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Meet Qwest: once bitten, twice shy

A very vivid portrait of regional phone service provider Qwest in the hometown Denver Post the other day offers the perception of a company that for lack of a better term, is not really being bold in the telecom and related sectors.It's kind of like after losing out to Verizon on the bidding for MCI, Qwest has gone back into caution mode.

A very vivid portrait of regional phone service provider Qwest in the hometown Denver Post the other day offers the perception of a company that for lack of a better term, is not really being bold in the telecom and related sectors.

It's kind of like after losing out to Verizon on the bidding for MCI, Qwest has gone back into caution mode. Once bitten, twice shy.

Rather than build their own double or triple-play, they seem to be ambling along content in their reseller partnerships-DirecTV for satellite service, SprintNextel for cell. And what about VoIP?

As Post staffer Andy Vuong notes, neither is Qwest building a video platform service like competitor Comcast (Ziddio.com), bothered to get in the licensing game with YouTube, or  pursue video-to-the-home service as are Verizon and AT&T.

Pat Comack, an independent telecom analyst with Zachary Investment Research, tells Voung that this caution could set Qwest up for "slaighter" in the long run.

"They just ignore this oncoming tsunami and they have no defense," Comack said to Voung. "They're going to have to really start their video initiative immediately."

Qwest spokesperson Bon Toevs told Young that they are indeed watching the video market, and have adapted a strategy of being a "fast follower."

How will this all play out in the end? I have a hunch the ultimate end game will be an acquisition of Qwest by either Comcast or AT&T. Probably the latter- but hey, that's another post.