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« - Thankfully, That's Not The Way It Was | Main | Forbes: Lehman and Meritocracy »

August 18, 2009



As always, very insightful and interesting analysis. My only question as a lay person is: Could the REAL reason our communications policy is lagging is one of national security? Ie the gov't doesn't have the ability to control/access that level of data or type of infrastructure. They barely have the ability to do it today so they want progress in the markets to match their budget and technology timeline. Just a thought.


I feel sure that the Bush administration was reluctant to deregulate the incumbents more for that reason. Perhaps with some merit although it strikes me as a bit like the toothpaste on the airplane. I wonder how Andy reconciles the ideas of the incumbents claim that the pipes or spectrum are their property with the notion that the property is in some way communal since it was built with monopoly money.


Palm Pre has an exclusive with Sprint, not Verizon.

Congress banned exclusive municipal cable franchises in 1996.

George R. Langworth

I'm an avid reader and appreciate your point of view as always.
There are a number of services that are best managed for Quality-of-Service at the network level, rather than the application level.
Voice is "catch as catch can" when slithering through the Internet. It's best managed. I think the universal service theory that created these monopolies was implemented wrongly. Tax incentives should have built the national broadband network infrastructure, and value-added management as well as content could seek customers on this virtual broadband marketplace.
But any transition must confront the fact that there is an enormous amount of "widow's and orphan's" money in U.S. telcos equity and debt -- hardly funny money invested in all this infrastructure.

Gary White

???? "End municipal exclusivity deals for cable companies. TV channels are like voice pipes, part of an era that is about to pass."

Sir, that ended in the 1992 Telecom rewrite (and before that in many states)!

An otherwise, insightful blog


I didn't see any mention of the incredible capital investment made by each carrier to provide these huge pipes you seem to think should be free. I also don't see you point out that there are at least three or more ususally highly cutthroat competitors per market, most of whom paid through the nose for that spectrum you think should be free. Is it unamerican to make a profit on your investment? There is plenty of competition out there as well as plenty of innovation, just not what you want to see so you gripe. Unfortunately the real world gets in the way of the utopia you discuss. Maybe Obama should nationalize the telecom system in the US and all the taxpayers can subsidize entire network even more than they do right now.

Michael Hickins

Your post makes good sense--and I'm glad someone else sees the connection. I posted this piece with what I think is a pretty clear smoking gun with AT&T fingerprints.

Roger Barnes

You even edited out my very valid criticisms of your poorly-written article. Well done.


Gary White has a point. If Google wants unfettered freedom to market its services, it should build or buy its own wireless network and not get a free ride on someone else's. (They'll soon learn what it takes to maintain QoS in the mobile domain.) Alternatively, work out an equitable financial formula that will compensate the carrier and allow them a means to offer tiered pricing based on consumption. Bandwidth is not limitless, and data hogs should not be entitled to gobble it up to the detriment of other paying customers. The root of the problem is the flat pricing model for undifferentiated data services. It is not sustainable economically. So carriers must either offset their cost with advertising (the Google model) or charge a premium based on usage.

James Snowden

This whole line of argument flies in the face of logic. If it is true that AT&T killed the Google App, why is it allowed and running on the Blackberry Bold running on the AT&T network. There is clearly an agenda here. For some reason, there appears to be an orchestrated vendetta against AT&T that is not obvious. Could this be orchestrated by people who have a stake in seeing AT&T fail? Hmm I wonder.

For validation that the Google App runs on the AT&T network, visit this link....

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