Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Dubai update

Just a quick update on my post on the Dubai World debt restructuring. A spokesman for Dubai Silicon Oasis says that DSO is not part of Dubai World and will not be directly affected. The indirect effects are anyone's guess.

Be careful what you wish for: telecom edition

Oh, this is rich.

First, the iPhone launches, with AT&T as its only US provider, and an unlimited data plan as the standard package.

Because the iPhone is popular, users flock to AT&T. Because internet access from the iPhone is easy, people do it, a lot.

AT&T's network staggers under the load, leading to dropped calls and poor performance.

AT&T's solution? "Some form of usage-based pricing for data is inevitable," according to the Associated Press.

What I want to know is why anyone was surprised by this. The history of the internet -- the history of computing -- tells us that if you make access easier, people will do more of it. And now AT&T is shocked, simply shocked, that people are actually using all those bandwidth intensive links that Apple so helpfully provides.

Of course AT&T's dilemma is real. They need to improve service, and the money to do that has to come from somewhere. But capping usage seems like such a late-1990s way to go about it. Given the bandwidth demands of the Apple Store, I wonder what Apple will have to say about this.

(Link by way of the Atlantic business channel.)