My Red Sox - Already Worried - VoIP Too

Slow news day in VoIP-land, unless you're following things at NCTA. Jeff's blog entry yesterday had a good summary of Jonathan Askin's thoughts, as well as a writeup from Light Reading about his presentation there.

Actually, Jonathan's issues are consistent with other recent developments that are worrisome - more so than my early season anxiety over my beloved Sox. Here in Canada, the CRTC just required VoIP providers to have 911 compliance within 90 days, especially for fixed line service. The recent Bell South situation around naked DSL doesn't bode well for the virtual broadband voice operators.

These are all indicators that regulators and service providers are looking at VoIP through the narrow lens of being a replacement telephony service. Sure, it can do that, but the IP community of course sees a much broader picture. What's really needed is a paradigm shift in thinking, but if the market power remains in the hands of the incumbents and MSOs, it's going to be hard to see how this is going to happen.

The VoIP startups who are driving the innovation lack market power, and we may have to look elsewhere to make such a shift happen. The combination of market power and innovation is hard to find in telecom as we know it. I think we're more likely to see that combination emerge from wireless carriers, or if we step a bit further out, possibly the IM world or peer to peer. Otherwise, all we might get is POTS on steriods. Sorry, but I couldn't resist that unsettling segue into baseball.....

Ok, here's what I really wanted to say today. I don't think I'm alone among followers of the Nation who live and die by every pitch, and read meaning into every half-swing or bobbled ball.

It's only two games into the season, but some early warning signs are already there to keep fans like me up at night. The true mark of a Sox fan is reading doom into every little thing. Not recommended!

-First, the winning streak is over. After winning the last 8 games of 2004, the Sox are winless. Opening day actually looked a bit like the last time they lost - the Fenway Massacre of Game 3 - of course, to the same Yankees. Matsui was unstoppable that game - he's hitting the Sox pretty good now too.

- Sox fans see omens in everything and are always wondering "what if". Well "what if" Millar's second inning shot on opening day landed in the seats instead of Matsui's glove (give him credit - great catch!)? Sox up 2-0 early - getting off on the right foot. Sure, they did score that inning, but a homer says it with authority, esp with the Big Unit pitching. It's a game of inches, but that homer take-away sure resonated with me.

- Yesterday's game was more like what we expect between these teams. Great baseball, back and forth. Again, our hopes are lifted when Varitek ties the game with a homer off Rivera in the 9th. We have his number, and now we're back on track. And of course, the nemesis - Foulke giving up another late homer - walk-off winner to Mr. Clutch, Jeter. Tough way to lose, and now we're on the verge of being swept. Yankees must be feeling pretty good, and they know how fragile the Sox psyche is - let's not go there.

- Manny has yet to get a hit. Same for Renteria, going back to his groundout that ended the season last year. This will change, but still, a bit worrisome!

- Last year the Sox owned the Yankees in the beginning of the season, and it helped them stay on top until their inevitable June swoon. Different story so far - just have to be a little concerned.

- If it's any consolation, Pedro lost his opener in true Red Sox fashion. He was his usual dominant self, but the Mets couldn't hold the lead in the end. Very familiar story. That feels a little better now.