Tag: Qwest

Qwest serious about privacy, or just politics and PR

qwest_logo.gifQwest was recently praised for ingoring a request from the NSA for data on it’s subscribers. They looked like good guys and gals. People purportedly rushed to get their services. Their employees certainly ran around town, chatting it up.

Fast forward.

Qwest is at it again, only this time the talk is heavy endorsement of mandatory data retention laws being proposed for ISPs. Several Colorado politicians who had previously jumped on the Qwest hero worship are endorsing (and in one case, sponsoring) said measures.

The local Rocky Mountain News had noted:

Qwest has done its share to reinvent the company in recent years, but it may have generated an unexpected windfall by rebuffing the National Security Agency.

So..now that they have all those subscribers, what are they going to do with all that extra data they want to retain? Let’s just hope they don’t pull “an AOL.”


Oops. Someone at a big telco has admitted they misspoke, which has to be a first: Qwest endorses a more reasonable local law, not the federal mandate.

How to get your ass kicked by some VoIP geeks

First step, go to a big voice-over-IP industry conference (in this case, VON) disguised as a telco executive. Then, tell everyone at the conference you are in favor of a two-tier internet, just don’t say it too loud. Beat around the bush with comments like:

“A content provider is a customer. If they want to buy bandwidth, we want to sell.”

And follow that up with:

“If they don’t want to buy, they don’t have to.”

After you’ve set the crowd into raging frenzy, ask them all out for drinks, but propose exiting through a back door that leads to a dark alley. A solution for your insolence will present itself forthwith.

As an aside, I am still trying to figure out what all those “content providers” are actually paying for, when they send in those checks for the pipes they are using now.

Five-dollar spam still has legs

The rigamarole over Qwest charging $5 for every spam email someone sends still hasn’t ended. The bottom line is, however, that no matter how much one clarifies the Qwest broadband TOCs, it is still going to reak havoc.

Everyone’s grandparents are still going to get a zombie infection now and then, and their computer is going to spew out some mail. They are going to get a big bill, and then the games will begin. Qwest could use a page out of Australian ISPs’ playbooks – shut down infected accounts rather than commit to the path they are taking now.

Qwest is a Mess!

Qwest can’t get themselves turned around, that much is clear. If it wasn’t to you yet, then the news that they are gouging their customers should clue you in.

The fact that they stuff the charges into their TOCs (which they know nobody will read anyway) is as good a reason as any to throw fuel on the flames here. Telcos never could stand the competition, which is why most of their services are regulated/tariff supported. When competition did arise, many of them wound up resorting to fraud to make their numbers. Ripping off customers is not a good business model – it never was, and never will be – which is why you should check Broadband Reports for alternatives to Qwest, at a vendor near you.

Wanna buy a million miles of fiber?

I was watching the evening news last night, and a Qwest retiree was heralding the news that Ralph Nacchio, the ex-CEO of Qwest, was indicted for insider trading. This person lost all their retirement savings, much the same way folks at Enron had. I felt sorry for them for two reasons – first, that they had to worry about money during what should be fun times with the grandkids and such, and second because they (and many others) still don’t realize that the fat retirement plan they had in the 90’s was never meant to be in the first place.

The press would like to paint the picture that the evil-doers are now going to pay their dues, and everything will be rosy forthwith. Sorry, but $100 million restitution is not going to bring back much to a company whose market capitalization went from roughly $75 billion to less than $11 billion in a few short years. Even if the Feds went after the bankers that backed Qwest’s $17+ billion in debt offerings, and got every dime of that back into the hands of shareholders somehow, it still wouldn’t bring back the “golden years.”

To do that, tough decisions need to be made. Politically incorrect, scorched earth decisions. Decisions beyond de-emphasizing marketing expenditures for marginal bundles of products which have only limited legs, in return for research and development dollars that do. Beyond just shuffling the workforce in preparation for the future. Not doing what everyone else is doing – piling on more of the same.

I am talking a combination of those things, and maybe even handing the company over to the bondholders – they have a bigger stake in it than shareholders do right now anyway, and the market has already taken that into account.

Note: I am neither a shareholder or bondholder of Qwest, nor will I be in the future.

Shuffling for different reasons

Adobe and BellSouth are each laying off a whole bunch of people, but for different reasons. In the first case, it is about managing new technologies (and keeping it in sync with the old); in the latter it is about not managing old technology (and separating it from the new). Both serve their purpose.