Thursday, February 09, 2006

Senate Commerce Hearing

Interesting panel at the Senate Commerce hearings on the Internet: Earl Comstock of CompTel (but also one of Sen. Stevens staffers who helped write the 10-year old TA96); Jeffrey Citron, former CEO of Vonage; Vint Cerf, Google's Internet Evangelist and father of the Internet; Walter McCormick of USTA; and the guy from the Cable Association.

"The promise of the next-generation Internet is dependent upon there being investment in next-generation networks," said Walter McCormick, president and chief executive of the United States Telecom Association, a trade association for the Bells and others. "If you're going to expand these networks, how are you going to earn a return on that investment?"

I have an idea: Stop selling $15 or stop crying about dropping revenue. Work with ISPs to start acquiring cable customers. You Tele-Barons whine too much while racking up huge revenues. If you don't want to build out the network, then get out of the way and let others do it - like Muni, Wi-Fi, CLECs, and Cablecos - and relegate yourselves to a dinosaur about to die. We don't want IPTV from you, VZ, we just want a pipe to get the content we want, not that you tell us we can have. And remember you have depreciated the heck out of your infrastructure at this point. The only expense really is maintenance.

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