& 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
Light Reading is spending much of this year digging into the details of how automation technology will impact the comms market, but let's take a moment to also look at how automation is set to overturn the current world order by the middle of the century.
Flash Poll
Upcoming Live Events
November 1, 2017, The Royal Garden Hotel
November 1, 2017, The Montcalm Marble Arch
November 2, 2017, 8 Northumberland Avenue, London, UK
November 2, 2017, 8 Northumberland Avenue London
November 10, 2017, The Westin Times Square, New York, NY
November 16, 2017, ExCel Centre, London
November 30, 2017, The Westin Times Square
May 14-17, 2018, Austin Convention Center
All Upcoming Live Events
Infographics
With the mobile ecosystem becoming increasingly vulnerable to security threats, AdaptiveMobile has laid out some of the key considerations for the wireless community.
Hot Topics
Muni Policies Stymie Edge Computing
Carol Wilson, Editor-at-large, 10/17/2017
Is US Lurching Back to Monopoly Status?
Carol Wilson, Editor-at-large, 10/16/2017
Pai's FCC Raises Alarms at Competitive Carriers
Carol Wilson, Editor-at-large, 10/16/2017
'Brutal' Automation & the Looming Workforce Cull
Iain Morris, News Editor, 10/18/2017
Worried About Bandwidth for 4K? Here Comes 8K!
Aditya Kishore, Practice Leader, Video Transformation, Telco Transformation, 10/17/2017
Animals with Phones
Live Digital Audio

Understanding the full experience of women in technology requires starting at the collegiate level (or sooner) and studying the technologies women are involved with, company cultures they're part of and personal experiences of individuals.

During this WiC radio show, we will talk with Nicole Engelbert, the director of Research & Analysis for Ovum Technology and a 23-year telecom industry veteran, about her experiences and perspectives on women in tech. Engelbert covers infrastructure, applications and industries for Ovum, but she is also involved in the research firm's higher education team and has helped colleges and universities globally leverage technology as a strategy for improving recruitment, retention and graduation performance.

She will share her unique insight into the collegiate level, where women pursuing engineering and STEM-related degrees is dwindling. Engelbert will also reveal new, original Ovum research on the topics of artificial intelligence, the Internet of Things, security and augmented reality, as well as discuss what each of those technologies might mean for women in our field. As always, we'll also leave plenty of time to answer all your questions live on the air and chat board.

Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed