Reach Out and Ping Someone

David Byrd : Byrd's Eye View
David Byrd
Chief Marketing Officer for ANPI

Reach Out and Ping Someone

I didn’t cook Friday or Saturday. We ate leftover fried chicken on Friday and went out to eat on Saturday. Sunday, I made soft shelled crab and a light salad with Giardiniera and Feta cheese. I shared my giardiniera recipe with you in January and since then I have made three quarts of this pickled relish and cannot get enough of it. Although, used in Chicago for the famous roast beef sandwiches, I use it on anything that could use a bit of crunch and heat. The dish I want to share with you this week, however, is roasted fingerling potatoes and raclette cheese. This dish seemed to be rather ordinary but since my wife loves potatoes, I decided to make it for her. There are three very important elements to the dish; duck fat (I always have some in my refrigerator, don’t you?), fresh thyme and raclette cheese. The duck fat and thyme add richness and flavor to the potatoes while they are roasting. The raclette cheese adds unctuousness at the end that is wonderful with the roasted potatoes. Often, I am told my recipes are complicated or require special ingredients. Simply replace the duck fat with olive oil and make this dish. Please use the raclette cheese as it both melts and taste differently from other Swiss cheeses. Roasted Fingerling Potatoes with Raclette Cheese. Enjoy!

Reach Out and Ping Someone

AT&T a couple of years ago issued a statement that it wanted to retire its portion of the public switched telephone network (PSTN) within ten years. AT&T has placed further emphasis on its desired path by including the point in a response to an FCC Notice of Inquiry on the matter. This should not surprise anyone following the direction of communications. Compare the size of a switching center to an IP Communications data center. The cost to build, operate and maintain a TDM plant is perhaps a magnitude more than supporting packet switching. However, it is not the cost of the network driving AT&T’s decision, they are recognizing that their customer base is changing and switching to service providers such as Broadvox and mobile devices.

Consider these trends…according to the Industry Analysis and Technology Division Wireline Competition Bureau of the FCC VoIP subscriptions are up 33% over the last 18 months while switched access lines are down 14%. Moreover, a quick look at revenue shows that supporting the existing PSTN is a losing business model. Toll service revenues have fallen from $87.8 billion in 2000 to a projected $40.7 billion in 2010. That is a decrease in revenues of over 50%. In addition to IP communications, mobile service is where many businesses and consumers are moving. Increasingly, people are using their mobile phones as their only means of communications with 26.6% of U.S. homes having made the conversion according to the National Center for Health Statistics. Even if a home has a landline, it is less likely to be the primary means for receiving or placing calls. Texas is reported to have 52.8% of homes using wireless as the primary way of receiving calls although a landline service is available.

Clearly, AT&T and the other ILECs have to alter their business strategy. However, the direction is not clear. VoIP and mobility may be the method of choice today but neither is the perfect answer. More on that Wednesday.

 

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