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Post to the Official Moblog

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Power To The People

ElectricityOne of the many things I am hoping to see at Demo 2004 this coming week is a broadband power line modem. I knew that eventually competition would begin to take hold in broadband. I first wrote about this in a reflection May 12, 1998 -- and must admit that my forecast was a bit premature. But now, at last, it is happening. At last year's Vortex Conference, Larry Babbio, vice chairman of Verizon, said that they had reduced their monthly DSL fee by $15 and that the reduction was "not promotional". Surely, the cable companies will not stand by and lose market share. Direct TV is aggressively advertising broadband Internet access via satellite. Having multiple competing sources of broadband will result in lower prices and higher speeds. That is how free markets work. What we need is even more competition -- and the electric utilities are about to offer it. In this morning's New York Times, a story by Stephen Labation, F.C.C. Begins Rewriting Rules on Delivery of the Internet, described how the Federal Communications Commission is devising new rules which will allow electric utilities to offer broadband over their power grids. (read more)

Hello? Anybody there?

Telephone The Demo 2004 Conference begins on Monday morning in Phoenix. I have a hunch I'll see some new VoIP technology there. I sure hope so. We need some progress in this area as I was just reminded this morning. Rupert Goodwin in London poked a little fun at me in Rupert Goodwins' Diary. His story, dated 10/2/2004, isn't really from October like it looks. Not only do they drive on the wrong side of the road over there, but they also put their months and days backwards. Sorry Rupert, I couldn't resist. Rupert was actually very kind to me in his story which correctly pointed out that sometimes technology fails at the most embarrassing times. In this case, I was talking to his colleague, Munir Kotadia, who wanted to discuss my views about network security, Windows, Linux, Opera, and other Internet technology related topics. Munir had sent me an email and asked if we could talk. I called him in London using my IP phone. It is generally highly reliable -- had a flawless and high quality call with Oslo, Norway this morning -- but not always. Sometimes there is a pause. Not exactly sure why. The path from the Radio Shack cordless phone to the packet8 MTA to my LAN to my hub to my cable modem to Comcast to their router to the Internet to who knows how many hops across the Net to London to a PBX to Munir's phone has a lot of possible points of failure. Possible, but not likely, it could even have been Munir's phone. (read more)


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