& cplSiteName &

BT Says US Carriers Full of Hot Air

Light Reading
News Analysis
Light Reading
6/11/2003
50%
50%

British Telecommunications plc (BT) (NYSE: BTY; London: BTA) isn't too happy about the way some of its U.S. competitors have been passing gas.

Well, sort of. Specifically, BT is picking a legal fight with several U.S. phone companies over a patent that describes a method of installing fiber optic lines in telecom networks. Earlier this month, the carrier filed suits in a Delaware court against SBC Communications Inc. (NYSE: SBC), Qwest Communications International Inc. (NYSE: Q), Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE: VZ), Broadwing Inc. (NYSE: BRW), Touch America Holdings Inc. (NYSE: TAA), and Level 3 Communications Inc. (Nasdaq: LVLT).

"BT takes the protection of its extensive and valuable intellectual property assets very seriously," writes a BT spokeswoman, via email. "We have approached the companies concerned over their use of BT's blown cable patents but, in the absence of satisfactory responses, have litigated to enforce our rights."

The patents in question -- 4691896 and 4948097 -- describe a way of sending glass fibers through conduit by, quite literally, passing gas through the conduit or pathway that the fiber needs to follow. The gas needed, according to the patent, is typically nitrogen or air.

The patents, in typical pointy-headed terms, describe how a carrier can move the optical fibers along a path by "fluid drag of a gaseous medium passed through the pathway in the desired direction of advance." [Ed. note: Thanks, Sherman! You're welcome, Mr. Peabody!]

This fiber installation method is said to be easier and put less strain on the optical cables and fibers than conventional methods, which include pulling cable with a rope through a cable duct, the patents claim. In addition, blowing cable makes it easier to add fibers and wires to routes where more capacity is needed.

The lawsuits' defendants couldn't be reached immediately for comment.

— Phil Harvey, Senior Editor, Light Reading

(10)  | 
Comment  | 
Print  | 
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View        ADD A COMMENT
Page 1 / 2   >   >>
deweyduck
50%
50%
deweyduck,
User Rank: Light Beer
12/5/2012 | 1:48:45 AM
re: BT Says US Carriers Full of Hot Air
I thought blowing network fiber down a gas pipeline a Williams technique.

cyber_techy
50%
50%
cyber_techy,
User Rank: Light Beer
12/4/2012 | 11:56:03 PM
re: BT Says US Carriers Full of Hot Air
Assuming that the gas that Qwest, Verizon, etc. passed has long gone, how is BT going to prove it in the court
pavlovsdog
50%
50%
pavlovsdog,
User Rank: Light Beer
12/4/2012 | 11:56:01 PM
re: BT Says US Carriers Full of Hot Air
would certainly relieve the fiber glut :-)
optical
50%
50%
optical,
User Rank: Light Beer
12/4/2012 | 11:56:01 PM
re: BT Says US Carriers Full of Hot Air
I just passed some gas. I hope BT doesn't sue me !
grunt
50%
50%
grunt,
User Rank: Light Beer
12/4/2012 | 11:56:00 PM
re: BT Says US Carriers Full of Hot Air
well - I can think of a few ways.
1. they are quite possibly still doing it.
2. look at records and writen feild proceedures - as big carriers tend to do these things including training.
3. then the standard is people - some people dont lie under oath and under court order - so a few of the techs would answer yes to 'did you use such and such a method to install fiber.. etc.."
4. equipment to install it - did they buy it, do they cart it around, etc..

grunt
50%
50%
grunt,
User Rank: Light Beer
12/4/2012 | 11:56:00 PM
re: BT Says US Carriers Full of Hot Air
well - I can think of a few ways.
1. they are quite possibly still doing it.
2. look at records and writen feild proceedures - as big carriers tend to do these things including training.
3. then the standard is people - some people dont lie under oath and under court order - so a few of the techs would answer yes to 'did you use such and such a method to install fiber.. etc.."
4. equipment to install it - did they buy it, do they cart it around, etc..

farfields
50%
50%
farfields,
User Rank: Light Beer
12/4/2012 | 11:55:45 PM
re: BT Says US Carriers Full of Hot Air
...but not many others are. Who remembers last years litigation over BT 'inventing' hyperlinks? We can expect more of this from BT, as their patent dept. is run as a profit center. And I'll bet that all the readers of lightreading have a similar view of lawyers being able to understand technology, or make money from it.

This reminds me of a story a few years back that uncovered a British Rail patent for a 'nuclear powered flying saucer' that was granted during the 60s.

cheers
opticalweenie
50%
50%
opticalweenie,
User Rank: Light Beer
12/4/2012 | 11:55:41 PM
re: BT Says US Carriers Full of Hot Air
What, someone has a patent out on nuclear
powered flying saucers! Damn, I was almost
finished testing my prototype.

Weenie
farfields
50%
50%
farfields,
User Rank: Light Beer
12/4/2012 | 11:55:12 PM
re: BT Says US Carriers Full of Hot Air
and if you don't believe me, here's an extract.. (weblink is below). I know this is completely off-topic, but it is such fun.

According to the present invention there is provided a space vehicle including a platform, a thermonuclear fusion zone provided at the underside of said platform, means for supplying fusion material to said zone, one or more lasers to provide for ignition of said fusion material at said fusion zone, magnetic means on said platform adapted to deflect charged particles emitted from said fusion zone and a plurality of electrodes on said platform adapted to receive charged particles emitted from said fusion zone to thereby provide a source of electrical power.

http://www.quern.demon.co.uk/j...
Dr.Q
50%
50%
Dr.Q,
User Rank: Light Beer
12/4/2012 | 11:55:09 PM
re: BT Says US Carriers Full of Hot Air
Since we've diverged into weird patents, here's another one. Michael Jackson (the entertainer) holds a patent on an anti-gravity device. More specifically, the patent is titled "Method and means for creating anti-gravity illusion", and is US Patent 5,255,452, granted October 26, 1993.

[You can read more about this and other cutting edge inventions, at the US Patent and Trademark website, http://patft.uspto.gov.]

- Dr.Q


Page 1 / 2   >   >>
Featured Video
From The Founder
John Chambers is still as passionate about business and innovation as he ever was at Cisco, finds Steve Saunders.
Flash Poll
Upcoming Live Events
June 26, 2018, Nice, France
September 12, 2018, Los Angeles, CA
September 24-26, 2018, Westin Westminster, Denver
October 9, 2018, The Westin Times Square, New York
October 17, 2018, Chicago, Illinois
October 23, 2018, Georgia World Congress Centre, Atlanta, GA
November 7-8, 2018, London, United Kingdom
November 8, 2018, The Montcalm by Marble Arch, London
November 15, 2018, The Westin Times Square, New York
December 4-6, 2018, Lisbon, Portugal
All Upcoming Live Events
Hot Topics
NFV Is Down but Not Out
Iain Morris, News Editor, 5/22/2018
Trump Denies ZTE Deal, Faces Senate Backlash
Dan Jones, Mobile Editor, 5/22/2018
What VeloCloud Cost VMware
Phil Harvey, US News Editor, 5/21/2018
5G in the USA: A Post-BCE Update
Dan Jones, Mobile Editor, 5/23/2018
Vanquished in Video, Verizon Admits OTT Defeat
Mari Silbey, Senior Editor, Cable/Video, 5/23/2018
Animals with Phones
Live Digital Audio

A CSP's digital transformation involves so much more than technology. Crucial – and often most challenging – is the cultural transformation that goes along with it. As Sigma's Chief Technology Officer, Catherine Michel has extensive experience with technology as she leads the company's entire product portfolio and strategy. But she's also no stranger to merging technology and culture, having taken a company — Tribold — from inception to acquisition (by Sigma in 2013), and she continues to advise service providers on how to drive their own transformations. This impressive female leader and vocal advocate for other women in the industry will join Women in Comms for a live radio show to discuss all things digital transformation, including the cultural transformation that goes along with it.

Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed