By Curt Woodward and Jon Chesto
Verizon is finally ready to offer its high-speed fiber optic service to Boston — a victory for city officials who have long sought meaningful competition for high-speed Internet and TV service in a city dominated by Comcast Corp. Mayor Martin J. Walsh announced the Verizon move Tuesday, a $300 million investment that will roll out in select neighborhoods beginning this summer but will take six years to cover the whole city. Boston has also agreed to speed up permitting for the infrastructure upgrade and to begin the process of licensing Verizon as a cable TV provider. Continue reading
Google’s foray into VoIP signals the commoditization of voice calls and the probable demise of the public switched telephone network (PSTN). The industry has been on this path for over a decade, but VoIP has made only a modest dent in telephony even with the success of the MSO. Vonage and Skype have their niche following for customers that make frequent international calls. Mobile phones have signaled the decline of the traditional landline, but indoor coverage made it necessary for most people to keep their landline. Femtocells are not seeing enough momentum yet to see a large movement away from the landline.
Articles like these are increasingly being written pointing out that lack of true broadband competition is stifling innovation. Cities that have built open-access municipal networks have enjoyed lower pricing and innovative new services. The cost of building that last-mile of fiber is unjustifiable for a public company if they are the only user. Amortize the cost over several service providers and the payback becomes around 5 years which is well within the planning horizon of a city. The incumbents should embrace the use of “other peoples’ money” to offer new and innovative services to increase ARPU.
from the indeed dept
Ryan Single has an excellent piece at Wired that details how incredibly misleading telcos are being in claiming that the FCC’s attempt to reclassify broadband access will lead to less “innovation.” He highlights how far behind other countries the US has fallen, and how hard the telcos seem to work at not competing and not investing in innovation. Basically, Singel points out what many of us have pointed out all along. All of this posturing by telcos is about lowering their own costs (i.e., not investing) and squeezing more money out of customers, in an attempt to please Wall Street:
By Nate Anderson | Last updated a day ago
Verizon CEO Ivan Seidenberg sat down last week for a talk at the Council for Foreign Relations and talked about how mind-bendingly awesome the US broadband market is. Seidenberg all but put on a foam finger and started chanting, “We’re number one! We’re number one!”
All those studies you’ve read that suggest otherwise? The fact that Hong Kong residents can now get 1Gbps symmetric fiber for US$26, while New York City residents top out at 100Mbps and cost $100? Capping 3Mbps DSL at 5GB/month? All meaningless.
Innovation in technology and business is one of America’s major comparative advantages in the global information economy. That’s why the Federal Communication Commission’s recently released National Broadband Plan deserves attention.