Top 5 Tech Turkeys 2017

It's time, once again, to pick out the turkeys that have put the tryptophan in technology this year. There were plenty of options to pick from this year, from the failure of noted mega-mergers to Gigabit (not!) 4G.

So let's run down our picks!

Uh-oh, say goodbye to net neutrality!
Here's an evergreen tech turkey that's fresh out of the oven! The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) released plans Tuesday to vote on repealing rules that provide for equal access to the Internet. The vote is due on December 14. (See Fed Watch: AT&T, Net Neutrality & More.)

The plan, spearheaded by new chairman Ajit Pai, appears to ignore the spirit of the bulk of the 22 million public comments submitted on Net Neutrality. The plans predictably sparked a storm of outrage on Twitter and other social media platforms.

Egos trip up the Sprint/T-Mobile merger
Sprint Corp. (NYSE: S) and T-Mobile US Inc. have been talking about merging, trying to merge, or avoiding questions about merging pretty much since 2011. Yet the wheels fell off the second major push to create a competitor similar in size to AT&T Inc. (NYSE: T) and Verizon Wireless again at the beginning of November.

Laughably, multiple sources -- from our reporting and others' -- stated that "egos" tripped up the merger as talks became "a little hostile and personal." There's always next year, right? (See Sprint, T-Mobile Merger Falls Apart (Again!))

Cisco & Ericsson's $1B miss
The Cisco Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: CSCO) and Ericsson AB (Nasdaq: ERIC) business and technology partnership, announced in September 2015, was supposed to alter the dynamics of the industry, focusing on 5G, NFV, IoT, and other over-hyped communications buzzwords. Fast forward to November 2017, and new Ericsson CEO Börje Ekholm says the partnership won't make its $1 billion sales target for 2018. Whoopsy! (See Cisco/Ericsson Partnership to Miss $1B Sales Target in 2018.)

AT&T/TW merger gets bigly political
AT&T's attempt to buy Time Warner Inc. (NYSE: TWX) hit a brick wall Monday with the DOJ suing to block the takeover -- following President Trump repeatedly lashing out at TW's CNN for its coverage of him on cable TV. AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson says that AT&T will fight the DOJ move. Bet Randall is real happy about all the nice things he said about Trump earlier this year. So worth it! (See DoJ Sues to Block AT&T/Time Warner and DoJ Sues to Block AT&T/Time Warner.)

Throttling that Gigabit!
Forget about 5G, Gigabit LTE was supposed to be the very best performance that $750 to $1,000(!) could buy you on a US 4G network this year. Never mind that "Gigabit LTE" will actually deliver peak downloads of 200 to 300 Mbit/s at best! And yet both Apple Inc. (Nasdaq: AAPL) and Google (Nasdaq: GOOG) have throttled back the modem speeds of their respective new iPhone X and Pixel 2 devices. (See Apple's New iPhones: No Gigabit LTE for You!, Google's Pixel 2: No Gigabit LTE for You, Either! and When Is a Gig Not a Gig? When It's Gigabit LTE!)

Bubbling under:

Let us know your own choices for tech turkeys 2017 on the message board below.

— Dan Jones, Mobile Editor, Light Reading

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kq4ym 12/11/2017 | 12:49:53 PM
Re: What about Oracle and GE Digital With only a few days to go before the FCC meeting and decision on neutrality, it will be a wonder that the big guys get their Christmas present early this year and the millions and millions of folks with public comments get coal in their stockings.
mendyk 11/28/2017 | 10:58:39 AM
Re: Trolled Belichick would definitely scare some people who could use a little scaring right now. And ... no tweets.
brooks7 11/28/2017 | 10:44:54 AM
Re: Trolled If you are going Belichick...I think Greg Popovich is a much better choice.  But if we are sticking to football, maybe Colin Kaepernick - he still needs a job.  Belichik has one.


mendyk 11/28/2017 | 9:53:48 AM
Re: Trolled How about Bill Belichick?
KBode 11/27/2017 | 7:36:32 PM
Re: Trolled Please no.

Let's at least have some fun with it if we're going to elect celebrities hence forth. I feel like Mr. T would be an inspired choice. :)
KBode 11/27/2017 | 7:35:51 PM
Re: ATT+TW "It's just funny, Randall went all-in on praising Trump and he got nuffink for his pains."

Me thinks in that instance, it's only because Rupert had a bit MORE influence.
DanJones 11/27/2017 | 7:30:43 PM
Re: Trolled I've heard Oprah, Clooney, and Mark Cuban touted as possibilities. They better hope Grumpy Cat doesn't decide to run!
KBode 11/27/2017 | 6:58:12 PM
Re: Trolled Yes at this point I think we're just lucky we're not electing inatimate objects like walnuts, etc. I'm kind of terrified of who'll lead us next. Zuckerberg and his phony balogna could be an upgrade. No, wait, no thanks. 
Joe Stanganelli 11/27/2017 | 5:26:18 PM
Re: ATT+TW @Dan: Flatterers only get so far in life -- even with guys like Trump.
DanJones 11/27/2017 | 4:55:29 PM
Re: ATT+TW It's just funny, Randall went all-in on praising Trump and he got nuffink for his pains.
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