Hedging against telcos

Broadband internet over satellite

Yesterday, the news came out that Amazon is planning to launch a constellation of low-earth satellites to provide broadband connectivity. There are a number of companies working on this including SpaceX’s Starlink and Facebook. Google is doing something with Loon – their balloon project. The reasoning is to bring broadband internet to the underserved market. […]


Last week, Verizon announced the launch of their 5G service in 4 US cities. There has been discussions around if it was really 5G or the “world’s first” which I don’t really find that important – it’s just marketing. What makes me excited about it, is that it’s the first step to an all wireless […]

Hotel Wifi

It’s interesting how hotel wifi used to be a major thing in my life when traveling and today it isn’t. Yesterday, I traveled to Vegas for a conference. I would not be able to tell you if the wifi in my hotel is free or any good. This used to be such a big deal. […]

Centralization of data is not conducive to innovation

Unbundling the internet and data ownership

AOL used to be internet in the US, there was Minitel in France and i-mode in Japan. All of them were widely successful in their day but turned into obscurity when disrupted by more open and distributed solutions. There’s a law which says something like “any institution always strives to become more powerful over time”. I can’t find the source of this law, but it applies to any organization - commercial or non-commercial. In their strive to become more dominant in a market or sector, they typically strive to centralization of power, influence, usage and product.

11% of US households have cut the cable

I cut the cable 5 years and have not looked back since, but I am still in the minority. Only 11% of the households in the US have cut the cable and went exclusively to streaming.

Artificial scarcity in the broadband market

The broadband market is changing. Consumers — and especially the younger demographics — are ‘cord cutting’. The cable companies made lots of money with offering Triple Play packages (Internet, TV and telephony) but now they are confronted with changing behavior which leads to price erosion.The cable industry is fighting back by putting artificial data-caps in place so they've a way out to increase prices down the line.

The future battleground of internet access

Historically, cable companies have de facto monopolies or duopolies in the areas they serve. It gave them significant market power on consumers & broadcasters alike. There was little choice than to just deal with them.The market is slowly changing though. Phone services are not as important as they once were since consumers start to rely solely on their mobile phones. At the same time is television moving towards the internet. This leaves the cable companies with only a dumb data pipe towards the internet.

Wifi is not a mobile network

With great regularity I see ideas and companies trying to leverage WIFI as a WAN. I would not recommend it. It's just not designed for that. Here's why.