In November 1999, Nortel announced a software licensing mechanism for the Internet Protocol. Called Open IP Environment, the idea was to license the stack to organizations building competitive product to Cisco. At the heart of the matter was a crack software engineering team that had a plan to build modules for security, mobility and other capabilities as the market developed.

The basic idea was to strip Cisco of any sustainable technical advantage in IP, and to give the 'crown jewels' as it were to as many challengers as we could find.

It was also coupled with a 50% cut in access router pricing. 

What was the sustained effect? Yes, it seemed to have reduced the costs of the router product category, but the Old – New World analogy didn't work for long. It may have had something