Turkey Awards 2007

As the United States takes some time off for the Thanksgiving holiday, we thought we'd revive an old tradition – naming the Top Turkeys of the year.

You might remember these from 2002 or 2003. (See Zhone Takes Top Turkey Award and Turkey Awards.)

The idea is to honor (if that's the appropriate word) the most head-shakingly bad newsmakers of the year.

You'll get the idea quickly enough. Here's the list:

No. 1: Prize Year-Round Turkey – Alcatel-Lucent

In reporting its first four quarters as a merged company, Alcatel-Lucent (NYSE: ALU) has delivered investors one sledgehammer blow after another. The stock, at $7.37 per share on November 21, is down 47 percent from the beginning of the year.

AlcaLu started 2007 with disappointing earnings, layoffs, and product cuts. The next two quarters didn't get any better. (See Alcatel-Lucent Job Cull Hits 12,500, AlcaLu Makes Product Cuts , Merger Tears Into AlcaLu's Sales, and AlcaLu's Russo: We're Under Attack!)

Halloween, the day Alcatel announced third-quarter figures, brought on a new corporate plan from CEO Patricia Russo, including more layoffs and some serious executive shuffling. (See Tough Month Ahead for AlcaLu's Russo, AlcaLu Cuts 4,000 More Jobs, Russo Shakes Up AlcaLu's Top Team, and AlcaLu Revamps Its Carrier Business.)

So begins a new chapter. But for a consistent bummer of a performance, quarter after quarter, with no quick end in sight, AlcaLu has to be awarded the highest score possible.

Turkey Points:

No. 2: Humanitarian Turkey – Yahoo

Yahoo Inc. (Nasdaq: YHOO) got raked over the coals by the U.S. Congress for aiding the Chinese government in finding and eventually jailing dissidents. The resulting outcry could have repercussions for Cisco Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: CSCO), Google (Nasdaq: GOOG), and Microsoft Corp. (Nasdaq: MSFT). (See Moral 'Pygmies' and Cisco Voters Down Human Rights Proposal.)

Yahoo has tried to patch things up, selling its Chinese operations to Alibaba.com Hong Kong Ltd. and settling lawsuits with those it wronged. But the company gets bonus turkeys for the decisions that created this situation in the first place.

Turkey Points:

No. 3: Danger Turkey – AT&T's Exploding Cabinets

Two batteries, 20 miles apart. Two explosions. Great photos. (See Exclusive Photos: Fire to the Node.)

The downside is that you had explosions and fires – hot enough to melt copper wiring – happening in unsuspecting residential neighborhoods. (See AT&T Eyes Batteries in Explosion Probe and AT&T Confirms Second VRAD Fire.) The first incident happened in 2006, but the Light Reading investigation carried into this turkey-awards period.

Turkey Points:

No. 4: Chicken Turkey – Sprint We're going to unwire the nation! We're going to collaborate with Clearwire LLC (Nasdaq: CLWR)! We'll build the best WiMax network this country will ever see!

On second thoughts... nah. (See Report: Sprint & Clearwire Split.)

Turkey Points:

No. 5: Undercooked Turkey – Muni WiFi

High-profile mesh projects in San Francisco, Chicago, Philadelphia, and elsewhere have either hit major snags or been canned altogether. One of the major backers of large-scale muni projects, EarthLink Inc. (Nasdaq: ELNK), is now considering exiting the market altogether. (See Muni Meltdown, SF Muni Project on the Ropes, and What's Muni Wireless Good For?)

Read Unstrung's Top Five Wireless Turkeys for more about muni WiFi hype, Sprint/Clearwire, and other wireless mishaps.

Turkey Points:

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Pete Baldwin 12/5/2012 | 3:47:50 PM
re: Turkey Awards 2007 The Senate just granted the telcos immunity in the government eavesdropping case.


(Technically, they shot down an amendment that would have erased immunity.)

The House still has to vote on the issue.

Possible 2008 Turkey nominee? Depends on where one stands on the issue, obviously.
Larry, Monkey 12/5/2012 | 3:47:49 PM
re: Turkey Awards 2007 Insult to turkeys. They have backbones.
OSPGuy 12/5/2012 | 3:47:44 PM
re: Turkey Awards 2007 Hear, hear!

I expect my telecommunications companies to stand up for the right of foreign nationals to plot attacks on America without fear of US government interference.

Pandering to American fears of death in a fiery holocaust is a pathetic display of corporate cowardice.

This is a slam dunk 2008 turkey award!
bll 12/5/2012 | 2:58:21 PM
re: Turkey Awards 2007 A read now about battery explosions in DSLAM and other roadside equiment,
The same happened in Italy in the years from 85 to 90 and the cause at those times was very clear and very well known. The equipment were manufactured by a big Italian company. It was a big mistake in the equipment design, on how the back up batteries were used in a waterproof cabinet. The engineers quickly corrected the mistake and the inconvenient stopped.... As fisrt tentative they tried to convince Telecom Italy that it was a terrostistic attac...
If the Telecom manufacturers didn't fire so many thousands of people and AT&T didn't reduce the price of Telecom equipment to the price of a turkey or of a bologna, with parallel reduction of R&D people around the world, sure the explosions had not repeated again.
Can you investigate if the cabinets or some parts of them are manufactured in Ch....
Lite Rock 12/5/2012 | 2:58:17 PM
re: Turkey Awards 2007 I bety those batteries were manufactured in China and I bet if the consumer Product Safety Administration tested them they would find excessive amounts of lead too. :)

Light Reading should get at least one Turkey for Piling on.

Pete Baldwin 12/5/2012 | 2:58:17 PM
re: Turkey Awards 2007 Post-holidays, I'm definitely thinking Muni WiFi should have outranked Sprint on the list. Sprint's sudden turnaround for the worse was more recent and more noticeable -- something you can easily point to and scoff -- but muni WiFi was supposed to have change the world, or at least rock SF and Silicon Valley.

Sprint could still do WiMax. Muni WiFi... I'm not sure it's ever going to happen, not the way they envisioned it. Given the number of places I can get WiFi for free as it is, I'm not sure I even care.
DCITDave 12/5/2012 | 2:58:17 PM
re: Turkey Awards 2007 re: "Light Reading should get at least one Turkey for Piling on."

Agreed. Hope they put a VRAD in your front yard, too.

DanJones 12/5/2012 | 2:58:16 PM
re: Turkey Awards 2007 Wierd factoid, mesh WiFi equipment shipments are actually growing. (See http://www.internetevolution.c...

The funny thing is that muni still has the chance to rock Armpit, Idaho, more than SF. Small town America arguably needs the connectivity more than major wired-up cities anyway. Small towns and cities are buying and they will likely use the tech to provide services to government workers and emergency responders first and the community as an afterthought. Also, lots of homeland security dollars floating around for wireless CCTV too.

So, muni's not dead but it sure smells funny.

-- DJ
Pete Baldwin 12/5/2012 | 2:58:13 PM
re: Turkey Awards 2007 Regarding Sprint/Clearwire, Unstrung is running a poll where you can opine on the future of WiMax in the U.S.:


A lot of folks there are saying a 2008 nationwide rollout won't be happening....
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