Comcast Has Some Explaining To Do

January 20th, 2009

Over the weekend, the FCC filed a letter to Comcast asking for more information about the network management plan they rolled out in September.  That plan seemed pretty bland at the time, slowing bandwidth speeds for bandwidth hogs based simply on total usage rather than targeting specific applications.  What's the problem?  Well, it seems that Comcast's VoIP platform doesn't get slowed down when this happens, whereas other VoIP traffic does.  Where Comcast got the brilliant idea to advertise this as an advantage despite how it looks I'll never know, it's as if someone put a kick-me sign on their own butt. [Read more →]

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Global Crossing Upgrades AC-1

January 20th, 2009

At the Pacific Telecommunications Council (PTC), glbc announced today that they are upgrading their Atlantic Crossing 1 cable.  That's the original cable from 1998, as opposed to the larger AC-1/Yellow which it shares with Level 3 Communications (NYSE:LVLT, news, filings).  Global Crossing is adding some 600Gbps to AC-1, which is a hefty pile that should be enough for a year or two or three. [Read more →]

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XO Crosses the Pacific

January 19th, 2009

XO Holdings (news, filings) has inked a deal with Pacific Crossing for capacity on the PC-1 cable, hooking up at Grover Beach with access to Japan, targeting Asian customers.  This is a new and somewhat surprising move by XO, which as recently as July had little capex to spend on expansion.  The refinancing of their debt by majority owner Carl Icahn gave them enough cash to do something, and I have been waiting to see what they might have on the drawing board.  Apparently, it was [Read more →]

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Blue Cross Blue Shield Chooses Level 3

January 19th, 2009

Internet backbone operator Level 3 Communications (NYSE:LVLT, news, filings) today announced that they have been selected by the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association (BCBSA) as a national provider.  Level 3 will extend a wide range of services (voice, data, video) to all 39 BCBSA companies nationwide, taking full advantage of its metro and longhaul footprint.  The exchange of medical data is sure to be one of the big growth areas in networking over the [Read more →]

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Verizon Business: What a Mesh!

January 19th, 2009

Yesterday, Verizon (NYSE:VZ, news, filings) announced further developments in its Verizon Business division's international expansion.  Their Pacific mesh network, begun in 2007, has been completed after the final extension to Singapore.  The seven way mesh across the Pacific, which uses capacity on the new Trans Pacific Express cable as well as many others, is designed to seamlessly reroute traffic on cable cuts with greater reliability than before.  In parallel, a dozen [Read more →]

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CDN Pricing Pressure Steady

January 18th, 2009

On Friday, Dan Rayburn offered an update on CDN pricing trends for video delivery in the fourth quarter - as always, it's worth a read.  Amongst the data is that CDN pricing in Q4 was basically consistent with Q3.  Could it be that the economic crisis has injected pricing rationality into the market?  Year over year pricing per GB delivered fell 30-35%.  That is still a pretty hefty pricing decline that roughly (and IMHO properly) matches what the IP transit market has done this year.  But it is of course only half the story since traffic growth over CDNs has been strong.  How much traffic growth does it take to balance a 30-35% pricing decline?  The number is 50%.  Was CDN traffic growth above 50% in 2008?  Yes I think so, and therefore the pie is still growing.  [Read more →]

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Padmasree Warrior as Obama's CTO?

January 16th, 2009

Reports are that President-elect Obama has narrowed his choice for his newly-created post of CTO, and on that final list is Cisco's CTO Padmasree Warrior.  Let's just leave aside for a moment just what this CTO position is - because I have yet to see it defined in anything other than political buzzwords.  And let's ignore Cisco's involvement too, because I don't know what that means yet either...  [Read more →]

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Musical Chairs

January 16th, 2009

Alongside the economic blizzard and the winter cold has come a reshuffling of executives at carriers and service providers.  That's natural I suppose in a time where everyone is trying to streamline.  So to keep up, let's go through a few of the recent events in this game of musical chairs.  This is obviously not a complete list, if you have one to add please don't hesitate [Read more →]

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MetroPCS Finds a Crack in the Credit Market Door

January 15th, 2009

Apparently, the credit markets actually aren't dead, not quite anyway.  There is still some money out there.  Yesterday independent wireless carrier MetroPCS (NYSE:PCS, news, filings) announced they would try to raise $300M in bonds, offering more of their existing 9.25% senior debt at a discount.  My first thought was "Good luck, you're gonna need it", but apparently I was wrong.  Just 24 hours later, MetroPCS announced that they in fact will sell $550M of those bonds at $0.895, for an effective yield of 11.82%.

Now that's not cheap money, but [Read more →]

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TeliaSonera Moves Ahead with LTE

January 15th, 2009

Today TeliaSonera AB (ETR:TLS, news, filings) took another step along the road to 4G, awarding its first two LTE contracts for two cities on its Nordic home turf. Huawei won the contract for Oslo, and Ericsson won the contract for Stockholm. The 4G system will be based on 3GPP LTE/SAE standards, capable of speeds in the hundreds of Mbps in trials. What that means in a congested production network is anyone's guess of course, but it will surely be [Read more →]

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Nortel Sinks Beneath the Waves

January 14th, 2009

According to various sources, nt will file for bankruptcy later today.    At one point back in the bubble, Nortel had a marketcap of $200B and was the largest company in Canada, and that number now looks likely to go the rest of the way to zero.  Speculation is that the company will be broken up in bankruptcy court and sold to competitors.  Who buys (or tries to buy) which pieces of Nortel will probably be a major source of [Read more →]

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Julius Genachowski at the FCC

January 14th, 2009

So now we know that Obama's choice for FCC Chairman is his longtime friend and advisor Julius Genachowski.  Genachowski is the guy who helped Obama formulate his technology strategy during the campaign, so at least we know he knows how to use the internet.  I don't envy his position, the current world of FCC regulation is a total basketcase.  Stepping into the role now has to be a bit like voluntarily putting your foot into the [Read more →]

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Corning's Bend-Tolerant Multimode Fiber

January 14th, 2009

Corning (NYSE:GLW, news, filings) continues to 'bend' the rules of physics, making fiber that is easier to use.  We already had ClearCurve, bend tolerant singlemode fiber, which makes it easier to string fiber within buildings such as apartment buildings etc, and now the company is adding a multimode version to the ClearCurve family.  This new multimode version of ClearCurve promises to help out in the data center, replacing copper.  Many people have a misconception of the data center as filled with fiber and only fiber, but actually [Read more →]

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Top 10 Reasons to Own Your Own Fiber

January 13th, 2009

As readers of this blog know, I've always preferred service providers that own their fiber rather than lease all their connectivity.  Dave Rusin over on Telecom Straight Shooter goes perhaps one step further, referring to himself as a "fiber bigot".   Now there are all sorts of justifications and reasons for our common obsession, but the jargon can get kind of thick and make the eyes glaze over.  So here is a simplified and maybe light-hearted way to look at things: [Read more →]

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Dan Caruso named CTP Communications Executive of the Year

January 12th, 2009

Our neighbor in the telecom blogging world, Dan Caruso of Bear on Business fame as well as CEO of Zayo and executive chairman of Envysion, has been named CTP Communications Executive of the year! A hearty congratulations to Dan for this well deserved honor.  Nobody has single-handedly shaken up [Read more →]

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Global Crossing on Consolidation

January 12th, 2009

At last week's Citi EMT conference, international telecommunications carrier glbc gave an upbeat presentation where they reiterated the favorable market conditions they see for their products even in this ugly recession. But perhaps most interesting were the comments of CEO John Legere about consolidation in the sector, which were unusually frank and very much on the mark. Here is a quick transcription of [Read more →]

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Level 3 On the Move

January 10th, 2009

Shares of telecommunications carrier Level 3 Communications (NYSE:LVLT, news, filings) had quite a week, entering Monday at $0.68 and closing Friday at $1.49, up 119%. I thought we were in the throes of a deepening recession that is going to start killing off anyone with debt? Volume just got bigger every day, the volume progression was 9M,16M,19M,54M,61M. What happened? Not much actually, and the rest of the sector was not nearly so lively.  I don't think we can tie it back to one event. Instead, I'd say there has been a confluence [Read more →]

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Caruso Exposes a Skeleton

January 10th, 2009

BearOnBusiness has lately been offering some amazing insight into the operation of a fiber based telecom over the past few days.  But today's post, The Problem with Telecom Companies is a must-read.  The general idea is that many problems that are quickly blamed on nebulous backoffice failures really originate much earlier in the process.  If your sales force is confused about [Read more →]

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Tata Seeks a Warchest

January 9th, 2009

Telegeography reports that Indian carrier Tata Communications is looking to raise some INR30B via debt and a rights issue, which works out to about $600M.   They hope to use the money to fund M&A, apparently in the USA and Europe.   Apparently though, they first need permission from the Indian government, which owns more than a quarter of the company, and they have asked before and not gotten it. [Read more →]

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Abovenet Expands to Austin

January 9th, 2009

They may not have caught up on those pesky SEC filings yet, but abvt is still getting stronger.  Today they announced an expansion to Austin Texas,  opening their 15th metro market.  I'm not going to dig it up, but I doubt they have expanded to a new market since before their spectacular implosion during the bubble.  [Read more →]

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Hints of the Sky Not Falling

January 8th, 2009

At the Citi Global Entertainment, Media & Telecommunications conference this week, many carriers and service providers have been giving presentations.  And while most have done so cautiously and without disclosing much about the fourth quarter, there have been a few tidbits of information.  And those tidbits have not indicated [Read more →]

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Verizon Port Partner Program – Just Smoke?

January 8th, 2009

Verizon (NYSE:VZ, news, filings) today announced a new program they are calling the Verizon Port Partner Program which is aimed at winning CDN business.  The media of course picked this up and repeated it heavily, because it was about Verizon and content delivery and that has to be news, right?  But what is it exactly?  That's the humorous part to me.  If you cut through all the marketing and packaging, here's what Verizon did.  They [Read more →]

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Telefonica Advancing in Europe?

January 7th, 2009

Telefonica (NYSE:TEF, news, filings), long the little brother of BT, FT, and DT in Europe's corporate telecommunications market, is looking to move up in the world. The Spanish based carrier announced a big contract today worth €350M over 5 years with Deutsche Post, which amongst other things owns DHL and has 500K employees all over the world. Most of Telefonica's €2B revenues from the corporate market come from places that speak, well, Spanish. A deal of this size is not minor at all, [Read more →]

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