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UC Powers Change
Not only am I hopeful, but I remain mindful of the past history lessons of market forces and the nature of supply and demand.
Let's set the stage with what we know. Energy runs what we all have and want. Our dependence upon foreign oil sources must change and due to the very nature of change - we know it takes time to invoke changes on large national or global scales. Then, if Americans don't have money in the bank, nobody wins. Long ago, JP Morgan and Company manipulated markets, diplomats and politicians but they too found that when Americans didn't have money in the bank, nobody won. Unwelcome as the Great Depression was, it was in fact a worldwide breakdown not just in financial backing and resolve, but it carried the deep and lasting erosion of confidence and hope that took hold and wore a lasting and devastating toll on people. In short, it was a humbling lesson for humanity. I believe we stand to face another humbling lesson.
That bonding glue that traditional telephony lacked or failed to deliver can no longer be tolerated, and the promise of UC is, well very promising. Did anyone learn a lesson from the failures of TDM over IP? Or maybe I should ask, who didn't learn a lesson? Other scrapes with the old ways of doing things or old systems resulted in some public hatred of their cable TV providers that stirred those in Washington to action. During the same early era of cable TV, Sprint had huge billing issues and firing the CEO didn't exactly correct the problem of the industry, but it did reckon the need to get the bills out on time to customers. Still, other issues have plagued the carrier business (wireline and wireless) and until we see some standards to ensure the quality we need to go about doing what we normally do; then okay, I'll admit: don't expect things to change from the carriers.
While the FCC has a vested interest in telecommunications and it isn't just for the sake of regulation (I'll admit, I complain too about using telecom as a way to raise tax revenues) it is a thankless job (of the FCC) charged with some sense of order to hear vendors and their lobbyists campaigning for what they want and understanding consumers' and businesses' "hopes" of getting what they want. Then, in all the fury of politicians promising to make things right again, we don't want to forget the carriers' past practices of slamming, making rules as they go and then charging how they please. Still in our memories are all the little guys on the street trying to move in on the telcos' territory and crying foul because the telcos wouldn't play fair or couldn't because of the system in place. There's no lack of finger pointing and there remains plenty of room for improvement.
If my premise is correct that telecommunications (and this includes cellular) is, in fact a part of the national infrastructure (roads, highways, bridges, water, energy, sewage, etc), then my argument remains that these are inclusive to serving the public's best interest and this means rising over and above the sole interest of capitalism. The national highway system by design was for national interests (good of the public defense and use) by President Eisenhower. Of course I understand the funding for the national highway system and other public interests originated from funds and bonds.
Still, I remain hopeful that cellular will improve; the carriers will lose their current exemption of providing shoddy services, and I do expect one day too that they must be held to the same or even higher degree of accountability as the wired world. Capitalism is fueling this change, to the tune of significant investment dollars in startups along with those fortunes enjoyed by Cisco and Microsoft in the strengthening of their rightful positions to make sure that the UC "standard" belongs to them. Once it is under mass deployment and ingrained in our ways of life (work or pleasure), UC can positively impact our effectiveness and efficiency in work and pleasure. I do think it will also contribute to improving our standard of living; and pointing back to market pressures; shoddy cellular service cannot continue or survive on past performance. The supply and demand of UC isn't just a commodity to Heckle and Jeckle with, instead; UC demand will outpace cellular voice just as web access or "data" has outpaced traditional voice. Quality won't remain as an optional idea.
Technology, competitiveness and national interests can't be ignored. The FCC maybe blocked by the cellular companies in a plan to deploy FREE nationwide Wireless Internet access but it won't stop there. Change is always imminent and UC is a great power that can greatly reduce (even as an interim step) our dependence upon foreign oil, reduce wasted energy and time on congested highways, and defer futile attempts to build more roadways and highways (expansion) and still soften the environmental blows that capitalism does have a tendency to overlook. The better news is that large enterprise doesn't need to provide housing for scores of people and this means that business can operate fully functional with even greater flexibility using teleworkers or workers on the move without physically stationing them in overly expensive cubicle farms. Business stands to win and in a big way and in a great way;, workers stand to benefit too.
Money has to flow and not just from business-to-business or banker-to-banker. Americans with money in the bank will put us ahead and foster positive growth. UC is that glue that gives promise to any worker by gaining an edge or hedge on energy costs along with time. Time still is and remains our most valued asset and remembering what Franklin said - "to love life is to love time."
Stepping up and demanding service, a quality of service that supports UC seamlessly along with national interests and commercial gain for those rightly investing in UC isn't passe thinking either. Call it whatever you want: wishful thinking, high hopes or pie-in-the-sky; but value is still a pretty desirable goal that's not taken lightly by any customer (business or consumer). For UC there is a healthy and significant supply of value that is pent up, and knowing where to apply the technology is in part the path of excitement or concern that UC holds.
As for demand, why do people continue to pay for lousy service? In reading 10 Reasons To Hate Cellphone Carriers, I can only conclude that the cell carriers have their hooks in everyone and they know it, the FCC knows it, and you know it too unless you live on some isolated island. Even so- "Can you hear me now?" just won't cut it in the age of unifying communications.