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Capital Ideas

6:10 PM -- Nothing telegraphs gravitas quite like the decision to debate upper- and lowercase.

So fresh off its semantic coup that will shake bureaucrats worldwide (and copy editors) from their torpor, it's clear that the ITU is struggling for relevance. The Geneva-based world body and its new secretary-general are really reaching to find something of substance to add to a networked world dominated by the Internet protocol.

Thankfully, storage networks are far enough afield from the ITU's legacy and "core competencies" that I doubt we need worry about them fiddling with next-gen Fibre Channel standards or searchable content metadata specs.

Some have viewed this semantic issue as yet another example of the ITU's desire to control the Internet. If so, it's one of the more flaccid power grabs ever attempted.

If the ITU needs a mission or new charter, why doesn't it knuckle down and make infrastructure in developing countries its raison d'etre? Yes, I know they've been banging that drum for 20 years -- maybe this time they could reorganize and devote half their staff and a lot more of their budget to the cause.

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