Zayo Aims For Stimulus Funds, In Quantity

August 30th, 2009
 

Upstart metro and regional fiber provider Zayo Group (news, filings) has also thrown its hat into the stimulus funding ring.  That's not a surprise, the company has been quite vocal in its efforts, and began putting together a team to pursue the opportunity back in the first quarter.  They are seeking $25M directly, which would be used to extend its network into 80 communities and 21 institutes of higher education in the Midwest.  And beyond that they have applied with partners for another $50M in other markets.  To bolster their bids, they will be committing $10-15M of their own cash to the effort.   These are rather substantial amounts for a company of Zayo's size, and if the bids are successful [Read more →]

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Trouble spending $7.4B? Naaah

August 29th, 2009
 

So did the non-participation of Verizon (NYSE:VZ, news, filings), AT&T (NYSE:T, news, filings), and q harm the industry's ability to find projects to spend the first $4B in stimulus funds the RUS and NTIA are offering?  Are you kidding?  As the Friday deadline closed and the applications piled up, the number came to $28B requested, 7 times the amount available.  That's a lot of projects proposed by people who aren't troubled by the network neutrality strings that might be attached.  The breakdown: [Read more →]

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The Puzzle of Rural Broadband

August 27th, 2009
 

Dan O'Shea over at FierceTelecom has some great commentary on expectations and realities for rural broadband.  One of his main points is that rural communities and the PUCs that look after them often want broadband but they want it within the context of a Bell type company that no longer exists.  We really need to get past this and see rural communication infrastructure in a modern context. [Read more →]

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AlcaHuaweiLu? Not Gonna Happen

August 27th, 2009
 

There's a rumor going around that either Huawei or ZTE are preparing a bid for Alcatel-Lucent (NYSE:ALU, news, filings).  The argument is that both Chinese telecom equipment vendors have a lower cost structure, and would therefore have a better shot at making Alcatel-Lucent's business profitable.  While it would certainly be a blockbuster deal, there's just no way it's going to happen.   [Read more →]

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360Networks Makes Pitch for Stimulus Funding

August 27th, 2009
 

Western US fiber and VoIP operator 360Networks has made its own pitch for stimulus dollars.  360 hopes to use the funds for 'middle mile' projects in 17 markets with a 10 mile surrounding radius along a 1011 mile stretch of fiber between Chicago and New Orleans.   It's a fairly unique north-south route, one which could certainly use some more competition.  They have been working with last mile providers over the last six months to put together viable packages. [Read more →]

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China Telecom, Reliance to Build India-China Link

August 26th, 2009
 

China Telecom and Reliance have launched a fiber link between China and India that runs southward (and downard of course) from Tibet.  Initially only 20Gbps, the system will supposedly have an initial design capacity of 4.8Tbps.  It sounds like no big deal, but have you ever noticed the different roles played by submarine and terrestrial networks in different parts of the world?  In North America and Europe, terrestrial cables hook up just about everything on the continent, and the submarine cables hook those networks up to the other continents.  Everywhere else, submarine cables hook up countries on the same continent and terrestrial fiber networks often don't cross national boundaries.   [Read more →]

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What’s Going On With Vonage?

August 25th, 2009
 

For much of the past year, Vonage (NYSE:VG, news, filings) has slipped further and further out of the headlines as it struggled to refinance its debt and bring its costs into line.  For six months, its stock price  has languished in the $0.40 range.  But out of nowhere, it closed at $0.60 yesterday, $1.59 today, and is at the moment trading at $1.84 after hours.  The only news came last week when Vonage announced major enhancements to its international calling and voicemail services.  As nice as that is for customers, if anything it expands costs without expanding revenue from a shareholder perspective and isn't worth such a breathtaking 300% move on its own. [Read more →]

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Level 3 Makes Its Case For Stimulus Funds

August 25th, 2009
 

Yesterday, Level 3 Communications (NYSE:LVLT, news, filings) made good on its promises and announced it has applied for broadband stimulus funds in the amount of $15M in grant funds and $5M in matching funds.  The target of course is the 'middle mile', which has been one of the industry's favorite terms in the last two quarters.  Level 3 would use the funds to bring middle mile bandwidth to some 50 underserved markets.  Those 50 markets would primarily be in or adjacent to [Read more →]

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Help Me Build a List of Asia/Pacific/Australia Network Maps

August 24th, 2009
 

I have been creating and maintaining various lists of network map resources for a while now, but only of the geographical regions where I am most familiar.  Today I'm working on a new region:  the Asia/Pacific/Australia theatre.  Well, ok it's not really a region, it's more of a hemisphere.  But in terms of internet geography, it's still a bit more limited in scope and I'll lump it together for the sake of temporary convenience - we can always divide it up later if it makes sense.  But I very much need the help of readers to complete this list.  Why?  Because even though I'm frequently in the region physically, [Read more →]

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Apple, Google, AT&T: The Perfect Crucible

August 23rd, 2009
 

Every now and then, what should be a minor commercial dispute becomes something more.  Apps for the iPhone have been rejected by Apple for less reason with less uproar, but they just don't touch all the bases that this one does.  Watching the dance has been fascinating.  So now Apple hasn't actually rejected the Google Voice app, it just hasn't accepted it yet because it needs more time to study it.  Right...  In other words, they realized after the fact that claiming the power of gatekeeper will be complex.  And AT&T supposedly had no role in the rejection, which of course depends on how you define the word 'role'.  The whole setup is a perfect crucible, a triangle of love, hate, and [Read more →]

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Interesting Moves at the FCC

August 21st, 2009
 

In the last two days, the FCC made three interesting moves.  That's not bad at all for an agency that has historically considered pushing back deadlines to be interesting moves.  As a first order of business, they started a blog and began twittering!   And not only that but 15 hours ago they twittered that they finally know what RSS is.  Now, I'm not entirely sure what to expect in the way of blogging and twittering from a government committee (do they have to vote on it before posting it?), but a few months ago I called for the modernization [Read more →]

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Roundup of Contracts: An Air Force Base, a Health Network, and Norwegian Football

August 20th, 2009
 

In the past week or so, there have been several telecom and data contracts awarded that I found interesting, but which I didn't actually manage to write an entire post on.  Sometimes it can be difficult to get excited by PR, and August is the toughest month in which to write.  But it's been a decent week when it comes to announced sales and in this economy we should keep a close eye on things, so here is a quick [Read more →]

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Tata, Tyco Complete TGN Extension to Asia

August 19th, 2009
 

In a press release today, Tata Communications (news, filings) and Tyco Telecommunications announced that they have completed the installation, testing, and commissioning of the TGN Intra Asia cable, or TGN-IA.  The undersea cable system links Hong Kong, Singapore, Tokyo, Vietnam and the Philippines with 6700km route miles and an initial 3.8Tbps design capacity.  More importantly, the route is apparently diverse from that corridor near Taiwan where every other cable seems to go through.  They also claim a unique direct fiber route between [Read more →]

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Big Dreams at Omnicity

August 19th, 2009
 

I have long wondered about the business case for rural wireless ISPs.  It has always seemed to me that WiMAX ought to be a natural fit for bringing broadband to rural areas due to its wide range.  However, in the media we hear mainly about the efforts of clwr in the largest cities and little else.  Now it's not as if there aren't companies out there doing aiming at the rural WISP space, it's that they tend to be small, local entities with a particular geographical focus and no national scale.   [Read more →]

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Optimum Lightpath Introduces Virtual Private Ring Service

August 18th, 2009
 

Optimum Lightpath, the metro fiber division of Cablevision, introduced a new product today: Ethernet-based Virtual Private Ring Service or VPRS.  What is VPRS, other than a new addition to the alphabet soup used as vocabulary in the network world?   Well, it's not a new technology per se, it's more of a new package of existing technology. Basically, if you sign up for VPRS, you get your own virtual metro Ethernet ring hooking up each site with a direct fiber connection, [Read more →]

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More Viewpoints On What’s Next for CDNs

August 18th, 2009
 

This is a guest post by Paolo Gorgò, who blogs over at Nortia Research.  Anyone else who might be interested in a guest post may contact the webmaster.

I'd like to add my comments to Rob's article “So the recession is indeed punishing CDNs.”  After all these companies, both pure plays and telecoms, reported 2Q results and issued weak guidance for Q3, it's quite clear that the sector is experiencing [Read more →]

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XO Upgrades With Infinera Once Again

August 17th, 2009
 

Amidst the furor over Icahn's bid for the company, XO Holdings (news, filings) announced today the further expansion of its longhaul network.  That network, built on 18 fibers of the original Level 3 build that the company acquired back in the bubble, has seen a steady stream of capex devoted to it over the last few years.  This time they will be deploying the ILS2 system of Infinera (NASDAQ:INFN, news, filings), which supports up to 160 wavelengths on a single fiber.  [Read more →]

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Competitive Telecoms: EBITDA Margin Trends

August 16th, 2009
 

Last week I took a look at relative revenue trends amongst a wide range of competitive telecoms, but revenue is not the whole story.  In this post, I update and add to an earlier study of adjusted EBITDA margin trends from back in May, including Q2 numbers, some missing data, and the results of Sprint Wireline and CBeyond.  With no further ado, here is the updated chart across 6 quarters now: [Read more →]

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Zayo, Paetec Both Bid for XO Last Summer

August 14th, 2009
 

The XO/Icahn soap opera is starting to get some real attention, with this story in the Wall Street Journal today.  That certainly brings some firepower to the reporting, they have much more extensive contacts than I do and hence got some nice bits of information.  Amongst them is the identity of the two unsolicited bidders for the company back in June 2008, which had been mentioned in the redacted legal documents as Bidder 1 and Bidder 2. [Read more →]

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Hibernia Takes Transatlantic 40G to Market

August 13th, 2009
 

In a press release today, transatlantic cable operator Hibernia Atlantic announced that it is now offering native 40G wavelengths between Europe and North America.  There have been a few trials before this, Sprint did one late last year over TAT-14, however Hibernia is the first to actually take the technology commercial.  Deploying 40G takes the theoretical maximum capacity of their cable to 10.16Tb/s.   [Read more →]

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So the Recession Is Indeed Punishing CDNs

August 13th, 2009
 

When Akamai (NASDAQ:AKAM, news, filings) announced another sequential revenue decline with its quarterly results two weeks ago, I wondered whether they were losing share or if the malaise was a general one.  Well, it's a general one, as can be seen by the results of the company's largest competitor, Limelight Networks (NASDAQ:LLNW, news, filings).  Limelight also saw a sequential revenue decline, checking in with $32.3M, down from $33.2M in the first quarter.  Add in the lackluster results of the Content Markets division of Level 3 Communications (NYSE:LVLT, news, filings) and Internap's final retreat and write-off, and [Read more →]

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Qwest Passes On Stimulus Funds

August 13th, 2009
 

q isn't going to bid on the first round of broadband stimulus funds, according to a story in the Denver Business Journal.  The company says that participating under the current rules doesn't make financial sense.  Apparently, the free money isn't so free after all.  Is it ever?  It seems like if anyone could have found a project or two on their own turf that would bring broadband to communities that need it, it ought to be Qwest and its sparsely populated 14 state footprint. [Read more →]

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TW Telecom Takes Its IP VPN Global

August 12th, 2009
 

Alongside their earnings report, TW Telecom (NASDAQ:TWTC, news, filings) announced the expansion of their IP VPN to 64 countries around the world.  The company has traditionally focused on those with a regional presence, but as the world becomes interconnected more and more of their potential customers have needs that cross international boundaries.  This new effort will help them serve those of their current customers with international offices better.  Since TW Telecom doesn't have much in the way of international facilities, I wonder who they are partnering with for this. [Read more →]

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