Hibernia Raises Cash, Eyes Expansion?

May 21st, 2009
 

Hibernia Atlantic raised $12M in senior secured debt financing last week, with the money coming in from BIA Digital Partners.  Now, $12M is not a ton, but the key is that this money seems to be opportunistic.  It's not that Hibernia needs it, but that it has something it wants to do with it.  That the terms are favorable enough to make financing feasible right now may be a further sign that the credit markets continue to thaw at the edges.  [Read more →]

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Paetec, Sprint Make Peace

May 20th, 2009
 

According to an SEC filing by PAETEC (news, filings), the company has settled with Sprint Nextel (NYSE:S, news, filings) over the latter's patent infringement claims.  Patents again, ugh.  In this case, Sprint filed the lawsuit in January of 2008 along with similar claims against NuVox, Broadvox, and Big River.  This came just after making Vonage cry uncle and pay some $80M over the same 6 patents.  [Read more →]

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Quantum Cryptographic Networking?

May 20th, 2009
 

Metro fiber specialist abvt and security/defense consultant QinetiQ have announced that they will work together to advance network based quantum cryptography.  Quantum cryptography relies on a principle of quantum physics which says that if you measure something you change it.  In terms of use in communications, the dream of quantum cryptography is that you can't eavesdrop without being detected - via any method.  If you're not a physicist, it's obscure and counter-intuitive, and really cool (at least for me).  Add it to fiber networking, and what you have is the ability to build a link that is completely and totally secure. [Read more →]

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Qwest Longhaul and Cogent? Well…

May 19th, 2009
 

Ed Gubbins of Telephony Unfiltered detailed some interesting remarks by Cogent Communications (NASDAQ:CCOI, news, filings) CEO Dave Schaeffer about Qwest's longhaul network.  Basically, he said they looked at it but it is just too expensive.  My first reaction was along the lines of 'Huh?' because Cogent is just so much smaller that the very idea boggles the mind, even for Schaeffer who isn't exactly known for playing down his importance in the world.  Cogent's enterprise value is below $400M and they have $66M in cash, and Qwest's asking price is supposedly $2-3B.  I happen to think that price tag is too high, but not by that much.  Why would they even take the call?  But as it turns out, I actually think there just might be a way it *could* happen. [Read more →]

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Profile: NTT America – Part 2

May 19th, 2009
 

In part 1 of this article, I gave my own impressions of NTT America.  For a more direct perspective, Telecom Ramblings talked to Chris Davis, Director of Marketing for NTT America.

TR: NTT America has long offered the more established CDN services such as caching and website acceleration, do you have any plans to offer services such as streaming or large object delivery?

CD: We have one of the only fully integrated IP networks with a robust CDN layered on top, which allows for full control of the network, to deliver high quality streaming.

We’ve deployed a number of new [Read more →]

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Profile: NTT America – Part 1

May 19th, 2009
 

NTT America, a subsidiary of Japanese telecommunications giant NTT Communications (NYSE:NTT, news, filings), operates what has to be the quietest Tier-1 internet backbone in the US.  NTT leases wavelengths and such as the foundation for its IP/MPLS network, and sells capacity and services at layer 2 and 3.  Their story has never really gotten as much press, perhaps partly because they don't own fiber itself.  They are always out there pushing bits, but without the public drama of a Cogent, Level 3, or Sprint and without the raw size of an AT&T or Verizon - on this side of the Pacific anyway.  That's part of it too of course, being the smaller arm of a foreign giant can tend to leave you in the shadows and when one thinks of NTT one thinks of fiber in the Japanese market and the mobile arm NTT Docomo first.  But nevertheless they push a whole lot of [Read more →]

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Digital Realty Plans For Expansion

May 18th, 2009
 

In a signal that they expect a thaw in the credit markets, datacenter developer Digital Realty Trust (NYSE:DLR, news, filings) is buying more land.  The tract covers 34.2 acres and is adjacent to their other assets in Ashburn VA, and if fully developed it would add some 400K square feet in that market - roughly doubling their Ashburn footprint if I recall correctly.  Much of the space already being constructed in the region has already been spoken for, but brand new projects largely remain on hold with funding so [Read more →]

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Clearwire Revs Its Engines

May 18th, 2009
 

It's always surreal to see clwr report earnings these days, if only because absolutely nobody cares what their results actually are.  There are only two positions.  Either Clearwire is underfunded and doomed to being crushed by AT&T (NYSE:T, news, filings) and Verizon (NYSE:VZ, news, filings), or we're just a year or two away from the WiMAX revolution which will break the stranglehold those two have on the entire communications infrastructure.  Clearwire's revenues of $62.1M and net loss of $0.37 per share remain basically irrelevant at this point.  The questions revolve around [Read more →]

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Ramblings Is Now Available On Kindle

May 17th, 2009
 

For those who have a Kindle or might want one, Telecom Ramblings is now available in the Kindle Store.  Almost any blog can be on the Kindle now, Amazon has opened up the publishing platform.  The pricing for this (and almost every blog I guess) is chosen by Amazon, don't ask me to change it because they didn't ask me either.  There is a 14 day free trial though.   [Read more →]

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Margin Trends for Competitive Fiber Networks

May 15th, 2009
 

In the comments to my Earnings: Metro Fiber Still Strong Despite Headwinds post there was some discussion about relative EBITDA margins.   EBITDA is one of the major metrics that people use for valuation in this sector (Bear on Business reminds us why).  Its ratio to revenue is called  EBITDA margin, of course, and because it is defined relatively similarly across the sector we can use it to contrast different companies.  So for the sake of fun, I've put together the following graph of adjusted EBITDA margins as reported by a cross section of the competitive fiber [Read more →]

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Three Strikes, French Style

May 14th, 2009
 

This week, the French parliament has been working very hard, passing ground breaking anti-piracy legislation.  Or perhaps they're just grandstanding while passing a really stupid law.  It sort of depends on your point of view.   It goes like this:  there will be a new government agency whose job it is to a) collect complaints about music and movie piracy from the industry, b) send out warning letters to the accused, and c) have the internet access cut off for anyone who gets a third letter.  Sounds like [Read more →]

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AT&T, CWA Approaching Strike Threshold

May 14th, 2009
 

AT&T (NYSE:T, news, filings) made a public offer to some 27,000 members of the CWA - about a quarter of those involved - calling it the carrier's 'last, best, final offer.'  The union did not exactly respond with glee, obviously, firing off an angry response.  This sounds to me like an escalation of hostilities.  It has been 6 weeks now since the last deadline passed yet talks continued.  It does not appear that all that much has been resolved since then, the two sides remain far apart on a host of issues.  So what next? [Read more →]

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AT&T: iPhone + Sling = Too Much

May 13th, 2009
 

So AT&T (NYSE:T, news, filings) did deliberately cripple the Sling player on the iPhone.  No surprise there, if they're scared of VoIP congesting their networks they must be positively shaking about video.  What's different about this case, is that you can use the Sling player on other phones on the AT&T network - just not the iPhone.  AT&T is quickly going to find their reasoning to be publicly indefensible.  I understand why they are making the argument, it's just not going to convince anyone. [Read more →]

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Verizon Drops Rural Assets, Frontier Picks Them Up

May 13th, 2009
 

Verizon (NYSE:VZ, news, filings) announced today that it will divest various wireline assets in 14 states, with Frontier Communications (NYSE:FTR, news, filings) doing the acquiring.  As with the Fairpoint deal in northern New England, these are predominantly rural areas.  The geographical spread this time, however, is immense.  It includes all Verizon territories in Arizona, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Nevada, North Carolina, Ohio, Oregon, South Carolina, Washington, West Virginia and Wisconsin as well as a few in California.  In terms of subscribers, it looks like about 13-14% of all of Verizon's access lines.  Once complete transaction will triple the size of Frontier's subscriber base to some 7 million, if my math is right.  11,000 Verizon employees will become part of Frontier, with their union deals [Read more →]

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Surprise, Surprise: No Offers for Qwest Longhaul Yet

May 13th, 2009
 

The Denver Post is reporting that there are as yet 'no public offers' for the longhaul network of q, which was reported to be for sale last month.  Now, it is rather unclear why anyone would expect a 'public offer' for a unit that has never 'publicly' been for sale - but then it seems there is rarely an actual for-sale sign on an asset anymore since nobody wants to be seen as needing to sell.  Nevertheless it isn't terribly surprising that finding a buyer would be difficult for Qwest's national fiber footprint and extra conduits.  [Read more →]

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AT&T, NEC, Corning Take it up to 32Tbps

May 12th, 2009
 

Forget mere 100G, how about 32T?  Now that's fast! AT&T, NEC, and Corning researchers have achieved transmission at that speed over a single fiber on an optically amplified 580km link.  Now, this was not over a production network of course, it was in a lab with EDFA amplifiers sitting between rolls of cable.  Over each of 320 wavelengths went a 116Gbps signal.  In total, they say that is 25% faster than prior demonstrations, and that it demonstrates the viability of using 25Ghz spacing. [Read more →]

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Earnings: Metro Fiber Still Strong Despite Headwinds

May 12th, 2009
 

No less than three of the largest operators of metro fiber reported earnings today:  TW Telecom, XO Communications, and Abovenet.  Together, that represents nearly 15,0000 lit buildings.  So how did they do?  Pretty well overall, no negative surprises despite what may have been the toughest economic quarter in a very long time.

With the one of the largest competitive metro footprints in the US and not many other distractions, TW Telecom (NASDAQ:TWTC, news, filings) makes for an excellent economic bellweather [Read more →]

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IPhones: Today’s Savior and Today’s Menace

May 11th, 2009
 

As if we needed any more proof that our society needs to see a psychiatrist, today's buzz is about the data usage of the iPhone. The Wall Street Journal online has an article today detailing how iPhone users are using 2-4 times the bandwidth used by other smartphone operators.  They have some nice charts showing why this is, but they don't really need them.  Owners of the iPhone use more bandwidth because it's a great device designed to enable them to make use of that bandwidth [Read more →]

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New Addition: Regional Fiber Maps

May 11th, 2009
 

Continuing in my series of collected links to maps of fiber networks, I have updated an old list of mine from six months ago, and I have placed it with the others under the Resources item in the menu bar under the title USA Regional Fiber.  Networks on this list lie between the longhaul and the metro.  They generally hook up more than one metro area and many tier-4 markets along the way, but are primarily focused on one or perhaps a few states.  Obviously, many larger companies also have regional fiber, but those assets are best found on their longhaul network maps.

These assets have what is one of the lowest public profiles amongst all [Read more →]

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Up Next: Streaming Media East

May 11th, 2009
 

Prepare to be inundated with news about the online video world this week, it's time for Streaming Media East this Tuesday and Wednesday in New York.  In the world of bandwidth, we must always keep an eye on where video is going, or even thinking about going, simply because of the massive numbers of bits involved.  But if, like me, you simply can't make it to New York, or if you just want to catch a particular segment - the event is being streamed live by Scribe Media.  The keynote by Akamai's CEO Paul Sagan alone should be illuminating.

There is also Monday's CDN Summit [Read more →]

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IP Transit Market Holds Back Cogent

May 9th, 2009
 

Upstart network provider Cogent Communications (NASDAQ:CCOI, news, filings) reported earnings yesterday, reporting revenues of $55.1M - up $54.9M sequentially.  That was below analyst expectations overall, but in this environment it could easily have been worse.  In fact, if it were just the IP Transit business, revenues would have declined between 2 and 3% even as traffic went up 21% in the same period.  What happened?  Well, the IP transit market is rough right now all by itself - customers have been delaying purchases and using more of the capacity they have already bought. Cogent has responded with promotional deals which have brought in more traffic, but precious little revenue.  They say that comes later in the year. [Read more →]

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Tiscali Finally Unloads UK Operations

May 8th, 2009
 

Almost exactly a year ago, Carphone Warehouse bid £550M for Tiscali's UK arm, and Tiscali walked.  Since then they have learned what the price is when your bluff is called and everyone on the planet knows you have a busted flush.  Today they finally managed to agree to terms with Carphone, at a price of £236M or well over 50% off.  Oops.  For its part, Carphone Warehouse gets to be the top independent ISP in the UK, with some 4.25M subscribers. [Read more →]

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European Network Maps

May 8th, 2009
 

I have posted another maps resource, European Network Maps, in which I collect and maintain links to the publicly available maps of European network providers.   In this case, my criteria are those spanning markets in at least 5 countries - smaller and more regionally focused networks will be collected on another page.  While I keep tabs on the European fiber and data market as best I can, I obviously know less about it than that of the USA and there are certainly going to be networks I have missed - big ones [Read more →]

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