AT&T’s CEO Has Cahonnes

"Randall Stephenson: We haven’t made it difficult to find. To be honest with you, that’s not a product that our customers have clamored for. We still have $15 offers out there in the marketplace, even $20 offers, for 1.5 megabit speeds. Those are really kind of the minimum speeds that give a good user experience. So I don’t want to necessarily offer up a product where the user experience is not what I would consider really state of the art. That $10 product is kind of in that mode."

Why doesn’t the guy just come out and say it, AT&T will not only have to be dragged kicking and screaming to competitive naked DSL but we’ll have to pry it from their cold dead hands.

First a bit of history, AT&T was required by the FCC to offer naked DSL as a condition for approval of their acquisition of BellSouth. They offered naked DSL, they said, but it was just as expensive as DSL plus a phone line and the FCC smacked them down. The boys at Ma Bell were not deterred, they then offered a naked DSL that was cheap, but also really really slow.

Now, in addition to making it slow, they are making it invisible. Try finding DSL only service on their website. To add insult to injury, AT&T’s CEO is now claiming that because it’s a really shitty service that you would have a hard time ordering even if you wanted it, well customers don’t actually want it as evidenced by the fact they aren’t signing up for it. I believe, in psychology circles, this is referred to as a self-reinforcing delusion.

There is so much to dislike about this company and their practices, it really bums me out to think that we are increasingly facing a number of markets that not only don’t have real competition but also don’t have the prospect for competition.

Does anyone really believe that AT&T’s leadership really cares about offering their customers a service that gets better over time while at the same time getting more affordable?

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Graffiti (the Urban Kind)

Read this today:

"Whether this is art or not, no one has the right to put it on someone else’s property,” he said. "Graffiti adds to the deterioration of a neighborhood. It’s urban blight. … If anyone gets seen defacing someone else’s property, we will come down here and we will prosecute.”

It made me think of my recent trip to Milan, where the one thing I could not help but notice is that graffiti is everywhere (literally) and it makes the city look like shit. I commented about this to someone else at the conference and he said he was struck by same thing so I know I am not alone in this observation.

String ‘em up by their buster browns is what I say (and if you get that obscure movie reference I will send you a book or something).

Heathrow Shames London

There’s a serious operational breakdown at Heathrow with security lines longer than many flights out of that key airport.

British Airways and Ryanair confirmed that as a result of the queues at check-in and security, some passengers on short-haul flights to European destinations were spending more time in airport terminals than in the air.

While there is no shortage of finger pointing going on, the fact remains that the airport operator is failing and nobody is holding them accountable. I noticed this situation during my last trip to Europe and at the time I thought to myself that the next time I flew I would definitely be connecting through Frankfurt to wheverever I was going. Basically, I’ll do whatever I can to avoid Heathrow and if I am flying into the UK I will fly into Gatwick.

Heathrow is old and in desperate need of major renovations to not only improve the experience while in the terminal but speed things up through security. Major U.S. airports like Dulles and JFK are no picnic but they certainly move passengers through the checkin and security process quickly (let’s not bring up Logan… that airport should call in the bulldozers and a do-over). More stringent airport security processes doesn’t mean that airports grind to a halt.

I don’t know how London and the British government can let Heathrow degrade any further, and from the comments of the airlines themselves it sounds like it’s not only passengers who are revolting.

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Enterprise 2.0 and Wikipedia, Again

Zoli writes about the ongoing case of revisionism over at Wikipedia on the "enterprise 2.0" topic.

So supposedly Enterprise 2.0, which just in 2006 was not noteworthy or original enough to be mentioned in Wikipedia, has been used for half a decade. In that case, there sure is a lot of evidence – why didn’t Andy McAfee’s search on the joint terms “Alan Warms” and “Enterprise 2.0.” bring any meaningful results? Nowadays, “if it’s not on Google, it does not exist“…

Andy McAfee, Associate Professor at HBS, who can legitimately claim credit for being among the first to use the term, is similarly perplexed about how something that has a clear record can be subject to considerable and frequent revision.

Does anyone have a good explanation for why this particular Wikipedia article seems to remain in great flux instead of converging, despite the pretty clear record? Because I honestly don’t.

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