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Podcast Interview: 8x8 VP Marketing Huw Rees

February 5, 2008

8x8, the company behind Packet8 service has been doing a terrific job running their company with positive financial results and new services which are innovative and unique. Some are video-based, some are mobile and others are in the call center market.

Two weeks ago I had a chance to speak with Huw Rees the VP of Sales & Marketing at the company onstage at ITEXPO in Miami, FL. The talk went very well and there was tremendous feedback from the audience so I decided it made sense to talk with Rees in a podcast format allowing listeners who couldn't make the keynote to hear what is happening at his company and the industry as a whole.

Some of the items discussed have to do with Gov. Schwarzenegger's recent California Broadband Task Force report, mobile services, the SMB, and a host of other issues.

One area worth mentioning is marketing as the company is competing against at least one competitor who has told Wall Street that they will buy market share at all costs. We also delved a bit into patents and how intellectual property can be used as a defense and offense.

Hope you enjoy the podcast.







700 MHz Auction Update

January 26, 2008

So far in the 700 MHz auction there have been bids totaling more that 2.4 billion and in about a month we should know who won. There were just under two thousand bids for this precious spectrum which could become a viable competitor to DSL and cable.

Five spectrum “blocks” are on the table: A (698-704 MHz and 728-234 MHz), B (704-710 MHz and 734-740 MHz), E (722-728 MHz), C (746-757 MHz and 776-787 MHz), and D (758-763 MHz and 788-793 MHz). Collectively, the entire 700 MHz spectrum covers the analog TV channel range 52-69.

It seems to me that Google absolutely needs to ensure some of this spectrum falls into friendly hands -- even if it has to purchase frequencies and lease them out to other companies.

Of course it isn't just Google who is in this position... Microsoft, Yahoo!, Amazon and others are similarly challenged.

Google's need to acquire some of this spectrum is in exact contrast to the incumbent providers who have to do their best to ensure the spectrum does not fall into the hands of companies which would reduce their negotiating power in generating more revenue from their existing broadband connections.

We should know who the winners and losers are in about a month and this TMCnet









Have a Safe Trip to ITEXPO

January 21, 2008

I hope everyone has a safe trip down to Internet Telephony Conference & Expo. The registration numbers are trending nicely above estimates and we expect a stellar event. As always, we have done our absolute best to assemble the most knowledgeable speakers and diverse exhibitors and this show will provide the best IP communications education ever.

As a side benefit I figured I should remind you that flights to Miami are still very cheap and the weather in the US is getting colder. Here is a map of the current temps...

ITEXPO Giveaways

January 18, 2008

White Space Internet Closer

January 18, 2008

Although we unfortunately will not be able to take advantage of new and exciting internet devices utilizing "white space" technology next week at Internet Telephony Conference & Expo in Miami... It does seem that at some point in the future, these unused and unlicensed TV spectrum frequencies could make broadband more accessible and affordable.

Last year a coalition which includes Microsoft, Philips, Google Inc., Dell Inc., Hewlett-Packard Co., Intel Corp. and EarthLink Inc. submitted prototypes to the FCC for testing.

So far these devices have not proved to work properly in the real world but thankfully the FCC will resume testing soon and hopefully if these tests are successful, they will be more internet options on the market.

For more on this developing story check out this piece from the Associated Press.





Vonage to Follow SunRocket?

January 18, 2008

California Broadband Task Force Recommendations

January 17, 2008

California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger commissioned the California Broadband Task Force (CBTF) to “remove barriers to broadband access, identify opportunities for increased broadband adoption, and enable the creation and deployment of new advanced communication technologies.” The governor also requested that the CBTF “pay particular attention to how broadband can be used to substantially benefit educational institutions, healthcare institutions, community-based organizations, and governmental institutions.”
Recently this task force issued a report on the state of broadband in California.

The CBTF adopted three key goals:

  • California must ensure ubiquitous and affordable broadband infrastructure, made available through a variety of technologies to all Californians.
  • California must drive the creation and use of applications that produce the greatest economic, educational, and social benefits for California’s economy and communities.
  • California must construct next-generation broadband infrastructure, positioning California as the global economic leader in a knowledge-based economy.

Through analysis of CBTF’s broadband mapping project and independent research, the Task Force determined that California is better positioned than most states on broadband availability and adoption, yet the state lags behind key foreign competitors. Specifically, the CBTF found:

  • 96% of California residences have access to broadband.
  • 1.4 million mostly rural Californians lack broadband access at any speed.
  • Barely more than half of Californians have adopted broadband at home.
  • Only half of Californians have access to broadband at speeds greater than 10 Mbps
  • (including both upstream and downstream speeds).
  • Broadband infrastructure is deployed unevenly throughout the state, from state-of–the-art to nonexistent.
Just as California has invested in other critical infrastructure such as roads, electricity, and water, the CBTF believes that the state must seize the opportunity to promote private-sector investment, leverage public/private partnerships, and lead the effort to increase broadband availability and adoption. But unlike roads, electricity, and water, California’s investment in broadband should not be limited to physical infrastructure, but instead should include policies to increase adoption of broadband technologies.







Open Source Momentum

January 17, 2008

By now, you may have heard that Sun has agreed to purchase open-source database company MySQL for one billion dollars. Many companies are betting on open source as the future and open source companies operating in niche markets such as databases and others seem to make good M&A targets. In fact we can expect another computer company to be making an open source niche purchase in the next few weeks. Stay tuned for details.

In the mean time, I recently had a chance to ask open source communications company Digium founder Mark Spencer about his company's one millionth Asterisk download.

Jon Arnold

January 16, 2008

ITEXPO - Huge International Draw

January 16, 2008

As Tom Keating mentioned earlier today we are proud to announce that Internet Telephony Conference & Expo which will take place in just under a week in Miami Florida has registrations from 74 countries, a 15.6% increase over last year.

The show takes place January 23-25 and I hope you can make it.

As cold weather comes to many parts of the world, now is a good time to come to ITEXPO where you can enjoy the heat of the red-hot IP communications industry and a bit of sun as well.

Hope to see you there. Have a safe trip!

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