Equinix 2, Economy 0

July 24th, 2008
 

Equinix reported earnings today, beating Q2 guidance and raising their full year estimates for both revenue and EBITDA.  Again.  After all, they just did that in April.  As mentioned earlier on this blog, Equinix was the first pure internet infrastructure player to report and their results could give us a glimpse of the extent to which this sector is being hurt by the economy.  Well, Equinix shrugged off the macro trends without slowing down.  [Read more →]

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AT&T Reports: Wireless Yum! Wireline Ho Hum.

July 23rd, 2008
 

AT&T reported earnings today, and investors seem to like the results initially.  What always strikes me when I read their earnings releases is just how dependent they are on their wireless division.  What almost happened this time is that the segment income from wireless ($3.0B) very nearly passed that of wireline ($3.1B) on two thirds of the revenue base.  [Read more →]

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Level 3 Earnings Primer

July 22nd, 2008
 

Level 3 (LVLT) reports earnings on Thursday, so here is a quick primer on what to expect.  For more detailed thoughts, models from both thejuice and myself were posted to this blog.  Level 3 does not provide quarterly guidance anymore, so expectations are a bit harder to define.  Overall, expectations seem to be that ebitda will improve, that that improvement will be mostly due to cost savings.  Everyone will be looking for [Read more →]

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Conan Meets the CDN

July 22nd, 2008
 

Today Level 3 finally put up a nice CDN win: Funcom, as the exclusive CDN provider for the Age of Conan Hyborian Adventures online game . Of course, amongst most non-gamers, the first question was 'Funcom who?', but in the gaming world the Conan launch has been big news.  It has a lot (700k) of initial users and a great start, and Funcom clearly hopes to be the next World of Warcraft smash hit, but it is still early in its lifespan.  But from a telecom perspective, how bandwidth and CDNs work for gaming is a bit different than how it works for streaming or website acceleration, so I thought I'd at least try to clear some things up. [Read more →]

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Which Network is 'Best' and CDN Implications

July 21st, 2008
 

As a followup to my thoughts on that WebHostingTalk poll, consider the top 4 in that poll:  Level 3, Internap, AT&T, and Savvis.   These companies have something in common, the first three are recent entrants into the CDN space, and the fourth had a CDN until last year.  In fact, the first three are the only networks with a CDN offering.  [Read more →]

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Which Network is the 'Best' for US-based Customers?

July 21st, 2008
 

There is a poll on WebHostingTalk on the question "Which network is the best for US based customers,"  and I think the results have something to tell us.  But, as often happens with polls, what it can tell us has less to do with the question being polled than it does with the people being asked.  Being polled are the denizens of WebHostingTalk, i.e. webhosts, colo providers, and website developers - the people who have actually been on the inside of a datacenter.  And by network, they mean IP transit only.
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Equinix On Deck

July 21st, 2008
 

One of the first internet infrastructure companies to report earnings will be Equinix on Wednesday.  Nortia Research has a nice writeup of the financials and expectations on the company, it is worth a read.  I think it may be smart to pay attention to what Equinix says this quarter, because they represent one of the few bright lights out there given that they have largely maintained their valuation in a very tough environment.  [Read more →]

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Yet Another Threat to the Internet?

July 20th, 2008
 

As the internet becomes more and more central to society, it seems that threats to its health spring out of the woodwork in increasing numbers.  Earthquakes at choke points such as what happened off Taiwan 18 months ago, uncontrolled explosions in traffic from video, malicious botnets run by international criminals or even countries, and now.... complexity.  [Read more →]

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The Size of Skype

July 20th, 2008
 

Ike Elliott posted a nice summary of Skype's financial progress the other day, I recommend a look.  Reading through it I was struck by the size of Skype's business these days.  It seems that this year they should have around $550M in revenue, of the non-cable voip players only Vonage is bigger.  I myself have used Skype a great deal, but only rarely for paid services. [Read more →]

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Intercarrier compensation – still?

July 20th, 2008
 

The FCC has been promising to 'fix' intercarrier compensation since the 90s, but they have a court-imposed deadline of November of this year.  Does anyone actually believe it?  There is a quote from The Princess Bride by Inigo to Vizzini:  "You keep using that word.  I don't think it means what you think it means", and it applies here.  A deadline isn't a deadline if you have already pushed it back by about a decade.  [Read more →]

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You Know Power is a Problem When…

July 18th, 2008
 

Datacenterknowledge reports that datacenter provider UK Grid is actually considering entering the power industry to solve its problems.  It seems that the supply in Manchester is just insufficient or that further supply is too expensive.  So they are planning to buy property near their datacenters, and install CHP (Combined Heat and Power) generators to which they will feed natural gas, [Read more →]

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A Question for Global Crossing

July 17th, 2008
 

In my series of questions for carriers during earnings season, I now turn to Global Crossing.  As hard as it is to do with this company, we must set aside questions about history here.  The idea is to draw out information we can use to understand the present and get hints of the future. [Read more →]

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Earthlink and the Power of Cashflow

July 17th, 2008
 

NSP Strategist at Rad-Info had a post Monday about Earthlink's travails, which prompted me to go and see how their stock had done lately.  What I found actually shocked me:  the stock has come back up.  Not way up, but I had expected a collapse to match the disasters they have been through lately. [Read more →]

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SK and Sprint: Implications for Sprint Wireline?

July 16th, 2008
 

Unstrung has an article today about the SK/Sprint talks that are supposedly going on, with an interesting comment on the future of XOHM. Specifically, they note that SK Telecom has a experience and interest in Wimax, and the relationship with Clearwire may be integral to what is going on here.

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Selling Dark Fiber

July 16th, 2008
 

LightReading had an article yesterday about how Cox is upgrading its national network from leased wavelengths to dark fiber.  Comcast did the same thing a short while back, and Cox's move wasn't exactly a secret so there's no big shock value.  But it did disturb the ashes of an old argument, specifically whether selling dark fiber IRUs is a smart move for a carrier or not.  In this case, the carrier is [Read more →]

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Followup to A Question for Level 3

July 16th, 2008
 

I have a few details and clarifications for my question to Level 3 which came up in private communications.  First, many thanks to all who commented publicly or privately, you have been very helpful. [Read more →]

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A Question for Cogent

July 15th, 2008
 

The next question in this series goes to Cogent Communications.  Once again, the idea is to elicit a useful response.  First though, let me add a disclaimer.  Cogent's CEO Dave Schaeffer has a style that drives me nuts - like fingernails on a blacboard, and in the past that has led me to dismiss the company itself too easily.  I try to look past that now, but I don't always succeed.  That said, here is my question: [Read more →]

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What were they thinking?

July 15th, 2008
 

Computerworld reports that the state of Tennessee is finally migrating its primary datacenter to a new location.  Why?  Well, it seems that there were a few minor problems with the location... [Read more →]

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A Question for Level 3

July 14th, 2008
 

Since Level 3 reports first amongst the nextgen carriers - in just 10 days, they get the first question.  As I said in my introductory post on this subject, my purpose is to elicit a useful response.  Therefore I need to ask about something they a) know the answer to, and b) are likely to be willing to talk about.  So without further ado:  [Read more →]

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Composing Effective Questions

July 13th, 2008
 

Earnings season begins soon, and at all public telecoms and internet infrastructure companies we will of course have the obligatory conference calls at which analysts will ask their usual questions.  But in my humble opinion (are bloggers allowed to claim a humble opinion? LOL), most such questions are overly pedantic and do not elicit useful responses.  Now that I have a blog and, hence, a voice that might actually be heard, I want to try to do something more than grumble about it.  [Read more →]

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Tales from the Field – Crime and Punishment

July 13th, 2008
 

Contributed by the_highwayman

If he had to do it again, I'm sure he would be more careful.  But as a field tech for a major carrier, he was frequently sent out to Central Offices (CO) and after a while the locations blur a bit.  In this case, he was dispatched to an unmanned CO in a very rough neighborhood in New York City to do an install. The door was a bit sticky, but he just got down to work.  After a little while it dawned on him that the door might not have latched and this might be a bad idea, [Read more →]

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Because that's where the routers are?

July 11th, 2008
 

On Thursday there was yet another burglary in a UK datacenter.  Another?  Yes, quite a pattern here it seems - 5 in the past 20 months, at least one of which was quite elaborate and made off with over $4M in equipment.  When asked why he robbed banks, Willie Sutton replied famously 'Because that's where the money is'.   If you caught one of these guys who are walking off with routers, servers, line cards, or whatever, [Read more →]

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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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