Friday, March 10, 2006

Is There A Google vs AT&T Dog Fight Brewing?? Woof...Woof!

It's the worst kept secret in the telecommunications world that AT&T intends to buy BellSouth. Furthmore....the AT&T "Grand Plan" includes hopes to charge high-bandwidth content providers like Vonage and Google for carriage over their pipes.

Ahhhhh......not so fast Ms Bell. There's an important little tidbit you seem to be overlooking. It's something called dark fiber, of which Google has lots. If Google plays it right, those fiber strands could strand the broadband access monopolists like AT&T on the preverbial desert island.

My hero Russell Shaw of ZDNET shared a few thoughts on this potential dogfight himself recently....including some interesting factoids and projections.

For example....did you know that there's a "Project Manager-Network Acquisition" ad up on Google Jobs that reads like more than just a search for someone to handle internal Google communications needs?

here it is:

"Google has an immediate opening for a seasoned technical project manager to plan, facilitate, and manage the acquisition and deployment of new network services acquired from third party suppliers and vendors globally. This individual will work closely with the technical negotiation team to understand the terms of new contracts and engagements including delivery targets and technical requirements; with internal project management teams to communicate target completion dates and ensure that all internal requirements are being met in a timely manner; with external vendors to gather and enforce schedules for installation of services; and with internal technical teams to ensure that all services meet with their technical and service requirements."

One of the "Responsibilities" bullet-points is especially interesting:

"This includes delivery of end-to-end solutions for network connectivity including facilitation of the installation of new network nodes, the delivery of new metropolitan network services, the delivery of long haul transport capacity, and augments to existing transit and peering relationships."

"New metropolitan network services…"

Hmm, what might that mean? [WINK]

Now since it is widely known that Google has all this dark fiber, let's imagine what these "strategic negotiators" might wind up negotiating about.

They might wind up talking to infrastruture backbone companies such as Level 3 about peering services for what could be a new, de facto Internet.

THEN, as last-mile end points to businesses and residences, they could, well, "strategically negotiate" with other points of entry providers, such as electrical utilities that run wires into the home, and maybe even private cable companies that specialize in services to large apartment buildings and institutional settings.

AND Google could also hold hands with one or more major Wi-Fi access providers to add a wireless access component for this new Internet.

AND Google could be one partner in stitching together WiMax networks that could run to a home where WiMax-enabled PCs and other devices could receive and send signals.

AND then Google has both the proprietary pipes and the proprietary over-the-air technologies to offer carriage to affiliated partners or eventual subsidiaries that might not be willing to pay a surcharge for equal carriage rights on the telecom and cable-run Internet pipes of today.

See where this could be headed???

Google could pull together a plethora of partners or potential acquisitions in business lines and companies that would have the most to gain from facing the broadband monopolists down..... and have the knowledge and motivation to do so.

Companies such as EarthLink, who has never backed down from a fight with the broadband monopolists and is strategically minded enough to ally with the right partners;

Companies such as Vonage and/or Packet8, which are the largest VoIP "pure plays" not owned by a broadband access monopolist.

I could see Vonage and EarthLink partnering with Google and maybe a Level3 on a new Internet. EarthLink and Vonage could be wise acqusition targets for Google as well.

Then Google offers their own subscription plans. Because EarthLink already has substantial back-end billing functions, EarthLink could do this for a Google Internet- either as a partner or acquired company working as a broadband services subsidiary.

If broadband monopolists would have the cajones to tell sites to stay off Google's Internet- Google has some chips of their own to play. And I don't think even this current pro-broadband Administration would let this fly.

This Google Internet could challenge- and maybe render into irrelevance- AT&T CEO Ed Whitacre's November, 2005 volley about big-bytes broadband services:

"How do you think they're going to get to customers? Through a broadband pipe. Cable companies have them. We have them. Now what they would like to do is use my pipes free, but I ain't going to let them do that because we have spent this capital and we have to have a return on it. So there's going to have to be some mechanism for these people who use these pipes to pay for the portion they're using. Why should they be allowed to use my pipes?

The Internet can't be free in that sense, because we and the cable companies have made an investment and for a Google or Yahoo! (YHOO ) or Vonage or anybody to expect to use these pipes [for] free is nuts!"

Really? Well.....what if Google or Vonage aren't using your pipes?

Like I described....they could easily have their own.

Then what do YOU do Ms Bell?????

What if they use their own pipes?

1 Comments:

Blogger Pawan said...

Michael,

My name is Pawan and I really like the way you write.

I tried finding your email on the blog however couldnt find it.

anyways I have a forum www.bpopark.com/forum
dedicated to the BPO Callcenter and VOIP industry.

I would request you, if you could give some valuable inputs to the forum members.

If possible you could keep the members updated with the latest news on telecom...

I have a news section for telecom

Leme know your views on this please

You can contact me on admin@bpopark.com

Thanks,
Pawan

9:28 AM  

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