Telecommunications, More than Just a Hill of Beans
Saturday, I stopped by H Mart, an Asian grocery store. I went in with no real need but as always purchased quite a few things. Let's begin with the odd, pig's feet. I grew up eating these but once I left home, I left these behind. I plan to fix them this week to reminisce and, hopefully, have a good meal. I also, purchased a rabbit, which I will fix French provençale style, duck (roast and a soup), ox tails (braised like short ribs), and pork shanks (roasted German style). I roasted the pork shanks Sunday. Whenever, I eat them I am transported back to Frankfurt, Germany where I first had this dish. The shanks are roasted for 2 hours at 325oF until the skin is crispy and the meat succulent. I used to work overtime to crisp the skin until I learned that deep frying the shanks for five minutes at the end does a better and more consistent job. However, the recipe of the week is Navy Beans and Ham, which I made on Saturday. I chose this dish for two reasons; I wanted to empty my freezer of ham before the holidays and I wanted to tell you guys how to make great beans. If only my mother could have made beans like these. Forget the directions on the package where you simply boil them in water and season at the end. Done right, a bowl of these beans becomes the meal rather than a side dish. Navy Beans and Ham. Enjoy!
Telecommunications, More Than Just a Hill of Beans
Tomorrow will be another historic day. Or perhaps it will just be a big fat dud. It is with certainty that the House will go Republican and perhaps the Senate will change as well. Most Americans agree that the country is moving in the wrong direction, hence the change. However, most Americans also have little faith in either party doing the right thing. Tomorrow's election is about establishing divided government in order to achieve complete lack of momentum. Tomorrow is an endorsement of "Just say No". With regard to social issues, taxes, new government spending, nation building and continued intrusion into the lives of its citizens, "No" seems like a good answer. Yet, the things that I address the most, broadband expansion, net neutrality, the third way, access charges, reforming the Universal Service Fund, and all things IP that are regulated by the government will also be impacted by the "No" initiative.
Normally elections identify the direction the populace wants but this one clearly is about stopping the train. I suspect that as a result, the open issues facing our industry will remain open. The FCC will have little to no support in the new congress to resolve any of the major issues on its agenda. I believe that is a bad thing. I cannot join the crowd wanting to stop the train without identifying a new or different direction. If one believes that the US is the de facto leader of the world, then it cannot find itself supporting an environment of nothingness. That is not leadership. But then that is the problem. The US is having a hard time finding political leadership that it trusts. Whereas, we as a nation value communicating, we place a low priority on the state of the telecommunications industry. As a nation, our priorities tend to look at the hot buttons presented to us by the sparing political parties and supportive media; energy, education, military, and healthcare. Additionally, there are the non-industries that receive major attention; the environment, social security, poverty, global warming, big business and racism. Telecommunications, IP Telephony, net neutrality and broadband infrastructure are not to be found on any of the hot button lists of the American people.
According to the Jobs for America study sponsored by the Milken Institute, Telecommunications, through broadband expansion alone, will be the second largest generator of jobs for the next several years. Broadband expansion is expected to generate 293,000 jobs and have an employment impact of over 1,000,000 jobs nationwide. It should be considered a priority by the American people but perhaps it's good not to be noticed given the current atmosphere.
See you on Wednesday...