Merrill and Level 3 Unwind the Hedge

September 25th, 2008
 

A few months ago, I spent a whole post detailing the obscure anti-dilution hedge that Level 3 bought from Merrill Lynch back in 2004. D-day for that arrangement was to be this December, with the prize for Level 3 varying between $0 and $175M, and it looked alot more like zero with the stock price at $3.  Well, that's not how it turned out, apparently the two are unwinding the contract. [Read more →]

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FCC's Newest Deadline Approaches

September 25th, 2008
 

In just 6-7 weeks, the FCC will run up against its latest deadline for dealing with intercarrier compensation.  Back in July, they were given until November 5 by a federal court to address the issue.  Over on the Global Crossing blogs, Paul Kouroupas has an excellent post today detailing in plain language not only the extent of stupidity of the current system, but why it hurts everyone in the industry to leave it as is - from ILEC to CLEC to RLEC.  [Read more →]

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Level 3 Expands in Canada

September 24th, 2008
 

Level 3 today announced an expansion of services in Canada, adding both transport and IP services in Toronto and Montreal and transport services in Montreal.  They had already sold transport in Toronto, yet despite having a loop through the area since the original Level 3 network was built, they have barely ventured [Read more →]

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Global Crossing and CDN?

September 24th, 2008
 

In what has easily been the most surprising result from the reader polls I have run on this site, when asked 'Which IP network will enter the CDN market next', the answer "Global Crossing" has run a strong second place amongst readers of this blog.  The leader, Verizon, was a no-brainer of course.  No other company got more than two votes, including [Read more →]

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Level 3 Wins at Bostwick Labs

September 23rd, 2008
 

Level 3 Business Markets announced a contract today with Bostwick Laboratories, providing them with on-net services including internet access, VoIP, and enhanced network services.  The deal is a welcome one for Level 3, which is still seeking to prove to the market that its enterprise division has legs.  Medical data infrastructure deals like this are the bread and butter of TW Telecom, and Level 3 would like to start making its own name in the sector. [Read more →]

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Global Crossing Snags a CFO

September 23rd, 2008
 

glbc has hired John Kritzmacher as its next CFO, starting October 1.  Kritzmacher was CFO of Lucent until its merger with Alcatel, and had previously worked his way up through the AT&T heirarchy before that.  He replaces Jean Mandeville, who deserves a lot of credit for dragging the company from what was in 2004 - a complete basketcase - to where it is today - closing in on [Read more →]

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Comcast's Congestion Management

September 23rd, 2008
 

Comcast filed a description of its new congestion management system a few days ago.  This is what will replace their previous system which throttled P2P traffic.  Of course, they backed off that plan a while back, then were told to back off that plan by the FCC, and have appealed that ruling - apparently to give their lawyers something to do.  But nevertheless, they have what they call a [Read more →]

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In Europe, VoIP is Taking Over

September 22nd, 2008
 

Telegeography reported today that the transition to VoIP in Europe is moving very rapidly now.  At year end 2007 there were 25.3M voip users, and by year end 2008 that number is expected to exceed 37M.  Penetration rates are all over the map though.  In France 43% of households are now using VoIP, while in Spain that number is only 2%.  But wow, 43%?   That's huge! [Read more →]

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Releasing the Value in Skype

September 22nd, 2008
 

Silicon Valley Insider speculated Friday that Ebay may be looking to sell Skype, a thought that was developed further by both Rich Tehrani and Andy Abramson. It certainly would be an exciting move at a time when money is not exactly flowing freely.  The potential buyers [Read more →]

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Cogent, Self Promotion, and the Mirror Image

September 21st, 2008
 

What do investors say when a company overpromises and then sells stock or converts into the rally?  If it's his own holdings, they complain loudly.  If it's company stock or a convertible bond, some will grant that he was just making the case to get the best price for his shareholders while others may feel betrayed.  But what about the opposite case?  What happens when [Read more →]

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Cogent Takes the Street

September 20th, 2008
 

Yesterday after the close of the markets, Cogent filed an 8-K with the SEC .  Now sometimes when filings come out late on a friday they're bad news, but not this time.  Alongside an update on their stock buyback program, the company repurchased $20M face value of its 1% convertible notes for $9.9M.  That's under 50 cents on the dollar.  I haven't seen [Read more →]

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On Granting Forbearance

September 19th, 2008
 

Once again, Dave Rusin over on Telecom Straight Shooter has taken on the issue of forbearance, arguing forcefully against most of the current crop of CLECs.  He'd like us all to step back from regulation and let the market produce the business case for laying fiber to all those buildings.  Very much the laissez faire purist approach, certainly, and quite appealing when put that way. [Read more →]

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TMobile Announces 4 Backhaul Contracts

September 19th, 2008
 

TMobile today announced who won the backhaul contracts for 6 of the 27 top markets in which they are supposed to roll out their new GSM network next month.  If you've followed this blog, you'll notice that three of the four are private companies that have shown up in my research on metro fiber footprints, the fourth being a cable company.  Congrats to all four, these deals mark a turning point in that one no longer has to go to the ILEC in these locations - that infrastructure will now be in place on independent fiber. [Read more →]

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Limelight Settles Two-Way Patent Case

September 18th, 2008
 

In a filing with the SEC today, Limelight announced they have come to a settlement with Two-Way Media over the patent suit filed by the latter in April.  The patent in question was an old one from 1996, and Limelight joins Level 3 (via Cable & Wireless long ago) as a licensee of the patent.  Two-way is apparently still suing Akamai and AT&T over the same patent, which sure does seem to have legs. [Read more →]

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CDN: Enter Amazon!

September 18th, 2008
 

Amazon entered the CDN business today, as usual Dan Rayburn has the inside scoop.   Basically, Amazon will be leveraging its distributed hosting and storage systems for basic CDN services.  Not video, yet, and no add-on services, just do-it-yourself caching and download really.  But that's enough, if they succeed at all with this offering it will probably annihilate the 40+ small fry that are still seeking a foothold.

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Where RCN Metro Is – Lit Buildings

September 18th, 2008
 

Continuing further along my lit building thread, I looked at the smaller regional footprint of RCN Metro.  This of course is a division of RCN rather than a standalone company, however they are kind enough to publish their lit building list.  Once again, I shoehorned their data into the appropriate MSAs so that the data is comparable to others.  With no further ado, here are their top 10 markets by MSA: [Read more →]

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Arnold on Making VoIP a Killer App

September 17th, 2008
 

Jon Arnold has an interesting article over on TMCnet about harnessing VoIP going forward.  The problem with VoIP applications have always been that they has only really served to replace other voice applications: Vonage replacing your home line, IP-PBX's replacing older PBX's, etc.  Unique features that actually caught on have been few and far between.  [Read more →]

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SHV Video, Now That's Bandwidth

September 17th, 2008
 

Over on Contentinople is an article on SHV, or Super Hi Vision, which is seen as a successor to HD.  What is it?  Think resolution of 33M pixels (7680 X 4320) and 22 channels of sound.  Think 24Gb/s uncompressed, maybe 1Gb/s compressed.  One hour of SHV video would bust that Comcast usage limit.  Of course, we're just barely seeing HD video go anywhere now let alone via the internet, so this is far far away.  [Read more →]

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XO as an Acquirer?

September 17th, 2008
 

Over on TelecomStraightShooter, Dave Rusin posted yesterday that he sees XO more as an acquirer than as an acquiree right now.  This is of course in direct contradiction of the unscientific poll of my readers  over the past month (summarized at the bottom of this post) in which XO is the runaway favorite to be bought next, but then Dave doesn't ever fear holding a contrarian view.  While he makes some good points, let me say why I don't think it will happen: [Read more →]

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Is Internap's CDN Making a Comeback?

September 16th, 2008
 

Internap has announced a flurry of small CDN deals this month, is this a recovery?  First there was Million Dollar Round Table after Labor Day, then Synacor last week , and today we have TV Worldwide's FedEdTV.com.  None of these deals are huge obviously, but Internap's niche has always been the [Read more →]

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Zayo/Adesta: We Were Close!

September 16th, 2008
 

Last week, when we heard that Zayo had made another deal for some conduit assets and fiber to cable landing stations but weren't told who they were being bought from, readers of this blog quickly came up with the name Adesta.  Caruso eventually piped in and demurred, but with Zayo's PR today it turns out we were really quite close. [Read more →]

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Offshoring Network Operations

September 15th, 2008
 

Telephony Online has an article today discussing the trend of carriers offshoring parts of their network operations.  This certainly is going on, one only has to listen to what networks like Colt and Level 3 have to say in their earnings calls.  And it's unstoppable, like heat flowing from hot to cold and water running downhill - if it can be done somewhere else cheaper then sooner or later it will. However, [Read more →]

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Another Wall Street West?

September 15th, 2008
 

DataCenterKnowledge has an article detailing an effort to build another Wall Street West in Binghamton, for backup sites for wall street.  Of course, it is Pennsylvania that started such an effort a while back that has been slow to get started.  I have two thoughts on this. [Read more →]

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