Dumb Pipe vs. Smart Pipe? Better to Design a Valuable Pipe

Transmitting signals over a distance for the purpose of communication is sometimes disparagingly called a "dumb-pipe" business. Certainly, this term doesn't do justice to one of the most successful business designs of all time, or to an industry that makes up approximately 4 percent of the gross world product. However, the phrase frequently serves as shorthand to explain how telecommunications companies are losing control over the services delivered via the very connections and bandwidth that the telcos provide.