HP's hope is going up the down staircase

4 July 2013 by Steve Blum
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Can HP face Palm again?

There’s a new report that Hewlett-Packard might be about to jump into the mobile phone business. Its last such venture – the capture and rapid slaughter of Palm and its webOS in 2010 – is generally regarded as a disaster. But HP has to try again. It has no choice.

Computer sales are slipping, both for HP and the industry in general as tablet sales climb. It does make a Windows tablet, but that pretty much says it all.… More

Gigabit Seattle raising FTTH attention but not cash

Adding lift to a trial balloon.

The Gigabit Seattle team is trying to tap into Google Fiber’s buzz by releasing a fiber-to-the-home pricing plan that sounds a lot like what’s on offer in Kansas City, albeit for a few dollars more and with a little less freebie time. Otherwise, there’s been precious little in the way of specific information about the project since it was announced six months ago.

What I wrote then is true today: Gigabit Seattle’s financial vehicle is still a concept car.… More

Caveat vendor: the customer can say no

11 June 2013 by Steve Blum
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Thank you for your input.

Organizational budgets and goals are set in the C-suite, defining the resources and limiting the options available to IT executives. Then it’s up to them to find solutions that maximize employees’ chances of meeting those goals while minimizing the pain and staying within the budget.

IT executives have to balance the arts of managing up and implementing down. The best outcome occurs when everyone’s needs, wants and dreams are fulfilled. It’s a tough job that requires a diverse set of skills.… More

No middle ground for BYOD

10 June 2013 by Steve Blum
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There’s a variety of methods IT departments use to manage bring-your-own-device (BYOD) users. It ranges from limiting access to the internal network – no different, say, than accessing your business email from home – to putting managed apps on devices to installing a ring-fenced operating environment. SAP, for example, provides companies with a way of creating a sealed-off area on consumer-grade phones.


Fully compliant BYOD.

Limiting access isn’t intrusive, but it greatly limits the company resources an employee can access with his or her phone.… More

An invisible hand for wireless broadband

6 June 2013 by Steve Blum
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What we have here is a failure to communicate.

Shortages are often – some would say always – the result of a market failure. Supply and demand are functions of both the physical availability of a good or service and the price deemed acceptable by both parties in the transaction. If the balancing mechanisms don’t exist, suppliers are left with unsold inventory and buyers do without.

Wireless bandwidth is a classic example. Who hasn’t tried to connect a smart phone and found no mobile carrier signal and only locked down WiFi?… More

Android becomes the Windows of opportunity

It goes both ways. But maybe not much longer.

Microsoft continues to slide toward the back of the mass computing market pack. Three more signs it’s losing its grip on consumer-grade devices:


Last chance challenge to FCC pole attachment rules

3 June 2013 by Steve Blum
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Crowding in on a deal.

The U.S. Supreme Court might have the final say over whether incumbent telcos get the same pole attachment price breaks as cable and new telecoms companies. The base FCC-mandated rate is $7 per attachment per year, assuming it only takes up one foot of vertical space on a pole.

In 2011, the FCC extended that rate to all. It was originally thought to apply only to new entrants into the telecoms business, including cable companies.… More

Internet video won't flourish in a walled garden

1 June 2013 by Steve Blum
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Source: Cisco VNI 2012-2017

By 2017 Internet protocol video traffic will triple worldwide, according to Cisco’s latest Visual Networking Index (VNI). It’s an annual estimate of how Internet and Internet protocol traffic will grow over the coming five years.

IP video traffic totalled 24,000 petabytes a month during 2012 and is projected to grow to 76,000 petabytes a month in 2017.

The share of Internet protocol video delivered inside a walled garden will gradually decline, although like everything else it will continue to increase in absolute terms.… More

Better connectivity undermines PC sales

28 May 2013 by Steve Blum
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Tablet sales will soar past stagnating personal computer results, according to forecasts released today by International Data Corporation. With mobile networks powering handheld productivity and growing commercial and industrial grade fiber networks enabling more and more work to be shifted onto servers, PCs are caught in a squeeze.

IDC expects 59% growth in tablet sales in 2013, reaching 229 million units, up from 145 million in 2012. That means more tablets will be sold this year than laptops (including netbooks, ultrabooks and the like).… More

Big ISPs hit rock bottom in customer satisfaction survey

23 May 2013 by Steve Blum
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U.S. consumers are more dissatisfied with their Internet service providers than with any other product or service on the American Consumer Satisfaction Index.

ACSI scores overall consumer satisfaction with ISPs at 65 on its benchmark scale, just below airlines (67) and subscription TV (68). TVs/VCRs (86), cars (84) and soft drinks (84) top the list. Municipal utilities (76), wireline phones (74) and mobile services (72) fall into the middle of the pack.

Subscribers consider their service to be too expensive and unreliable, problems ACSI chalks up to a lack of competition…

High monthly costs and problems with both reliability and speed are the main culprits.