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La la la – I can’t hear you

Chris KoehnckeChris Koehncke

I stumbled upon this blog entry from Dr. Hugh Bradlow, the CTO of Australia's Telstra on their self promoting blog site "Now we are talking" titled "The Hyperbole of the Internet". Dr. Bradlow is in a seeming bad mood (even compared to myself) about some comments made by Dan Neary, a Vice President with Skype in Asia Pacific.

Image999 In a podcast interview, Dan had indicated that people enjoy using Skype because it offers a high quality experience over the PSTN. Dr. Bradlow, while acknowledging the values of a wide band audio, goes on a tear about how unreliable Skype is and into technical data about how it doesn't really work and couldn't possibly scale. He admonishes Skype for not publishing any statistics on call quality and disconnects.

As I read on, I couldn't help but feel sorry for Dr. Bradlow, he seemed hopelessly out of touch with the reality of the situation and the way the world is going. Perhaps he was "under the gun" by Telstra to write a blog entry trying to dismiss Skype. He concluded his blog entry in a bit of a huff telling the podcaster that they should perhaps consult a "real" engineer the next time they write such statements.

History has long shown that companies that fail to embrace change often fail themselves. Sadly, traditional telephone companies are staffed with traditional telephony engineers who yearn for a return to the good old days.

Dr. Bradlow failed to mentioned that mobile phones aren't anywhere as reliable as the PSTN. I drop calls many times a week and call quality is fair at best. But yet we love our mobile because — well it's mobile. I use Skype for a similar reason, while it may on the rare ocassion have some problem, the improved call quality and integrated interface for file sharing, chat and video is worth more to me.