Brand X Keynote Today

Jim Pickrell started his talk by saying he didn’t think being an ISP was going to take him down the lawsuit path.

As Jim mentioned his competition is also the company he needs to buy access from.

SBC as Jim says spends a fortune on lobbying.

His world famous lawsuit was an attempt to open the cable market up meaning cable companies should have common carrier obligations and open their networks.

The supreme court said that cable companies don’t have to open their lines.

Jim mentioned that ILECS are scared of VoIP as this is their number one source of competition. Bundling is the way in which the ILECs are trying to get around this, meaning voice is included in DSL.

Jim says ILECS are putting in ATM to ensure that their service levels will be higher than VoIP competitors.

This is unworkable for Brand X as new customers will cost the company money. The phone company sells lines at higher cost than needed to ensure monopoly he says.

Jim says the problem here is the politicians in the White House who believe that bigger monopolies are better. Jim says we need to elect someone who beleives in competition.

“It is bad business to have a Republican in the office right now,” Pickrell said. He couched this by saying Democrats aren’t necesarily better but you need to look on a person by person basis.

Brand X looked to WiFi as an alternative way to get access but he said they would need an AP every 50 feet. He is concerned that frequency auctions for things like WiMAX will go to the same ILEC monopolies in control today.

Brand X is looking to run its own wires on telephone poles. They are running a combination of cable, copper and fiber.

They are using AC power in buildings to provide high speed access. Running wires increases cost so they looked for new ways to generate revenue. Triple play is how they plan to do this.

This is why Jim thinks this Internet Telephony show is important as they will soon deploy VoIP. They may resell someone’s service or build their own switches. They are doing a proof of concept trial today.

Pickrell sees VoIP and running your own wiring as ways to ensure competition.

When asked about when his network will go live he says about two months.

Jim says there are few ISPs remaining and his is one of a handfull in LA.

Brand X needs customers fast or they won’t make it according to Jim.

Their competitive advantage will have to be pricing and service. Service levels will be high and tech support will be better than the large companies according to Jim.

Jim also mentioned he is a Vonage customer.
Blogged from my Blackberry.

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