2009 predictions to count on, maybe

So, I watched this thing on The History Channel last night, "Nostradamus: 2012," which examined end of the world predictions from the so-called prophet, as well as the Mayans, the Hopis, and some other ancient folk. All the predictions pointed to some kind of cataclysmic event coming soon, possibly on Dec. 21, 2012, to a planet near you---very near you. It all sounded pretty convincing, though it's possible the whole thing is a marketing strategy to help THC promote its programming for "Armageddon Week." What a great way to start the new year.

Oh, Happy New Year, by the way.

I'm no Nostradamus, nor am I a Mayan or a Hopi, and none of the sports-related predictions for 2008 (a Cubs/White Sox World Series, for example) panned out. But, since we may all have a little less than four years left, I'm not going to let my status as an amateur and mostly inaccurate forecaster stop me from making some predictions for 2009. Not too much here about oceans boiling, but for what it's worth:

In 2009, we shall witness:

--A spike in vendor consolidation as more companies panic about declining carrier spending.
--The much-anticipated spike in rural telco consolidation, though it may take months to begin.
--Increasing numbers of lawsuits filed by retiree groups over benefit cuts and changes.
--A major European IPTV service provider shutting down its service (We don't mean Tiscali).
--Some kind of M&A event involving Qwest Communications.
--Some kind of M&A event involving Nortel Networks.
--No reversal of the telco immunity provision passed by Congress, despite renewed attacks on the controversial legislation.
--Major progress toward Net neutrality legislation, Universal Service Fund reform and intercarrier compensation changes.

So it is written, so it shall be done...