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VDSL Doubling Works
Friday, 23 October 2009 18:16
Infineon_VDSLThe speed fell from ~ 50 megabits to ~25 megabits when Chris Quonoey pulled one of the two lines connected to the new bonded VDSL2 modem from Nokia Siemens Networks. Then he plugged it back in and a few seconds later the speed went back up. Behind the door he showed me two spools of wire connected to two DSLAM-like ports. Zyxel's David Thompson had similar to show in the company hotel room. An engineer I trust is testing bonded modems in the field and tells me they are fine, although the price is currently too high.

Nearly every DSL connection that is 25 megabits or less can now be doubled in speed for less than $200 and typically less than $1/month in bandwidth. ASSIA's John Cioffi believes that will provide interesting competition for DOCSIS 3.0, especially as DSM provides further gains.The cablecos haven't yet deployed 3.0 upstream, although Tony Werner at Comcast tells me he intends to move aggressively in 2010 with upstream.

NSN's list price for bonded VDSL2 today is ~$90, but the customers for this are so large they'll probably pay less. ADSL bonding is significantly cheaper and already in production use. I've previously reported the carriers expect rapid price declines.

Last Updated on Wednesday, 28 October 2009 23:37
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Verizon: Voice is Dying
Monday, 28 September 2009 11:30
ivanIvan Seidenberg, Verizon CEO, saying “voice is dying” is a defining moment in telecom history. He didn't use those words, but his comments at Goldman Sachs are clear “we have to pivot and make a shift from the voice business to the data business and eventually to the video business. ... we must really position ourselves to be an extremely potent video-centric asset.”

“The issue there is perhaps it is like the dog chasing the bus a little bit. So what I need to do is get ourselves focused around the following idea, that video is going to be the core product in the fixed line business. ... I shed myself of the burden of chasing the inflection point in access lines and say I don't care about that anymore.”

Ivan is spending $18B on FiOS and has been a telco guy for four decades, If he can't see the way to a profitable voice business, who can?  Randall Stephenson of AT&T was ahead of Ivan (and me) figuring this one out. I think he put wireline into “harvest mode” in 2002 when he cut capex literally in half. I don't think he would have bought the wired side of BellSouth if he could have overcome Ed Whitacre's ego.  Saul Hansell was one of the few reporters to catch the story. Few in D.C., except Blair, understand these issues.
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Center of the Net ?Europe, NY, California
Sunday, 20 September 2009 21:15
Sune Christesen's data center map http://bit.ly/tYnlD layers nearly 2,000 locations on top of Google maps, complete with information on which carriers serve each one, etc. Data_center_map_europeBesides being a practical tool, it provides another way to look at the concentration of the Internet. The left picture shows a heavy concentration in Britain, Benelux and Southern Germany. That's no surprise, with the London and Amsterdam Internet exchanges being among the busiest in the world. The picture on the right is lower Manhattan and nearby New Jersey, probably still a busier switching point than London but I haven't seen any solid data lately. Until recently, African capital cities 100 miles apart connected through New York or London. In downtown Manhattan, there were big colocation cages and fat pipes from China Telecom and nearly every other major carrier.9/11 threatened the heart of the Internet. NeData_center_map_NYNJw York is an efficient locus for government agencies.

That's changed over time,

Last Updated on Sunday, 20 September 2009 22:49
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Doubling Speed: Bonding Is Working and Cheap
Tuesday, 15 September 2009 12:40

Update 9/16 Email below that technical problems seem solved. Original Article. Five years ago, BellSouth CTO Bill Smith pointed to ADSL bonding as the cheapest and easiest way to double speeds. bill_smithHe had 37% unused copper available and his line count was dropping, not increasing. A modem + DSLAM port then cost $50-80 so double gear is affordable when the service returns $300/year. That’s fallen by now, although the current double gateways typically cost 2.5 times the single gateway cost.

The early tests were disasters, however. The original gear couldn't handle problems like the 20 feet of copper bridged from the outside box to the home gateway. David Thompson of ZyXEL tells me that 2009 units have better technology and are doing fine. Both Ikanos/Conexant and Infineon tell me they have working chips ready for AT&T. Broadcom made an announcement without details then hid their demo away in a hotel room. With most companies, I'd assume that means they don't have things ready to show, but Broadcom has extra reasons for secrecy. After all, both their founders face jail for stock fraud.

ZyXEL has just introduced the two line P663HN with draft 802.11n WiFi for much higher speeds. Thompson adds this is true 2 x 2 MIMO, not a stripped down version. For years, the 802.11n chipmakers have been promising that .11n would be fast enough for a telco to carry TV around the home without requiring an expensive home network, but the early versions haven’t done the job in some test homes.

Added 9/16 A senior engineer with access to test results writes "I think the technical feasibility issues are behind us and most of the work at this point is focused on cost reduction (e.g. single chip vs dual chip implementations).  We are field testing some units now and the results look good so far.  Your timeframe is probably good for scaled deployment but that is driven by the cost reduction efforts.  I expect to see bonding capable modems/gateways that cost very little more than the single pair versions."

Last Updated on Sunday, 20 September 2009 22:59
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“Orange treads on Sarkozy's toesies”
Tuesday, 25 August 2009 22:01
Nathalie_Kosciusko-Morizet_is_not_the_usual_faceless_bureaucratFT/Orange's Internet price increases infuriated even the conservative French government, Martyn Warwick reports. “What has caused the Sarkozy administration to bring in the big guns is that amongst the plans affected is a socially-inclusive low bandwidth offering that provides the poorest in French society with a basic five hours of web access a month for just €5. Under Orange's proposals this will rise to €6 - a paltry sum but with an explosive political charge beneath it. ... France's Minister for the Digital Economy, Nathalie Kosciusko-Morizet, made the media rounds to stress that for reasons of 'social cohesion' within France some form of Internet service should always be available under the 'psychological level' of €20 a month.”

The OFCOM or FCC chairman needs to step up whenever broadband prices increase or be guilty of hypocrisy talking about broadband for all. Costs of broadband are largely going down, so prices should rarely be going up. This is the single most important reason people don't take broadband. Warwick also reports that after FT UK price increases, “Bitter Wallet produced an online guide showing disgruntled Orange customers how to terminate a contract

Last Updated on Tuesday, 25 August 2009 22:34
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After Infineon, The Name Will Be ...
Tuesday, 14 July 2009 22:21
christian_wolff_sm

The wireline division of Infineon, a DSL leader, has been sold to Golden Gate Capital for 250M euro and will soon need a new name. (Suggestions anyone?) Christian Wolff will be working harder than ever to beat the other three DSL chipmakers, with the incentives of a private company, Golden Gate Capital. John Knoll of Golden Gate was at Covad in 1999 when DSL first boomed, back when Bob Knowling expected to destroy the incumbents. Knowling was wrong.

imranWolff will go along as CEO , and I was very glad to hear all of the 900 staff now working with the division are expected to move to the new company. All product lines will continue. Buyouts nearly always structure senior executive pay with very strong incentives, so look for <whatever the new company is called> to be aggressive with new products.

Imran Hajimusa, who is enthusiastic about the possibilities, writes, “The new company will be fabless. Currently almost 2/3 of Wireline division production is already fabless, i.e. produced other than at Infineon fabs. The Wireline Division is sold as a complete unit, continuity is preserved in products, projects, locations and personnel. The new company will focus on bringing more innovations to the broadband communication world.”

 

Last Updated on Tuesday, 21 July 2009 15:38
 
Level 2 At Last: Alcatel's Green DSL
Wednesday, 01 July 2009 13:10

Finland_woodsLevel 2 low power mode has been in the standard for years, but rarely used. Switching modes caused enough noise that other lines in the binder would reset, and the customer would be disconnected. The modems would automatically re-sync, but meanwhile a angry IPTV viewer may have missed a goal in an important football game.

Alcatel's solution is "artificial noise" for ADSL and "virtual noise" for VDSL2 service, which causes the modem to sync at lower power and lower speeds. Some IPTV operators are willing to sacrifice performance for stability. The noise at startup provides more margin to the connection, so it's less likely to drop due to interference. Their early trials resulted in a large drop in calls to help centers, according to data I believe was from Telecom Italia. This appears to be standard in their forthcoming VDSL line cards.

I've asked Alcatel for the data on how much speed needs to be sacrificed for this extra reliability. The data I saw more than a year ago involved a 10-25% drop in speed on some lines. Their spokesman believe that's changed,

Last Updated on Sunday, 05 July 2009 01:22
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Newsbreak: AT&T CTO Donovan: We Need Non-Discrimination
Wednesday, 21 October 2009 13:10
"Outside applications need to be on an equal footing with our own applications," John Donovan said at a SUPERCOMM keynote here in Chicago. "My jaw dropped," one of his John_Donovancolleagues told me a few minutes later, because this is a reversal of AT&T's long-standing position they needed to be able to favor their own applications. AT&T D.C. needs to listen closely to their own CTO, because they are throwing everything they have in D.C. at preventing "non-discrimination" being included in the FCC Net Neutrality regulations.

Apps are critical to the success of the iPhone, which "is transforming AT&T's entire network and business," again according to a colleague. He knows that the (mostly) open platform of the iPhone is necessary to give  iPhone apps access, which in turn is crucial to the success of AT&T wireless. Donovan suggests that a similar openess will make a dramatic difference across the business. If they discriminate in favor of their own video, games, or whatever comes next, developers will be hard to attract.

John is still new to AT&T, and clearly is "thinking different." His handlers apparently forgot to tell him what not to say, so he explained AT&T's strategy straight, not filtered through his (extremely effective) D.C. lobbbyists.

Last Updated on Sunday, 25 October 2009 20:42
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Traffic Management For Pennies On Every DSL Line
Wednesday, 23 September 2009 17:30
LSI_msan Traffic Management For Pennies On Every DSL Line LSI's "Service-Aware" upgrades allow carriers to control and traffic manage every line at a cost that works out to pennies per month per subscriber. Their new software for the popular APP communications processors allows the DSLAM to control the services available to each subscriber. A chip to control 24 to 96 lines typically costs less than $100, perhaps $1-2/customer. Over four years of DSLAM life, that's four or five cents per month. The LSI division was formerly known as Agere and before that was part of Lucent Microelectronics. I believe politics is only one reason Network Neutrality hasn't been abused often so far. Until now the equipment just didn't have the ability to do the line by line fine tuning required to selectively favor and disfavor. That limit is being rapidly overcome by LSI and half a dozen other vendors. Carriers will soon have the ability to do almost anything they want to maximize revenue from your line. LSI's next-gen multicore processors will be designed to do full deep packet inspection and even more sophisticated traffic management.
Last Updated on Monday, 28 September 2009 11:42
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AT&T's Ten Year's Future of DSL
Sunday, 20 September 2009 12:53
ATT_Stanky_Next_ten_yearsVDSL performance will nearly double in 2010 with two line bonding, President John Stankey presented to Bank of America. There will be another gain, perhaps 30-60%, in the next four or five years. Stankey's chart projects two step functions. After that, his line is flat. Without a breakthrough, there speed improvements are likely very limited. We will be very close to the Shannon Law limits. One step, coming soon, is the doubling from bonding. The second, a few years off, will be due to vectoring and extended band plan/spectrum. Vectoring, also called DSM Level 3, produced dramatic improvements in demos at BBWF, but will take several years to become widespread. It will typically require replacing the DSM or line card, not trivial for millions of lines.

Stankey also projected average and peak demand at moderate rates of growth from now until 2018. Predictions about the future are uncertain, but currently the rate of growth of bandwidth is slightly lower than the trend from 2002 to date. The doom and gloom projections of Internet traffic growing so fast the net will slow down by 2007 or 2009 are now officially garbage.
Last Updated on Monday, 28 September 2009 12:43
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Paris: IEC Broadband World Forum Best Show of the Year
Wednesday, 26 August 2009 17:08
The top people from the telcos come, so the top people from the companies follow and that virtuous circle brings makes this the best fiber and DSL show of the year. IEC plays it straight, looking for good speakers rather than overloading the sessions with sales pitches, although some of that is unavoidable. Some highlights:
  • Fiber: Will it be GPON or GEPON? Ask Niel Ransom, now Chairman of GEPON chipmaker Teknovus. As CTO of Alcatel, he led the effort for GPON that dominates the West. Then check out the active Ethernet Xavier Niel is running through the sewers of Paris, possibly a better choice than either.
  • Powerline Home Networks: Europeans are happy woth powerline distribution of HD TV, but Rob Ranck's results should be a revelation for North America.
  • Open Networks, APIs, and Web 2.0: Stephan Hadinger of Orange is leading this one
  • Feeling impish? Ask Phil Winterbottom whether Plan 9 is influencing his choices as CTO at Ericsson.  Ask Didier Lombard, CEO of France Telecom, whether he's putting his company's investment in France or Africa. Question Simon Saunders of the Femto Forum about when the tech problems will be solved and major carriers deploying millions. (Might be soon.) Jeremy Steventon-Barnes at BT might explain the serious delays in 21CN, which on paper was one of the best networks in the world. Don Bowman of Sandvine won't want to explain why DSL and cablecos in North America are cutting back on traffic management, but fortunately Sandvine products have many other uses and the wireless guys love them.
Please say hello to the round fellow with a beard. Wednesday, September 2, the irrepressible Jennie Bourne and I will arrive in Paris, and hope to meet many of you. From Wednesday dinner through Sunday, we are unscheduled. Monday until Wednesday dinner I'll be at IEC's Broadband World Forum, always one of the best events of the year, and meeting with the ASSIA folk, who are bringing me over. Thursday September 10 is also free, although Jennie will have flown back to teach her NYU class. I hope to visit the Paris sewers to see the fiber and some labs. I'd love to make make other meetings happen at parks, galleries, or the like rather than the usual offices.

See you there?
 
Hong Lu Resigns UTStarcom Chair
Tuesday, 04 August 2009 16:29
Hong_LuHong, one of the most thoughtful and gracious in our industry, resigned as chairman of the company he founded, UTStarcom.The company rose to $billions in value on the strength of the PHS "cell-phone-lite" systems for China. Very similar to an extended cordless phone, the Xiaolingtong was extremely inexpensive and easy to deploy. China Telecom and China Netcom, which did not have ordinary mobile licenses, deplyed 100M units. As mobile phone prices came down and the Chinese landline companies received licenses, Xiaolingtong use fell, as have sales at UTStarcom and the stock price. There were hard times, with layoffs, SEC investigations, and apparent bribes to win contracts.

Hong had met Masayoshi Son of Softbank when both were graduate students at Berkeley. Son provided much of the early funding and his Yahoo BB bought millions of DSLAM prots from UTStarcom. They found additional customers in India and have expanded into IPTV in India and Shanghai.

Last Updated on Tuesday, 25 August 2009 22:36
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Philippines: Powerline's New Frontier?
Sunday, 12 July 2009 20:51
Powerline mostly works, but has gone nowhere because the business case for an additional broadband network usually fails. Manila Electric's trial therefore is interesting, because their shareholders include PLDT and the very aggressive San Miguel corporation. Donnabelle Gatdula thinks their Manila Electric subsidiary Miescor will has the necessary skillby_san_miguels and that smart grid/metering will pay part of the cost.

Stagg Newman was the first to teach me why the third entrant in broadband usually will fail. Anyone entering today has to face a telco and often a cableco with facilities in place and a substantial number of customers. Consider the situation of a new entrant. Broadband networks are expensive to build and require a large investment before revenue. Customer acquistion is also costly, meaning a customer is cash flow negative for a year or three. So even a broadband network in virgin territory faces initial years of losses.

Today, 60-80% of the homes in the developed world take broadband and incremental customers are much fewer. That means a new entrant needs to persuade a customer to switch from their current carrier. Overcoming inertia to win a switcher is especially expensive customer acquisition, raising costs even more. There are perhaps 10% unhappy with the current provider and not too hard to switch, so almost all second networks - like AT&T IPTV in cable territory, get some quick switchers. But with two networks, most of those who want to switch already have and are satisfied with one of the choices.

During the initial money-losing years, likely 4-7 even if successful, the incumbent has a massive cost advantage per customer,

Last Updated on Tuesday, 14 July 2009 21:11
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Schneider's Conclusions: WiMAX Chokes Soon, DOCSIS 160/40 in Trouble by 2015
Wednesday, 01 July 2009 00:16
Mr. Kevin Schneider went to DC to let them know major increases in DSL speed are really cheap (DSM,) doubling is inexpensive (bonding, < $100,) and further increases, mrsmithbeyond 300 meg on 2 pair (short distance, fully vectored DSM) are likely in the next few years. He also took sensible projections of demand for bandwidth in 4-8 years and translated that into what each home would need. From that data, Schneider believes download averages will range from 50 kilobits/second/home in 2007 to 150K in 2012. Working from there, he concludes WiMAX/LTE won't work as a primary home network in a few years because it's shared. If many families want video over the net, wireless will choke. The current cable deployments of 155/35 shared will also have problems by 2015 or so because of video demand, but I think cable will upgrade well before that in most places. The Adtran papers and presentation for the FCC are excellent descriptions of today's DSL networks for a technical reader.

Last Updated on Tuesday, 25 August 2009 22:25
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Verizon, AT&T's Enron Guy Headed to Jail
Tuesday, 29 September 2009 21:43
att_logo-no-textverizon_logoBecause he lied to Wall Street, Joseph Hirko, co-CEO of Enron Broadband Services, will go to jail for 16 months and pay $8.2M in fines. Verizon and SBC (now AT&T) were the crucial Enron partners in a claimed multi-billion dollar deal for TV over DSL. When Enron fell apart and the truth came out, Verizon eased out a Group President who was closely identified with the deal. No one at the telcos was ever indicted nor were they sued for fraud as part of the Enron litigation.They dodged a bullet.

Enron claimed their BOS was an “intelligent” operating system and was described as, among other things, a standard protocol for accessing real-time bandwidth. The prosecuter claims Enron falsely represented the status of the BOS and implied that it was already embedded and functioning as a part of Enron’s network. The BOS “allows application developers to dynamically provision bandwidth on demand for the end-to-end quality of service necessary to deliver broadband content.”

Hirko acknowledged the BOS could not

Last Updated on Tuesday, 29 September 2009 21:57
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Goodbye, Telephony. Hello, Connected Planet
Tuesday, 22 September 2009 20:52

Connected_Planet_first-coverTelephony, which has covered the industry since before I was born, is gone. Best of luck to Connected Planet, with many of the same writers. Editor-in-chief Carol Wilson is legendary for The Net Economy, which alas fell with the boom. She promises Connected Planet will offer "a new look at what the combination of IT and pervasive networking technologies can do to transform the way the world communicates, collaborates, shares/stores information, manages resources and is entertained and informed." She promises "in-depth features that look at where technology is succeeding and where it is being challenged."

For the first issue, Carol writes about telemedicine, Sarah Reedy about smart grid, Ed Gubbins about the money in public safety, Kevin Fitchard about machine to machine wireless, and Rich Karpinski about Google voice and the virtual handset. Glad to see their bylines continue.

Last Updated on Tuesday, 22 September 2009 21:18
 
More Speed: DSM Moving Forward
Tuesday, 15 September 2009 15:25
Infineon_DSM_board_smInfineon had the hit of the show, with a live demonstration of DSM Level 3 dramatically increasing speeds across six lines. They connected 6 lines through a spool of copper to a readout, all controlled by an FPGA. (The FPGA is under the fan in the top picture.) Without DSM, the interference brought down speeds, as you can see in the lower picture. They turned on DSM, and within seconds the speeds on the display went up dramatically. Christian Wolff tells me they are confident they can go quickly from FPGA to working chips and that their current 65 nanometer process is sufficient. ECI also had a working demo in their booth, and Broadcom had something off the floor.

Reduce noise and dramatically increased throughput is possible, Cioffi convinced us all five years ago. Some of the noise reduction was relatively easy to achieve, techniques based on reducing power now called DSM Level 1. With very little publicity, that's been implemented on over 20M lines by Cioffi's company, ASSIA, and is now standard at half a dozen worldclass telcos. They've made major progress in reliability and preventing problem lines, but it will require a new generation of chips to reach the new, higher speeds of Level 3.
Last Updated on Monday, 21 September 2009 10:50
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More Bandwidth For Bhutan
Tuesday, 25 August 2009 22:44
“Your current bandwidth reading is 953.60kbps” the speedtest at Bhutan Telecom informs me. That's not bad from New York, and is likely to get better with the new deal with Bharti for Trongsa_Dzonginternational connectivity. Bhutan has DSL in Thimphu, Phuentsholing, Damphu, Kanglung, and a dozen other cities. Bhutan Telecom serves Trongsa, population 2,300, while many U.S. carriers don't serve all towns that size. The base price is reasonable at $8-$20, but that's for 256K down. 1 meg down costs $40.

Minister Lyonpo Nandalal Rai writes "It is heartening to know that people from across the world are showing interest in our developmental program. So it is definitely becoming a 'Global Village' in which we care for each other. We are from the 'Land of Gross National Happiness.' Our National Broadband programe will be completed by first quarter 2011.

At the moment broadband connectivity is about 50-60% with about 98% reliability. Now with the agreement with Bharti Airtel we hope to achieve 99.99%.  We are planning and working towards Universal Connectivity by 2011 for all Bhutanese. Access to the world outside has improved and increased with broadband at more affordable rates and better values added. It was good interacting. Bye."

 
Westell: We Will Be A Software Company – And Profitable
Thursday, 30 July 2009 00:13
rick_gilbertRick Gilbert has produced a $1.5M profit after a string of losses, based on several $million of additional orders from Verizon or AT&T for home gateways. Rick says “we are becoming more of a software company as features are added to those core products.” The shift makes sense, after a decade of struggle against high-volume Asian hardware suppliers. The Bells loved to parade then-CEO Van Cullens around D.C. because Westell actually manufactured in Illinois. They now contract manufacturing in China. The biggest issue is one customer (?Verizon) that is holding back $13M “until we would deliver substantially all of the software that is potentially called for in the arrangement selling that product.”

Westell was a DSL pioneer over a decade ago and supplied some of the gear for the earliest trials. Rick Gilbert's Copper Mountain and especially Alcatel won away the DSLAM contacts, but Westell remained the favored supplier of modems to Verizon and BellSouth. Having ex-Bell Atlantic CTO John Seazholtz on the board always helped.

Margins fell as DSL modems became commoditized and especially after Shaygan Kheradpir took over Verizon purchasing and ferociously squeezed supplier margins. Their strong relations with Bill Smith at BellSouth have proven out as they have retained AT&T as a customer.

Westell's strategy became to find more customers around the world, but Gilbert has now pulled back. “The big difference between some of the previous initiatives and this year is, we are focusing on our current customers, our large customers, our fundamental product lines.” Good to see them coming back; the stock not long fell to twenty cents and sold for less than the company's cash. With no debt and $50M in cash, the $80M market cap would make them highly attractive to acquire in ordinary times. Brian Cooper has taken over as CFO recently. (Transcript: Seeking Alpha)

 
Next Level-Motorola Enters Maintenance Mode
Thursday, 09 July 2009 12:35

Next Level was the pioneer of TV over DSL back in 1999 and reached a market cap in the $billions on modest revenues and large losses. They were an independent company, but General Instruments had majority control in return for early investments. Motorola bought GI and after a bitter battle also bought out minority shareholders.

The premiere deployment was U.S. West in Phoenix, which soon reached 30,000 homes. Before the Qwest takeover, U.S. West intended to expand the TV package to other cities. Joe Nacchio put those plans on hold, but we spoke several times about his intent to resume the build. "I speak almost every month to Chris Galvin at Motorola and when the price comes down enough we'll expand," he told me. He later told me he expected to go ahead, but left soon after. Qwest turned out to be facing bankruptcy and cut everything. They are still milking the network built a decade ago, with capex far below depreciation. They are begging for a bailout from USF with strong state support, but ultimately telcos without wireless or fiber are in deep trouble.

Bell Canada used Next Level gear for "fiber to the basement" in Toronto highrises very sucessfully, and Gene Roman grew that deployment to Montreal as well.Several dozen small U.S. carriers also deployed. Next Level gear was always more expensive but had the advantage of working.There never was enough volume to cover costs, including a quarter with a $145M loss.

CTDI has now taken over the product line. They will provide on-going support and availability of the product to the Carrier and MSO customers. The Pennsylvania based CTDI has a worldwide telecom maintenance service and provides the field service for many manufacturers. They've taken on product lines from Nortel and others, and I've heard good things from their customers.


Last Updated on Thursday, 09 July 2009 17:03
 
The Buck Stops Here, Mr. Chairman 2009
Monday, 29 June 2009 16:03

julius_genachowskiJules Genachowski takes over after the worst six months for broadband coverage since 1998 when things began.  The big four companies that control Harry_Truman_buck_stops_here75% of the market report added virtually no new coverage. AT&T won't even give me a figure for their deployment, which currently is about 5 points lower than their CEO suggested on Wall Street years ago. The U.S. and Canada have by far the worst DSL availability in the developed world, even when just rural or urban areas are compared. Obama talks about broadband for all, but his first six months have been all talk.

By the best available data, fewer new homes became servable since the election than in the prior six months. Almost everyone halted their existing plans, hoping to do the same thing a year later with massive subsidies. Since few expect deployment to start up before the end of 2009, we almost certainly will have the worst year in a decade. AT&T, Comcast, Verizon, Cablevision, Cox and most others are spending their budget on upgrades to existing areas.  Almost all of the companies in this industry are spending substantially less on capex than depreciation. DOCSIS 3.0 and FiOS are great, but they aren't getting to everyone.

I am not objective about this administration. I've written Obama will be the best president of my lifetime, and readers need to know my bias. I know many of the appointees; they are the best and brightest in the industry.

Last Updated on Tuesday, 14 July 2009 23:17
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