VoIP

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Will Martin Geddes and Telco 2.0 Turn Around BT?

British Telecom (BT) is hurting because the wireline phone business is inevitably declining. Their new hire is one of the world's most interesting thinkers on possible new businesses for telcos. Martin has been part of the Telco 2.0 group at STL Consultancy, the best small group of European analysts... more»

Ten Telecom Tsunamis

The telecom industry five years from now will be unrecognizable. The creative destruction of the Internet broadly writ will be even greater than it has been in the last decade. The major telcos, the major television networks, and the major cablecos -- if they still exist at all -- will have very different revenue models than they have today. That's the good scenario... more»

Lawrence Lessig: FCC Beyond Repair, Should be Abolished

Lawrence Lessig has proposed that the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is corrupt beyond repair and that "President Obama should get Congress to shut down the FCC and similar vestigial regulators, which put stability and special interests above the public good." In a Newsweek exclusive opinion piece, Lessig urges that failure to "demolish regulators" charged with overseeing the nations digital pipelines will stifle the Skypes and YourTubes of the future. "In their place, Congress should create something we could call the Innovation Environment Protection Agency (iEPA), charged with a simple founding mission: 'minimal intervention to maximize innovation.' The iEPA's core purpose would be to protect innovation from its two historical enemies-excessive government favors, and excessive private monopoly power." more»

Do the IM Protocol Wars Even Matter?

Do you care any more about zillion different IM services? Do you care about the IM protocol wars that have plagued the usage of IM for the last years? Odds are that if you are an IM user like me, you probably don't. Why not? Simple... we've unified the IM services on the client side and basically stopped caring about the various services and protocols. I was reminded of this fact this morning when I received a message saying that an update was available for Adium on my Mac that solved a really annoying disconnection problem with Yahoo!Messenger. more»

Managing Internet as a Shared Resource: Reasonable Technical Constraints?

The internet is a shared resource. Different access providers begin mixing traffic at different places, but sooner or later, my internet gets mixed into yours. The Canadian Association of Internet Providers (CAIP) application to the Canadian Radio-television and
Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) seems to acknowledge this shared nature with its reference (at paragraph 50 of its application) to the description of the Gateway Access Service its members resell, a description complete with a graphic of a cloud -- a sign that the resource is being shared... more»

Telcos Must Become Major Destination Websites, Says Sun Chairman

Telecommunication companies need to go beyond just providing bandwidth and look into acquiring Internet destination sites that are heavily trafficked, Sun Chairman Scott McNealy said on Friday. "I have explained to every telco that either you become a destination site, or the destination site will become a telco," McNealy said at a news conference at Sun's Worldwide Education and Research Conference in San Francisco on Wednesday... more»

Call for Telecom Industry Wake-Up

As many of you know, I'm launching the Emerging Communications (eComm) conference -- taking place next month in Silicon Valley, at the Computer History Museum. Communications innovation has been stagnant, in my opinion, for nearly a decade. Telecommunications and Internet communications both seem to be at somewhat of an impasse. The communications industry needs a forum to help break through the stagnancy and highlight the huge opportunity space that is emerging. The stagnancy has been strikingly more so in telecommunications... more»

The Third Stage of the VoIP Rocket Never Fired

Ten years ago was the dawn of Voice over IP (VoIP). The pioneering Israeli company VocalTec had just released its VoIP software for PCs (it was named iPhone, BTW). Industry guru Jeff Pulver (whom I now partner with in FWD) had begun to hold his Voice on the Net (VON) shows. As the founder of VoIP startup ITXC, I was invited to give a keynote at VON in Boston. The evolution of VoIP, I opined with the requisite PowerPoint slides, will be like a three stage rocket. I was right about the first two stages and dead wrong about the third... more»

Stealing VoIP Services: Convicted Hacker Interviewed

Convicted hacker Robert Moore, who is set to go to federal prison this week, says breaking into 15 telecommunications companies and hundreds of businesses worldwide was incredibly easy because simple IT mistakes left gaping technical holes. more»

Walks Like a Telco, Yalks Like a Telco… Must be a Telco

Vonage's latest woes are written up by Om Malik in Vonage: How Low Can You Go. More interesting than Om's reportage (Sprint wins case, Vonage ordered to pay damages, stock drops to $1.30) is the commentary afterward, in which one reader takes Om to task for the "gleeful" way in which he reports the demise of the VoIP companies... Boosters made the argument that VoIP was fundamentally cheaper than the TDM systems that phone companies deploy, and so therefore they enjoyed a price advantage in the market place. Anyone in the business of supplying telecom equipment, however, will tell you that the argument is flawed... more»

Study Says Email Has Surpassed Telephony as Corporate Communication Tool

New research recently released by Dimension Data suggests that email usage has surpassed telephony as communication tool of choice in the workplace. The research surveyed 390 IT managers and 524 enterprise users across 13 countries in the United States, Asia Pacific and Europe, Middle East and Africa. According to the research, 100% of the end-users surveyed use e-mail, followed by fixed-line telephony (80%), mobile telephony (76%) and instant messaging (66%). more»

Spam About to Get Worst, Says Former Spammer in New Book

A spammer who goes by the name "Ed" (and sometimes SpammerX ), has gotten out of the business and written a book, "Inside the Spam Cartel: Trade Secrets from the Dark Side". The book, which has had a particular level of interest in the law enforcement circles eager to learn more about the spam business, predicts the spam problem will only get worse. Ed says: "As broadband speeds increase, spammers will increasingly look to market goods by making VoIP calls or sending out videos..." more»

CAN SPAM Applies Even Within a Single Provider

I recently came across a copy of a ruling in the bizarre case of MySpace vs. theglobe.com. Theglobe.com was the ultimate dot.com bubble company. It started up here in Ithaca, and went public at the peak of dot.com hysteria with one of the the greatest one-day price runups ever. Since then they bought and sold a variety of busineses, none of which ever made any money, including the Voiceglo VoIP service which appears to be what the spam was promoting. more»

The Search for Net Neutrality

My weekly Law Bytes column (Toronto Star version, freely available version) examines the growing trend toward a two-tiered Internet, which upends the longstanding principle of network neutrality under which ISPs treat all data equally. I argue that the network neutrality principle has served ISPs, Internet companies, and Internet users well. It has enabled ISPs to plausibly argue that they function much like common carriers and that they should therefore be exempt from liability for the content that passes through their systems. ...Notwithstanding its benefits, in recent months ISPs have begun to chip away at the principle. more»

Internet Governance: Analogue Solutions to Digital Problems

This is an overview of the booklet, "Internet Governance: Issues, Actors and Divides," recently published by DiploFoundation and the Global Knowledge Partnership. "Internet Governance is not a simple subject. Although it deals with a major symbol of the DIGITAL world, it cannot be handled with a digital - binary logic of true/false and good/bad. Instead, the subject's many subtleties and shades of meaning and perception require an ANALOGUE approach, covering a continuum of options and compromises." Update: This article was reposted with additional information and a new title. more»