Recognizing That Voice Is Just Data (Or How Google Voice Could Be Disruptive)

from the voice-is-data-too dept

Karl Bode, over at Broadband Reports, wrote up a great article a little while back about why Google Voice was more disruptive than anyone (especially the telcos) were willing to give it credit for being. The key underlying point: voice is just a form of data. Once you realize that, you realize that no one needs to be tied to any telco's own dialing system. Your mobile phone service provider really could just be a dumb pipe.

For years, I've always felt that the calls for "triple play" or "quadruple play" was incredibly misleading. All of the different "plays" (voice, video, data) were actually all just data. And when things are all just data, and its on an open network, then anyone can provide the services on top of that data. The telcos recognize this, somewhat -- which is why they've tried to block out others from offering certain telco services (it's why Google Voice was blocked on the iPhone), but it could be really game changing. Imagine if you could just buy a mobile phone that had no calling plan at all -- but it was all in the software? You could even use different dialers (with different numbers?) depending on what made the most sense or was cheapest.

The telcos hate thinking of themselves as dumb pipes, but there's something to be said for focusing on the pipes and making them as strong as possible, while letting everyone else innovate at the service level, and just selling good data plans. The more others innovate, the more valuable those data connections become.


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  1.  
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    Fred McTaker (profile), Oct 23rd, 2009 @ 6:20pm

    Even "dumb pipes" is too much credit

    I think even the "dumb pipes" analogy is giving them too much credit. I think roads are a more accurate analogy, and trucks are the data packets, in defiance of ex-Senator Stevens.

    The data packets that travel to/from your home to the businesses you want to interact with are more like cars than water. They use traffic signals (routers) along the way to help them get to the right place, faster and more efficiently. We accept roads (last mile) and highways (national backbone) as public funded services, primarily because there aren't better alternatives (trains and trolleys were gutted by the automobile lobbys in the areas they served, and buses are just bigger autos). Allowing private entities to own the roads would result in endless toll stops, and they would end up almost useless.

    The current private-owned Internet should be thought of in the same way: mired in endless toll roads.

     

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    bernardgolden (profile), Oct 23rd, 2009 @ 6:42pm

    The world is on the brink of pouring enormous amounts of data into the Internet -- it's happening already, but, as the saying goes, you ain't seen nothing yet. I believe that the carriers will wake up in 18 to 24 months and recognize that when the world is pouring data down your pipe, being a dumb pipe isn't such a bad thing. And, for sure, harvesting the data load of a zillion innovators is bound to be more fruitful than being limited to harvesting the data load that you can create.

     

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    Jeff, Oct 23rd, 2009 @ 6:43pm

    The Internet

    The internet is not a truck that you can just dump stuff on. It's a series of tubes!

     

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    Space Pirate, Oct 23rd, 2009 @ 6:50pm

    Amen!

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 23rd, 2009 @ 7:16pm

    Re: Even "dumb pipes" is too much credit

    Wow, blew my mind. Had not thought of that way before. The lawmakers and judges should understand it this way. Just got my Google Voice number, trying to fingure a way to use it with just an iTouch.

     

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    Brendan (profile), Oct 23rd, 2009 @ 7:46pm

    Mobile airtime bidding

    Reminds me of google's patent app from last year regarding real-time market prices for mobile airtime based on localized supply/demand.

    Really interesting concept that is closer to how telecoms should be used (as base commodities), but that has the telcos crapping themselves fearing the lost (giant) margins on voice plans.

    http://blog.usweb.com/archives/google-patent-app-wants-mobile-companies-to-bid-on-your-ser vice/

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 23rd, 2009 @ 10:07pm

    It is a pretty solid mistake to fall into the idea of "it's all just data", because it too narrowly focuses on transport without looking at the products.

    It's sort of like claiming that infinite distribution makes music free, without backing up a couple of steps to see the whole process and realizing that distribution is only one part of the deal.

    Phones in particular are a worldwide system with rules and agreements for things to make them work out. country codes, area codes, etc are all agreed upon internationally, so that you can sit in a coffee bar in south Florida and direct dial your relatives in Bangladesh. The data is just what moves, it's the rules of the road that make it function.

    It's the basic difference between Skype and a real phone one is anti-rules free form and lacking in structure, and the real phones have structure and security. I know which one I want when it comes time to dial 911.

    The data bits that move aren't the keys. The sooner you learn that, the sooner you understand why there are differences in the way these things operate.

     

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    Fred McTaker (profile), Oct 24th, 2009 @ 12:56am

    Re:

    If you don't think your "real phones" don't get translated from analog to data, and data back to analog, you're an idiot. VoIP didn't start as a way to get around the phone system -- similar data conversions were used extensively by long distance companies and large businesses with their own backbone connections, so that they could fit more calls over less long-haul fiber lines, thus saving themselves massive deployment costs.

    The "keys" you're thinking of are just QoS policies, which are expressly permitted in current Net Neutrality legislation, but must be transparent (read: in the fine print at sign-up time) to the consumer.

    I like QoS rules that make "phone" calls more important than video downloads more than anyone -- I just think those QoS policies should be set by the consumer, not the monopolistic telco. Net Neutrality makes that the case, and without Net Neutrality rules you lose all consumer controls over QoS policy, so they can decide their partner video downloads are more important than your 911 VoIP call.

     

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    Nate, Oct 24th, 2009 @ 4:31am

    Re: Re: Even "dumb pipes" is too much credit

    Well, hate to tell you this, but Skype. Google Voice doesn't have a voice component to it. It's a redialer for your existing phone service(s) in order to consolidate/index them/manage them from a webservice.

    I think there's a lot of misunderstanding about what the service does/does not do at this point that could be alleviated by Google opening the beta to everybody.

     

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    Vincent Clement, Oct 24th, 2009 @ 6:00am

    Re:

    Exactly how is Skype "anti-rules". It has a proprietary protocol aka 'the rules' to send and receive phone calls.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 24th, 2009 @ 8:05am

    Re: Re:

    If you don't think your "real phones" don't get translated from analog to data, and data back to analog, you're an idiot

    Sorry, you missed the point, and in fact, that statement shows you really didn't pay attention (but I won't call you an idiot for it).

    Basically, it doesn't matter if it is analog, digital, or smoke signals. That isn't the important part of the deal. the "digitalness" of something is a very myopic view of the full extend of the system in place. Telephones are exceptionally useful and reliable not because of digital versus analog or the color of the handset, but rather a global rule set that makes it possible for people in different countries to interact with each other without issues, in a reliable and standardized manner.

    It isn't the data that matters, it's the rules of the road and the overall system of telephones that matter. It's why Skype tends to feel like a third world crank phone at times, and why you can use your cell phone to call anyone in the world clearly and easily.

    Net neutrality in the end won't change anything. You can set your QoS to whatever you like, but when all the kids in the neighborhood are downloading movies and playing games, the network congestion will drop your call anyway. I know at least that my landline (and likely my cell phone) will work without issues, no downloaders to screw up the network.

     

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    John Fenderson (profile), Oct 24th, 2009 @ 8:09am

    Re:

    "Phones in particular are a worldwide system with rules and agreements for things to make them work out. country codes, area codes, etc are all agreed upon internationally"

    Same with the internet. I'm not sure I understand your point.

    Skype is not "anti-rules," and in fact the IETF (the "rules-making" body of the internet) is developing rules for voip as well.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 24th, 2009 @ 8:55am

    " Imagine if you could just buy a mobile phone that had no calling plan at all -- but it was all in the software? You could even use different dialers (with different numbers?) depending on what made the most sense or was cheapest."

    First, you would still have to pay a 'dumb pipe' provider. Then it sounds like you also want to pay multiple VoIP providers (to use the one that suits you best at any given time). How is that different than paying for the pipe and VoIP/phone service from the same provider? The only difference is a choice in who gets paid for the phone part.

    All you are talking about here is VoIP over cellular networks (or something that you envision that sounds very much like cellular service). AT&T decided to stop limiting VoIP over 3G on the iPhone on October 6. Nothing new to see here.

    The biggest issues with VoIP over radio networks are loss, delay and jitter. Most VoIP encoders are lossy, when you put that on top of a lossy network the level of service becomes marginal. The losses can be masked in most cases (or eliminated if extra bandwidth is used for redundant data or forward error correction). But any delay will always be there, jitter is also masked with buffers (more delay). Even small amounts of delay will make conversations difficult where one side has to wait to hear a response from the other side. Most folks notice when the round trip time exceeds 200ms, most folks are annoyed when the round trip time exceeds 400ms. That kind of experience may be acceptable to some, especially if the VoIP service is free. But folks that are paying will not tolerate it - folks trying to conduct business will not tolerate it. The biggest barrier to VoIP over radio networks is the networks themselves. VoIP over radio networks will not take off on a large scale until the networks improve.

     

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    Used To Know (profile), Oct 24th, 2009 @ 9:15am

    Voice as Data

    This is actually quite an old argument that started as soon as people realized that they could put digitized voice across the Internet. Back in the mid-1990s, this same argument raged between the propeller heads at the telcos and the ISPs. Then it was about landlines. Today, its about mobile services.

    The real issue then, and still is, who owns the connection to the customer? In land lines, that was who owned the last mile. In wireless today, its who is supplying signal. These are the guys who currently get to print the bills and act as a gateway for what the subscriber gets to see on their branded handset. These current guys want to make sure that nobody upsets that lucrative arrangement.

    iPhone had the chance to disrupt this arrangement, but they are conveniently supported by ATT (Evil Empire). Google Voice is looking to jump the queue so to speak, and that is what has all of the other "real-telcos" nervous.

    With regard to this 'rules of the road' discussion and why telcos are special, aren't you glad that we don't require email companies to deliver email across the net? Voice really is just one more data application upon the net, albeit one with more special needs and rules than most. Google is the first outsider with enough clout to make that argument believable.

    Get ready for the revolution. It will be a bit bumpy, but you're gonna like it.

     

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    bigpicture, Oct 24th, 2009 @ 12:11pm

    Re: In The Box

    Typical "In The Box" thinking. Magic Jack was a new kind of technology that is still in infancy stage. It is sort of a cell phone over the wire. There is a key that gets plugged into the USB of a PC and it becomes a phone connection with a dedicated phone number.

    Why, because the plug in key contains an assigned phone number, (which is usually North American) and if this key is plugged in China it becomes a "local" number when called from NA just like with a cell phone. (Think Global, because this makes Area Codes, and Country Codes or any kind of geographical identifier obsolete.)

    Carry this further and include other features and services either as firmware or hardware in the key or end device, then what is in between becomes a "Dumb Pipe". And it is things like Google Search that makes it intelligent, because after all there has to be something (a search) that finds a specific key (number) and where it is located does not really matter. The Google Voice is just leveraging on this personal anywhere phone number thing.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 24th, 2009 @ 1:39pm

    Re: Voice as Data

    Google Voice is looking to jump the queue so to speak, and that is what has all of the other "real-telcos" nervous.

    Actually not. Google Voice is 100% dependant on every other last mile / last connection provider, without them Google Voice is a nice idea, nothing more. They are entirely dependant on following the rules of the road for those services, at the risk of losing access to them.

    Google Voice is an application similar in positioning as voice mail or other. It is nothing without the existing well established, well formed, and exceptionally reliable network that supports it. It doesn't matter if the data moving is digital, analog, or whatever - it's still the same thing. Without a phone to send the calls to, Google Voice is, well, voiceless!

     

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    Fred McTaker (profile), Oct 24th, 2009 @ 2:17pm

    Re: Re: Re: Even "dumb pipes" is too much credit

    Actually it's a bit more complicated than that. Google Voice essentially uses the same tricks those old 10-10- discount long distance numbers used, with lots of nice voicemail and web integration added on. You "call in" to GV through your own local number, and select what you want to do, including make a call out. You then dial the number, and the call gets routed over GV VoIP connections until it gets translated to POTS analog at or near the destination. They thereby get around all long distance charges, making traditional long distance service unnecessary, which has been true for years but Telco monopolists would never let on. They also have vastly reduced International rates negotiated with carriers in each country, using the same VoIP-POTS routing tricks to get around cross-country charges, in the same way more "standard" VoIP services like GizmoProject and Skype Call-Out already do.

    You can also link GV to a GizmoProject SIP account (hopefully more SIP services in the future) to avoid the POTS system entirely on your end. If the destination of the call also has VoIP, you can use Google as a tool to circumvent POTS entirely, while still using the old number system instead of SIP addresses. GizmoProject and Skype charge for "call-in" numbers, and Google eats the cost to give you a free GV call-in number (presumably in return for advertising exposure on their web interfaces).

    Personally I prefer SIP addresses when available -- they look just like email adresses name@domain.ext, which is much easier to remember than a 10-15 number string. Potentially once SIP services are advanced enough, your voice/video SIP, IM, Wave, and email accounts can all be the same address. They can also have aliases and numerical "shortcuts", so are much more flexible than old POTS numbers.

     

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    Robert Shoe, Oct 24th, 2009 @ 3:23pm

    StarPound Technologies...

    has been preaching this for years... and have spent the past 5 years developing the platform to take advantage of this fact... www.starpound.net

     

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    bigpicture, Oct 24th, 2009 @ 5:40pm

    Re: Re: Voice as Data

    It does matter if it is "digital" or "voice" or "analogue" because these little distinctions determines the LAWS that govern them. What the root issue is that whether it is "digital" data or voice, to have different laws governing them is an anachronism. It is usually the low tech "last mile" that might be analogue anyhow. The whole issue is if these extortionist suckers can hold the rest of the infrastructure to ransom or not, or if laws prevent that or not. Example: you can phone to most places in the world for a fixed monthly fee except to places like the Philippines, because of the "hop off" last mile extortionist suckers, you get about 8,000 miles for free and about $0.22 per minute for the last two miles. See what unregulated greed and corruption can do, but I guess with bank bail outs the US is not very far behind on the corruption index.

    It is just another American Idiosyncrasy that road infrastructure is public but phone and communications are not. AND they don't see this as a National Security issue. Should it be a public service or a Profit Center. NAH, Corporate screw over the public is that not the American way?

     

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    isthisthingon (profile), Oct 25th, 2009 @ 12:00am

    Re: Re: Re:

    >Net neutrality in the end won't change anything.

    Everything I've read from you makes sense except this comment. Are you forgetting the impending, tiered approach to broadband pricing that penalizes certain levels of use and even perhaps the subjective pricing of traffic based on content?

    Funny thing is, to oppose net neutrality is to be a proponent of regulation. It's just that you support corporate and not government regulation. In this case the government plans to disallow discretionary based, corporate regulation of Internet traffic. Isn't that a good thing?

     

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    McBeese, Oct 25th, 2009 @ 12:14am

    Are you kidding? You don't get it? Sigh.

    YES, voice, video, and data communication is evolving to become nothing more than bits over a broadband data pipe.

    BUT, that has NOTHING to do with what Google Voice is. Google Voice is a 'call control' app and has nothing to do with call transport. It works just as well with calls that are carried over the old TDM networks. Google Voice strips away some of the call control revenue from the telcos, but it has nothing to do with VoIP.

    Mike, if you don't understand how Google Voice works, you really shouldn't blog about it. If you want a Google Voice + Telecom 101 lesson, let me know.

     

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    Yosi, Oct 25th, 2009 @ 2:30am

    This, Mike, is technically bullshit.

    You see, voice is not "just data".

    In order to work reliably as you used to, you can't just send all your calls up to Skype (or another VoIP) switchboard and back.

    To those wanna-be's who call "but QoS" all over - just shut up, you have no idea what the hell are you talking about. In order for QoS to work all over routing path, you need to set it up in advance. You need all upstream providers to configure their routers is curtain way, which is complicated both from technical and organizational side.

    Moreover, the whole such setup is stupid (and expansive as a result). Why send voice calls as data to Skype and back, when you (cellular provider) can just route it locally as, well, voice?!

    And we not yet talked about quality and reliability. Yes, IP network has rerouting capability, but they are quite useless in conjunction with QoS. And it's trivial to make DoS attacks on internet routers than on cell towers. In order to efficiently DoS cell network you will need some quite specialized equipment, and be physically close to the target. Result is that it's trivial to locate source of damage and call guys in uniforms.

    On unrelated notice - Google Voice is not more disruptive than Skype or any other VoIP provider out there. They don't even offer international service.

     

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    vastrightwing, Oct 25th, 2009 @ 5:24pm

    data

    Yes, voice service, telephone service is just routable data like any other. The same thing is happening with the internet itself. It's no longer just TCP/IP traffic, but "power boost"! Movies! Music! Fast! Convenient! and all the other marketing stuff they assign to it. At its core, all this nonesense is just plain old commodity data packets being sent from point A to point B as fast as it can.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 25th, 2009 @ 5:36pm

    You're right, Mike. Remember the number of attempts to kill Vonage through the legal/patent process?

    You mentioned a while back that you had CallVantage, and SBC killed it after the merger.

    What needs to be understood on a grandular level is that these folks sell pipes, empty pipes, but pipes nonetheless, and much of this infrastructure was paid for in the late 1990s with taxpayer dollars. Prior to this, the internet existed as a series of T1 lines across the country. With taxpayer dollars, we had an explosion of growth with UUNet, MCI, and Global Crossing. Unlike other companies, they don't have to plan for what they put through the pipes, just make sure the pipes stay flowing. Take home utilities such as water or natural gas as an example.

    Within these other utilities, when consumption increase, or city plans include dramatic growth, typically budgets for planning has to comparatively increase to meet the needs of it's customers.

    It also bears reminding that telecom companies are UTILITY companies. How many Central Offices have seen customer growth, yet still lack the necessary budget to operate?

    Is it because even though they are codified as a utility with the IRS, yet internally, they don't see themselves or act as a utility?

     

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    Drew (profile), Oct 25th, 2009 @ 6:31pm

    Please do more research before posting.

    As others have mentioned, Mike, you don't have a clear grasp on how Google Voice works or even what it is. Please at least read wikipedia next time before posting. Here's something else you should know. According to the FCC reports filed by Apple, Google, and AT&T, Apple is the one blocking Google Voice. As an otherwise happy iPhone user, I'd love to blame this on AT&T rather than the innovators who made this phone possible, but it's just not true. Also, AT&T just moved to allow Skype and other VoIP services to call over 3G on the iPhone. Their policies are becoming more reasonable day by day and I think that they are starting to realize that if they go along with this dumb pipe idea, at least to an extent, they'll be able to retain some of their customers.

     

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    Eldakka (profile), Oct 25th, 2009 @ 6:43pm

    Re: Re: Re:


    but rather a global rule set that makes it possible for people in different countries to interact with each other without issues, in a reliable and standardized manner.


    And how is TCP/IP different from this? You know, the international standard outlined in several RFCs.


    Instead of my telephone number being +61 8 1234 5678 it could now be 192.168.1.10:5000.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 25th, 2009 @ 7:59pm

    Re: Please do more research before posting.

    Ever look into Mesh networking concepts?

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 25th, 2009 @ 8:02pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Instead of my telephone number being +61 8 1234 5678 it could now be 192.168.1.10:5000.

    You seem pretty smart, so tell me how can that be routed? Seriously.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 25th, 2009 @ 8:12pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Haha, sorry didn't see the 6 in front of the 1.

    Australia.

    I was thinking about coming down there next month but you guys kicked out my boy Sol Trujillo a few months ago.

    Tell you what, bring us back The Chasers in one form or another. Then we can talk. The escapade with Barney in front of Dick Cheney's house was classic, but probably, from a political standpoint, killed you guys. We love that kind of stuff.

    We need more Bawlsy Aussies here. But from a political timeframe, they "just needed to stay in Australia."

    Bring it back, man, and we'll talk.

     

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    cl, Oct 26th, 2009 @ 8:14am

    Really, this is a socialist vs. capitalist debate that you are just trying to validate through an attempt to misdirect and simplify flanking arguments that have no merit.

    The bottom line gentlemen is that it doesn't matter if voice is data, what matters is who owns the pipe. Period. Doesn't matter if tax payer dollars were used to augment the cost of the pipe, tax payer dollars are used a lot to "stimulate". The different is that 20 years ago it was considered an investment in infrastructure, now it's a end-around the free-market.

    This is purely against the constitution by the way. We have a constitution that guarantees "free contract". There is a difference between government regulation and corporate regulation. One has a constitutional right, the other not so much.

    Net Neutrality is simply another of a string of attempts of this government to seize control of yet more of our infrastructure and take over this country.

    If you are a socialist or communist and this is how you believe...I suggest you move. Our constitution does not support or allow for your ideology. It protects property ownership. If you are not a socialist or a communist and you really believe that you have the right to own property and enter into free contract under your own responsibilities and merit...then I suggest that you read up on this topic.

    Remember, once the government takes over the internet, and after they have taken over health care, and businesses...then the next logical step (look into Stalin's Russia) they will then seize your property...your home, your land, and your money.

    He who owns it...gets to make the decisions. Remember the "net" does not belong to you...or the federal government. And if you think it should...then look at which country's tech and business sector really invented it and took it to this level. Do you think socialist France, Russia, China or Venezuela could have? I think not.

    And as far as the "roads" comment goes...Eisenhower copied the German "interstate" system for the same reasons the Germans had it...to freely move military assets throughout a country's interior. You using the roads now...that's like you drinking tang or using velcro...it was never designed for you, so don't use it as an analogy for your socialist validation...its disingenuous.

    History dear fellow...learn your history before you try to argue for things that have already failed in 100% of the attempts.

    cl

     

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    romeosidvicious (profile), Oct 26th, 2009 @ 11:02am

    Re:

    Really, this is a socialist vs. capitalist debate that you are just trying to validate through an attempt to misdirect and simplify flanking arguments that have no merit. This has nothing to do with Socialism or Capitalism to be perfectly frank. I can see how some might attempt to frame the debate in that manner but it's truly not the case. When dealing with utilities there are a different set of rules involved and the internet is a utility much like electricity, water, natural gas, and so on. For what it's worth the term "capitalism" is not even well defined enough to use in a "vs Socialism" framework. I suspect you mean Free Market Capitalism as opposed to State Capitalism so the rest of my response will be based on that. The bottom line gentlemen is that it doesn't matter if voice is data, what matters is who owns the pipe. Period. Doesn't matter if tax payer dollars were used to augment the cost of the pipe, tax payer dollars are used a lot to "stimulate". The different is that 20 years ago it was considered an investment in infrastructure, now it's a end-around the free-market. It does matter that tax payer dollars were used. It may be an end-run about the free market on your opinion but the companies in question accepted the money and therefore must live with the consequences. If you want a free market, which the US does not have to begin with, you cannot inject government dollars and then complain about government regulation. If federal tax dollars were used to augment, develop, build, or tied to these networks in other manners then the companies involved accepted government oversight and regulation. You can claim it was ignorant for them to do so but those are the simple facts of the matter. They accepted tax payer dollars and are now subject to regulation by the elected representatives of those same tax payers. There is a moral obligation involved in accepting tax payer money to use that money, or the products of that money, for the good of the people. This is purely against the constitution by the way. We have a constitution that guarantees "free contract". There is a difference between government regulation and corporate regulation. One has a constitutional right, the other not so much. You are wrong here. The 14th amendment is generally the amendment used to cover "freedom of contract" but the first case that the language was used in: Lochner v. New York was struck down in the years that followed. In fact "free contract" is not mentioned in the Constitution and it seems you are making up right out of whole cloth. Net Neutrality is simply another of a string of attempts of this government to seize control of yet more of our infrastructure and take over this country. Are the black helicopters following you today? In case you haven't noticed net neutrality is less regulation and a guarantee of more personal freedom. Right now there is nothing stopping AT&T from throttling all traffic inbound to its network from all of its competitors. That is what this debate is about. If you are a socialist or communist and this is how you believe...I suggest you move. Our constitution does not support or allow for your ideology. It protects property ownership. If you are not a socialist or a communist and you really believe that you have the right to own property and enter into free contract under your own responsibilities and merit...then I suggest that you read up on this topic. Here is where you veer off track. First you present a false dilemma in which those who do not see eye to eye with you on this don't believe in property ownership and it's a pretty text logical fallacy. Then you use the term "free contract" again which isn't a right guaranteed or granted in the Constitution. You imply that this is government asserting control of private property when it is not. You completely lose the ball here. This infrastructure was paid for, in large, by tax payer dollars which makes it subject to regulation. Are you opposed to "Do Not Call" lists? That is regulation of what can be transmitted over "private" phone lines. Are you opposed to laws against spam faxing? It's the same concept overall. Remember, once the government takes over the internet, and after they have taken over health care, and businesses...then the next logical step (look into Stalin's Russia) they will then seize your property...your home, your land, and your money. And here's where I suspect you think fearless leader isn't a US citizen as well. The government already controls the internet as much as they possibly can. But the design of said network makes it pretty much impossible to exert control over. Even Iran has trouble shutting down dissidents and they are much smaller than the US. This not a takeover of the internet. This is a statement that you can't place higher value on certain kinds of traffic if you are providing a utility. It's the same as telling the electric company that they can't not provide power over the grid to the business office of their competitor. The internet is a utility and it's about time it was treated as such. He who owns it...gets to make the decisions. Remember the "net" does not belong to you...or the federal government. And if you think it should...then look at which country's tech and business sector really invented it and took it to this level. Do you think socialist France, Russia, China or Venezuela could have? I think not. Dude the government invented the internet. Read up on DARPA some time. The protocols that survive and have high rates of adoption are open protocols, like the backbone of all internet traffic TCP/IP, with very few exceptions. We are not talking about the internet belonging to anyone we are talking about regulating what utility companies can and cannot do with their wires. We already regulate the same thing for phone lines and electric lines and the government hasn't taken over those industries yet. And as far as the "roads" comment goes...Eisenhower copied the German "interstate" system for the same reasons the Germans had it...to freely move military assets throughout a country's interior. You using the roads now...that's like you drinking tang or using velcro...it was never designed for you, so don't use it as an analogy for your socialist validation...its disingenuous. And the internet was invented by DARPA to provide a network infrastructure for the military that would withstand just about any attack. It wasn't meant for you...I can't even follow that line of logic with a straight face to be perfectly honest. History dear fellow...learn your history before you try to argue for things that have already failed in 100% of the attempts. Now here's the best part. I don't think goverment SHOULD be involved in this battle. I despise most government intervention. I am a proud Libertarian. But people like you make me cringe. You are spewing ignorant inanities and you generally make the rest of us who oppose things like this look like we are in the same nutbag boat as you and your ilk. I think the government has too much control and its hands in too many pies but the idiotic stuff you spew is just outrageous. Please switch sides so I don't have to be associated with morons like you.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  32.  
    icon
    Ben (profile), Oct 26th, 2009 @ 12:39pm

    Re: Pipes

    Frankly, coming from a computer/phyisic background, nothing get more on my nerves than these things. Text/Voice/Email/Browsing etc. are all at their core, data (though different transmission protocols). And when I see something stupid, like texting rates, voice minutes /min rates, cable tiers, it is very frustrating. When my cable box is slow bringing up information on the shows, I wonder why a dedicated set top box has problems bringing up a query of 1000 channels, 10 of which may be on the screen at a time. This is over the same thing as the high definition TV is sent. I think everyone would be way better off if more companies just focused on the dumb pipe aspect as was discussed by Mike. Too bad there is so much profit on fleecing consumers by hihg priced texts, crazy overage minute rates etc.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  33.  
    identicon
    Lisa Chand, Oct 26th, 2009 @ 5:46pm

    One Telco who "gets it"

    BT purchased Ribbit a year ago with the following in mind.

    In the network of the future:
    - Voice will simply be another data object – and will be carrier, network, device and protocol agnostic
    - Legacy carrier networks will be merged with open networks / the internet
    - Innovation will be developer driven, not constrained by existing carrier / telco business models

    Ribbit was created to accelerate this future.

    The Ribbit platform allows any developer to integrate voice, messaging, and rich communications into any application, on Web experience. — no expensive capital outlays or telco domain knowledge required.

    If you are a developer looking to to add voice and rich communications to your RIAs, join us at Spawn 11/5.

    Live event registration closes 10/28:

    Webcast registration closes 11/3: http://developer.ribbit.com/blog/spawn-webcast/

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  34.  
    identicon
    Steve, Oct 27th, 2009 @ 1:01am

    Bottom line is that the Telcos are bare minimum, a decade or more behind the technology curve and they want they whole ride stopped until they can play catch up on their own terms. Fuck them. If they didn't have the foresight to innovate in the first place then why should they way they do business be protected? Business really needs to get away from this "the customer is the enemy" mindset or A LOT of companies are going to learn hard, expensive lessons at the hands of the internet community over the next 10 or 15 years.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


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