Wednesday, October 20, 2004

Fall VON 2004 - Day 1 - Highlights

The VON already started on Day -1 with the usual and already famous Town Hall Meeting from Dr.Pepper (Chief of Policy Development, FCC), this time coequally supported by Jeffrey Carlisle (Chief of the Wireline Competition Bureau).

There was a very lively discussion on the current issues in US regulation, especially on the famous 4 Internet freedoms stated by Chair Michael Powell at the University in Colorado in February, and also on the intention to make all regulation regarding VoIP interstate (that is: an FCC) issue. The discussion was really a peek preview of the Keynotes from Sen. Sununu on Monday and of Michael Powell himself on Tuesday.

On Monday, the preconference Workshops took place and I had really a problem where to go. Since my collegue attended the WiFI Summit, I went to the 2004 Landline Summit and therefore missed the excellent (by hearsay) US Telecom Policy Summit. An the other hand, the Landline Forum had also a session on the regulators perspective again with Robert Pepper, Jeffrey Carlisle and Thomas Navin (Chief Competition Policy Division, FCC), so I am quite sure I got the important messages and missed nothing important.

The meeting started with Maribel Lopez (Forrester Research) giving a look at the next generation consumer, which will in essence be connected, nomadic and asynchronous. There will be invisible mobile end-points out there (e.g. in cars, lots of storage (in iPods, TiVO etc), presence and mobile messaging will play an important role.

It continued with two presentations from Kathy Brown (Verizon) and Joe Glynn (Qwest) on the impact on the Incumbents and to put it short, it will be heavy. The conclusion of Kathy Brown was that the world has changed, but Verizon is embracing the change (good luck), regulations are not in sync with new realities (how true) and national framework for broadband and applications is needed (will be done, see below Sen. Sununu and Chair Michael Powell).

the session continued with three different views on Broadband Voice from Verizon, Net2Phone and Time Warner Telecom and closed with smart devices on a stupid network, or better a non-stupid, but application agnostic network.

Then the first highlight of the show happened: Sen. Sununu's Keynote

Sununu considers himself from his background as an engineer, therefore as an one-eyed king in the land of blind (in Washington ;-)

Regarding the new telecom bill he said that we need to get the framework right, to provide a stable (national) environment for entrepreneurs. Basically unified standards and a light regulatory touch, because we cannot predict where this technology will go. Main aim of the bill is to consider all Internet-based communication as interstate and FCC issue - this statement was heavily acclaimed by the audience. The telecom bill is to be expected in 2005.

At 6pm the Exhibition opened with the Welcome Reception, but I did not get very far, because after saying hello to Alan Duric and Espen Fogstad from Telio and grabbing a glas of red wine I fell over Willi Wimmreuter, ROTFL in front of the Juniper booth and handing me out a deck of cards from Juniper featuring on each card a joke about CISCO - nice start of the show ;-)

Next was the FWD booth with Ed Guy eager to show me the new pulver.communicator and the Blue Lava VoIP PBX in a Box - which is simply an Asterix and a Linux PC preconfigured with FXO ports: simply Asterisk for Idiots.

Then I passed the Intertex booth. I was sorry that Karl stahl was not here, but his colleauges assured me that he is still awake back home developing and they showed me their new baby, the SIP switch, fitting in the well know box of the IX66.

So the first two SIP server I saw are both ENUM-enabled, a good start. I finally made it to the Microsoft booth to get some info in the new Life Communication Server 2005 to be release soon and we are planning to test at home. The good message was, it may now (different from the LCS 2003) communicate with any other SIP-server, the bad message: this is true, but only if it is also an LCS.

Peek preview of day 2: I cornered Anoop Gupta himself after his presentation with Marc sanders on his side and they told me that this is not true - ok, we will see.

Since we plan to use LCS with Openscape, I moved one booth further to Siemens, just to run into Rich Shockey, our esteemed ENUM Chair, Michael Haberler, John Horrocks and Mark Spencer, who was telling everybody who wanted to know (or not) about DUNDi, the Distributed Universal Number Discovery and the General Peering Agreement (GPA).

I must say that I still do not understand DUNDi completely, but maybe after reading the documentation on and after Marks presentation on Thursday I will see hopefully further

As far as I can say now it could even co-exist with ENUM and Rich said that it could be a nice solution for enterprises, but one problem will be the scalability. But Mark should submit his draft to ENUm WG

Finally also Henry Sinnreich showed up (he always wants to pass every booth at the first day and run into trouble this time because of the size of the Exhibit (more then 200 exhibitors) and the whole party decided that is was time to go out for dinner and have some fish.

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