A little green and way to Literal @EnVii

Our post about #DevCon5 got this response from @EnVii

@DevConFive since when is HTML considered a ‘programming’ language? hint: ‘M’ stands for ‘markup’

While the statement is true the reality is that Programming gets embedded into the markup and with the browser acting more like a client server model the programming calls are coming from the blend.

That is why Peter Lubbers now at Google who wrote the book Pro HTML5 Programming. It is also why Programming in HTML5 has over 45 M results.

But more importantly the reason its called #DevCon5 is that #HTML5 is the glue for the mix we are showcasing at the event. You should come and see the whole picture

You Can Never have Enough Friends

@Apple, @Google and @Microsoft.

People often give me more credit than I deserve. I am a well connected person, but I am ecclectic in my friendships and tastes. Often there is an expectation that I know “EVERYONE”. I don’t and some that I do know don’t necessarily want me to chase them around for every inquiry I get.

So my general rule of thumb is to use Linkedin. I am an open networker and I believe that many of us trust it as a way to initiate a conversation.

While many friends want me to see Facebook in the same way, most of my immediate family uses Facebook, so getting professional work done is harder on that system.

Never the less, I have started a campaign to connect up directly with all my speakers on both Facebook and Linkedin. Yes I will do twitter too, albeit briefly ;<). If you want to talk to the people I want to hear, its good for you to connect with me on either platform.

Net Neutrality – Careful what you ask for!

As a long-standing tree hugger I subscribe to CREDO, an organization that helps me stay current with issues related to my interests and that helps me take action to influence decision-makers.

CREDO sent me an e-mail asking me to take action to tell the FCC to stop delaying and enact strong net neutrality provisions ASAP.

I sent their corresponding e-mail to several of my friends and received some eloquent replies that I want to share with you. It seems too simple and easy to take sides when it is pointed out that doing nothing would be the best solution.

From Vaughn, the founder of a successful ISP, IT engineering and outsourcing company

The best way to maintain no regulation is to only accept “no regulation”, including any regulation designed to say “no regulation”.

Net Neutrality (from the ISP side of the world) is being seen as a nefarious victimless crime used as a winding key for the mechanical town crier’s call for new tough laws to make sure that none can step on this newly discovered slippery ice other than the federal government (and even that initially in a well intentioned effort to make sure that nobody else steps on).

Once we reach that destination though, there will be clarifications (lawyers) and revisions (slipping on the ice) and compromise (so we can let a few folks on the ice, but protect them so that nobody can knock them down (imagine 8a for ISP’s)). Once it starts the outcome is inevitable – the government gets duped into favoring one party or the other, and then sets about (again mostly well meaning) to fix it. Before you know it we will have a virtual tax code… where the well resourced have time to figure out how to pay nothing, while the middle dolts – too busy working to scheme – pick up the tab, and the bottom struggles in abject poverty.

The FCC is maneuvering and actually does (read comments from the current leadership and shudder – really!) desire to use Net Neutrality as a means to control the publishing of content the way they currently regulate radio broadcasters (sounds like Google in China?). The regulators intentions are not all white hat either. Though there is only 5% arsenic in all rat poison, there is also 95% wheat germ in most – it is what gets them to eat it. The giants in the industry, hungry to create a barrier to entry (and having the resources to find loopholes and use them) are more than willing to create the sense of urgency needed by floating just such trial balloons as you have seen today with Google/Verizon knowing full well that they would be rejected by the market because of competition… as long as it exists anyway.

The current FCC leadership is a radical “use government for social change” bunch, that will care very little if they irreparably damage our industry and as a by-product eliminate all of the small players in 18 to 36 months… it’s “collateral damage” to them. Don’t take my word for it. Research the current commission’s leadership and look for some of their quotes as relates to “making the communications on the Internet politically neutral”. This is bigger than just my industry. Hugo Chavez created a group called the “responsibility in media” commission (or something like that), that sounded very good. Its charter was to make sure that all political information was “fair”. Now, less than a decade later, there are no radio stations left in Venezuela that disagree with Chavez. The efforts that the FCC leaders have proffered as example of what they have in mind for Net Neutrality actually include reference to granting them the right to license content – with exception made of course for the lowly citizen. But what if a few citizens pool their resources and form an association (like CREDO)? Where will they fall? It depends as I see it on who has control of the white house and thereby the FCC and whether or not those organizations agree with them. Not good! It won’t start out that obviously, but it will end up there.

The big Telco and content players want protection on the ice, so they can execute impossibly profitable maneuvers – or sustain them – without the inconvenience of market rejection or commoditizing competition. The commission wants to use regulation to “manage free speech in a responsible way”. This combination of negative liberties is a marriage made in Hades, and if we don’t stop the wedding ensuring that NEITHER Google or Verizon (or anyone like them) gets any official standing when it comes to the Internet, we are all headed for something very bad.

I am not an alarmist (I think so anyway), but this one really worries me. We can’t give the FCC a sword and then get surprised when they use it. Let Verizon and Google marry. Without the Government officiating, it will be like the marriage of Time Warner and AOL. Remember how frightened everyone was then? “Could they end up controlling content on the Internet?”, and “Will they be able to put a stranglehold on rates?”, and “are they going to join with MCI-Worldcom’s Bernie Ebbers and create a new tiered Internet?”. SO where did that go? Let the market reject them both. They really don’t have any power to force the market to change (without the gov). There are still too many small players. Why? Because without regulation they can compete! With it, they will have to consolidate or fade because of the choking need for resources in order to figure out how to stay “compliant”. I am student of history, and this is how I see it going down.


From Jack “The Dude” a very senior major telco executive.


Your note compels me to comment on the so-called “Net Neutrality” debate.

This subject is grossly misunderstood by the general public and many, if not the majority, of the stake holders in the debate.

First, the Google/Verizon proposal is just that, a proposal designed to “bridge” the two sides of “the debate”. The proposal is flawed in my opinion because it treats differently wireline vs. wireless “broadband” services. While I understand why the difference, the proposal raises the hackles of the wireless user lobby by suggesting that wireless not be regulated in similar fashion to the wired infrastructure.

This debate is in reality not about “broadband” or the internet per se. It’s about the “last mile” of telecommunications service, including the services, applications and management/regulation thereof, to the end user..

Not about Broadband or the internet? That’s right. The internet today is already “broadband” and is provisioned by a consortium of carriers worldwide. In order to access/use the internet, you and I need to do business with a Tier 2 Internet Service Provider (ISP) such as Verizon, AT&T, Comcast, etc. Those providers offer us a variety of wired and/or wireless services including access to the internet. Those providers in turn contract with the real internet carrier for access to the internet. When we do business with the ISP, we’re buying a service, internet access for example) at a specific speed as delivered by the ISP’s infrastructure, not the internet per se. When the service we purchase is above a certain speed (used to be 56kb, now its 1mb and above) above the capabilities of a dial access copper telephone line, the industry and public deem that “broadband” service. If we purchase wireless internet access, we still use and transition the ISP’s wireless (and wired) infrastructure to access the internet.

The reason that “broadband” and Internet access creep into the debate is simple and relates to the demand, both current and future, for bandwidth across the “last mile”. Bandwidth, or the delivery thereof, is not limitless. That reality applies to both Wired and Wireless last mile connections. The investment required by the ISP’s is tremendous and continuing and very much is determined by the types of services they offer over the “last mile”. Video, streaming video, P2P, Games, Facebook or the so-called social networking services all compete for the same bandwidth when delivered to the end-user. In the wired world, coax and fiber (e.g., Verizon”s FIOS, have mitigated the last mile bandwidth problem for ISP’s and subscribers. The so-called “broadband” wireless infrastructure is still fighting the bandwidth demand problem due to the relative immaturity of the available “wireless” technology. Compounding this problem is the advent of new generation wireless phones every 5 minutes that have the capability of saturating a wireless network with various wireless applications.

The FCC’s role to date has been limited to wired, inter-lata telecommunications, i.e., those telecommunications services that are enabled by Federal Tariff. Also, the FCC says grace over the radio frequencies assigned various types of communications, including TV and “cellular” communications. The FCC has never been involved with below the line ISP operations, including internet access.

So, in order for the FCC to regulate “net neutrality”, they must assume a universal (intra and inter lata) regulatory role for ISP operations and policy, including of course the “last mile” of ISP service. Stand by for the howling from each states PSC.

The morale of the story?

Be careful what you wish for

“The Dude”

Mark Kelley Interview

Mark’s history mirrors the wireless industry closely and includes being the CTO of Leap and leading developments at Nextwave and Qualcomm. Today, he is doing some consulting and thinking about new opportunities in the market.
With all this history the discussion takes us to in-depth analysis. He blogs about various aspects of the industry and his life at http://spassmeister.com/ .

On this call, we discussed.
The History of GSM and CDMA and why we are at where we are.
The role of WiMAX in the market.
How it relates to wireless backhaul.
The issues of spectrum.
The smartphones impact on the carriers.
Demand and Costs are converging on the carriers roll out of wireless backhaul.
What business models are making sense right now?
What the opportunity for White Space in the market?

You can find Mark’s website at http://markkelleyonline.com/index.html

Seriously ATT vs. GoogleVoice is a nice way of Asking the FCC for Help

Telling taies out of school let me say that I think alot of the discussion about GoogleVoice is way off track.

Intercarrier Compensation

Here are some of the per minute rates for the same call based on the rules.
As a result of Apple and Google debate, the discussion of GoogleVoice got ATT in a strange position. That of being the only one in the battle the FCC had the ability to really petition about the issue.

That lead to ATT pointing out that GoogleVoice was in an interesting position, while neglecting to mention they were truly a secondary service and not a primary solution, we also ended up with interesting issues of when does an enhanced service start stop or apply.

But none of this is what is on ATT’s mind. They are focused on the right issue. Intercarrier compensation. They are pointing out the blocked calls not to point at Google, but to point at the craziness that the commission needs to address.

This does get complicated because entwined are the issues of high cost providers, phantom traffic and traffic pumping, but if Google can choose to avoid the cost for a free service, the question that should be asked is what is the harm?

The harm may be to the consumer behind the high cost carrier and therefore competitiion is the answer.

The time is right given the BTOP process to stare down the advocates of the status quo and make a decision.Intercarrier Compensation - source ATT

Net Neutrality Podcast: We Melted the Server, but kept the Record

I want to apologize to my friends at Calliflower for pushing the overload on their system. We have been using it for years and it has enabled us to have a rich media discussion unlike any other. Fortunately the recording function worked.

Here is the podcast. It’s been edited to allow the content to be the focus. I also want to make you aware that the team of Rick Whitt from Google, Hank Hultquist from ATT, Todd Daubert from Kelley Drye and Glenn Richards from Pillsbury Law have all agreed to participate in this session in Miami January 20th.

Special thanks goes to Dave Erickson for FreeConferencecall.com for participating in the call. The issues he brought up we will also be discussing in a separate session at 4G Wireless Evolution.

Can the Enhanced Service Provider exemption stay in place?

If the FCC is going to put Wireless in the same bucket as cable and wireline, should we expect that the Enhanced Service Provider exemption still applies?

On the Google Policy Blog Rick Whitt responds to the FCC letter from ATT regarding Google Voice. It is very pertinent to the discussion we are having on the Calliflower call tomorrow about Net Neutrality.

We could say the carriers are suffering from a little enhanced services envy, given the fact that Verizon wanted to be compared to Google at the last wall street conference they attended. In this case ATT wants to point out that GoogleVoice admits that because of tariff anomalies, it is not servicing the rural markets, but does not consider this their battle.

So Let’s see if we come to a common ground tomorrow, about what exactly the FCC is trying to accomplish.

Net Neutrality: Can Open be Governed?

FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski has expanded from four to six the principles of freedom associated with Net Neutrality. Now however these principles are now going to be codified into regulatory rules. So the question has to be asked can the concept of “open” be governed. Join us as we look at how these principles will be incorporated into policy. What companies, services and devices will be subject to these rules. And discuss if the jurisdiction of the FCC has to be modified to enable these principles.

Participants include: Todd Daubert of Kelley Drye, Hank Hultquist of AT&T and Rick Whitt of Google.
Join us on Tuesday October 6th, 2009 at 12:30 EST to 1:30 EST as we see if Open can be Governed (http://apps.calliflower.com/conf/show/58623)

Oh Where oh Where can my Gmail be?

As many of my readers know, I suffer from terminal uniqueness.  I think I am the only one with these problems.  So let me state for the record I am not sure how I have gotten myself into this mess.

Some friends have figured out that I have a gmail account and for the some of the entities that I am associated with, I have a gmail account with them.  I forward all of the corporate gmail into my imho account for simplicity sake.

However the Gmail account that is “@gmail” I would never forward anywhere.

It is my joiner account.  You got a newsletter you want me to read? send it to my gmail.  I won’t read it but I will scan and search.

I thought that was a brillant way to use the account, and ASSumed others did likewise.

But some friends insist on using my @gmail account as the primary and get annoyed that I only find these things months later while searching the mail.

So this post is to tell you that carl.ford@gmail.com is not intended for anything but archives.

Am I alone in using Gmail this way?

A Tale of Three (FCC) Decisions

As the FCC enabled whitespaces for the computing industry the wireless world continued to be advanced with the merger of Sprint WiMAX into Clearwire and the approval of the Alltel acquistion by Verizon.  While I will miss the wizard commercials, I think the more important observation is the question of how wireless evolves.

The Verizon story will be mostly around LTE, Clearwire around WiMAX. But who owns White Space?  Who do you associate with this alternative?  Google and Microsoft have been big advocates, but I am not sure they intend to be a service provider for this space. On the other hand, Cloud Computing is probably going to benefit tremendously from the access the White Space provides.  Should I insert Ebay/Skype and Amazon into this discussion?  Motorola and Phillips for their devices?

Imho the future of wireless is going to be very dynamic.  And as we have seen from the iPhone’s success its going to be more about what you can do than what technology is used.