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Current Topic: Telecom Industry

The Middle of Nowhere
Topic: Telecom Industry 9:25 am EST, Dec 30, 2004

Julie Snyder found herself in a ten-month battle with her phone company (MCI Worldcom), which had overcharged her $946.36. She spent hours on hold, in a bureaucratic nowhere. No one seemed able to fix her problem, and there was no way she could make the company pay her back for all her lost time and aggravation.

Finally, she enlists the aid of the national media.

The Middle of Nowhere

Notable Quotes
Topic: Telecom Industry 11:52 am EST, Dec 28, 2004

There is actually a thread running through these quotes, which you actually need to click through to get. Here is a sampling.

"There seems to be a lot of crap getting funded."

"When you take the lumpiness, we don't associate it with anything other than the fact that it's lumpy."

"We informed a group of engineers that their function would now reside in India, and we gave them the option to relocate there."

Did they remember to expense those options?

"We saw we were in the middle of a desert, and we turned into a camel."

"Our business continues to be impacted by industry-related conditions."

All of which reinforces my thesis that most people are stupid.

Notable Quotes

Battle Brews Over Rules for Phones on Internet
Topic: Telecom Industry 7:24 am EDT, Jul 28, 2004

Behind the scenes, a fierce battle is emerging among rival companies and between federal and state regulators over the shape of new government regulations and control of the service, which has the potential to be the most significant development in telecommunications since the breakup of the AT&T monopoly 20 years ago.

It promises to be one of the most important political battles of the next Congressional session.

Battle Brews Over Rules for Phones on Internet

Bells Are Catching Up in Battle for Broadband
Topic: Telecom Industry 7:23 am EDT, Jul 28, 2004

The regional Bell phone companies, long dismissed as laggards stuck with a declining fixed-line businesses, are coming back into favor again. The companies have gained the upper hand in their battle with the country's long-distance carriers, and are now stealing momentum from the cable industry in the fight for broadband customers.

On Monday, Time Warner Cable, the country's second-biggest cable operator, said it would introduce a broadband service that is six megabits a second.

Bells Are Catching Up in Battle for Broadband

Cook Report | September-October 2004
Topic: Telecom Industry 12:57 am EDT, Jul 24, 2004

Most Carriers are trapped. They are faced with equally unpalatable choices: "lose-if-you-win" and "lose-if-you-lose."

Anyone looking to understand the economic future of the telecom industry must begin to look at global as well as regional assumptions about culture, technology policy and economics.

Over the last three decades, Western technologists have designed vast, complex greenfield systems like the Public Internet. For a while they built and people came. As Moore's Law turned their products into commodities, they found themselves too top heavy to compete.

The IT and telecom companies of Europe and North America are locked in to a complex systems concept frame of mind from which they are unlikely to escape.

In reviewing both the marketing and profit and loss lessons of the last quarter of the last century, from automobiles to fine china to radio to agriculture, we find that the adoption of "one size fits all" economies of scale lead irreversibly to "production cost below sales price" commodities that either require governmental subsidies or an entire re-thinking of the system's goals.

Intelligence is moving to the edges and the edges are found on the Asian mainland.

Cook Report | September-October 2004

Bells Win a Battle, Not Necessarily the War
Topic: Telecom Industry 9:43 am EDT, Jul 23, 2004

AT&T's capitulation is not necessarily the Bells' victory. The future poses its own uncertainties for the Bell companies.

"The Bells should enjoy it while it lasts."

The Bells are benefiting from the now largely irrelevant distinction between local and long-distance calls, and the emergence of service "bundles," in which consumers pay a single monthly price for local, long-distance and even Internet service.

The publisher of Consumer Reports said AT&T's decision was "an enormous big deal."

Fail fast! (One can hope ...)

Bells Win a Battle, Not Necessarily the War

AT&T to Stop Marketing Traditional Service
Topic: Telecom Industry 9:41 am EDT, Jul 22, 2004

AT&T said Thursday it would stop seeking new customers for its traditional consumer long-distance service.

"AT&T will focus on lines of business where we are a clear leader, where we control our own destiny and where we have distinct competitive advantages."

AT&T to Stop Marketing Traditional Service

Nortel agrees to outsource manufacturing
Topic: Telecom Industry 12:44 am EDT, Jun 30, 2004

Troubled telecom equipment maker Nortel Networks has agreed to outsource most of its manufacturing in a deal worth between $675 million and $725 million.

"Today's announcement is an important part of Nortel Networks' strategy. By leveraging the vertically integrated supply chain capabilities of Flextronics, we can focus our resources and efforts on those areas that offer us greater competitive differentiation."

In other words, this is our exit strategy from the dwindling market for carrier-class circuit-switched telecommunications equipment.

Nortel agrees to outsource manufacturing

The Big Fib About Fiber
Topic: Telecom Industry 11:58 pm EDT, Jun 28, 2004

At SuperComm last week, the big announcement was SBC Communications' plan to spend up to $6 billion stringing fiber-optic lines in its customers' neighborhoods. SBC is second in size only to Verizon, which recently announced its own service offering of fiber-to-the-premises, or FTTP.

For investors, however, these big FTTP announcements should really be no big deal. That's because FTTP has proven no big deal for telecom suppliers, who are seeing ... well, no big deals.

Phone companies are reeling from the plummeting price of their cash-cow franchise -- voice.

FTTP will be largely a pipe dream for investors and suppliers, says Scott Cleland.

The Big Fib About Fiber

Can MCI Hold The Line?
Topic: Telecom Industry 11:51 pm EDT, Jun 28, 2004

When MCI emerged from bankruptcy in April, it had the makings of a fearsome competitor.

Scant months into MCI's new life, the company's rivals are hardly quivering.

"Everybody is doing Internet convergence. It's not a way to [solve] their problems."

How did things get so dire?

Even MCI's potential predators must be reevaluating.

Can MCI Hold The Line?

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