In attempting to better understand the impact of the FCC rules change regarding Intercarrier Compensation (ICC) and Universal Service Funding (USF), I found myself lost in a sea of IP-related missives. Ignoring the obviously flawed reasoning behind the rules change, I looked for studies that could summarize their effects upon an ITSP like Broadvox. On the surface the changes appear to create a level of fairness by addressing unfair termination and access charges. However, the reality is they will negatively impact rural carriers and VoIP service providers, all of whom are analyzing the financial impact upon their revenue streams in order to determine the proper path forward. Since the FCC chairman, Julius Genachowski, indicates that the change is his solution to expanding the reach of broadband and implementing a fairer approach to funding that expansion, I view the overall action as misguided. In prior blogs, I have indicated that focusing our efforts on expanding the reach of broadband is premature given our poor position relative to the rest of world in delivering competitive broadband to the majority of the country. Whereas it is possible to get 1 gigabit speeds in various countries, the U.S. is struggling to provide speeds in excess of 20 megabits at a reasonable price point. This becomes increasingly important with the adoption rate of multimedia mobile devices.
Bandwidth consumption is experiencing a dramatic increase because of video on demand, video conferencing and streaming applications, all of which are provided by a growing number of content delivery networks. Frost and Sullivan is projecting a nearly 30 percent increase in 2012. Amazingly, this may be a low forecast given the adoption rate of smartphones and tablets. Consider that nearly 500 million such devices were sold last quarter. Perhaps it is appropriate to remind you of Google’s intent to deliver a gigabit IP network to Kansas City, Mo., and Kansas City, Kan. Construction on the project began in earnest just this month. After completion, residents will be able to experience Internet speeds 100 times the current average, equaling the top speed available throughout Kiev, Ukraine and by the end of year every home in South Korea.
The U.S. has a penchant for ignoring what is happening in other countries. It is a detriment that we continue to do so despite having the greatest international presence of any country. Our lack of awareness and knowledge results in poor planning and misplaced priorities. Our ability to navel-gaze is not the result of our political system but is the nature of our culture. We do not embrace true diversity well (multiple languages, international concepts, interracial neighborhoods and social environments).
IP communications has become the foundation for technological innovation, financial markets, education, entertainment and global communications. I support making it universally available in the U.S. after we make it competitive with the rest of the world.
David Byrd is vice president of marketing and sales for Broadvox , and is responsible for marketing and channel sales programs to SMBs, enterprises and carriers as well as defining the product offering. Prior to joining Broadvox, David was the vice president of Channels and Alliances for Eftia and Telcordia. As director of eBusiness Development with i2 Technologies, he developed major partnerships with many of the leaders in Internet eCommerce and supply chain management. As CEO of Planet Hollywood Online he was a pioneer in using early Internet technologies to build a branded entertainment and eCommerce website company partnered with Planet Hollywood. Having over 20 years of telecom sales and marketing experience, he has held executive positions with Hewlett-Packard, Sprint and Ericsson.