Saturday, April 15, 2006

Crybaby SBC: Don't Use Us For VOIP

In this article, SBC CEO Ed Whitacre cries that it's not fair that Google, MSN and Vonage are pushing VOIP traffic over their broadband lines. So, he's going to come up with a way to meter the service so that not only are customers paying for broadband service but they are paying for VOIP traffic.

This is ridiculous. IP traffic is IP traffic. Non telcomm ISPs recognize this and are not interested (to my knowledge) in metering VOIP traffic that goes over their lines. What the IP packets encapsulate should be irrelevant to any ISP. This is similar to ISPs wanting to charge residential customers from additional public IP addresses if a they desire to have multiple computers access the internet. The only thing ISPs should care about is that a customer is not hogging bandwidth and if they do care about that, they had better define what levels of peak and sustained bandwidth constitutes "excessive." Whether a customer installs a wireless access point or hard wired router is not the business of an ISP.

It will be interesting if he is actually able to pull this off. If SBC's competitors are smart, they will promote an open view of IP traffic by saying, "Hey, we don't care how you use our pipes; IP traffic is IP traffic. We welcome your business. Come to us."

This guy reminds me of the executives like Scott McNealy of Sun who whined that Microsoft was a monopoly. No matter that this was McNealy's stance as Sun began its plummet to $3.00/share stock and diminshed revenue because Sun (read: Scott McNealy) failed to anticipate the market and respond to Dell's commoditization of servers. You never see market leaders complaining about their competition. It's always the losers who cry like children when they don't win at Monpoly. Who are the kids crying on the playground? The ones who came out on the bottom either because they were either bullied or didn't play marbles well.