It's bad, it's really bad (but in some ways that's good!)

Computerworld: “Our outlook for the next 12 to 18 months for all [telecom] segments is negative,” said Robert Konefal, managing director of Moody’s Investors Service [at an FCC hearing earlier this week].

In other words, this is the time for long-term thinking. Anyone expecting the telecom sector to turn around quickly, or betting that consolidation will produce nimble innovative local Bell companies is in denial. If you can’t wait out the trough, you’re dead. If you think you can survive, don’t waste your time on the short run, because it’s already a wash. Perversely, this means emerging technologies such as unlicensed wireless and broadband are more important than ever.

Jeff Pulver in his keynote at the VON conference this morning said the IP telephony industry should go back to a blank sheet of paper in developing applications and service offerings. I agree. Regulators should take the same tack, and think about how to get the legal structure for telecom right for the rest of the 21st century, even if that takes time.