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The State of US Broadband

February 1, 2007

A few of my friends have ordered FiOS from Verizon and they seem happy to have broadband access at speeds once unavailable from phone companies. The sad thing is that even though broadband speeds are increasing in the US the cost of the connections are higher than in many other parts of the world and the speeds are still only a fraction of what others are experiencing in places like Asia.   If you want to learn about the current state of broadband in the US and some of the things that can be done to ensure we become more competitive you should read Eight Bold Steps to a national Broadband Policy (PDF) by Jim Baller and Casey Lide.   The article outlines how other countries continue to surpass the US in broadband penetration as well as broadband capacity for the dollar. China, Japan Sweden and Australia are all mentioned in the article and to be honest I continue to grow concerned about the state of broadband in the US.   We all know how important the internet is to enhancing productivity as well as the myriad other benefits it provides. I have always been in favor of a hands off style of government but if we have a system in this country to reward homeowners by allowing them to deduct interest on their mortgage payments why are we not coming up with a system to ensure all Americans have the highest speed connections at the lowest prices?   In my opinion there is no question that broadband access in the 21st century is as important as home ownership was in the 20th century.   Part of me hopes that by allowing a single AT&T to emerge we will see free markets and competition allow us to catch up to other countries.

ITEXPO Photos and More

January 30, 2007

Here is Ari Zoldan from Launch 3 based in Garfield, NJ. His company is in the investment business - they invest in communications companies worldwide.   On this day he walked away with a great education as well as a new SUV. Wow – now that’s a show.   About 30 minutes later when I accidentally saw him on the road he seemed elated. I think the shock wore off and it turned to happiness.       Note to self.

Alcatel-Lucent Kicks off Internet Telephony Conference in Florida

January 23, 2007

ITEXPO Kicked off today in Ft. Lauderdale, FL with a keynote from Keith Chappell, Vice President at Alcatel-Lucent. His talk began discussing the concept of transforming services. “What do users want?” He asked.   To that he answered as follows.   Service Agility: The technical agility behind service environment allowing carrier business agility   Service Personalization: Think of ringtones or ringback tones   Service Blending: Services are not connected in a very robust way today according to Chappell. They become much more robust when you can connect them quickly and transparently.

Marc Robins and Jon Arnold Join Forces

January 23, 2007

Two esteemed consultants in the IP communications space are Marc Robins and Jon Arnold. The two have known each other for years and toyed with the idea of joining forces. It seems the time has come for this to become reality as the two have officially become a team and will collaborate to develop a joint website, electronic newsletters, etc.   My take? The duo is perfectly positioned to speak to many aspects of the market from the service provider space to the enterprise.

2007 a Banner IP Communications Year

January 21, 2007

It is still not too late to decide to come down to ITEXPO this week in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida. I have been getting e-mails by the dozen from colleagues and others who are still getting very low airfares to the Miami or Ft. Lauderdale airports.   With the weather getting cold all over the country I can’t wait to be sitting in sunny Florida. Of course it isn’t like I will be getting a chance to do much sitting as I am booked with appointments all week.   What excites me most about the show is seeing what is new for 2007. I hear from virtually every company in IP communications that 2007 will be a record year.

Microsoft and Nortel Stop the Messaging Madness

January 17, 2007

The average employee gets more than 50 messages every day on up to seven devices and today Microsoft and Nortel came together under the banner of the Innovative Communications Alliance to announce to the world that new software will help us manage the deluge of messages across devices, media modes and technologies. According to the companies the goal is to use a single identity across phones, PCs and other devices.   The announcement took place with an energetic Steve Ballmer the CEO of Microsoft and Mike Zafirovsky CEO of Nortel. After an hour spent waiting in line and going through rigorous security, customers, analysts and the press were ushered into studio 8H in New York's Rockefeller Plaza. While waiting, the energetic crowd was treated to breakfast accompanied by a range of new wave classics from Depeche Mode to the Smiths.   Steve Ballmer explained that Microsoft and Nortel have both been in the communications business.

Innovative Communications Alliance

January 17, 2007

I am in New York today with Greg Galitzine on my way to the Innovative Communications Alliance meeting which is the new (since this past summer anyway) initiative between Microsoft and Nortel. I haven’t covered this topic too extensively and I am interested to see what the duo from Redmond and Canada can and will do for unified communications in the enterprise and beyond.   Moreover I am interested to learn how this alliance might either include or exclude other communications vendors. Questions floating around my head?

Communications in 2007

January 16, 2007

Any look at the future of any industry would not be complete without analysis of recent events. In the case of communications, 2006 seems like the transitional year of all time for a number of reasons. Next week, Jan 23-26 marks this year’s first continental US communications trade show, Internet Telephony Conference & Expo in Ft. Lauderdale, Fl. This article is intended to set up the debates and discussions that will take place during this event.   Money   There is more money floating around in this and every other market than at any time during recent memory. As long as the money keeps flowing, the transformation and consolidation of the communications industry will continue to take place.

USF Benefits Who?

January 15, 2007

The San Jose Mercury News has an in-depth article on the Universal Service Fund with a slant on California and their particular funds. The article hints at abuse and discusses exactly who benefits from the fund. The biggest beneficiary is AT&T by the way and this is not surprising as it is the largest phone company. "This program isn't a windfall to us," said Diamond.

Musings: Apple, AT&T, Zultys, M&Ms, Ubiquity, Avaya

January 12, 2007

While the world is going iPhone lawsuit crazy (posts from Andy, Jeff and Aswath) there is a bit of news that seems to be under the radar but crucial. What is it you ask? It is that eBay/PayPal will start distributing key fobs with random security codes. The goal will be to increase security.
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