Friday, December 09, 2005

Cat amongst the pigeons

Cisco just held its analyst shindig, with quite some attention given to "co-branding and revenue sharing opportunities" (translation - "stick 'em up"). Disruptive Dean was in the audience, and predictably asked a pointed question of Mike Volpi about the open internet (at seven minutes into the final Q&A session - watch the body language of the panel as he's asking the question). Mike Volpi's reply starts with the observation that broadband is not a "guaranteed right for human beings," and goes on to defend the carriers' positions in the sort of language we are hearing from the RBOCs. Along the way, he stresses that broadband is not a utility service. I guess not - my electricity company hasn't ever tried to charge me more for frivolous usage (such as having Christmas tree lights or playing an electric guitar) than responsible/essential usage (cooking my children's dinner). They pretty much just set the price and let me get on with using my electricity in the way that suits me. Hmmm... Mike Volpi, carriers' friend, defender of legacy telco investments against free-riders, where have I heard that name before?

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