Chris Kranky

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History repeats itself

Chris KoehnckeChris Koehncke

Yesterday, the new FCC chairman, Julius Genachowski, laid down the law for wireless operators in terms of what the FCC will consider an “open” network. Predictably, all the major operators started squawking about how this was (a) going to kill their business, (b) kill the performance of their network and (c) turn America back into a 3rd world country in just over a week.

Lessons are rarely learned in large companies, the ones who got the lesson have now retired and the new Turks believe they can change the physics of how a  business runs.

It’s hard to believe, but back in the mid-90’s, just a mere 10-15 years ago, Internet dial-up was the rage. All kinds of companies offering you $19.95 a month flat rate internet access. Well, Verizon didn’t like this as (stand by for big surprise), they weren’t doing too well in the dial-up business. So rather than try and compete or just get with it, Verizon pulled out their trusty pellet gun known as government regulation and produced a very expensive report for the FCC basically saying that due to the long ‘hold times’ for dial-up Internet, these services were fundamentally going to meltdown every central office in America and (a) was going to kill their business, (b) kill the performance of their network and (c) turn American back into a third world country in just over a week.

See a pattern here?

Well as we all know, no telephone central office burned to the ground because of dial-up internet and, in fact, Verizon, made millions selling consumers 2nd telephone lines solely for dial-up access.

But get ready, Verizon or AT&T or {insert big company} is likely well underway in producing some report predicting that ‘the end is near’ and that the entire wireless network will melt down if the operators are forced to allow any application to run. We have to hope that the Obama Administration has the backbone to stay fast as the corporate lawyers are unleashed.