04:57 PM

USA Today's Kevin Maney's Blog...

...and why SBC etc, will give Skype as much rope as they want

Kevin Maney, USA Today's star tech reporter is now also a blogger. Kevin provided me with a once-in-a-lifetime headline opportunity "Column bites Maney" when he became a blogger following a not very blogeriscious column earlier in the year...

So, please welcome Kevin Maney into the bloggerhood, and read his blog: http://blogs.usatoday.com/maney/

Today, Kevin breaks an embargo regarding a Skype announcement because it is already out there. Not bad reasoning, however, being pre-briefed means you know what is speculation and what is not, therefore...

The item in question states that Radio Shack will be selling Skype branded products. Which is interesting.

But, how long will this free ride last for Skype, Vonage, and the other VOIP telephony plays? I think that Skype and the others will be allowed to spend millions promoting VOIP, and then, once it is a stable market, the pipe owners, SBC and the others will close the door--unless you pay up. Afterall, it makes good sense to wait until the "choke-point" is a big, fat neck.

The nice thing about quality of service and service level agreements, etc, is that you need to look inside the packets, and it means you can start to identify the packets, and it means you can route the packets of your partners to the high speed lines, and let the other packets linger--which is bad if you are in the telephony service business.

So, let Skype, Vonage etc, spend millions to educate the market, then the owners of the last mile to the consumer can produce a higher quality alternative--or you pay another extra fee for "Skype" on your already nickeled-and-dimed telephone/cable/cell/DSL unified bill.