Will Qwest's Ed Mueller be seen as a visionary or the boy who stood before the dike getting his finger wet? Mueller's big call not to set up a video based business and instead put Qwest's money into a high speed connectivity sets Qwest apart from the industry and many of its vendors who are investing strongly on video being the next big thing.
In a Telephony Online interview Qwest again confirmed their thinking. According to CTO Pieter Poll: "We are trying to look a little ahead. The young consumers of the future will want broadband on demand, and they are more interested in interaction and in the symmetry of the service. We have a great relationship with DirecTV [Qwest is a reseller], and they have a core competency in content. What we want to be able to provide is that 20-Megabit Internet connection that is more important to the younger consumers of today. They not only don't want a wireline phone, they also don't want to have a TV--because they use video on demand."
Qwest may not have the capital in any case to go chasing long run diversification, but the risk of being a glorified ISP is that bandwidth is commoditized and the margins become hard to build any sort of profitability that will impress investors. And as lines continue to be canceled, growth becomes really hard.