Who will speak for us?

Here’s what the always-excellent telecom analyst Anna-Maria Kovacs has to say about the regulatory implications of the AT&T-SBC deal: “As Congress works on rewriting the Telecom Act and as the FCC moves ahead on a whole host of issues ranging from inter-carrier compensation to the treatment of broadband and VoIP, the debate will be very different without AT&T. The major voices in Washington will be those of the ILECs, the ...

Telecom Thinkability

Back when I was at the FCC, then-Chairman Reed Hundt famously torpedoed a rumored BellSouth-AT&T deal by calling it “unthinkable” for regulators. Now comes word that SBC, one of the other Bell companies, is in serious talks to acquire AT&T. We’ll see. The industry has changed a lot in the past few years, but I’m still skeptical something like this will actually happen. Given the progress AT&T has made in ...

Fun with "GPS-enabled digital videocamera-cum-terabyte server rigs"

A9’s visual local search functionality looks very cool. Check out John Battelle’s Business 2.0 write-up. Amazon has an uphill battle with A9, given the popularity of existing search engines like Google and Yahoo!, but out-of-the-box innovations like this are exactly what it will take to make headway. And who knows, maybe Googlezon isn’t so far-fetched.

A billion infomercials, all the time

Seth Godin talks about how video P2P will merge TV and advertising into something new. And, contrary to what you might think, all those informercials would be a positive development.

BusinessWeek Online column on the digital back channel

The first installment of my semi-regular column on BusinessWeek Online is now up. It looks at the power of the digital back-channel, tying together blogs, social networking, recommendations, the long tail, digital video recorders, cameraphones… and an Indonesian volcano.

Good point, bad metaphor

ZDNet: “Ultimately, the convergence trend is not a revolution but a gradual migration. And like wildebeest migrating across the Serengeti plains, they may find themselves in some surprising places along the way.” (If you can’t tell, that’s from a piece about voice over IP in the enterprise.)

We'll Always Have Manhattan

2004-05 136 Originally uploaded by kwerb. Heading back from a day of meetings in New York. Other than Amtrak-induced travel delays, it was great. I love the vitality that oozes up from the streets of Manhattan (and down into the subways as well, apparently!). Having lived in New York for four years, I don’t feel like a visitor any more when I, well, visit there, which makes all the difference ...

Rise of the VideoNet

The Implications of Video P2P on Network Usage [PDF] is a paper I presented at a conference last fall, which will be included in a book from the Columbia Institute for Tele-Information. I point out that, to a first approximation, video peer-to-peer file sharing isn’t just a significant use of the Internet; it is the Internet. And it’s going to get much, much bigger in the years ahead.

Grokster and the Future of the Net

The Supreme Court will hear the appeal of the Grokster litigation on March 29. The case deals directly with the legality of distributed peer-to-peer file-shsaring services, but its ramifications could go much further. Like the landmark 1997 case striking down the Communications Decency Act, the Grokster decision could be a bellweather for Internet freedom… or it could push the Net down a much less open, less innovative, less dynamic, and ...

We're going to Jacksonville!

Eagles3edited Originally uploaded by kwerb. Wow, what a game. We suffered through wind chills below zero, but it was worth it! The Eagles convincingly beat the Falcons, and for the first time in 24 years, they are going to the Superbowl. We picked a good year to get season tickets! Here’s a photo, taken with my Treo, of the scene on the field after the game. I didn’t bring my ...