Carrier growing pains


I’m back from San Francisco and ready to post. More posts will be coming, but here on my two cents on AT&T’s censoring of anti-Bush lyrics during a webcast of a Pearl Jam performance that they hosted. AT&T shifted blame to a third-party vendor did the censoring, and they are working to put up an uncensored version.

What is most notable is that in carriers and media companies are now converging. When AT&T was a pure-play telecommunications services company, they didn’t need to worry that much about the information being transmitted over their wires. Now that AT&T and other carries want a piece of the “information service” pie, they are finding themselves in uncharted areas. It is not surprising then, for something like the Pearl Jam mishap to occur. This convergence of traditional telecoms and media companies will be bumpy because telecoms don’t have much experience being media companies. Content is a fiercely competitive arena, where audiences and marketers are extremely fickle. Telecoms on the other hand are only used to a handful of competitors, if any at all. As the telecoms push into more content related areas, it will be interesting to track their successes and failures.

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