Many of us in the VoIP blogosphere pointed to and agreed with the recent Business Week essay The Phone Companies Still Don’t Get It , but Ken Camp went a step further and recently posted his own analysis of why innovation is broken in the telco world, from the perspective of someone who worked in the telco universe for almost two decades and it’s definitely worth a read.
Ken rightly traces the roots of the problem back to the days of divestiture:
But the truth, the roots of the death of telco innovation go deeper. In 1984 AT&T went through divestiture. On the surface, divestiture was a split of the local and long distance businesses, but there were other factors, other events all going on around the same time. The customer premise equipment business was ripped away from the Bell system (and the independent telcos) and given to the customer. In those days, we didn’t buy phones at the local electronics shop. We didn’t buy routers for premise connections. A CSU/DSU to terminate a circuit was the property of the telco back then. A shift began.