The correct answer is innovation.
This is the reason to support open source. Telephony software is no big deal. Telephony software that runs on the Internet is no big deal. Telephony software that does more than telephony can be a very big deal. The fastest way to get such software is to share the development load.
But is a sandbox the right way to go? Or would we be better off with a beach?
Where I come from, a sandbox is a highly structured environment. The kids are always supervised. You only let so many kids in at once.
That's the kind of sandbox Bandwidth.com is running. It will take no more than 20 developers into the first phase of its program. It wants to direct the work toward IP network functionality, convergence between fixed and mobile telephony, and open source telephony based on FreePBX.
My question is whether in doing this Bandwidth.com is being prudent or proprietary. If the sandbox is like a dance club, the application process is like a bouncer at the door. Bandwidth.com seems less focused on luring innovation than on finding business partners.
Telephony is an enterprise-scaled business with relatively few players. But is true innovation going to come from there? Or is it coming from a wide-open international community of individuals? The next great idea could easily be in Russia, in India, or in Brazil. Is this the way to find it?
Will the next great idea come from within FreePBX or from a FreePBX fork?