When will TW Telecom make another move?

June 19th, 2008
 

In a month it will be two years since TW Telecom announced it was buying Xspedius, expanding its markets dramatically.  For all practical purposes, they must be done with the integration and I've been expecting them to make a followup move for a while now.  There has been speculation that they might be a target, e.g. of Level 3, but the strategic situation seems to favor [Read more →]

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On-net buildings – Finale

June 18th, 2008
 

Several weeks ago, I took a look at the various metro fiber companies for which I could find data.  Well, it took some time, some nosing around, and some estimation, but I have what I consider my final list.  For now anyway, I will update over time I'm sure, and who knows, new information may come to light. I estimated Zayo's metro route miles based on their acquisitions plus some rough estimations, I don't think I'm far off.  The rest I either found a direct reference to or, in one or two cases, actually counted the dots on their public maps. [Read more →]

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More on IP transit plus peering

June 18th, 2008
 

We've had a very fruitful running conversation about traffic growth and the wholesale IP transit market amongst Ike at Telecosm and Dan at BearOnBusiness.  Today Ike has an excellent post about why the IP transit market is what it is today, and how owning the fiber itself is going to matter more as growth continues.  Personally, I think that there will always be some room for the [Read more →]

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Infinera's good news/bad news day

June 17th, 2008
 

Twin press releases came out from Infinera yesterday, first came the bad news and then came the good news (and they didn't even ask which we wanted first!) [Read more →]

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Level 3 and TW Telecom, a match?

June 17th, 2008
 

Yesterday, the Denver Business Journal speculated that Level 3 may try to acquire TW Telecom.    Now, strategically, this combination has always made sense.  Amongst competitive telecoms, Level 3 has the premier backbone assets whereas TW Telecom has the premier metro assets.  Combined, the companies would be a force to reckon with even by the RBOCs, 17,000 on-net buildings in almost [Read more →]

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More on growth rates

June 16th, 2008
 

On Saturday I looked at Internap as a proxy for the health and growth of the wholesale IP transit market, and within that framework.  Today I'm going to mention a few reasons why neither is such a great measurement for bandwidth growth as a whole. [Read more →]

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IP Traffic and Pricing Trends

June 14th, 2008
 

Ike Elliott and Dan Caruso have been going back and forth on whether there has been a resurgence in IP traffic and revenue from it over the past couple years.  First Ike challenged the idea that growth is happening by looking at Level 3's IP/Data revenues and their total lack of movement in 2007, but Level3's numbers include other stuff that makes it hard to read.  Dan then offered Cogent's growth as an example, but Cogent's numbers are skewed by their pricing strategy.  They grew revenue for the last few years at a fixed price, having forward-priced the market.  Those chickens came home to roost recently with slower traffic growth at Cogent, leading to pricing changes there - but as a proxy for industry trends, Cogent is hard to use because their pricing only changes every few years but then all at once.  Ok, so why am I rehashing this?

[Read more →]

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At XO, Ugly gets Uglier

June 13th, 2008
 

In a post last month about XO, I asked what Carl Icahn wants , given that he has been negotiating with himself over the future of the company.  Well, yesterday what was already a bad situation got worse - Icahn may own a majority of the bonds, preferred, and common stock, but he doesn't own it all and the other shareholders are pissed.  [Read more →]

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Tales from the Field: The Wrong Tool – part 2

June 13th, 2008
 

contributed by the_highwayman

[read part 1]

At last the banging stopped, and the field tech came back on the line, told us he's finished, and asked if everything was all set on our end even as audible alarms were going off behind him. After he turned off the alarms, we asked him what the loud banging sound was, not actually sure we wanted to know the answer.  He calmly and proudly told us that the cards would not go in properly so he had grabbed his ball ping hammer and [Read more →]

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Envious of Clearwire

June 12th, 2008
 

Ah to be Clearwire right now - or at least once the new deal with Sprint et al goes through.  A new technology to play with, a tremendous pile of money that will last a while, and the chance to build, build, build for years on end.  It is an engineer's dream really.  Of course, it might not be a banker's dream, or even an investor's dream - I can't really say on those counts.  But for those of us who like to design something new, put it together, [Read more →]

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Tales from the Field: The Wrong Tool – part 1

June 12th, 2008
 

contributed by the_highwayman,

Some techs are techs, and some need to find a desk job real fast.

One night at the NOC [ed. Network Operations Center], I was working with my team on routine network maintenance.  One of the items on our list was to install two PHY [ed. Physical Layer Device] boards into a router. A basic job, although we all knew this particular card was a tricky one to install: the cards were thin and the guide levers had to be turned 180 degrees and then snapped into place before you could put the board in the slot.   If you don't know how to do it, you realize it very quickly.   [Read more →]

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Infinera + all-optical = ?

June 11th, 2008
 

Yesterday, news reports surfaced about Infinera's new product line that will be released at NXTComm next week.  It turns out, that the company that rejuvenated OEO (Optical-Electrical-Optical) switching with the photonic integrated circuit (PIC) is now incorporating all-optical features into it.  Included are Raman amplification for reach up to 2500km (at 10Gbps) and an 'optical express' capability to allow some traffic to avoid the very OEO transition they have made cheap.  What gives? [Read more →]

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Qwest pulls on its hunting boots

June 10th, 2008
 

Qwest's CEO Edward Mueller said on Monday that he expects more consolidation and that he is open to participating in it.  Of course, this begs the question: just what is Qwest's strategy here?  For years now it has been plain that their current path cannot be sustained.  They still have many options, but once you choose [Read more →]

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Harnessing online video

June 10th, 2008
 

One of the challenges out there that interests me the most is just how to harness online video.  It is at such an early stage that what we are seeing is mostly old business models with a new tool they don't yet fully understand how to use.  For instance we see various efforts by content owners and distributors to put together a distribution site for their existing libraries, e.g. Netflix and Apple streaming video, and even [Read more →]

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A new M&A rumor

June 9th, 2008
 

Andy Abramson over at VoIPWatch says that there is a new rumor of KKR heading up a roll-up of various telecoms that will rival AT&T in size and geographical scope. That will take some doing, in fact it is hard to think who might be combined into such a beast. Perhaps someone like C&W would need to be part of it, and of course GLBC is available, but there would have to be much more than that. [Read more →]

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Ike's Business VoIP listing

June 9th, 2008
 

The other day Ike Elliott over on Telecosm called for business VoIP providers to help him create a public central information listing for the sector.  I think Ike is right, the entire sector is moving so quickly that even people within it don't know what is going on.  New business models are springing up, as are old ones in new clothes.  Some are [Read more →]

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Thoughts on Infinera's success

June 8th, 2008
 

A few weeks ago, I looked at Infinera's amazing success penetrating the next generation fiber networks.  What I'm thinking about today is why they have had success amongst these networks but not with the larger more established networks so far - AT&T, VZ, BT, DT, etc.  When I read about this phenomenon in various industry news sources, the difference is attributed to the difficulty any startup faces in breaking into the Tier-1 market, because they are just not [Read more →]

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Rayburn on CDN M&A

June 6th, 2008
 

Dan Rayburn posted today on the likelihood (or lack thereof) of substantial consolidation in the CDN space, and I have to say that I think he has the situation exactly right.

The only thing that might happen is a carrier without a CDN might buy one, but that's not actually [Read more →]

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Springtime at Level 3!?

June 6th, 2008
 

It's not often lately that Level 3 shareholders get to celebrate, but as Spring draws to a close this month it is becoming increasingly clear that springtime is just getting started at Level 3.  Just 7.5 weeks ago on April 15, LVLT was trading at $1.96, today it hit $4.48. The last time we saw this price was October 15, 2007 - just days prior to the October Massacre.

What's changed is apparently the fundamentals, or at least the street's current [Read more →]

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Global Crossing connects Antarctica?

June 5th, 2008
 

Now that's a POP...  Jubany Antarctic Base Communicates Via Global Crossing! I wish I could get the story from the guy from that truck-roll for Tales from the Field...

You can just hear the other carriers yelling from their nice warm offices in the USA and Europe: "Way to go!  Yes of COURSE we're right *cough* behind you![Read more →]

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In Cogent's rear view mirror

June 5th, 2008
 

Items actually were closer than they appeared. That is the message Cogent got in the first quarter, when they saw slowing traffic growth and reduced sales productivity and I remarked on the change at the time. For years, Cogent's $10/Mbps offer on 100Mbps of IP Transit was by far the lowest bar in the industry - when introduced the pricing norm was $50 or so. In essence, Cogent forward priced the market in order to [Read more →]

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Verizon ULH in Japan?

June 4th, 2008
 

Verizon just deployed ULH in Japan.  Is it just me, or does this not seem silly:

The company will deploy 155 kilometers (96.3 miles) of ULH network in Japan between Tokyo and Maruyama. The latest ULH expansion, part of Verizon Business' planned 2008 investment to advance the company's [Read more →]

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The real king

June 4th, 2008
 

BearOnBusiness and Telecosm are discussing whether content is king of the network, so let me put my two cents in. Most content is like most people and like most things in this world, it follows rather than leads.  It flows downhill via the path of least resistance - in fact it is a watery analogy I will rely on here.  Is water king?  Or are the pipes king?  Neither, it is the valves that rule them both.

[Read more →]

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