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Seidenberg on Comcast, Net Neutrality

mano a manoWho would have ever thought a staid industry like telecom could produce mudslinging antics worthy of two Hollywood studios? Seidenberg shot back at comments made by Comcast CEO Roberts, covered in a CNN/Money article as well as a clarification of where Verizon stands on Net Neutrality in Forbes.

Here’s what Seidenberg had to say about Comcast:

“Customers will decide if we’re doing the right thing,” Seidenberg said, adding that the company has already done a good job of adding high-speed data and video customers in the few markets where it has already launched FiOS. “People love the product. Cable companies are vulnerable.”

On stock performance (Remeber Roberts said “If you could divorce yourself from the stock price, we’re doing well,”)

Investors naturally recognize that there is a lot of price compression in telecom. I’m not sure we have proved to investors that we can innovate fast enough to offset the price compression

I think he has pretty good grip on why his company is viewed negatively (down +20% in last year). And on Vonage, which institutional investors view as the Ebola Virus that will infect the entire telecom space:

When asked about Vonage, Seidenberg said that he thought the company’s voice over Internet protocol (VoIP) product was one that was attractive to early technology adopters but he did not think the company had a viable long-term business model.

The ‘why’ behind this answer would have been interesting. Unfortunately, I wasn’t asking the questions.

And a cagey statement:

Seidenberg also said that he expected consolidation in the telecom business to continue. He wouldn’t comment about any specific deals that Verizon was willing to make but hinted that the company may one day look to expand internationally.

“There are a lot of people in the world we don’t serve,” he said.

In the Forbes article Seidenberg talks about open access.

I don’t think anybody in the room would want us to put all the costs [of building fiber networks] into DSL rates, nor do I think that would be economically efficient,

He nails the number one reason why Open Access is an un-democratic and Elitist concept perpetrated by the digerati. The folks that consume the most of this good (Bandwidth) don’t like the idea of paying more, so instead they want the costs of upgrading the network to be bourne by all users, regardless if they want to surf blogs 24/7 or stream recycled videos from youtube.

And on the statement made earlier that Google is ‘Free-Riding’ on Verizons network made by Verizon Lawyer John Thorne:

John Thorne is a great lawyer and a great executive. I wasn’t there, but I think his tone was a lot different than was reported in the paper.

I agree that the media, particularly the electronic media, is so horrified by the idea of open access that they are introducing the same bias in technology coverage that we see in the mainstream liberal media.

That last statement should get people pretty ramped up. Please comment.

[Picture and Link Courtesy Broadband Reports. Especially the picture, it’s just right.]

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