Big Ben Plays It Safe

10:00 AM -- BRUSSELS -- Broadband World Forum Europe 2008 -- Let's hope the week gets better from here.

EuroBlog had expected Ben Verwaayen to use his first public speech as the newly installed CEO of Alcatel-Lucent (NYSE: ALU) to stir things up -- lay down some challenges to the industry and his rivals. After all, he was no wallflower when he was at BT Group plc (NYSE: BT; London: BTA). (See Poll Says 'Big Ben' Is Right for AlcaLu, Verwaayen Takes the Helm at AlcaLu, and The Diary of Ben V., Age 56.)

But Verwaayen played it ever so safe. There wasn't even a sniff of controversy or a hint of how he might go about shaking up his new charge. Instead, he reminded a very packed auditorium here at the Brussels Expo (about 1,500 to 2,000 people) that broadband has an important role to play in today's economies.

He also noted that vendors need to evolve to become carriers' partners, to deliver technology of a consistently very high quality, and to be innovative.

And here's Big Ben's takeaway quote: "Broadband has created the essence of globalization."

That rather reminds me of a paper I encountered at college, entitled: "Werner Herzog is the stuff of myth – discuss."

I didn't really understand that one either.

— Ray Le Maistre, Film Studies Editor, Light Reading

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