June 5: What’s Interesting Today:

  • Mark Cuban has an exact opposite view of Tiered Broadband than mine. What can I say… I state my case here.
  • TeliaSonera To France Telecom: You want to buy us for $41 billion? Talk to the hand, mon ami!
  • “Going green” means new kind of chips and better chip design. Seriously, as one of my editors said: Everything starts and ends with silicon.
  • MegaFon, Mobile TeleSystems (MTS) and VimpelCom — three wireless majors in Russia — are going to roll out WCDMA and WCDMA-HSPA (aka 3G) networks later this year, according to GSMA Mobile World Congress’s Wireless Intelligence Report. Russia is the fourth largest mobile market behind China, India, and the United States. Wow, how quickly the world of wireless changes.
  • Fiber to the home is helping Minneapolis, Minn.-based network equipment maker ADC Communciations overcome its recent setbacks. The company reported blockbuster sales and profits for second quarter 2008, and CEO Robert Switz said things will get better. “Our customers are investing in the infrastructure that delivers broadband services to business, residential and mobile subscribers,” he said.
  • Small carriers are banding together and asking the FCC to block Qwest price hikes. I have written about this forbearance folly before, so you know how I feel about it.
  • 6 reasons why you shouldn’t be a web worker. Oh man… I can think of one reason for being a web worker: working at home 😉
  • Newteevee slowly gaining on oldteevee. I am not surprised.

Phone Forbearance Follies

I’m no fan of the phone companies’ tactics of stifling competition in broadband through the strategic deployment of lobbyists in Washington. Thanks to FCC Chairman Kevin Martin, they have gotten what they needed. Perhaps that’s why I was struck by this Ars Technica headline: “Grab your wallet: Qwest wants release from line-sharing rule.”

The Ars report points to a study by QSI Consulting which concludes that: “Qwest’s bid for local deregulation will unleash $1.14 billion in higher charges annually for customers in four major Western markets if approved by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC).” Wow, that’s sure to get everyone’s attention — especially mine, since I’ve been watching the slow asphyxiation of the 1996 Telecom Act for some time now. (I should note, however, that I also am skeptical of claims made by the study, mostly because QSIConsulting counts XO Communications as a customer and the study was commissioned by XO.)

If Qwest gets its way, it won’t have to provide its lines (and facilities) on a wholesale basis, which essentially means there is no way independent companies can exist unless they build their own facilities. And that, of course, is why XO Communications is up in arms. The arguments to deny Qwest’s request are many and valid. Verizon also wants to back away from giving wholesale access to its competitors. I think this is a crummy move by the phone companies. They got everything they ever could have wanted out of the 1996 Act; any concessions they had to made they’ve since sneakily reneged on. XO is right.