As you know the traditional telco model has been high on my mind these last few weeks. Discussions with people smarter (and better at disruptive thinking) than myself sparked a maturation process in my own thinking that led me to the piece I wrote earlier this week about the role of telcos.
I therefore read with great interest the recent declarations of Ivan Seidenberg regarding landline revenues and fiber. The New York Times has an article about this entitled Verizon Boss Hangs Up on Landline Phone Business which is absolutely required reading.
I already had a high opinion of Seidenberg for daring to stick it up to the financial markets in 2004 and say "I actually know better than you do what makes industrial sense for my company". He still has ferocious enemies in Wall Street as a consequence, but not many CEOs these days have the guts and willpower to carry that through.
These recent declarations show that his thinking has evolved one step further. I don't know how much I believe that Verizon's network has actually flattened. Probably it has to some degree, but not quite to where Seidenberg can compare Verizon with Google (just the fact that they are still delivering POTS instead of VoIP over FiOS tells us something there) but it seems like the virtues of a stupid network are dawning on Seidenberg. Or at least of a less "intelligent" one.
Now all that remains for Seidenberg is to convince a whole legacy organisation that built itself around and thrived on "command and control" that it's no longer the right paradigm. And that would be no mean feat. But if anyone can pull it off, it's probably him.