OK, let me just start by admitting right up front that the title of this blog is incredibly cheesy. But as cheddar-filled as it may be, there is, in fact, a reason for the reference. As I finish my week at another national trade show event—this one focusing on telecom—I have come to the realization that telecom companies now rule our world. And with that power has come a ruthless battle between them to determine the ultimate victor, a battle that still rages to this day.

And, like any battle between opposing forces, there are kings and queens, soldiers, and influencers in the background who whisper fallacies, and sorcerers behind the scenes wielding the magic that makes everything work. As for dragons . . . yeah—I got nothing.

First off, let’s discuss the domination of cable and telecom companies in our lives. Like all nation states, cable and telecom companies have come to represent all things to all of us. Think about our daily lives for a moment: we get up and check our email on our mobile devices; we use those same devices to connect socially throughout the day and to listen to music, watch our favorite shows, communicate at work, and share files and direction, and everything we do is based on some type of mobility. And with that mobility comes an inherent dependency on the companies that supply this conduit to our cyber lives.

But, as much as we depend on them for much of daily interactive lives, the cable and telecom providers also depend on us to drive their direction. And it is this codependent relationship that makes this battle more complicated and, in many ways, more ruthless.

As this telecom war over virtual territory rages, there is a need for more power, more speed, and more infrastructure to win the battles and, eventually, the war. The demands we place in our providers are seemingly endless as we press for more data throughput, more speed, more storage, and more features and offers, forcing an arms race that seems never-ending.

So how do cable and telecom companies fight the battle with each other while also battling the demands of their customers? It comes down to infrastructure and planning.

As they brace themselves for the coming winter—and by winter, I mean the data (see what I did there?)—they must plan like any great military strategist. They must prepare for today by ensuring the network and data centers they have built are robust castles that can withstand attacks from every side, including customer demands, the marketing efforts of competitors and, of course, actual security threats.

Then, of course, there is the planning for the future. They must plan and build their architected network castles to ensure they are prepared for the unknown and for the growing armies on the other side of the battlefield, and they must ready themselves for the next big demand from their customers—whatever that may be.

And, like any great war, they must forge alliances with those who specialize in creating the ultimate war machine—in this case, networks that are purpose-built, using a proven methodology that will shield them now, and tomorrow.

So, in the end, this game of phones is an all-too-real battle that rages daily in our cyber lives and impacts us all. Because unless the world’s demands are met, how am I supposed to slack off at work and watch Game of Thrones on my phone if my cable or telecom provider can’t stream it fast enough? No, seriously . . . this is a problem . . . really.