Could Network Neutrality Lead to Peering Wars?

September 20th, 2009
 

There was an interesting anonymous comment by anon on yesterday's Net Neutrality article:

if you have to treat all traffic on your network the same, you look closely at what traffic you put on the network.. settlement free peering is the next battle

I think I know what he means and I think he has a point worth exploring.  Let me try to explain and perhaps readers with more extensive background in the nitty gritty of how the internet works will chime in and correct me. [Read more →]

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Network Neutrality: What If They Really Mean It?

September 20th, 2009
 

Late Friday, details from the speech that FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski is going to give on Monday showed up in the Wall Street Journal.  I hesitate to say 'leaked' because I rather doubt it was unintentional, having such news out over the weekend gives the market time to absorb the news.  The message:  the FCC plans to propose new rules enforcing network neutrality, apparently preventing all service providers, whether wired or wireless, from blocking or otherwise interfering with over-the-top traffic.  I never thought it would get this far this quickly, but clearly the time has come to take stock of how this changes things.  [Read more →]

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Seidenberg’s Epiphany

September 18th, 2009
 

Yesterday at the Goldman Sachs conference, the CEO of telecommunications giant Verizon, Ivan Seidenberg, had a lot to say.  Enough to get the 'bits' blog of the New York Times to write Verizon Boss Hangs Up on Landline Phone Business.   Benoît Felten of Fiberevolution wrote some nice commentary on it as well.   In essence, Seidenberg completely abandoned the traditional phone network model, both in its physical, copper manifestation and in the organizational structure that the RBOCs have built around it.  Imagine five or 10 years ago hearing these statement from the CEO of an RBOC about the future of his company [Read more →]

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Friday Roundup: Digital Realty, Frontier, TELEHOUSE, and Congress

September 17th, 2009
 

Data Center property developer Digital Realty Trust (NYSE:DLR, news, filings) has made a major move in the Dallas market, taking a 60% stake in the Collins Technology Center in Richardson, Texas.  In short, it includes 7 buildings totaling just under 800,000 square feet of space, and a 40MW power substation that can be expanded to 125MW.  Data Center Knowledge has more detailed information here.  Digital Realty intends to have it ready for the market in early 2010.    The deal is more evidence [Read more →]

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Harris Picks Level 3 For US Census

September 17th, 2009
 

Harris Corporation has selected Level 3 Communications (NYSE:LVLT, news, filings) to provide telecommunication services in support of the 2010 US Census.  Level 3 will be providing voice services to 494 Local Census Offices supporting half a million workers, and of course high speed internet services as well to keep all that demographic data flowing smoothly.  They have already been supporting 151 Early Local Census offices for the Census Address Canvassing Operation since March. [Read more →]

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Qwest Moves Into Fiber-to-the-Tower

September 16th, 2009
 

On Tuesday q announced the launch of its fiber-based, Mobile Ethernet Backhaul service designed for wireless providers.  The new offering will leverage the company's existing fiber-to-the-node (FTTN) infrastructure to bring nearby towers online as well.  Only wide use of fiber can provide the massive, scalable bandwidth that will be needed for the wireless networks to come.  I have wondered when they would start offering such services, it seems like [Read more →]

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Alcatel-Lucent Unveils Next Step In Its ‘High Leverage Network’ Blueprint

September 16th, 2009
 

Telecommunications equipment giant Alcatel-Lucent (NYSE:ALU, news, filings) today unveiled its Converged Backbone Transformation Solution and provided new details on its vision for networks of the future.  The key aspect of the new offering centers on IP/Optical convergence, bringing the routing layer much closer to the DWDM layer and promising higher efficiency, greater resiliency, and lower complexity.  (Still working on world peace though.  The company says studies indicate capex savings of [Read more →]

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Infinera: Metro Now, 40G in 2010, and Telefonica

September 15th, 2009
 

In an SEC filing on Tuesday, DWDM specialist Infinera (NASDAQ:INFN, news, filings) offered some new information on its status.  First of all, the company began shipping its new metro edge product in August with four customer wins already, and they will formally introduce the product at Supercomm in October.  Having a metro product to complement their longhaul and undersea products should open new revenue opportunities for Infinera, and the timing seems good assuming the telecommunications industry climbs out from under its rock over the next few quarters. [Read more →]

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Telecoms Pour Through Crack In Credit Market’s Door

September 15th, 2009
 

There has been a mini news blitz from telecoms accessing the credit markets in the last few days, implying that a real window has opened in the credit markets.  If so, we can expect more activity over the next few days as those who need to take advantage of the opening.  Let's look quickly at the financial moves made by glbc, q, CenturyLink (NYSE:CTL, news, filings), and Zayo Group (news, filings) to start the week off. [Read more →]

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Australia Gets Serious About NBN, Plans to Split Telstra

September 15th, 2009
 

In the spring, the Australian government announced a sweeping broadband initiative, dubbed the National Broadband Network or NBN, which would bring 100Mbps to everyone in the country and would initially cost some AU$43B.  Since then, there has been much jockeying for position by the various players to agree on precisely how to do it, with incumbent giant Telstra seeking ways to deflect the incoming attack and perhaps turn the situation to its advantage.  Well, it didn't work, it's hard to imagine Telstra being happy at all right now.  Today the government followed up by proposing a sweeping telecom reform bill that does the following: [Read more →]

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Nortel’s Corporate Networking Business Goes To … Avaya

September 14th, 2009
 

Avaya has won the auction for Nortel's Corporate Networking division, with a bid of some $915M.  That consists of $900M for the business and $15M for an employee retention plan.  Of course, Avaya had been the stalking horse bidder for this phase of the Nortel bankruptcy liquidation, but they had originally bid only $475M.  In other words, the bidding was apparently fierce and it could easily have not turned out this way. [Read more →]

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No Recession in Internet Traffic Growth

September 14th, 2009
 

According to research by Telegeography, internet traffic growth has remained very robust despite the global economic slowdown, tipping the odometer at 79%.  In fact, it has accelerated since the prior year's study, which saw 61% growth internationally.  The big time growth came, as usual, from the less developed parts of the internet world.  Eastern Europe, South Asia, and the Middle East continued to grow at triple digit rates.  But even the US and Canada managed a very respectable traffic growth rate of 59%.  Which leads to an obvious question... [Read more →]

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DT Pondering Sprint Acquisition

September 14th, 2009
 

Reports over the weekend have Deutsche Telecom AG (ETR:DTE, news, filings) is thinking about purchasing Sprint Nextel (NYSE:S, news, filings), and has hired Deutsche Bank to advise it on a potential bid.  There have been lots of rumors lately, most of which have been little more than smoke and sometimes less.  But this one makes a fair amount of strategic sense, if the two can agree to terms.  The price tag would need to be somewhere in the neighborhood of $30B or more, including Sprint's net debt, so this would be a major deal any way you slice it.  Here are some thoughts: [Read more →]

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Level 3 and Google? A Baseless Yet Immortal Rumor

September 11th, 2009
 

The rumor returns every few months in some form, so today's upwelling over on Seeking Alpha isn't a shocker.  Someone hears that Google wants a fiber backbone, then obviously that must be Level 3 Communications (NYSE:LVLT, news, filings)!  And it makes so much sense on the surface.  Where else can Google expand to other than into the fiber itself?  How else to counter the anger of unwilling future dumb pipes?  With Google even in the phone/voice business now with Google Voice and its Android platform for mobile devices, it is even easier to make the case.  It rolls off the tongue so easily, that the rumor itself seems immortal.  Now as readers of this site know, I love a good M&A rumor, but this one has always been a dream of traders and media outlets and nobody else's.   [Read more →]

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The Air Force Seems to Like TW Telecom

September 11th, 2009
 

Fiber and data provider TW Telecom (NASDAQ:TWTC, news, filings) has been selected to provide voice and data services to Peterson Air Force Base in Colorado Springs, which is the home to NORAD, the 21st Space Wing, Air Force Space Command, and the United States Space Command.  The company will supply both voice and data services over 5 years to the tune of $1.4M, hooking up the base to its extensive metro network in the region.   [Read more →]

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Pigeon Shows African ISP How It’s Done

September 10th, 2009
 

In one of the better stunts I have seen to bring attention to poor download speeds at an ISP,  a South African company called Unlimited IT staged a race.  They would take a nice chunk of data and send it 50 miles away via the internet and also via carrier pigeon - in a data card strapped to its leg.  Any guesses who won?  Well, it wasn't the South African giant Telekom. [Read more →]

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Zayo Now the Proud Owner of Fibernet Telecom Group

September 10th, 2009
 

Upstart fiber network operator Zayo Group (news, filings) has closed its acquisition of ftgx, bringing the latter's colocation and interconnection services underneath Zayo's growing umbrella.  Soon after the acquisition was announced in May, a rival bid by RCN Business (NASDAQ:RCNI, news, filings) threatened to knock Zayo's acquisition train off the tracks.  However, after a couple weeks of negotiations RCN dropped out of the bidding and now it's all done.  So what will Zayo do with the Fibernet assets? [Read more →]

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Two More Data Centers for Equinix

September 9th, 2009
 

Datacenter operator Equinix (NASDAQ:EQIX, news, filings) announced another stage in its expansion program, planning two new data centers.  In the Washington DC area (Ashburn) they will add a 152,000 square foot facility that they will be referring to as DC6.  The new facility will cost around $100M overall, $30M in capex during 2009.  In Silicon Valley, they will add a 170,000 square foot facility that will go by the name SV5.  That one will cost $145M overall, with the first stage being $100M and of that $30M in capex during 2009. [Read more →]

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Switch & Data Reels in $100M

September 8th, 2009
 

Datacenter specialist sdxc has tapped the credit markets, reeling in $100M in senior secured financing from a syndicate of banks arranged by RBC Capital Markets.  The interest rate is variable but seems quite low at first glance, and financing will be in the form of delayed draw term loans.  It's not particularly long term debt, they will start repaying principle in 2011 and finish in 2014. [Read more →]

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Africa’s Bandwidth Puzzle

September 8th, 2009
 

There's a thoughtful article over on allafrica.com regarding what Africa can and cannot do with all the undersea bandwidth that has come ashore already or is coming soon.  This summer SEACOM finally went online along the east coast, and WACS is due along the west coast in the next couple of years, which will add to the other 5 cables to provide an aggregate capacity of over 10Tbps to the continent.  That's not much compared to what feeds Europe and North America, but for Africa it's huge.  However, few telecommunications companies on the continent are at a stage where they can actually use it, and even those who are generally still [Read more →]

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DT, FT Seek to Join Forces for UK Wireless Market

September 8th, 2009
 

Everyone knew that Deutsche Telecom AG (ETR:DTE, news, filings) was looking at alternatives for its TMobile UK operations, but I guess I didn't actually believe they would manage to make a deal.  So yesterday's announcement of their intention to form a 50/50 joint venture with France Telecom (NYSE:FTE, news, filings) did manage to surprise me slightly.  The new company, assuming it all happens as tentatively proposed, will have around 37% of the UK mobile market, leapfrogging both Telefonica's O2 and Vodafone in scale.   [Read more →]

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Global Crossing Looks to Raise $650M

September 8th, 2009
 

International IP services provider glbc is hoping to tap the credit markets to the tune of $650M of senior secured notes due 2015.  That's a pretty hefty pile of cash of course, but most of it is aimed at refinancing existing debt.  We knew they were going to make some kind of move in the credit markets since they have already tendered for the $225M of GC Impsat notes and consents.  Apparently lots of those notes are being tendered although the deadline isn't until Sept 21.   [Read more →]

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Telefonica, China Unicom Exchange Hugs

September 7th, 2009
 

Spanish based international telecommunications giant Telefonica (NYSE:TEF, news, filings) and Chinese based fixed and mobile provider China Unicom (NYSE:CHU, news, filings) have deepened their relationship.  In a large stock swap, each will buy $1B in stock in the other.  That will bring Telefonica's stake in China Unicom to some 8%, and give China Unicom its first stake in Telefonica of just under 1%.  The two intend to cooperate on developing mobile phone technology, servicing multinational corporations, and even in exchanging managers.  I think they like each other... [Read more →]

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