At ISPCon today in Santa Clara, and guess what? The wifi rocks. ISPs might be struggling to find business models under the weight of the carriers, but man do they know how to network a joint.
Interesting that a great many ISPs have found success as MSPs (managed service providers) focusing on the boom in hosting, managed apps and software as a service, most of which is coming from the Web 2.0 drive (the general growth of web apps). Access is dead or dying in the US market as it continues to commoditize, and the models of bundling and media distribution once touted as the saviors for carriage are being shredded. Over time access providers will be forced to strip everything back to just the value they have (the physical infrastructure) and nothing more. The real big producers (Google, Fox, News) are the ones that will dominate the content channels, and the great triple play (something I’ve never been a big believer of) has failed to deliver much more than a minor convenience of everything on one bill.
The future of the ISP/MSP isn’t so bleak: they just need to focus on servicing their markets real need: getting on, staying on and using the internet.