The Register has a story about the state of US telecoms research. One part caught my eye:
"Large companies are the ones who have driven research 15 to 20 years out," said one audience member during a question and answer session. "But those companies don't have that latitude anymore. What are we going to do ten years from now when we realize that fiber optics is tired and have to look at what we do after that?"
And why don't companies have that latitude anymore? I suspect that at least part of it comes down to good MBA trained management doing exactly what they've been taught to do, and maximising shareholder value (read raising the current share price) by eliminating unnecessary cost centres. And when you're driven by a market where "long term" is 5 years, what do you expect?