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Swedish Teleco Firms Looking Into Block VoIP Claiming Losses In Earnings 151

Posted by samzenpus
from the too-cheap-calls dept.
An anonymous reader writes "Telia, a Swedish telecommunications company, is now looking into possible solutions to block free VoIP services like Skype and Vibr, claiming the losses are beginning to take its toll on the total earnings. Critics are saying the companies have wrongly implemented outdated pricing models, and the act could threaten net transparency and Independence. A new report from regulators of the European phone market shows that more and more telecommunications companies will block their subscribers from using free services. The European Commission is investigating whether it is possible to prohibit the blocking of legal services online."
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Swedish Teleco Firms Looking Into Block VoIP Claiming Losses In Earnings

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  • What the heck? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday March 30, 2012 @02:13AM (#39519847)

    Why is it that when companies managed to reach a nice cushioned position they complain when the rules of the game change? this does not make sense to me.
    You had all this time to profit and INNOVATE. Why not start your own VOIP service? instead, like some retarded dictator you want to block progress.

    Innovate or die.

    • Re:What the heck? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Hentes (2461350) on Friday March 30, 2012 @02:32AM (#39519941)

      On one hand it's understandable that after giving their users nearly unlimited mobile net they feel tricked when noone is paying them for phone calls anymore. On the other hand if it's cheaper to make phone calls over Skype than it is in the traditional way that means that phone calls are hugely overpriced because Skype has strong security and much better sound quality than a phone call. In any case, they should have seen this coming and plan forward, transforming from telcos to mobile net companies.

      • Re:What the heck? (Score:4, Interesting)

        by TheRaven64 (641858) on Friday March 30, 2012 @05:46AM (#39520737) Journal
        The data for phone calls is more scarce on at least some mobile protocols because it is isochronous, whereas data sold as data just goes into the unused slots. That said, the mobile companies really ought to offer a SIPPOTS gateway and separate out the charge for data from the charge for termination. If they were really clever, they'd make sure that the SIP stuff worked from any network connection, so they could still charge you for calls when you make them over WiFi.
    • he gave comments (i think during mwc) that they'll want a cut of skype/voip done on their networks. how they planned to do it he didn't mention, maybe he believes in some uber packet inspection. if they'll start doing that they'll be thoroughly fucked as their customers can just pick up and leave - which is why they're desperately trying to tie them in with device partial payment plans & other shit they've copied from at&t, for some reason they think that's the company to copy. you would think they'

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by CodeReign (2426810)

      Honestly I find it amusing. My carrier (Rogers of Canada) is known for bad service. 3 years ago when I started with them they would proxy all voip communications from my smartphone (I don't know if they billed or just proxied for other reasons). 3 Weeks ago they rolled out a free VOIP service that requires using a computer (some proprietary front end) free to use for their customers (including free long distance and free texting from the computer to any line in Canada).

      As it turns out I no-longer think of

    • by Solandri (704621)

      this does not make sense to me. You had all this time to profit and INNOVATE. Why not start your own VOIP service? instead, like some retarded dictator you want to block progress.

      Their business model is based on vastly overcharging for POTS. The amounts they're charging per minute of phone call exceeds the actual cost of supply the line and bandwidth by several orders of magnitude. Customers willingly paid it because they had no choice, and they only made phone calls for a few minutes at a time.

      OTOH,

  • We fixed this in NL (Score:5, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday March 30, 2012 @02:19AM (#39519865)

    In the Netherlands, the largest telco (KPN) was also going to do this... then parliament rushed through a net neutrality law that forbids deep packet inspection and blocking specific traffic and the telcos backed off quickly. Now they can only charge by amount of data and speed. Maybe the Swedish will get lucky too now.

    • Not yet... (Score:4, Informative)

      by thrill12 (711899) on Friday March 30, 2012 @02:32AM (#39519943) Journal
      ...while the parliament voted on this (in favor) already, the Senate ("Eerste Kamer") can still vote it down. Although chances are slim, the (indirectly elected) Senate in the Netherlands proved in the past that their view of the country is sometimes substantially different from that of the directly elected representatives. Officially the Senate can only regard the law against the constitution, but recent developments made the senate a more political institute. Because currently there are critical negotiations going on to keep the government in office, there is no saying what will be decided in that meeting room that affects ongoing legislation, including any Senate decisions. ( https://www.bof.nl/2012/03/05/stemming-eerste-kamer-telecommunicatiewet-uitgesteld/ [www.bof.nl] in Dutch and https://www.bof.nl/2011/06/22/press-release-%E2%80%93-the-netherlands-first-country-in-europe-to-launch-net-neutrality/ [www.bof.nl] on the original law in English)
      • Re:Not yet... (Score:4, Informative)

        by pieterbos (2218218) on Friday March 30, 2012 @03:12AM (#39520115)

        Regardless of the law being accepted or not, the combination of the resistance amongst the public and the politicians agains the telco plans and the proposal of this law had a significant effect: the telco's withdrew their plans. And they are slowly switching to a different pricing model, where data is the main component. And in one case, already the new phone subsidy has changed into a phone lease, for which you pay separately if you want it.

        This does mean that the price of data becomes a significant amount of the price of your monthly phone bill. It doesn't magically mean that data is now free and unlimited, and not even that things like price differences within and outside of your data limit will disappear. You will not suddenly pay less in all cases, telephone companies still need to make money. But it does force them into a more fair pricing plan.

        • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

          by Anonymous Coward

          I ended up paying more due to my data usage, possibly as a result of the net neutrality law, but.. I wouldn't want it any other way. I'd rather pay more (or use a bit less) in the short term and ensure that we have net neutrality, rather than keeping my 'unlimited' data subscription but ending up paying extra for certain services in the long term.

          I was very happy to see people & politics care about the net neutrality issue, I hope the senate won't screw up it

  • by FaxeTheCat (1394763) on Friday March 30, 2012 @02:19AM (#39519867)
    This sounds just like the music and movie business when they were trying to resist the changes in technology instead of embracing it.
    We know how that worked out.
    Maybe the telecom people should start reading the news?
    • by Ihmhi (1206036)

      We know how that worked out.

      They're going to start suing their customers and put a bad taste in everyone's mouth (except for the lawyers), all while making a massive pile of money (although not as much as they used to)?

      • all while making a massive pile of money (although not as much as they used to)?

        Maybe not the music industry, but "Hollywood" (MPAA members) had record profits year after year from 2006 to 2010, at least. So they're making more money than they used to.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by zandeez (1917156)
      I know what you mean, but in the UK, BT were forced years ago to open their network to other providers, and on top of that the use of VoIP were eating into their traditional revenue streams. Are BT crying about it? No, they're implementing VoIP technology on their main network to reduce their running costs and are offering new, better and complimentary data, voice and management services to pick up an entirely new revenue stream.
      • And they're charging a £10/month line rental to the customer for just having current going to your phone socket, on top of what BT Wholesale charges the ISP. You need to pay this to use any ADSL service unless you're on one of the few exchanges with local loop unbundling. In areas with cable, this makes ADSL completely uncompetitive.
  • by ebusinessmedia1 (561777) on Friday March 30, 2012 @02:27AM (#39519911)

    These telecommunications companies are little more than parasites. They don't ENABLE anything on their own. First, they leverage all kinds of free subsidies (your tax dollars) to build their networks. Then, they wrangle out of taxes by taking business deductions, usually paying their worthless CEO's and other senior executives obscene amount of money for doing exactly what? Taking credit for the INternet and its associated benefits to technology, even as they choke off the benefits of those technologies.

    What's even more breathtaking is that its tax money (made from our tax dollars, earned by the sweat of our ever-longer work days) that actually *paid* for their infrastructure.

    Last, the thing that really amps me up about stuff like this is that telecommunications companies and ISPs, etc. are essentially using technology that they didn't invent, to leverage YOUR and my communicative assets!

    Communication was "free" until we began to find ways to increase it's speed, depth, and breadth. From the stone tablet, to the scribes, to the early offset printers (and print distributors), to the Internet and its multifarious ways of data and information transmission, certain folks have found a way to horde either the means to information production, or its transmission.

    Guess what? That model isn't going to work anymore, not if we want a sustainable information ecology that is as diverse as possible.

    Sorry, but these ISPs and telcos are little more than traitors to human advancement, masquerading as enablers. They want to suck us dry; they want all the benefits. They want tax breaks made by the policy makers that they buy every few years to build their infrastructures, and then they want us to pay them more, as if the tax breaks (which we ultimately pay for) and the infrastructure (which we also pay for), and the very source of communications that they leverage (you and me), isn't enough.

    We need to start finding ways (I don't have the answers, just posing the possibility) to once and for all RID this world of these gatekeepers, because they are interested in keeping only one thing sustainable - their bank accounts. They could give a damn about whether the world is better serves by more transparent and facile communications technology. The Telco and ISP sector are, again, traitors to human growth and development. We need to find another way.

    • From the stone tablet, to the scribes, to the early offset printers (and print distributors), to the Internet and its multifarious ways of data and information transmission, certain folks have found a way to horde either the means to information production, or its transmission.

      You sound like one of them there Commies, to me, pal... :D

      • Bell didn't build their stuff over there - governments built their stuff and now some private companies sitting on top of it doing nothing but charging a toll. Do you get what he is writing about now?
        Australia has a similar problem with Telstra doing as little as possible since 1996 and charging whatever they can get away with. It's not quite as bad because there is a little bit of privately built infrastructure but I can see where the above poster is coming from, especially since I need to pay more than
        • You seem to have missed the emoticon at the end. Please check your humour indicator and recalibrate as needed. (And see my posting history for guidance, you'll find easily that I'm no corporate apologist.)

          As it happens, I lived for some years in Brisbane, and I'm well acquainted with Telstra's *and* Optus' shenanigans. (I've been a customer of both, and they both suck.) As well as those of the telcos in the US, where I am from originally.

          (ExecSummary: "Looks like you've been whoooshed, mate.")

    • by Anonymous Coward

      Agreed. I have watched this happen over and over and over and somehow the majority of people seem to not notice and STILL think that companies have the interests of common people at heart... No. They just want your money and will take it for doing as little as possible for as long as possible (its called maximizing profits). Its amazing, both otherwise intelligent and not so intelligent people are the same way on this topic. I think its because people want to believe that everyone else would see things h

    • by sousoux (945907)
      I totally agree. I have for a long time thought that the only way to solve this problem is to split the wholesale and retail portions of the telecoms business by legislation. If all telco wholesalers (network operators) had to sell with flat terms through multiple resellers (customer owners/MVNOs) then in my opinion a lot more innovation would occur in the market. This would be easy to implement in wireless where there are multiple networks (tower ownership is still an area where there are monopoly concerns
    • I do have the answer, and it's surprisingly simple:

      Provide fiber to the home as a municipal service for just the physical layer (eg, you lease two strands from the city for $10/month); have the other end in a data center where you can be cross connected to your choice of data service providers. In other words, take the physical layer away from the telcos so they can't leverage that monopoly against you; then they have to actually compete.

      Wherever this is done the diversity of services flourishes and the pr

  • Also in Finland (Score:5, Informative)

    by Gaygirlie (1657131) <gaygirlie.hotmail@com> on Friday March 30, 2012 @02:31AM (#39519933) Homepage

    TeliaSonera is a telco that actually operates both in Finland and in Sweden, and they're planning to block people from using Skype for free on the Finnish side of things, too. Their plan is to allow you to buy Skype talk-time that then allows the service through until the time is up. Do notice that this is in *addition* to what one already has to pay for Skype credits, so this has understandably created quite some negative commentary here and there.

    The funny thing is that it's only TeliaSonera contemplating on doing this, all the others are more than fine with the situation as it is, and are even actively promoting unrestricted mobile broadbands.

    • by linhux (104645)

      The funny thing is that it's only TeliaSonera contemplating on doing this, all the others are more than fine with the situation as it is, and are even actively promoting unrestricted mobile broadbands.

      In Finland, perhaps, but in Sweden basically all the operators have been considering blocking VoIP for quite a long time [mobil.se] (article in Swedish, apologies).

      • Hm. I thought read in yesterday's Metro a statement from a Telenor exec to the effect that they aren't planning to institute any sort of usage filtering in the foreseeable future...?

        • by Amouth (879122)

          in the foreseeable future...?

          That's a key bit here.. see you have a large industry that all want to do it but none want the bad PR they know will come with it.. once One of them does it and survives the PR backlash then the others can make a better judgement call on it and will be follow suit. To them it's nothing but risk assessment, all this comment proves is that the Telenor exec in question isn't willing to put his neck on the line for the current unknown risk, once the risk is know he will to the full extent that it will make h

          • Please don't use *my* translation/wording in place of an actual direct quote from the Telenor guy.

            I don't have a copy of the paper in front of me, and my Swedish is far from perfect.

            This is why I made my post in the form of a question, and included the phrase "to the effect that...". I wasn't being rhetorical, I was asking for confirmation from someone else who actually read the article in (I think it was) Thursday's Metro.

            (P.S. Nice sig.)

            • by Amouth (879122)

              I understand, and thanks i love my sig.. it applies to a lot of people/things, my self included more than i'd like.

    • by LilWolf (847434)

      The funny thing is that it's only TeliaSonera contemplating on doing this, all the others are more than fine with the situation as it is, and are even actively promoting unrestricted mobile broadbands.

      Some years ago TeliaSonera was also the only ISP in Finland to talk about adding transfer limits to their non-mobile broadband service. They quickly stopped talking about that because they lost customers and the other service providers weren't going to jump aboard. So in a sense they're a front runner in Finl

  • by Anonymous Coward

    If you are a subscriber and you pay a monthly fee to a communication company for Internet access and telecommunication services (phone, short messages) then the subscriber should be the one to decide what he wants to do on the internet, even if it's VoIP communication. He/She pays for that specific service, the usage of the Internet and those companies should deliever what they offer.

    What's next? Are they going to block instant messenger apps because people use their Short Message Services less?

    • by gl4ss (559668)

      If you are a subscriber and you pay a monthly fee to a communication company for Internet access and telecommunication services (phone, short messages) then the subscriber should be the one to decide what he wants to do on the internet, even if it's VoIP communication. He/She pays for that specific service, the usage of the Internet and those companies should deliever what they offer.

      What's next? Are they going to block instant messenger apps because people use their Short Message Services less?

      funny that you mention that. there's several operators that had/have plans where you paid a free for using their msn solution.

      while you could just pay for data.

      • funny that you mention that. there's several operators that had/have plans where you paid a free for using their msn solution.

        I am ashamed to admit that I got suckered by this myself not long after I moved here, not knowing any Swedish at the time and not realising that their "MSN Messenger" was basically a trojan wrapped around the real thing--this trojan having permissions to add a separate usage charge to my bill whenever I fired up the app. Took me 3 friggin' months to get the "automatic subscription" removed, even after I uninstalled it from my phone.

        This was Tele2 IIRC--I've since switched providers.

  • Deem too much effort
  • I guess telecom guys are the same around the world. The same situation is here in Ukraine. VoIP with SIP is just tabooed by law. Government officials publicly speak about taxing Skype and ICQ.

    • Similar situation here in Germany too, albeit not quite as bad. Most providers (such as Vodafone or o2) don't allow tethering, VoIP and sometimes even IM on their lower end plans. Get a plan that's meant for tethering or use in a laptop and you're golden... that doesn't make the restrictions in lower plans OK, but at least we have a viable alternative.

      I do, however, see where the phone companies are coming from - I don't think I've made more than 3 minutes worth of actual cell phone calls in the past month.

  • by Bromskloss (750445) <auxiliary.addres ... l.com ['mai' in > on Friday March 30, 2012 @02:43AM (#39519979)

    Why don't we just choose the provider that gives us the best offer - for example the one that let's us use audio-over-the-internet, maybe at a higher prize?

    Let providers be free to make whatever offers they want and let others be free to accept or decline.

    • by eddy (18759)

      Because they collude and no telco will offer the service that people want at a reasonable price, that's why. Also, telcos and ISPs shouldn't be allowed to interfere with traffic in any way shape or form beyond what's necessary to make sure it's delivered to its proper destination.

      • Because they collude and no telco will offer the service that people want at a reasonable price, that's why.

        I'm gonna be a bit contrarian here, in part because it's an interesting issue to explore. Allow them to collude, I say! If you and I decide to start offering a service and also decide to be all colluding about it, what right does others have to prevent us? If they don't accept our offer, they can just say "no" and go on without it.

        No one has any obligation to offer you any service at a price you find reasonable. No one has any obligation to offer you any service at all, even. If you don't find the price rea

        • by Ardyvee (2447206)

          Except it would mess with how the internet is supposed to work. And this could lead to some serious drawbacks if Universities/Research Labs have to start paying MORE for Internet access. This could potentially lead on an increase on price on a lot of things. Internet access is a cost. If you let them go free on whatever they want, that cost may(will) go up.

          And that is just one side of the issue.

          • Except it would mess with how the internet is supposed to work. And this could lead to some serious drawbacks if Universities/Research Labs have to start paying MORE for Internet access. This could potentially lead on an increase on price on a lot of things. Internet access is a cost. If you let them go free on whatever they want, that cost may(will) go up.

            Mess up how the Internet is supposed to work? I'm not sure I follow you. Why would there be drawbacks if specifically universities and labs paid more as opposed to if everyone else paid more? What if prices do go up? Lot's of things cost me more than I would like them to. Can you make all prices go down, please? Except when I sell something. I'm afraid I'm not convinced by your argument.

            And that is just one side of the issue.

            Oh! Well, if that's the case, I'm convinced!

        • by eddy (18759)

          Cool. And when I find you lying in the street having a heart-attack or stroke, I'll just stand there and stare at you because I have no phone on account of there being no contract that was actually usable.

          Communication is too important to be left to the "invisible hand". You sound like someone who just had their first economy class and is high on free market ideals.

          • Cool. And when I find you lying in the street having a heart-attack or stroke, I'll just stand there and stare at you because I have no phone on account of there being no contract that was actually usable.

            Communication is too important to be left to the "invisible hand".

            Let's just peacefully explore the issue. I'm still trying to find my own stance here, entertaining opinions without necessarily embracing them, putting forward an argument to see what will be said against it.

            Firstly, I don't think it would ever go that far. If no one is using a phone at all, then certainly there is money to be made from providing a service that is at least usable. At least as much I'd say we can expect from the invisible hand. Secondly, some would argue that regardless of whether I die or n

        • Yeah, if you want to offer a better service, you just need to talk your government into granting you some channels at the eletromagnetic spectrum. Oh, wait, all of them are already granted? I guess you can't offer that better service.

        • by Chirs (87576)

          "I'm gonna be a bit contrarian here, in part because it's an interesting issue to explore. Allow them to collude, I say!"

          The problem is that historically there are relatively few players in the telecoms market, because it is a natural monopoly. The barriers to entry are very high, so there isn't a lot of competition.

          Around here (Canadian Prairies) there are two cell networks, one run by the phone company and one by the cable company. There are then 6 other companies that lease bandwidth on their towers.

      • Because they collude and no telco will offer the service that people want at a reasonable price, that's why. Also, telcos and ISPs shouldn't be allowed to interfere with traffic in any way shape or form beyond what's necessary to make sure it's delivered to its proper destination.

        I don't think that network neutrality makes sense when the flow of packets is pretty much unidirectional. Treating every packet identically as it moves through the internet means that this one-way flow cannot be optimized. For a car analogy, network neutrality is like having unsynchronized traffic lights. I live in a town where most people commute from east to west in the mornings, and west to east in the evenings. The traffic lights on the east-west corridors in my town are synchronized to optimize t

    • Re:Why prohibit? (Score:4, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward on Friday March 30, 2012 @03:07AM (#39520093)

      You seems to think that the telecommunication industry is a free market. It is not. It provides vital infrastructure which means that it's, and should be, heavily subsidized and regulated.

    • by jovius (974690)

      I guess the problem is that Microsoft owns Skype and they also have their own mobile OS, which is heavily promoted by a handset manufacturer: Nokia. If they integrate Skype to the OS they can create their own network independent from the mobile carriers. For example one would not need to have separate phone plan at all at home with a wifi enabled router. Losing text messaging and voice calls is not what the carriers want. Sure one can have a similar setup now, but in this case it's carriers/ISPs vs. mobile

    • Because due to the finite bandwidth of the spectrum, there is a fixed number of mobile telecom companies, that are choosen by the government. If all of them choose to not let you use their infrastructure the way you want, you can't choose another one.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    I would drop Telia and go to another provider. Nothing beats shit like this than burying them by not giving them your money.

    • by ahotiK (2426590)
      Problem is the other operators will do the same thing soon and then you don't really have a choice. What I hate the most is the hypocrisy of companies like these. They were advertising apps (like skype) and free unlimited Internet access and smartphones just about until last year and were overexcited when "everyone" wanted to switch to a smartphone since that meant extra money for them in terms of new subscriptions (for buying a new phone) and of course different data plans and such. But now they have to b
  • Will the operators find a solution, or can the creators of VoIP apps easily find ways around the operators efforts to block them? How would the operators block an encrypted voice call on a random port?

  • by Anonymous Coward

    The reasonable thing to do in a situation such as this would be boycotting Telia for not respecting their customers. Problem is, Telia is not the only operator that wants to stop Skype and equivalent services. In fact, I don't think there's a reasonable alternative at all. I don't want to share too much of my inside info even though I'm posting as Anonymous Coward, but enabling of blocking certain services is being built into charging systems that are used by huge operators all over the world. I believe thi

  • by rebelwarlock (1319465) on Friday March 30, 2012 @04:15AM (#39520385)
    Belize Telecommunications Limited, which is essentially a monopoly in Belize (there is another cell phone provider and some cable companies provide internet, but BTL owns all the infrastructure pretty much), charges an already poor nation ridiculously high prices. International calls to and from the country are incredibly high, sometimes measured in dollars (!!!) per minute. On top of that, they bought censorship software from China in order to block VOIP traffic. Their justification for this was so that they could maintain low (?) prices on their phone rates. When this happened, it broke a lot of things, most notably MMOs.

    I left the country three years ago, and things have improved slightly since then, but at the time, a 128k DSL line cost a total of about $85usd a month, when all the charges were added up. This is in a country where minimum wage is around $1.50usd. There are about 350,000 people in the whole country, and if I'm not mistaken, BTL reported a net profit of $13.5mil USD last year. So I'm going to have a hard time with ISPs attempting to justify this sort of thing.
  • In both of these countries where I have recently lived, many companies (mostly the big players like Vodafone, T-Mobile, Orange, etc) are already either blocking VoIP or forbidding its use contractually. Yoigo, a spanish subsidiary company of Telia Sonera is one of these.

    However, luckily users still have the option of changing to other operators (mostly "virtual" providers who sublet the network infrastructure from the main players) who are more than happy to allow access to VoIP in order to get new custo
  • It's sooo much easier to blame "the Internet" than figure out a pricing model that makes it sufficiently convenient to use the "telephone system" (yes, I know that the telcos frequently use the Internet themselves) to make a telephone call that enough subscribers continue to do that rather than putting the (not terribly much) extra effort to set up and use Skype, ...

  • game changed (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Tom (822) on Friday March 30, 2012 @06:13AM (#39520841) Homepage Journal

    Disclaimer: I used to work for a telco, and was close to the C-level, so some actual business insight might be included, as long as supplies last, some assembly required.

    The problem the telcos are trying to solve is twofold, especially for the old and large (often ex-government) ones.

    The economic problem is that they have massive amounts of hardware, space and other investments tied up into POTS systems. Putting up the whole IP infrastructure wasn't cheap either, and now one of them is destroying the other. That's like having two cars and then your wife leaves - there's simply too much hardware in your garage you don't need. If you can't get rid of it, you will find yourself trying to use both, convincing yourself that one is better for city driving while the other is better for hauling stuff or long-distance or whatever. But the simple fact is that you simply don't like going perfectly good stuff to waste.

    The other problem is pricing. Internet access was initially sold as an add-on, to gain more customers. The price point was designed for that case. Also, after privatisation, many countries in Europe entered a price-war amongst the telcos, driving prices down to a level that only few could sustain for long. Now they are at that point, usage patterns have long since changed with IP traffic being orders of magnitude higher, but they can't raise the prices because that would mean losing customers to the competition. And customers mean everything, because this is one of the businesses where the big honcho monkeys believe that only the top players can compete in the long run, so losing customers is the direct route for the CEO to lose his job. Not because of any actual facts, even if he keeps the company profitable, but because the big shareholders have all subscribed to a mantra that is accepted at face value.

    All the throttling and filtering and bla that is being discussed is because during the land-grab phase of getting as many customers as possible, and Internet access being one big weapon in that, they basically allowed marketing to dig them into a very deep hole with its promises of unlimited high-speed access for almost no money.

    • by u38cg (607297)
      It's one of the classic lessons of business: to recognise when your market is about to disappear and to get on the ground floor of the next big thing. Vanishingly few companies do it succesfully, apart from Apple.
  • Does it really matter? In the end, they are just going to raise the data-only plans if people are switching away from POTS/ISDN (which I personally think of as a shame, because circuit-switched networks still beat IP when it comes to QoS for voice communication)
  • One of the things I actually like about the EU is that the courts here actually bit you if you violate competition law. Instead of the slap on the wrist you often see in US rulings, when a company is convicted of unfair business practices over here their options are basically to comply, cease doing business or face a fine so harsh it will eat up their profit margin.

    When it comes to cellphones I expect they telcos will be in trouble if they try to pull a quick one here. Most EU politicians have to deal with

  • I thought the EU was really adamant about stopping antitrust violations. You'd think this would at least be mentioned.
  • ... buggy whip manufacturers ....

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