A Personal Note
IfByPhone Called Coolest @ Web 2.0 Summit In NYC

Gizmo Project's Michael Robertson Sounds Off

For the record, I've known and been friends with Michael Robertson, the founder of SipPhone/GizmoProject since his days with MP3.com. He clearly is a visionary, a pioneer and someone who is never afraid to say what's on his mind. He is not a client nor is there anything vested on my part other than as a sometimes user of Gizmo on my part.

Yesterday he sent me a note expressing his views and frustration about the recent statements from Skype regarding openness. Today he sent me a copy of a note he sent to Chris Libertelli at Skype. It is classic Robertson.

Basically, Robertson is saying to Skype, OPEN UP or SHUT UP.

Christopher Libertelli

Senior Director, Government and

Regulatory Affairs – North America

Mr. Libertelli,

I recently saw your letter to FCC Chairman Kevin J. Martin demanding that wireless companies open their networks. While I concur this would be beneficial for consumers, Skype's actions do not mirror their words to the commission which diminishes credibility for Skype to demand openness.

I am CEO of Gizmo5, a standards based VOIP and IM network. We invite other networks to connect to our users and currently route calls to and from more than 500 networks big and small on the Internet. We cannot route calls to Skype users in spite of the fact that consumers would like to do this because Skype has a closed network.

The wireless companies you chastise in your letter to commissioner Martin allow me to send and receive calls to the networks they operate but Skype does not. Skype operates the largest closed calling network on the planet. We have requested peering information from Skype in the past on multiple occasions and our requests have been ignored. Skype continues to deny Gizmo5 and others in the internet calling world the information and access to allow calls to flow to and from your network.

It appears that when it is convenient for Skype's business objectives Skype waves the flag of openness, at the same time conveniently ignoring competitors requests for openness. It is disingenuous for Skype to demand mobile operators open their networks so that Skype can infiltrate their systems with their proprietary, closed calling scheme which locks out all others.

If Skype truly believes there should be open competition then they should start by enabling other networks such as Gizmo5 to call Skype users in an official and supported capacity. Until you remove the padlock from your own front door you would seem to have no right to demand that others adopt an open door strategy.

I'm open to discuss and implement an open peering relationship which will demonstrates Skype true commitment to open networks and make your actions match your words. Contact me anytime at [email protected]


-- MR

Michael Robertson

www.MP3tunes.com - Your Music Everywhere

www.Gizmo5.com - IM/VOIP/SMS from PC and phone


Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.


As I posted in the Skype Journal:

Well this is good news. Sounds like you agree with Mr. Robertson in principal so all you need to do is work out the technical details in your list. Good for you. Good for Mr. Robertson. Good for all the customers.

Phil Wolff

I've posted a response to Mr. Robertson's letter on Skype Journal.

Verify your Comment

Previewing your Comment

This is only a preview. Your comment has not yet been posted.

Your comment could not be posted. Error type:
Your comment has been saved. Comments are moderated and will not appear until approved by the author. Post another comment

The letters and numbers you entered did not match the image. Please try again.

As a final step before posting your comment, enter the letters and numbers you see in the image below. This prevents automated programs from posting comments.

Having trouble reading this image? View an alternate.


Post a comment

Comments are moderated, and will not appear until the author has approved them.

Your Information

(Name is required. Email address will not be displayed with the comment.)