Old-fashioned Telephones Mounted On Wall
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COSM A Technology Summit

COSM: The Trek From Phone to Smart Phone: What Have We Learned?

Published at Mind Matters

Daniel Berninger, an activist in the transition from plain old telephone service (POTS) to the online world of the cell phone (“disruptive communications”), will be speaking at COSM 2021.

Daniel Berninger

He has been involved in VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) since 1995, starting with the original assessment of VoIP at Bell Laboratories and was a founder of the VON Coalition, “keeping IP communications free from government regulation.” He is a frequently cited resource on regulatory, antitrust, and VoIP issues (for example, in Business Week, WSJ, LA Times, Chicago Tribune, Bloomberg, Forbes, Associated Press, Dow Jones, Info World and the trade press). He is also a founder of VCXC (Voice Communication Exchange Committee).

His interests and approach:

➤ the decline of the Big Telecoms as it was happening “The most recent FCC Trend Report shows a 50% decline in the amount of usage of each residential telephone line since 1997. The same report shows the arrival of significant Internet use in 1997 along with rapid expansion of cell phones.” (2004)

➤ the trickiness of regulating the internet: “For all the technology changes in telecom driven by the emergence of the Internet, telecom policy has not changed much. The Internet emerged as an unregulated adjunct to the telephone network, but now everyone assumes the days of unregulation are nearly over. Everyone also assumes government regulations will cripple the Internet. Hence the challenge.” – “10 US Telecom Policy Myths” (2002)

and the key social changes that the internet has birthed:

➤ “It appears Connectivity has started to replace territory as the organizing force of society. Proximity between people has always defined alliances, but as transportation and communication improved proximity or shared territory loses relevance. The Internet may drive territory zealots completely out of business. The future of society might simply prove an extension of online communities like ours.” – Stuff (2002)

➤ From a legal filing in 2015 on an industry matter :

I am an honors graduate of Villanova University, where I earned a Bachelor of Electrical Engineering and a Master of Electrical Engineering. I completed the classwork for a Doctorate of Philosophy in Systems Engineering at the University of Pennsylvania, where my degree remains pending completion of a dissertation on the mathematical analysis of complex systems.

I have devoted my professional career to transforming the communications industry from traditional circuit switched services to the Internet Protocol (“IP”) services upon which customers increasingly rely today. I served as a Member of the Technical Staff and developer of new telephone network services at Bell Laboratories in the early 1990’s. However, over the past 20 years, I have been involved in a number of industry firsts in IP communications.

So he’s Mr. “Not your great-grandad’s telephone” and he will be sharing his insights from the trek at COSM.

Here’s who else you can meet and maybe talk to at COSM:

Peter Thiel speaking in person at COSM, Seattle, November 10. As a world class venture capitalist, he is known for bluntness about what works and what doesn’t. COSM 2021 focuses on the converging technologies, remaking our world. Thiel asks, is new tech soaring or slumping?

Carver Mead: “Listen to the technology; find out what it’s telling you…” That’s the motto of CalTech’s Carver Mead, who will speak at COSM 2021. Integrated circuit design pioneer Carver Mead is also deeply interested in physics problems, in seeing “quite visibly what matter is down at its heart.

Newt Gingrich

Love him or hate him, Newt Gingrich will be speaking at COSM! Foes and fans on both sides of the aisle agree, he’s never just dull and wishy-washy. The controversial former Speaker of the House has a keen interest in new tech and can be unsparing about the politics that sometimes hobble it.


Top world chemist, James Tour, to speak at COSM 2021. Tour builds molecules for a living, a position that causes him to stand in awe” of God: “Only a rookie who knows nothing about science would say science takes away from faith.” Apart from his hundreds of papers and dozens of patent families, Tour’s passion is introducing the public to the many worlds of science.

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