"The game is over, it's dumbpipeville all round."

Martin Geddes weighs in on IMS, the telcos’ latest three-letter acronym for turning the Internet into the old phone network (see, e.g., QOS, ATM).

Look, guys, this is a different world. There’s no Bellcore out there to bring everyone together. And it’s the applications that get users interested in voice communication, rather than the reverse.

The Internet diehards need to change their views too. Skype is a proprietary platform — it’s not just dumping bits onto an open-standards network. Google is buying fiber and exploring wireless and broadband connections. Sprint and Nextel are building a company that’s half about wireless and half about sports and entertaniment.

We’re not going back to the “good old days” of the public switched telephone network, but we’re not going back to the “good old days” of the 1990s open-interconnect Internet either.