federal Communications Commission according to a story from Reuters. This news is crucial to the future of telecommunications because McDowell serves as senior vice president and assistant general counsel at Comptel, a group representing companies that primarily compete against big telephone carriers like AT&T Inc. and Verizon Communications.

It may not be common knowledge that AT&T was a powerful lobbying force against the incumbent telephone companies and the acquisition of the company by SBC has reduced the competitive lobbying burden on all LECs proportionately.

It goes without saying that if McDowell is nominated it will be a big win for consumers in 2006 as I expect McDowell to be pro competition. Not faux competition with concepts like tiered-Internet services being thrown around in an effort by incumbent providers to hold content providers and consumers hostage.

In the worst case scenario McDowell will be outvoted repeatedly but at least will ensure the American people have a strong ally in the FCC. Comptel has been perhaps the most vocal critic of FCC Chairmen Michael Powell and Kevin Martin and as such it may be a bit awkward to have McDowell as a commissioner at all.

Still, I hope the commissioners and the Bush administration realize that putting a pro competition pro CLEC representative on the commission is exactly what we need to ensure we have balanced dialogues in the FCC and the interests of the average Joe are always represented.







Internet Telephony Countries

January 23, 2006

Homeshoring

January 22, 2006

There was a great article in BusinessWeek a while back titled Call Centers in the Rec Room focusing on how companies are beginning to recognize the problems associated with outsourcing to countries that have agents witch accents. Apparently companies are beginning to realize the cost of losing customers and acquiring new ones.

There was another equally good article on TMCnet titled A Victory for the Home Agent Business Model that focuses on Willow CSN and their contribution to the industry. Having known Willow for about a decade or so I can say without hesitation that this company had the vision to espouse home agents before the industry was an industry. Hats off to Willow CSN for being ahead of their time and more importantly lasting long enough to reap the rewards of being first.

More on SIP

January 22, 2006

The SIP market is growing so quickly it is exciting that it defies growth projections. I wrote about SIP just today and how the standard is now so closely intertwined with VoIP, it is tough to see where one technology stops and the other picks up. Incidentally the first issue of SIP Magazine is printed. I haven’t seen it but will get my hands on a copy tomorrow.

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