So, I was watching The Masters a bit this weekend and I’m thinking how great it would be to actually play at Augusta National. I have the wireless Internet going at home, so I’m also checking out scorecards of players as I’m watching. Anyway, the point of this brief note is: HOW GREAT WOULD IT BE IF YOU COULD WIN A ROUND AT AUGUSTA BY WATCHING THE MASTERS? Maybe that’s a bit too pedestrian for the Augusta National members, but an online contest in concert with CBS would be HUGE. CBS, are you listening? Chairman Hootie Smith, are you listening?If you were watching on Sunday and saw Rocco Mediate put two into the drink on the Par 3 12th hole and then put the next one in the sand over the green and you were wondering, as was I, “what was his final score on that hole?”, you wouldn’t have learned it on CBS coverage…you had to go to masters.org and check the “hole by hole” summary. What did he make on that hole? That would be a very tough 10. Yep, seven over par. That makes it tough to win a tournament.I bet I could get a 10 on that hole…that is, IF I won the Masters/CBS online raffle…they just need to implement it.
In a column on Net Neutrality in today’s San Francisco Chronicle, the editorialist states: “Here’s the problem: Let’s say Amazon.com pays extra fees to have its site load faster on people’s browsers. And let’s say a smaller online bookstore can’t afford the fees and thus its site loads more slowly. Assuming book prices at both sites are comparable, which one will get more business over the long haul? Most likely, the one with better performance — in this case, Amazon. The smaller upstart can’t compete.”Read the full SFChronicle story here.This, the author says, is the crux of the argument about why network operators shouldn’t be allowed to charge for their services like, say, the mobile phone operators charge for their services…or, dare I say, how Amazon charges for its services. Let me ‘splain. Read More »
In today’s Wall Street Journal, reporter William Bulkeley pens an interesting article on corporate America joining the blogosphere. I commend the read to all. However, what is most interesting (to me, anyway) is the list of at the bottom of the article entitled “Blogs from the Top.” The graphic reads: “Among the thousands of corporate blogs are some written by high-ranking executives. Here’s a sampling.” The list includes GM’s Robert Lutz, Vice Chairman; Jonathan Schwartz, President, Sun Microsystems; Mark Cuban, Chief Executive, Dallas Mavericks; Richard Edelman, Chief Executive, Edelman & Co.; and, of course, John Earnhardt, Senior Manager, Cisco Systems. Um, that John Earnhardt and this John Earnhardt are one and the same. Yes, I am very powerful.Okay, so maybe the WSJ researchers let this one slip by, but I commend them for their prescience. I commend them for recognizing raw talent. I commend them for listing our WWGA blog in the Wall Street Journal. Read More »
I would like to draw your attention to an article on today’s “Telephony Online” website. Authored by Carol Wilson and entitled, “Whitacre Makes Internet Access Promise“, the article quotes ATT Chairman and CEO Whitacre as saying the following: “Companies are trying to scare people into thinking the Internet is at risk or that the Internet as we know it will disappear. AT&T is not going to block anyone’s access to the Internet and we are not going to degrade anyone’s quality of service. And that is not going to change no matter how much anyone talks about Net neutrality.”Although Mr. Whitacre and I may have slightly different paygrades and slightly different levels of impact on the telecommunications market, I would concur with his statement from where I sit at Cisco. The net neutrality issue is a solution in search of a problem that doesn’t exist.Please read the full article here or cut and paste this URL: http://telephonyonline.com/home/news/whitacre_net_neutrality_032106/
The title, of course, is what we in the business call irony. I’ve been a bit surprised from some of the coverage that we’ve received on our “net neutrality” position…posted on our external site here. We are said to be siding with service providers on their position and against legislation to mandate net neutrality rules. Both of those sentiments, it seems, could be said about many, if not the majority, of our public policy positions. I would tweak it a bit and say that we are siding with consumers, but that’s me with a Cisco hat on.Seriously, our number one goal here is to give consumers the best experience on the web that they can possiby get. Our other goal is to keep government from over-regulating anything that touches the web. Technology moves so quickly (Moore’s law anyone?) that by the time a regulation or law is made the technology has generally already moved past the regulation or law’s perceived effectiveness.I was talking to a colleague about this issue and he asked a great question, “How is this different from a cable or satellite subscriber wanting basic cable versus premium channels, on-demand, DVR, etc.?” “Great point,” says I. Very similar models. Our position says that a consumer should be able to access any legal website and application over the web that his/her bandwidth enables, i.e. basic cable/basic broadband -- you get everything you pay for and any premium channels you don’t get because you don’t pay for. If you want a pay-per-view, for example, however, you could pay for that movie (or that web application) on a one-off basis. No different.One of my colleagues who is more policy focused and/or technology focused could come along and tell me that I’m not understanding this fully and that’s fine, but the understanding that I have delineated above makes perfect sense to me from a cable/satellite subscription model as well as a broadband subscriber model. Further, if a content provider wants to make sure that you get their content even though you only pay for a “basic” bandwidth, then that content provider should be able to reach an agreement with the service provider to allow you to access the application that may take more bandwidth than you pay for in your basic broadband subscription.Ultimately, it’s for a better consumer experience and that’s all we’re talking about.