This has got to be one of the biggest bonehead manuvers in ages. Ed Whitacre, CEO of SBC, has been quoted as saying:
(Quoted from the BusinessWeek article)
How concerned are you about Internet upstarts like Google, MSN, Vonage, and others?
How do you think they’re going to get to customers? Through a broadband pipe. Cable companies have them. We have them. Now what they would like to do is use my pipes free, but I ain’t going to let them do that because we have spent this capital and we have to have a return on it. So there’s going to have to be some mechanism for these people who use these pipes to pay for the portion they’re using. Why should they be allowed to use my pipes?
The Internet can’t be free in that sense, because we and the cable companies have made an investment and for a Google or Yahoo! or Vonage or anybody to expect to use these pipes [for] free is nuts!
Ok. It seems obvious to me, yet so far, not obvious to SBC shareholders, that this man needs to be fired. He has no clue about how “teh Intarw3b” works, and has no clue as to why his customers buy broadband access in the first place.
Hell, man–if I can’t get to Google from my broadband connection–or Slashdot, Craigslist, LiveJournal, etc? I’m not going to be paying you for that connection. I’ll take my business elsewhere, where they have a freaking clue about how the Internet actually works.