Carolyn Schuk : VoIP Princess Blog
Carolyn Schuk
| News and views on the world of IP communications from the VoIP Princess, Carolyn Schuk.

December 2008

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Obama's "Scary" Telecom Policy - We Used to Call it Public Policy

December 2, 2008

I know it's a little late to be offering commentary on the recent election, but I just got back from the Recovery Center.

So I have to crow a little - OK, more than a little - about being right that Obama would win, and win big. And I do not think it was only because the financial system collapsed, turning everyone into a "socialist."

I'm sticking to my guns that the pollsters' November surprise was due in part to the "cell phone effect" I noted last summer. Of course, it's hard to prove - after all, it's logically impossible to take a telephone poll of people who don't have telephones. Maybe the pollsters will cotton to that by 2012.

But the fact of how communication has changed is indisputable - at least to those of us who know how to find the power switch on a computer.

Barack Obama has been hailed for his brilliance in using new media. But as highly as I rate the president-elect's intelligence, this gives credit where none is due.  It's the folks who think Obama's use of new media is breathtakingly clever who are out of the mainstream.

Personally, I rejoice that actuarial tables say there is virtually zero probability that anyone who remembers when direct dialing was state-of-the-art will ever again be president.

And speaking of guys who yearn for the bygone days of "Number please," the $50 transatlantic phone call, and the Bell System monopoly, Sprint Nextel CEO Dan Hesse told the Washington Post last month that "his [Obama's] stated position on network management 'should scare' executives the most." 

Perhaps Hesse failed to notice that ominous warnings of Stalinism on the March haven't been winners lately, or that we've recently nationalized the banking industry and the domestic automotive industry is asking for their turn at the public trough.

The Post continues: "Industry observers and executives say they believe Obama will focus strongly on telecom issues such as network management, as well as bringing broadband service to rural and other underserved areas."

Talk about scary.