Europe Invades American Cable

Peter : On Rad's Radar?
| Peter Radizeski of RAD-INFO, Inc. talking telecom, Cloud, VoIP, CLEC, and The Channel.

Europe Invades American Cable

The French group Altice SA, controlled by Patrick Drahi, made a bid of $9.1 billion for Suddenlink - and is rumored to be looking at TWC. Yesterday, during a lunch discussion with TMC's CEO, Rich Tehrani, I mentioned how over-leveraged most of the Duopoly is. Verizon, AT&T, C-Link, Frontier, Comcast, WIND - all have an overloaded debt to revenue ratio. Rich explained that the name of the game is share price and cheap money. It isn't about building anything. It is about the top shareholders getting their big payout before the bills come due.

I look at our space and wonder what will happen.

VZ is rumored to be selling Terremark and its PBX business. It needs cash. You can say it is looking core, but does it want to be like Sprint?

Tom Goodwin, an executive at Havas Media, whose essay on March 3 on began: "Uber, the world's largest taxi company, owns no vehicles. Facebook, the world's most popular media owner, creates no content. Alibaba, the most valuable retailer, has no inventory. And Airbnb, the world's largest accommodation provider, owns no real estate. Something interesting is happening."

This headline from Morgan Stanley is a joke: Capital Creates More Commerce. If you meant, higher wages, better jobs create more commerce I would agree. Our economy is based on consumer spending and the Internet. The average wages have been stagnant or declining in the last 10 years. So how does the consumer spending increase - or even sustain?

More and more people are not W-2 employees, but 1099 self-employed - also called freelancers, contractors, even mistakenly entrepreneurs. 1099 means covering your own office, equipment, benefits, insurance, taxes and retirement. Good luck with that long term.

"Suddenlink is the 7th largest U.S. cable MSO with 1.5 million residential and 90,000 business customers across several states including Texas, West Virginia, Louisiana, Arkansas and Arizona." [telecomp]

"Altice is a multinational cable and telecommunications company with operations across the globe, including Europe, the Middle East, and the Caribbean. This is their first foray into the U.S. market."

I get why Altice would want to enter the US market (same reason AT&T has bought its way into the LATAM market) - growth requires expansion. The pie is not growing. The pie is being split by more and more players. When the pie can't grow, the top execs want to cash out. See TWC, tw telecom and apparently Bright House as examples.

The largest corporations keep hording cash and buying companies. They get bigger. Bigger is never better. Ever. Not one case of it.

This isn't about the 1%. The 99% that spin the economy every day are getting jailed (where private corporations are taking tax dollars to jail them - but have a quota so police and courts have to fill them).

The education is broken. Why do we have a federal department of education? College loans are drowning our kids, while colleges expand using that loan money. Again getting bigger not better.

Robots are automating jobs out of existence. What then?

We have the same issues as we did during the run of West Wing from 1999-2006: education, homelessness, war, huge defense budget, deficit spending - but now we have 3 larger problems:

We aren't taking care of our veterans that we continually send off to combat. We can't grow our economy fast enough to get out of this financial mess that is a bubble. And we have a new housing crisis.

The new housing crisis is that no new affordable housing is being built. Twenty-somethings and even thirty-somethings can't get a mortgage due to student loan and credit card debt (and stringent mortgage guidelines). Rents are sky-rocketing. So where will workers - teachers, firemen, janitors - live?

"The difference between a politician and a statesman is that a politician thinks about the next election while the statesman think about the next generation." - James Freeman Clarke

Technology is not going to fix any of these problems. In fact, you could say that tech has exacerbated a couple of these problems.

Not so much a rant as a can you believe this??

I was going to link to citations for all of these issues, but just Google it.

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