ClearCurve fiber demo

July 11th, 2008
 

If you're reading this blog, you probably know at least something about fiberoptic cable, and you probably have heard of the new bendable cable Corning came out with in the last year or two, called ClearCurve.  I also had heard of it, but I had never seen it nor really had a good feel for it.  If you're anything like me, wikipedia might help some but you don't really understand something until you see it in action - and in the case of this new fiber I hadn't yet so I didn't.  Until now anyway.  This is a really clear, down-to-earth demonstration of what it is and how it works from YouTube. [Read more →]

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Telecom Ramblings is 2 months old!

July 11th, 2008
 

It has been an amazing ride since May 9, racking up over 45,000 pageviews and 20,000 visits.  All in all, I've been having a great time doing this so I'm going to keep on trucking.  My thanks to all who have contributed, thejuice and the_highwayman for their posts and so many of you for your comments, kind emails, and regular readership. [Read more →]

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Level 3's Communications SG&A

July 10th, 2008
 

One of the critical numbers to watch when Level 3 reports earnings in two weeks is their Communications SG&A expense.  However, it is rather difficult to figure out what it ought to be due to the noise from one time events and integration expenses.  Therefore, I put together a table to help me figure out what the real trend is.  [Read more →]

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Carriers to Acquire CDNs, again?

July 10th, 2008
 

A Yankee Group analyst is now predicting that more carriers will be jumping into the CDN space by buying existing CDNs.  As I posted once before, I don't think there is that big a hubbub here.  Certainly there are carriers sniffing around, and I do agree that Verizon or British Telecom might join the fray.  [Read more →]

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So Many New Datacenters

July 9th, 2008
 

Today I saw an article about a $1.9B datacenter farm being built in Scotland, and it brought home to me just how many new datacenters are going up right now.  Terramark just announced its NAP of the Capital Region, Savvis, Equinix, and Internap are all building out large amounts of colocation space.  The credit markets may not be available to the rest of us, but if you build datacenters you can pretty much raise what you want. [Read more →]

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Google Launches Lively

July 9th, 2008
 

Today, Google launched a service called Lively, which seems to be a 3d chat application with avatars.    I am curious just where Google is going with this, are they taking on Second Life?  In the promo materials they say one can put a YouTube video on a virtual TV in your virtual Room - hmmm...  Bandwidth usage!  Of course, watching your own avatar watching TV seems a bit daft, but... [Read more →]

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Fake 100G?

July 8th, 2008
 

A few weeks ago I posted a series on the road to 100G, and one of the points I made was that there is an industry bias against bandwidth aggregation.  Well, here is a case in point.  The online magazine xChange reports that one 'prominent industry analyst' called it “Infinera’s fake 100G demo” because it was done via bandwidth aggregation. [Read more →]

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Telecom Straight Shooter

July 8th, 2008
 

I was perusing the server logs for this blog tonight and was surprised to find that a new telecom blog has sprung up!  Dave Rusin, the CEO of AFSNetworks and an occasional commenter on this blog, has started Telecom Straight Shooter.  He's not kidding about that name either folks, Dave is the real deal and he pulls no punches.  Welcome aboard Dave!  I have added you to my blogroll and to my RSS newsreader.

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Content taken down a peg

July 8th, 2008
 

Ryan Lawler over at Contentinople reports that there are in fact skeptics over the common sentiment that content is king.  According to a Lehman analyst, the ability to monetize digital media assets is likely to be counterbalanced by a an accelerated decline in traditional media.  [Read more →]

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Level 3 and the Buffett Factor

July 7th, 2008
 

My last post suggested that big money might revisit the telecom space.  This time let’s look at the relationship between Warren Buffett and Level 3. Tomorrow is the 6 year anniversary of Buffett’s cash infusion, where alongside Longleaf and Legg Mason he invested $100M in convertible bonds.  At the time, all the other nextgen backbones were falling like dominoes, Global Crossing and Wiltel were already in BK court, Genuity was sinking fast, Broadwing and Cable & Wireless were frantically planning amputation.  [Read more →]

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Telecom and the Return of the Big Hitters

July 7th, 2008
 

As telecom valuations linger at multi-year lows, the chances that big money value investors may make another foray into the telecom space are increasing.The last time it happened was in 2002-2004, when Buffett threw a lifeline to Level 3, Leucadia scooped up WilTel, Carl Icahn took over XO, Singapore along with Carlos Slim and Richard Rainwater took over Global Crossing, and even Wilbur Ross [Read more →]

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Ike's business VoIP survey

July 5th, 2008
 

Ike Elliott has posted the results of his first business VoIP survey, and it is definitely worth a read.  He has two followups, one analyzing the retail/wholesale angle and one analyzing the different approaches to quality of service.  For investors however, only a few of these companies are public - 8x8, Inc (NASDAQ:EGHT, news, filings) and cbey. [Read more →]

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AT&T's CallVantage finally disappearing?

July 5th, 2008
 

Tom Keating reports that AT&T (NYSE:T, news, filings) is planning to end its foray into the standalone VoIP world, CallVantage.  I remember back when CallVantage started, it looked as if it would be a major competitor - back then AT&T was not an RBOC it was an IXC, a term we don't use much anymore now that the biggest IXCs are relatively minor parts of RBOCs.  CallVantage was (and is) a very solid product, I went with Packet8 on price because it fit my needs, but I thought about using CallVantage.  [Read more →]

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The Bear attacks on video growth

July 3rd, 2008
 

So yesterday Dan Caruso took issue with my post on measuring online video growth , but then we had to wait a whole day before he said why.  Yes Mr. Powell, I'd like you to meet Mr. Hanger, Cliff Hanger.  Now given Dan's earlier positions that bandwidth growth is in fact very healthy, I thought at first he was going to dispute the word 'if', but it turns out he was looking squarely at the word 'triple'.  Here is what I said: [Read more →]

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Level 3 and Global Crossing – the hurdles

July 3rd, 2008
 

Previously, I laid out the case for Level 3 purchasing Global Crossing from a strategic standpoint, which I think is quite compelling.  However, it takes more than a good fit to make a merger possible, let alone likely.  So let's look at the hurdles such a deal faces. [Read more →]

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Why Level 3 ought to buy Global Crossing

July 2nd, 2008
 

I have written a few times now that Level 3 would be a natural suitor for Global Crossing once Level 3 works past its current integration issues.  But I have never really explained why, so I thought I would lay out the argument in a blog post.  I'll give details in a moment, but  it all comes down to this:  GLBC is strongest [Read more →]

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Carriers and replacement value

July 2nd, 2008
 

Carriers love to throw variants of this term around.  Cogent contends that its acquired networks cost some $11B to build.  Broadwing used to boast how it took $12B to build their network.  Level 3 says its networks represent some $25B in invested capital, and that it would take even more than that to replace their network today.  Others do the same, taking pride in what they picked up at garage sales.  But it is all smoke.

[Read more →]

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Measuring online video growth

July 1st, 2008
 

There is a very interesting discussion over at the Nyquist Capital blog about the growth rate of online video (read the comments!).  Essentially, one measure of the video market shows a decrease of 9% in the last year, which seems to contradict claims by Cisco, AT&T and others that video is going to grow so fast that the internet will be under severe stress.  In a response on his blog, Ike Elliott cites [Read more →]

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C&W raises its bid for THUS

July 1st, 2008
 

Last week it emerged that several companies were considering bidding for THUS.  Now C&W has raised their bid by almost 10% to $656M. Since there was no competing bid actually on the table, we have to see this move by C&W as preemptive.   They are serving notice that they aren't kidding around, [Read more →]

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TheJuice updates his LVLT model

July 1st, 2008
 

As Rob has updated his model here is my revision as well.  I have made a few changes to the format in an effort to clarify the 'other' line item that contained working cap changes and other one-time adjustments on the previous spreadsheet.  Essentially I have used data from the cash flow statement to tie adjusted ebitdas back to the actual changes in cash.  Without further ado: [Read more →]

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My revised LVLT financial model

June 29th, 2008
 

Back in early may, I posted my Level 3 spreadsheet.  It is a detailed model that allows study of trends within Level 3's business groups and the effects on margins, ebitda, and cashflow.  Well, Q2 ends on Monday, which means that it is prediction time prior to the earnings call in 3-4 weeks.  And in preparation for that event, I am posting the latest version of my model. [Read more →]

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Cutting back at XO?

June 29th, 2008
 

Last week, Infinera cut its forecasts for the second half, blaming delayed buildouts by North American carriers.  At the time, I suggested that it was likely cutbacks in spending by Level 3 and XO.  This was an obvious statement of course, given that these two are perhaps the largest of Infinera's North American customers.  However, subsequent events have pointed the finger primarily at XO.  First, [Read more →]

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MagicJack and TANSTAAFL

June 27th, 2008
 

A commenter asked me about the product Magic Jack, so I did a little looking.  Essentially it is a USB dongle, you plug one end into your computer, and then plug a phone into the other and bingo it works.  You get your own phone number - no local number portability just yet, but they say it is coming.  So what is novel about this solution?  [Read more →]

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