A challenge to telcos and cablecos everywhere

Over in Linux Journal: Why Big Compute and Big Storage will meet Big Pipe at the Last Mile. A sample:

  What you’re seeing here, at least partially (and ever more completely), is the new phone company business being re-invented from the back end forward. What makes AWS a phone company business is DevPay. Billing. Phone companies are basically billing engines. The difference is that phone companies have long been in the business of billing in monopoly conditions, often for scarcities that are essentially artificial. That is, created for the simple need to have something to bill.

  The new phone company business, however, is one that’s built around abundance. That’s the clinic Amazon is holding for phone companies — and cable companies as well — with AWS.

  Amazon is also setting itself up as an ideal partner for phone and cable companies, which bring several huge assets to the collective table: customers, local real estate, and pipes over the last mile to homes and businesses. Not to mention billing engines that can be repurposed for anything.

Might be a far-out idea. But I do think it’s huge.

3 comments

  1. Mukund Mohan’s avatar

    Doc
    Thanks for the pointer. Good article. Given that Amazon’s more like the next gen telco, I take it you would disagree with the going financial models that point to an Amazon-Ebay takeover?

    It might have more sense for Amazon to acquire Skype then?

  2. Doc Searls’s avatar

    What I’m suggesting is that AWS points toward what we might call the post-phone business. Because it’s about Net-native or Web-native services of an infinite variety, taking advantage of pure commodity infrastructure: Big Compute and Big Storage to start, on the Big Net itself. Making the Net big all the way to the premise is what the telcos and cablecos can do, followed by taking advantage of local real estate and other last-mile proximities to provide lots of services — storage and other services among them.

    I haven’t looked at who might buy whom. I do think, however, that live conversational support is one among countless possible services. Making these look like phone calls would be sensible, but not necessary. Let’s be creative here. We can do that if we’re not in the business just of making the Net itself scarce — which had been the telco and the cableco business model for the duration. At least in the U.S.

    (All typed with one hand with a 4-month old grandbaby in the other. Not bad.)

  3. Mukund Mohan’s avatar

    Good job with one hand BTW.

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