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RBOCs Hungry for Fiber

Light Reading
Supercomm News Analysis
Light Reading
5/29/2003
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Three of the top U.S. carriers say they're serious about fiber to the premises (FTTP) and plan to issue big new RFPs for equipment deployments in "2004 and beyond."

Late this afternoon, BellSouth Corp. (NYSE: BLS), SBC Communications Inc. (NYSE: SBC), and Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE: VZ) issued a press release saying they've decided on a "set of common technical requirements" for extending FTTP and have put appropriate manufacturers on notice that they'll be issuing an RFP for gear very soon (see RBOCs Agree on Access Specs).

Shawn Dainas of SBC confirms that the technologies the group is seeking are based on PON (passive optical networking) standards, such as the G.983 specs from the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) and the GR-909 standards from Telcordia Technologies Inc.

Interestingly, Qwest Communications International Inc. (NYSE: Q) wasn't part of today's announcement. "We did know about the fiber-to-the-home project and were approached to join, but after conducting our own internal analysis we decided it didn't meet our own success threshold," says a spokeswoman. Qwest won't rule out joining in the future, she says.

Notwithstanding, PON vendors are in high spirits from the news, which apparently has been anticipated for months. Most expect the RFP to be issued within a couple of weeks.

"This is very, very good news for the industry," says Darryl Ponder, CEO of Optical Solutions Inc., which by most accounts leads in PON market share. He says carriers realize it doesn't make economic sense to install copper cable if data, voice, and video are on the cards for future services.

Others agree. "We're excited about it," says Tom Tighe, CEO of Wave7 Optics Inc. He says the carriers had surveyed manufacturers industrywide in April, and vendors have been eagerly anticipating the announcement ever since.

At least one analyst thinks it's significant. "Sources suggest the RBOCs are collectively looking to deploy between 500,000 and 1 million lines per year beginning as early as 2004, if the price is right," writes Steven Levy of Lehman Brothers in a note this morning. He says current prices of $1,200 to $1,800 per line will probably go down to $700 or so once the RFP action begins.

But Levy's cautious about getting investors too hyped. He says PON rollouts will likely mimic the slow uptake of DSL. Further, he says it would be misguided to think the RFP signals any uptick in carrier capital spending.

Levy says one possible outcome could be M&A, however, as large companies that have pulled away from PON hasten to get with the small players that have persisted in the market despite the negatives.

Indeed, Alcatel SA (NYSE: ALA; Paris: CGEP:PA) stands relatively alone among large companies that have stood by PON. Others, including Marconi Corp. plc (Nasdaq/London: MONI) and NEC Corp. (Nasdaq: NIPNY), put their efforts on ice indefinitely.

Some expect next week's Supercomm 2003 to be a convenient venue for PON partnerships. "I'm certain partnering will happen," says Jeff Gwynne, VP of marketing and a founder at Quantum Bridge Communications Inc. He says a crucial juncture has been reached, as the cost has dropped and carriers finally see a chance for revenue-producing services via PON. "Everything's coming together," he says.

Wave7's Tighe agrees that partnerships are in the offing. Indeed, Wave7's been working on deals with larger companies for months particularly in Asia (see Pining for PON). Regarding next week's show in Atlanta, "It'll be fun," he says.

— Mary Jander, Senior Editor, Light Reading

For extensive and up-to-date coverage of next week's Supercomm tradeshow, visit Light Reading's Supercomm Preview Site.

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optical Mike
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optical Mike,
User Rank: Light Sabre
12/4/2012 | 11:49:13 PM
re: RBOCs Hungry for Fiber

Editor's Perspective
Thank you, cable guy II
By Ed Gubbins
June 18, 2003

After my last column, in which I thanked the cable industry for the recent interest Bell companies have in fiber access networks, I expected a lot of hate mail. (The usual stuff, about my mother and various techniques for blowing fiber.) But I didn't get much in the way of discouraging words.

One employee of a well-known equipment vendor wrote, "Although I agree to a certain extent that the cable telephony business implemented by a couple of the big MSOs has pushed the ILECs to invest more heavily into an FTTX (who knows exactly what 'X' will be?) network architecture, I don't believe that this was the primary catalyst. Personally, I believe it was the recent FCC ruling that allowed the ILECs to 'hide' their broadband networks from those fearsome CLEC guys who could 'rent' their low-tech copper links at below wholesale cost."

Good point, but if we're looking for the "primary" catalyst, consider this: A report published last week from UBS Warburg analyst John Hodulik called the economics of the Bell fiber initiative "dismal on a stand-alone basis," even if the Bells offer cable or video services. The real value of the initiative, Hodulik said, was in preventing erosion of the Bell customer base. And who is the "primary" catalyst of this erosion? CLECs have captured 13.2% of the local phone market so far, according to the FCC, but their subscriber growth last year was only about 3%. According to Hodulik, the Bells could lose as much as 30% of their residential phone customers to cable MSOs.
optical Mike
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optical Mike,
User Rank: Light Sabre
12/4/2012 | 11:55:43 PM
re: RBOCs Hungry for Fiber
Editor's Perspective
Thank you, cable guy
By Ed Gubbins of Telephony's Optical Insight
June 11, 2003

When I finally get fiber to my home, the first thing I'm going to do (even before logging on to ShowerRoomWebCams.com) is thank my local cable company--whether I get the fiber from them, the local telco or a jolly fat man with a red suit and reindeer. Why?

At the OFC conference in March, BellSouth CTO William Smith spoke with great alacrity about how exciting fiber-to-the-home technology was, but he admitted the company's trials hadn't shown it to be economically viable. Less than three months later, the Bells are all joining forces to drive FTTU, not because it has since become cost-effective, but precisely because it is still not cost-effective, and the Bells need to attain economies of scale to roll it out. They could have done this long ago, of course (and whether it would have been wise to do so is not for me to say), but only the encroaching cable companies, with their advance into voice markets, forced the Bells' hands.

As Jeff Blumfeld, partner with law firm Gray Cary and a panel speaker at Supercomm, said, "In less competitive markets, you make investments when you want to. In competitive markets, you make investments because you have to."

Thank heaven for the cable companies and their aggressive pursuit of the telephony market. At the moment, they're one of the few catalysts for motion and innovation in this flash-frozen industry.
rjmcmahon
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rjmcmahon,
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12/4/2012 | 11:56:15 PM
re: RBOCs Hungry for Fiber
but just happen to have an opinion they want to discuss

What would you like to discuss?
flat_earth
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flat_earth,
User Rank: Light Beer
12/4/2012 | 11:56:15 PM
re: RBOCs Hungry for Fiber
rjmcmahon,

>> My posts bring my opinions. Opinions are personal. So, agreed there. Though, don't know that a single voice of strong opinions determines our agenda.

What do you think my agenda really is? And, more importantly, what do you think our agenda should be? <<

I have no problem with you or anyone else having opinions. What I have a problem with is the fact that everytime someone has a different opinion that you, you make some personal attack, like they have some agenda. The hypocrisy of course is that you push your agenda every chance you get, regardless of whether it has any relevance to what is being discussed or not.

Perhaps if you watched something else other than ESPAN you might be able to relate to people who are not political activists, but just happen to have an opinion they want to discuss - instead of being meat for your political agenda.

As to what your agenda is? Other they expanding and/or creating public sector monopolies the only other thing you seem to be pursuing is the spreading of hatred for people or instituitions that you see as being opposed to your agenda, no matter how benign their intent.

fe
rjmcmahon
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rjmcmahon,
User Rank: Light Beer
12/4/2012 | 11:56:26 PM
re: RBOCs Hungry for Fiber
But consider Wi-Fi for a sec. Well, consider a dense metropolitan area (such as NYC, where I live), where in the future there are so many hotspots, the whole damn city is covered with them like a blanket (and remember that each of these hotspots is likely a small router). The Wi-Fi router in my house may determine that the "shortest route" to, say, my friend across town, is NOT through my cable modem, but through my neghbors' Wi-Fi link, and so on. That packet may NEVER go wireline.

I see WiFi-metro's fate as the tragedy of the commons. Assigning some responsiblity, even for public goods, seems required.

My opinion is that ad-hoc wi-fi metro efforts won't succeed in providing a long lasting last mile infrastructure. Wi-fi capitalists connecting to a publicly owned fiber infrastructures serving RV parks does seem viable ;-) Where does one find an RV park in Manhattan? For the publicly owned fiber, ConEd may be the guys to approach.
Accelerated  Photon
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Accelerated Photon,
User Rank: Light Beer
12/4/2012 | 11:56:26 PM
re: RBOCs Hungry for Fiber
http://www.eetimes.com/story/O...
gea
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gea,
User Rank: Light Beer
12/4/2012 | 11:56:35 PM
re: RBOCs Hungry for Fiber
Well RJ, although you seem to have plenty of "vision" (some of which I can agree with), I don't see how this vision plays out very well in the optical fiber world.

Saying a "10Gb matrix of some kind" really indicates that you are largely unaware of the reality of the costs associated with wire-line approaches to your lofty ideals (and I don't mean lofty ideals sarcastically). When you start mapping the costs of getting LOTS of 1Gbs 'lines' through to the Internet, you are still talking HUGE amounts of money. And the traditional "high value" services like voice and cable video are a way to pay for that.

RJM also said...

"This seems confused to me. Maybe it's motivated by some other agenda, like selling some Wi-fi stocks? I don't know and don't really care. But why not check the personal agenda at the door and see if we can come up with a deeper understanding of what is the public good?"

Ironically, you seem so intent on a specific wire-line fom for the vision you are offering you seem to be looking right past a major possibility here, and one that may actually end up being what you seem to be talking about.

(As for an agenda, I spent many years in the optical networking industry, so my prejudice would certainly be toward fiber-based approaches).

But consider Wi-Fi for a sec. Well, consider a dense metropolitan area (such as NYC, where I live), where in the future there are so many hotspots, the whole damn city is covered with them like a blanket (and remember that each of these hotspots is likely a small router). The Wi-Fi router in my house may determine that the "shortest route" to, say, my friend across town, is NOT through my cable modem, but through my neghbors' Wi-Fi link, and so on. That packet may NEVER go wireline.

In this environment, the more people deploy routers, the better. The giant WiFi city-wide storm might supplant the wireline network for large amounts of traffic, and the more people join such a network, the more routers the more bandwidth. (Some guy at MIT wrote a PhD thesis that's been very popular for a while on this subject.)

This seems to be a much more realistic scenario in which the kinds of ideas you frequently discuss might play out. At least there's a number of people who believe so. FTTH, however, is going to move VERY slowly.

rjmcmahon
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rjmcmahon,
User Rank: Light Beer
12/4/2012 | 11:56:36 PM
re: RBOCs Hungry for Fiber
Seems like the pot calling the kettle black here. I can't think of anyone who brings more of their personal agenda to every post than you do.

My posts bring my opinions. Opinions are personal. So, agreed there. Though, don't know that a single voice of strong opinions determines our agenda.

What do you think my agenda really is? And, more importantly, what do you think our agenda should be?
flat_earth
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flat_earth,
User Rank: Light Beer
12/4/2012 | 11:56:36 PM
re: RBOCs Hungry for Fiber
rjmcmahon said:

"But why not check the personal agenda at the door.."

Seems like the pot calling the kettle black here. I can't think of anyone who brings more of their personal agenda to every post than you do.

fe
optical Mike
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optical Mike,
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12/4/2012 | 11:56:36 PM
re: RBOCs Hungry for Fiber
Source: EETimes Editorial
Title: Disquiet on the front
URL: http://www.eetimes.com/story/O...
Author: Brian Fuller, bfuller@cmp.com

EE Times, June 2, 2003 (12:23 p.m. ET)

MIT/Stanford Venture Lab's forum on communications posed a rhetorical
question when it asked whether Asia would be "the next broadband access
battleground." Clearly the troops are already engaged, and China clearly is
the theater. It's where the money is, as the bank robber said.

As he navigates his third startup through China's gold fields, Ikanos CEO
Rajesh Vashist is certain of that. But as he and his fellow panelists
revealed, you've got to watch out for the mines.

The market projections sound mouth-watering, but you've got to have feet on
the ground in Asia to take advantage of the broadband boom there, said Eric
Hsia of the Softbank Asia Infrastructure Fund. "The opportunities are pretty
local," he said.

Indeed, the Chinese government has split the country in half and designated
a service provider for each, although it hasn't barred the providers from
poaching in one another's territory. That situation has created magnificent
pricing for consumers.

Then again, Centillium CEO and co-founder Faraj Aalaei argued, it's easy to
develop a viable business model in broadband service when your line access
costs only pennies, while the U.S. RBOCs are charging DSL customers more
than $16 to $17 per line to use copper "that was written off three years
after Graham Bell died."

SBC, Aalaei said, "is bitching and moaning that they can't make money at $40
a month, and these guys are doing it at $10."

But the Holy Grail still appears to be North America. Wall Street doesn't
value companies that aren't making boatloads of money from the North
American market. That would be fine-if a credible North American market
existed. But it doesn't, Aalaei said, because the federal government
"allowed the RBOCs to win the battle." People are thrilled with DSL speeds
because they don't know any better, but DSL shouldn't be defined as
broadband. Is "just good enough" good enough for the broadband food chain in
North America?

No, because the next wave of content innovation-and consumer spending-will
emerge from high-speed video services. And if Asia's got 40 Mbits/second
piped into the home and we've got 200 kbits, if we're lucky . . . well, it
could be a tectonic shift.

---END---
unet
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unet,
User Rank: Light Beer
12/4/2012 | 11:56:37 PM
re: RBOCs Hungry for Fiber
Can someone comment on subcarrier multiplexing (SCM) and PON topologies such as star-ring ?
Do people think analog RF electronics in CO would be any chearper/(Opex,Capex) than transporting digital baseband traffic using more bandwidth?
rjmcmahon
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rjmcmahon,
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12/4/2012 | 11:56:39 PM
re: RBOCs Hungry for Fiber
Actually, Wi-Fi is the first place in which a concept of "public goods" might be introduced into telecom discussions. If there are enough overlapping hotspots, then my packets may never actually go into my cable or DSL modem. My router may chose to route them via a path that never touches wires/fiber. The discussion of public goods proceeds from there...

This seems confused to me. Maybe it's motivated by some other agenda, like selling some Wi-fi stocks? I don't know and don't really care. But why not check the personal agenda at the door and see if we can come up with a deeper understanding of what is the public good? And from that, maybe we'll be able to close in on serving the public interest?

(If we do a good job we could post a rational public opinion piece so the dailies can print something worthwhile, instead of silly things like the Cypress CEOs lightrail rants or INTC's so-called "neutral" broadband man's life history. PS. Why not send both of those two to live inside 8 mile for a decade or so, after taking away their privileges, and maybe then we should pay attention to their opinions?)

Back closer to topic. Principles such as common carrier and universal service seem a better starting point if maximizing both connectivity and capacity is the public interest goal. Do you not agree?
rjmcmahon
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rjmcmahon,
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12/4/2012 | 11:56:40 PM
re: RBOCs Hungry for Fiber
Video services help pay for the fiber installation, and so they are a fairly key component in justifying FTTH deployment.

Structural separation means the bit distributor doesn't know anything about the purpose of the bit. Is the bit destined to flip a pixel, be part of a cache line fill, or transit a reconstruction filter? We don't know and we don't care. Can't make any money off the bit's purpose and trying to discern it to pay for things seems like a fool's game.

Any other ideas on how to pay for the installation of a public good?

What pray tell do you believe will be on the other side of those 1Gb/s links?

Drew and arch_1 suggested the technical answer. It's a 10G mesh network of some sort which gets us to the the carrier neutral colo.

Other things: Some progressive communities will be there, a button click away. Interesting music and dramatic radio programming will be there. Some interesting yoga classes. Maybe Neo and Trinity will teach one ;-)

But most importantly, our history will be there. Let's hope our descendents see something in which they can take pride, or at least take for granted, as we do for our water, sewage, roads, electricity, schools, etc.
gea
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gea,
User Rank: Light Beer
12/4/2012 | 11:56:48 PM
re: RBOCs Hungry for Fiber
RJM:
SOmetimes you make some good points, but every now and then you seem to shoot off on some philosphical hooey tangent, and both are true here. Anyway...


"The RBOCs won't deploy FTTH because their economics are based on a a bandwidth scarcity assumption. Fiber provides bandwidth abundance. Fiber does two other things to the RBOCS, neither of which they like. It shines the light on their underperformance in maintaining our country's communications infrastructure. It forces them to provide goods and services in areas in which they have little skills."

This is hooey. The RBOCs, of course, have deployed more fiber than most companies in the world, possibly including AT&T and Sprint. Remember, only the last mile is copper now. You can yammer about "bandwidth scarcity" but the fact is that you have to light the fiber, and that costs money.


"Terminating fiber and installing a high speed LAN within a house isn't difficult. It's on the level of installing some recessed lights or putting up some new wall paper."

Nonsense. Remember: you have to actually get the fiber INTO the house before you can actually terminate it. In many situations a hole will actually have to be drilled through the wall of the house to accomoadate the fiber, or to allow for the conversion into coax. (Also, possibly, to power the return transmitter.) Thus, most fiber-to-the-home installations will be quite costly, particularly in terms of maintenance.

Oh, and let's not forget that in most neighborhoods, it's still necessary to lay the fiber from the CO to the homes. So between the new fiber build and TTH installation, we're talking a very high price barrier.

"CATV is broadcast with a smidgeon of unicast via fraudband. Even with that smidgeon, cable MODEMs are the growing subscriber portion of their business.
Fiber, done properly, will be unicast. Customers prefer unicast."

You're not listening. Video services help pay for the fiber installation, and so they are a fairly key component in justifying FTTH deployment. Meanwhile, Broadcast services will NEVER go away so long as people continue to watch TV or HBO.

"Anybody subscribing to fraudband will subscribe to a 1Gbs fiber link without much prodding. And those that don't sign up will be left behind because communications is fundamental to human growth."

Uh...wha? I have a lot of problems with philoshophical statements brought into a discussion like this. But let's suffice it to say, what pray tell do you believe will be on the other side of those 1Gb/s links? A router or switch, correct? How oversubscribed do you believe that switch's matrix will be? If you think that switch should be able to handle a full 1Gb/s for every single customer, then WHO'S going to pay for that switch? If the switch won't be oversubscribed, then you might as well go to 100BaseFX.


"Don't know why anybody would ever conclude this. It's like saying nobody needs a college education."

Right now take-rates of DSL and cable modem are starting to slow down...it's going to take many years before we'll see any kind of real demand that requires a lot more than 54Mb/s, particularly if movies and TV are still coming over the wire.



"To the topic of public goods:"

[Large, rambling discussion on public goods snipped.]

Actually, Wi-Fi is the first place in which a concept of "public goods" might be introduced into telecom discussions. If there are enough overlapping hotspots, then my packets may never actually go into my cable or DSL modem. My router may chose to route them via a path that never touches wires/fiber. The discussion of public goods proceeds from there...
rjmcmahon
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rjmcmahon,
User Rank: Light Beer
12/4/2012 | 11:56:50 PM
re: RBOCs Hungry for Fiber
Actually, the RBOCs and others have been looking at the costs associated with FTTH for a long, long time, and the cost compared to the returns pretty much always ended up way too high.

The RBOCs won't deploy FTTH because their economics are based on a a bandwidth scarcity assumption. Fiber provides bandwidth abundance. Fiber does two other things to the RBOCS, neither of which they like. It shines the light on their underperformance in maintaining our country's communications infrastructure. It forces them to provide goods and services in areas in which they have little skills.

One of the main reasons is that there isn't currently any fiber going into a house...so how do you terminate that fiber? On the outside, and then go coax into the house? On the inside of the house? (But now you have to get that fiber inside.)

Terminating fiber and installing a high speed LAN within a house isn't difficult. It's on the level of installing some recessed lights or putting up some new wall paper.

Getting the fiber from carrier neutral colos to the customer premises are the real missing links which our industry needs in order to support progress. Done properly, these links will become public goods, like electrical transmission and distribution lines. (More on public goods at the end of the post.)

Remember that FTTH has a lot of problems associated with it that CATV never had, the most obvious one being that in most houses there's already CATV.

CATV is broadcast with a smidgeon of unicast via fraudband. Even with that smidgeon, cable MODEMs are the growing subscriber portion of their business.

Fiber, done properly, will be unicast. Customers prefer unicast.

The relevant take-away here is that CATV subscribers were able to fund the cost of putting in the coax

CATV still hasn't paid for their sunk costs. Their likely to go bankrupt and never pay off their debtes. That's another reason why customer owned fiber threatens them so much.

but with FTTH the customer may not choose to subscribe to the fiber-based video service.

Anybody subscribing to fraudband will subscribe to a 1Gbs fiber link without much prodding. And those that don't sign up will be left behind because communications is fundamental to human growth.

Some WiFi link directly to the house is an interesting notion, though I wonder if it could deliver, say HDTV-on demand. (But then again, isn't 802.11g up at about 56Mb/s? That could possibly feed a few houses VOD simultaneosly.)

Those motivating Wi-fi don't have any goals which are constructive from what I can tell.

no one will need the fiber's bandwidth for internet access.

Don't know why anybody would ever conclude this. It's like saying nobody needs a college education.

If we DO start to see Wi-Fi-based SPs, it will be VERY interesting to see how that plays out.

The wi-fi markets are two. Neither is very interesting in my opinion. Neither justifies the hype.

To the topic of public goods:

The "me, myself, and I" folks have not been able to understand the role of public goods in a society. Hence, it seems public goods have only been provisioned by "commitment to serve" personalities. Thankfully, these people exist and understand the foundations necessary for a wealthy society. The following may be helpful in developing this understanding.

http://mondediplo.com/2000/06/...

What is a public good? This question can best be answered by looking at the counterpart, a private good. Private goods are typically traded in markets. Buyers and sellers meet through the price mechanism. If they agree on a price, the ownership or use of the good (or service) can be transferred. Thus private goods tend to be excludable. They have clearly identified owners; and they tend to be rival. For example, others cannot enjoy a piece of cake, once consumed.

Public goods have just the opposite qualities. They are non-excludable and non-rival in consumption. An example is a street sign. It will not wear out, even if large numbers of people are looking at it; and it would be extremely difficult, costly and highly inefficient to limit its use to only one or a few persons and try to prevent others from looking at it, too. A traffic light or clean air is a further example.

This poses immediately the question of who, then, provides public goods. Once they exist, they are there for all to enjoy. So it is often the most rational strategy for private actors to let others go first and seek to enjoy the good without contributing to its production. This is a dilemma, that public goods face. Without some sort of collective-action mechanism, they risk being under-provided. Conversely, without collective action, public bads - such as pollution, noise, street crime, risky bank lending, and so on - would be over-provided.
whyiswhy
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whyiswhy,
User Rank: Light Beer
12/4/2012 | 11:56:51 PM
re: RBOCs Hungry for Fiber
A shorter version of your quote:

"...FTTH vendors still just don't get it on the...wiring issue; they'll either end up adapting or dying.

Read your own words dude, wake up and smell the coffee. Wires whether Copper of Silicon Dioxide, to the home, are dead, today.

So is WWP.

-Why
Rupert_1
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Rupert_1,
User Rank: Light Beer
12/4/2012 | 11:56:54 PM
re: RBOCs Hungry for Fiber
re "Inside wiring is a big issue, but one that's being solved."

I think it would be more accurate to say that inside "connectivity" is a big issue, and one that is being addressed by a number of methods, and has been for a number of years. Whether it is "solved" depends how the problem statement is defined, and in my mind wide-consensus standardization is an integral part of claiming there is a "solution." That does not exist yet.

Outside the US, only a small percent of homes are wired with coax, let alone multiple lines to multiple TV's. Wireless is probably a better "universal" solution if we assume the most ubiquitous transport medium in the home (AC power runs) will never reach adequate data rates.

when you introduce QoS requirements into the picture, it brings up new problems when you are interconnecting multiple shared networks. It is much more difficult to set-up and maintain QoS across shared networks linked to point to point networks than it is to simply pass common QoS control and data across multiple interconnected point to point networks.

If the shared network is the "final" network (e.g. wireless in the home) it is a less difficult problem than when both the (final) home network domain AND the (second from final) access network domain are shared (as in PON and HFC), and shared by incompatible means, to boot. Obviously (I hope) an end-to-end point to point network (i.e. interconnected point to point networks) handles this most cleanly and with lower complexity, compared to inserting shared network islands into the signal path.

Handling resource contention within a switch fabric is a much cleaner, much more efficient, and less complex process than handling resource contention via a globally-understood request-grant TDMA protocol. In fact the TDMA network domain essentially needs to replicate the functionality of the switch fabric on top of its local TDMA scheduling and queuing.

Also note that the handling within the switch fabric is independent of the endpoints. Shared TDMA requires some of the complexity to be in each endpoint, because of the handshake nature of the protocol.

bonnyman
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bonnyman,
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12/4/2012 | 11:56:56 PM
re: RBOCs Hungry for Fiber
Actually, the RBOCs and others have been looking at the costs associated with FTTH for a long, long time, and the cost compared to the returns pretty much always ended up way too high. One of the main reasons is that there isn't currently any fiber going into a house...so how do you terminate that fiber? On the outside, and then go coax into the house? On the inside of the house? (But now you have to get that fiber inside.)

Inside wiring is a big issue, but one that's being solved. Some of the FTTH vendors units mount on the side of the house next to the existing cable TV, power and telco services. The FTTH box has a traditional phone jack, a Cat 5 Ethernet jack and a cable TV coax jack, so they customer can just use his existing coax and phone wiring. Ethernet wiring in old homes is more of an issue; I've suggested to several FTTH vendors that they offer an optional Wi-Fi module to go into or next to their ONU.

Some other FTTH vendors still just don't get it on the home wiring issue; they'll either end up adapting or dying.

A.B.
gea
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gea,
User Rank: Light Beer
12/4/2012 | 11:56:56 PM
re: RBOCs Hungry for Fiber
"Fiber is the future, and PON is the most cost-effective architecture available"

I don't know..I thought the original statement "interestingly provacative".

Actually, the RBOCs and others have been looking at the costs associated with FTTH for a long, long time, and the cost compared to the returns pretty much always ended up way too high. One of the main reasons is that there isn't currently any fiber going into a house...so how do you terminate that fiber? On the outside, and then go coax into the house? On the inside of the house? (But now you have to get that fiber inside.)

Remember that FTTH has a lot of problems associated with it that CATV never had, the most obvious one being that in most houses there's already CATV. (The relevant take-away here is that CATV subscribers were able to fund the cost of putting int eh coax, but with FTTH the customer may not choose to subscribe to the fiber-based video service.)

As for PON, I've never benn convinced that it will be anything other than a niche application. If your a service provider, your choice will always be to replace that passive splitter with an active device, such as some super-DSLAM or whatever. (Also, P2P systems threaten to highly decrease the desriability of PONs due to the highly assymetric nature of PON bandwidth.)

Some WiFi link directly to the house is an interesting notion, though I wonder if it could deliver, say HDTV-on demand. (But then again, isn't 802.11g up at about 56Mb/s? That could possibly feed a few houses VOD simultaneosly.)

What I'm thinking now is that some Wi-Fi-based ISP will cause current HFC architectures to remain for a long long time and delay any FTTH builds, because no one will need the fiber's bandwidth for internet access.

If we DO start to see Wi-Fi-based SPs, it will be VERY interesting to see how that plays out.
optical Mike
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optical Mike,
User Rank: Light Sabre
12/4/2012 | 11:56:56 PM
re: RBOCs Hungry for Fiber
Why would someone who frequents an optical networking site such as Light Reading make a comment like that?
FTTH is happening and will continue.....
http://www.lightreading.com/bo...
Telecommunications industry forces outside the access market are driving down the price of FTTH, and for the first time it has achieved parity with competing architectures like DSL and HFC. Optical component pricing fell dramatically as backbone fiber was deployed in volume in recent years. Both fiber cable itself, and fiber installation resources are highly available right now, further driving down price. Cost reduction factors that various network elements have undergone follow:


Cost reductions
Component % Cost Reduction

Splitters/Couplers 55%
Splicing 50%
Cable 30%
Photonics 60%
Labor 25%

Fiber is the future, and PON is the most cost-effective architecture available
rjmcmahon
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rjmcmahon,
User Rank: Light Beer
12/4/2012 | 11:56:58 PM
re: RBOCs Hungry for Fiber
why; Below is a link which preaches to your choir. My intrepretation of the article is that those getting paid by the Economist either don't understand the motivations and goals of a capitalist or their writings are slaves to one. Either way, their technoconomy ideology is a bit confused.

Fiber provides the abundance and is the public good. And, yes, a Wi-fi middleman connecting to fiber will claim to be a "service provider" while behaving like a pirate in the Strait of Mallaca. (http://www.geocities.com/ukste... ) Only a fool would be confused by that.

Freeing the airwaves

May 29th 2003
From The Economist print edition

Should radio spectrum be treated as property, or as a common resource?"

WHAT is the best analogy for radio spectrum? Is it, as most people intuitively believe, a palpable resource like land, best allocated through property rights that can be bought and sold? Or is it, thanks to technological progress, more like the sea, so vast that it doesn't need to be parcelled out (at least for shipping traffic), in which case general rules on how boats should behave are enough to ensure that it is used efficiently.

...

Technology may thus help to create markets; but it also makes some of them obsolete. In this case it has turned land into sea, metaphorically speaking. To draw a historical parallel: the development of better ships did not lead to parcelling up the world's oceans but to something called free trade.


http://www.economist.com/finan...
whyiswhy
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whyiswhy,
User Rank: Light Beer
12/4/2012 | 11:56:58 PM
re: RBOCs Hungry for Fiber
FTTH is too late. The topology of data to the house is broadcast, 99.9% one-way: down. That, and the zero cost of passing makes wireless work much better economically than fiber.

802.11g is already 55 Mbps, which is more than enough to get HDTV to the home, and is backwards compatible with 802.11b.

http://www.54g.org/downloads/8...

For a service provider mal-content (service provider anarchist) like myself, the P2P aspects...aka free airtime are great. One day we will only have to use service providers for LH.

-Why
whyiswhy
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whyiswhy,
User Rank: Light Beer
12/4/2012 | 11:56:59 PM
re: RBOCs Hungry for Fiber
Its amazing to watch fiber-heads go gaga over FTTH, when its been obvious for years it ain't gonna happen.

The wifi future looks something like this:

http://www.ydi.com/company/abo...

We will have FTTWN (wireless node), but not FTTH.

Hopefully, we will also have ad-hoc P2P (wide area) networking so we can simply avoid service providers whenever possible! They are needless toll-takers on the public airwaves.

-Why

bonnyman
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bonnyman,
User Rank: Light Beer
12/4/2012 | 11:56:59 PM
re: RBOCs Hungry for Fiber
I don't understand the Bells' supposed aversion to actively powering FTTH gear in the field.

1. Cable TV companies routinely power amplifiers from the power grid using power supplies from companies like Alpha. It works well for them and the technology is cheap, mature and stable.

2. The Bells already actively their power fiber to the curb nodes (BellSouth serves 1 million homes with FTTC), which serve only a handful of homes as opposed to the active powered units offered by Wave7 and Worldwide Packets, which may serve 100 more homes. If it's OK for FTTC, why's it not OK for FTTH?

Can someone explain their thinking for me?

Thanks,

A.B.
bonnyman
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bonnyman,
User Rank: Light Beer
12/4/2012 | 11:56:59 PM
re: RBOCs Hungry for Fiber
Its amazing to watch fiber-heads go gaga over FTTH, when its been obvious for years it ain't gonna happen.

It is starting to happen. Municipal power utilities in towns such as Reedsburg, WI and Bristol, VA have successfully deployed it and are offering advanced triple play solutions. Many more municipal utilities are in the process of lining up funding and doing feasibility studies.

It's now cheaper to build a FTTH than a hybrid fiber coax system if you're also in the power utility business.

I don't currently see many 100-channel CATV offerings from the wireless world, other than direct satellite.
bonnyman
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bonnyman,
User Rank: Light Beer
12/4/2012 | 11:57:00 PM
re: RBOCs Hungry for Fiber
The difference between PON, or more specifically APON, and all of the technologies being discussed here, is that APON/BPON/FSAN/G.983 is what the RBOCs have chosen for Fiber to the Premises.

Read the Supercomm presentations of Verizon, Bell South, and SBC - http://www.supercomm2002.com/a...


Thanks for pointing out that link! It has interesting presentations.

There's also a presentation by TMNG Strategy that's worth reading that's an economic view of FTTH from a Bell's point of view. One interesting number: they estimate outside plant materials and construction costs to be 86% of the Bells' total FTTH costs.
rjmcmahon
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rjmcmahon,
User Rank: Light Beer
12/4/2012 | 11:57:00 PM
re: RBOCs Hungry for Fiber
Read the Supercomm presentations of Verizon, Bell South, and SBC.

http://www.supercomm2002.com/a...


Thanks for pointing out that link! It has interesting presentations.


Be careful about accepting this stuff. When working on the international space station, the feds attempted to mandate things like ADA and OSI upon all contractors. Those technology impositions never really worked out, neither for the program, nor for imposing so-called societal standards.

What did work out was articulating standards of acceptance. Things like designing for double faults, etc.

Also, the FCC is extremely confused these days. Powell is not much of a leader. He's way too insecure and fearful and hides behind his "determination" which is misguded at best. The qualified one, Commissoner Martin, has chosen to sacrifice the good of the country for his own personal career ambitions. Will Martin change his ways and become his own man? He'll have to buck his Haliburton mentor to do so, in my opinion.

One interesting number: they estimate outside plant materials and construction costs to be 86% of the Bells' total FTTH costs.

Yes, the dominant cost is labor. Many (most?) do know that. It's also worth recalling that Robert Moses would use his Parks and Rec labor force to get his construction jobs done when needed. Unfortunately, the RBOCs have chosen to give their staffs of hundreds of thousands a welfare program on the backs of our society. This has been no good for anyone.

Getting people back to work and making our country competitive again is no small task. It requires local leadership that ignores the false promises of these feds. Putin's trying to do it for Russia (at least by his rhetoric). Maybe our feds should spend more time learning from him? (They seem to have followed the Chechnya example)
rjmcmahon
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rjmcmahon,
User Rank: Light Beer
12/4/2012 | 11:57:01 PM
re: RBOCs Hungry for Fiber
The fact is that, unlike Palomar7, we don't have a set position on PON vs. active vs. a hybrid of the 2 (Wave7).

Taking a position seems in the best interest of a community.

In APPA meetings of municipal power utilities implementing FTTH or about to implement it, probably the biggest question that arises is the one of who the surviving vendors will be. None of them want to buy thousands of FTTH units that end up on the same junk heap as Betamax VCRs (great technology but a market failure).

Looking to vendors for guidance may not be the best way to decide. Looking to ourselve to come up with the best answers seems preferred.

One lesson from New Delhi's public transit (and the RR's of our past) is to be very careful about become "gauge isolated" from the rest of the world, as you're wisely suggesting. But focussing on vendor "survivability" (not to mention the lkely vendor inducements) would not serve any communities best interests, in my opinion. In others words, if one assumes all vendors will go bankrupt one day, what would then become the "standardization" criteria?

I'll suggest it's not a government mandate nor a piece of RBOC or vendor propaganda. In our society, it's a market force which will lead us to water. Unfortunately, that solution becomes even more challenging because so many times market forces drive us to proprietor-ize instead of standardize. And picking the winning vendor[s] that strike the water is no easy task.

So where does one turn? It's worth noting that it was not the locomotive which could traverse all tracks. But rather it was the boxcar, which carried the freight. (In today's world it's the intermodal cargo container.) Why is that? I'll suggest that our industry's "box car" or "container" is quickly becoming the ethernet packet. Build for that. (Also, notice a 5 port gigabit switch today retail's for $140 and likely on the way to $40 then to $9.99 where currently a Siemens 10/100 switch can be bought).

What is the driving force behind this emarket? Isn't it the same thing that drove PC's to the desktop? The productivity of our nation found on its enterprise campuses?

There are two things to keep in mind. Distribution will always have the power. Efficient distribution that pays the supply chain and enables our productivity engines will have the most power.

Going active ethernet seems the prudent choice to me.
bonnyman
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bonnyman,
User Rank: Light Beer
12/4/2012 | 11:57:01 PM
re: RBOCs Hungry for Fiber
Palomar7 wrote:
If one is a consultant who advises clients on future network deployments, it seems only prudent that one step out of the PON commune, de-toxify onself, and evaluate the alternatives rationally. People must be open to the possibility that much of what they've "learned" about PON is either no longer true, or was only true with a special set of underlying assumptions that are never stated, and that are difficult for those without a technical background to even call into question.

I am concerned Palomar7 thinks that any consultant that considers a PON on behalf of their clients needs to be "de-toxified". In a later post, he writes of consultants getting kickbacks.

The fact is that, unlike Palomar7, we don't have a set position on PON vs. active vs. a hybrid of the 2 (Wave7). The point that I made (or tried to make) is that the fiber has tremendous bandwidth and the electronic components at the ends of the fiber have a 20 year track record of rising bandwidth and declining costs. I had thought we could have all agreed that these are facts.

We also don't look at just technical factors and we are certainly chary of "technology ideology" (i.e., PON is evil or PON is the answer).

In APPA meetings of municipal power utilities implementing FTTH or about to implement it, probably the biggest question that arises is the one of who the surviving vendors will be. None of them want to buy thousands of FTTH units that end up on the same junk heap as Betamax VCRs (great technology but a market failure).

We also look at the vendor companies themselves, the caliber and professionalism of the sales and support people they use, and their responsiveness to our queries. In the real world of deploying non-FTTH fiber networks in small towns over the last 10 years, that's been really important.

We're certainly open to active systems, but nothing to date has sparked our enthusiasm and, unlike our dealings with the PON vendors (and also Wave 7), we've had little interaction with vendors of active FTTH equipment (maybe our municipal clients are just too small to get their interest).

I've been to look at one active FTTH installation and I was disappointed:

1. The muncipal had to deploy temperature-controlled mini-bar sized cabinets to serve each cluster of homes (getting the real estate for this could be a hassle for some of our clients).

2. I was told the system required 3 fibers per home, instead of 1 or 2.

3. The box to go on the side of the house was also much larger than anything from the other vendors.

These are three big negatives in our world; hopefully that vendor will continue their product development work to get products with an outside plant footprint more like that of their PON or hybrid competitors.

Outside plant installation costs will dominate FTTH system installation, especially if careful advance planning is not done, pole-by-pole, to reduce make-ready costs. Unlike FTTH systems equipment, outside plant materials and labor costs will not likely decline over time, etiher.
bonnyman
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bonnyman,
User Rank: Light Beer
12/4/2012 | 11:57:01 PM
re: RBOCs Hungry for Fiber
There is a problem with link in your post bonnyman

Sorry -- try this:

http://www.appanet.org/Legisla...
palomar7
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palomar7,
User Rank: Light Beer
12/4/2012 | 11:57:04 PM
re: RBOCs Hungry for Fiber
re: The difference between PON, or more specifically APON, and all of the technologies being discussed here, is that APON/BPON/FSAN/G.983 is what the RBOCs have chosen for Fiber to the Premises.

Yeah, they "chose" ISDN too, with just as much fanfare. Choosing and actually doing something of significance with it are 2 different worlds. They ultimately evolved in other directions, and I suspect that will happen here too.

Besides, anyone who follows this space already knew years ago they would choose their pet PON project out of FSAN. The "announcement" was completely devoid of substance. It was purely timed for regulatory influence games, as is the whole "process" tied to the announcement. They'll do "something," just not enough to matter.

Having said that, I just cannot even imagine why you would view this announcement as "game over." Most of the rest of the world doesn't care what the US RBOCs say they will do. They aren't exactly well-respected technology strategy oracles, and don't exactly have a very good record of delivering what they say and when they say it. Of course when you don't really say anything, that game becomes easy.

palomar7
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palomar7,
User Rank: Light Beer
12/4/2012 | 11:57:04 PM
re: RBOCs Hungry for Fiber
re: "I get a sense that you have some involvement in an Active or Non-PON system you seem to have more than a general interest in this topic."

Nope, the fact that active FTTH is leading the way (if we can divorce ourselves from US PON propaganda, which is hard to do) is not directly helping my bank account in any way, since I think that is the question you are really asking. However I do advise people on the subject, and recommend active rather than PON. I do not recommend individual vendors and I do not get &#8220;kickbacks&#8221; for taking sides. I simply want to recommend the best future broadband platform, and want to avoid being &#8220;kicked in the back&#8221; in 3-6 years by angry people coming back to me and saying, &#8220;you assured us this PON was future-proof, readily scalable, and the best price-performance solution.&#8221; That&#8217;s all I&#8217;m going to say about my specific situation. Other than to say even if I happened to instead work at an active FTTH vendor, in what way would that affect your responses to my comments? None, I suspect. You knew I have a bias towards active with or without that kind of information, and it is a bias which I support with details, and in some cases opinions, but not propaganda. Besides, there are PON vendor people here, perhaps yourself. I hope so, actually. I post here to see if anyone can rebut my points with solid data, so that if I am missing some key point, I can roll it in to my overall analysis. I find it best to judge the posts by their content (and question them or support them accordingly), not on whatever motives might be behind them or the person posting. But it is always an interesting bit of trivia to hear a bit of background. Your turn&#8230;

As far as getting to the point of favoring active instead of PON, I started from a neutral position (or actually it was initially slanted toward PON a few years ago, since I was overcome with the PON propaganda too), I scoured the data, talked to people around the world on all sides of the issue, stripped off the hype (which exists on all sides), and ultimately have come down to a strong position on one side of the fence&#8212;the &#8220;active&#8221; side. I stand behind all the points I have brought up, so if you feel you can refute them, have at it. There may be constrained combinations of customer requirements where I would recommend PON instead, but none have come up that way to date.

Re: Today the PON is shared by 32 subscribers soon to be 64 and eventually 96 or more,

You and I diverge even further with that statement (and even so, I would doubt 96 as a step since it violates mass production processing step sizes for splitters). What possible factual indication do you have of that, or is it just a personal belief? There is no communications system in the history of mankind that has &#8220;dis-evolved&#8221; into a &#8220;more shared&#8221; system over time. Everything I can think of went in the other (less shared) direction. Can you explain your thinking here?

Re: also eventually with advancements in CWDM technology I envision individual subscriber with their own dedicated wavelength which will truly allow the transfer of information happen in real time...

At the point in the future when athermal AWGs and tunable transceivers are cost effective, reliable, and standardized, you and I will converge. It is many years away however. I trust you do not confuse this future holy-grail WDM wavelength-routed passive network with today&#8217;s TDMA PON, just because they both carry that unfortunate common acronym of PON. The interesting thing is that this future holy-grail that you speak of is operationally a point-to-point network. Perhaps the glamour-word &#8220;wavelengths&#8221; has clouded that fact. So, indirectly, you already acknowledge that TDMA PON is not the right long term solution, and that point to point is superior. Point-to-point active FTTH already, today, gives you that dedicated wavelength. Not so sure it really matters whether it is a different color than your neighbor&#8217;s wavelength.
rjmcmahon
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rjmcmahon,
User Rank: Light Beer
12/4/2012 | 11:57:05 PM
re: RBOCs Hungry for Fiber
APON/BPON/FSAN/G.983 is what the RBOCs have chosen for Fiber to the Premises.

The RBOCs are bluffing about fiber to the premise. They say this so they can rationalize to our government, and to themselves, about their taking of our monthly payments over and over and over again without performing any real work. An honest RBOC would admit they don't deserve these payments, for most have stopped working many decades ago.

Unfortunately the FCC three, and their staffs, are no better. Chairman Powell's statement that cable is a private platform and has no public interest obligations is just one sad sign of that. Remember, even the purpose of the market is to serve the public interest, not to enrich a few nor to fly around the bureaucrats on expense free trips.

So when being lied to, what should one do? Act ignorant and hope the crooks will give us a cut of the action? Make some press announcements and hope Wall Street will bite? Or should we let them know we won't tolerate their lying behavior?
Road Trip
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Road Trip,
User Rank: Light Beer
12/4/2012 | 11:57:05 PM
re: RBOCs Hungry for Fiber
The difference between PON, or more specifically APON, and all of the technologies being discussed here, is that APON/BPON/FSAN/G.983 is what the RBOCs have chosen for Fiber to the Premises.

Read the Supercomm presentations of Verizon, Bell South, and SBC - http://www.supercomm2002.com/a...
Accelerated  Photon
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Accelerated Photon,
User Rank: Light Beer
12/4/2012 | 11:57:07 PM
re: RBOCs Hungry for Fiber
palomar7
From your posts I get a sense that you have some involvement in an Active or Non-PON system you seem to have more than a general interest in this topic. Where are you coming from?
Today the PON is shared by 32 subscribers soon to be 64 and eventually 96 or more, also eventually with advancements in CWDM technology I envision individual subscriber with their own dedicated wavelength which will truly allow the transfer of information happen in real time...
palomar7
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palomar7,
User Rank: Light Beer
12/4/2012 | 11:57:10 PM
re: RBOCs Hungry for Fiber
bonnyman, in your post #40 you say:
"So I don't worry about sharing bandwidth over 32 users on a PON -- the fiber itself has all bandwidth I'll ever need."

Though there are a couple comments that could be made about that statement, I'll start with this one. The comment is in my view is rationalizing away the future limitations, based on a deployment architecture mistake that hasn't even been made yet (and doesn't need to be made). Generally, that kind of position is taken when there has already been a significant upfront financial commitment to something, to rationalize the choice (i.e. buyer's remorse). Trouble is, we are starting essentially from a clean slate when we talk about a new optical access network. The only ones that have made a significant sunk financial commitment to PON are the PON vendors themselves.

Some how or another, PON got positioned in some people's minds as if it were an obligatory starting point, and that some irrevocable past commitment has been made that cannot be reversed no matter what. Actually it is an historic position that at one time made sense. It no longer makes the sense it used to make, but many seem incapable of rationally re-evaluating their positions. It is very much a near-perfect example of cognitive dissonance (a quick Google search gives: http://www.dmu.ac.uk/~jamesa/l... ).

Fortunately, many others around the world are capable of a rational re-evaluation with up-to-date information, and are predominately coming up with the decision that an active network is a better business choice overall. It doesn't beat PON by 500% on 100% of the issues involved, but it does beat PON overall, in most (but not all) cases, and by a meaningful margin for most forward-thinking business assumptions. If one is a consultant who advises clients on future network deployments, it seems only prudent that one step out of the PON commune, de-toxify onself, and evaluate the alternatives rationally. People must be open to the possibility that much of what they've "learned" about PON is either no longer true, or was only true with a special set of underlying assumptions that are never stated, and that are difficult for those without a technical background to even call into question.

Accelerated  Photon
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Accelerated Photon,
User Rank: Light Beer
12/4/2012 | 11:57:11 PM
re: RBOCs Hungry for Fiber
There is a problem with link in your post bonnyman
bonnyman
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bonnyman,
User Rank: Light Beer
12/4/2012 | 11:57:17 PM
re: RBOCs Hungry for Fiber
PS. You shared w/us another excellent post. You seem to be batting 1,000.

Thanks for the nice comment. We and our municipal utility clients have been giving this a lot of thought -- there's a lot at stake for their communities as they consider going down this road!

We've had a lot of help from vendors. clients, the APPA (http://www.appanet.org/Legisla... and other utilities in putting together a cogent view of FTTH.

We've concluded that FTTH is very doable for many municipalities that are already in the power business (and therefore have a lot of infrastructure in place).

I think it should be even more doable, cost-wise, for the Bells -- if they really want to do it ...
rjmcmahon
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rjmcmahon,
User Rank: Light Beer
12/4/2012 | 11:57:28 PM
re: RBOCs Hungry for Fiber
As I see it, whatever electronics a provider puts on the side of the house is likely to be upgraded in the future as folks demand more bandwidth.

Shouldn't the home owner have the ability to upgrade the customer premise equipment, similar to a purchase of new computer for a CPU upgrade or a MODEM for a dial-up IO upgrade?

Placing CPE control into the hands of a third party would not enable customer upgrades. This seems to be a lesson form AT&T's copper loop and the handset, the COAX and the set-top, and even a water meter connected to the main or 100 AMP fuse box. In other words, if the infrastructure truly supports abundance, as does fiber, than providing it a way that the invidual customers can determine the bw limitations will give us the best performing infrastructure over time.

The key aspect of FTTH is that the passive outside plant offers essentially unlimited bandwidth and should not have to be updated once installed.

Agreed completely.

PS. You shared w/us another excellent post. You seem to be batting 1,000.
bonnyman
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bonnyman,
User Rank: Light Beer
12/4/2012 | 11:57:29 PM
re: RBOCs Hungry for Fiber
A few things to ponder:

1. There's been a lot written comparing the Bells' FTTH plans to their upgrading to DSL starting in 1996.

While their outside plant was usually the limiting factor, from what I could tell, the Bells didn't spend much money upgrading it. If a twisted pair cable serving a neighborhood had a lot of problems, I don't think the Bells bothered to replace it. They might fiddle with it, but I don't think they replaced them or even added a second new cable with good pairs in it to offer DSL. If I'm worng about this, let me know.

So all the breathless talk over the years about DSL was really about the Bells recycling their decades-old copper network.

Now, if they go with FTTH for anything other than greenfield construction, the Bells are looking at replacing their existing, creaky outside plant. So that's a major undertaking and one they've not taken on before.

2. On this thread, there have been some comments about active vs. passive optical networks. As I see it, whatever electronics a provider puts on the side of the house is likely to be upgraded in the future as folks demand more bandwidth. The key aspect of FTTH is that the passive outside plant offers essentially unlimited bandwidth and should not have to be updated once installed.

Practically speaking, we currently don't often run more than a few Gig over a fiber in local applications but that will change as both CWDM and electronic components continue getting faster and cheaper. So I don't worry about sharing bandwidth over 32 users on a PON -- the fiber itself has all bandwidth I'll ever need.

3. Fiber optic outside plants (at least the ones we've designed and built for our municipal utility clients) have shown themselves truly maintenance-free other than repairing cable cuts and trimming trees. So outside plant operating costs should be lower (especially compared to copper coax networks used by CATV).
whyiswhy
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whyiswhy,
User Rank: Light Beer
12/4/2012 | 11:58:18 PM
re: RBOCs Hungry for Fiber
What if they installed FTTH and the typical user only used 0.01% of the available bandwidth. Law of economics: someone gots to pay, there ain't no freebies!

Cable HFC (aka AsymPONS) works financially precisely because its topology and hardware is matched to the downstream traffic, which has been found by long trial and error to optimize revenue flow upstream.

The hardware for >6Gbps TTH already exists: its the 1GHz analog bandwidth of the cable that's already in your home.

http://www.cs.ncl.ac.uk/module...

Use that before you go digging up my street!

-Why
lastmile
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lastmile,
User Rank: Light Beer
12/4/2012 | 11:58:20 PM
re: RBOCs Hungry for Fiber
Copper is a 'No-No'.
PON is a 'No-No'.
FTTH is a 'Yes-Yes'.
If the RBOC's need to survive, they need to have a product that is far superior to cable. PON and Cable are almost at par. The RBOC's are not hungry for fiber. They are hungry for survival.
The FCC ruling that is expected within the next 2 weeks will confuse the entire industry. There is no need to wait to read 400 to 600 pages of garbage.
If the RBOC's feel the need for survival, they need to be hungry for fiber and nothing else.
Copper is a 'No-No'.
Y2KickIT
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Y2KickIT,
User Rank: Light Beer
12/4/2012 | 11:58:49 PM
re: RBOCs Hungry for Fiber
Active v. Passive, Ethernet v. ATM, IEEE v. ITU, can't we all get along? :)

There is nothing inherently wrong with PON, yes I get the shared bandwidth issue, sharing 622Mbps, 1.25Gbps, or 2.5Gbps, with 16, 32, or 64 neighbors still sounds better than what is available today.

I don't see security as a big issue, especially compared to the Wi-Fi or wireless proponents.

There are solutions: GPON increases bandwidth and uses protocols in their native formats. CWDM solutions will offer a PON that doesn't split power but the 16, 32, 64, 200, whatever colors the port offers.

The POS now splitting wavelengths, will give each user full port speed and the ONT will receive data only intended for it.

I actually like the idea of home run fiber, but try to get anyone to pay for it.

Segmenting the fiber into distribution, feeder, and drop, having common aggregation point splits, using connectors and cross-connects. This will allow you to groom your outside plant fiber into the topology needed today, and change it into that needed tommorrow.

If your get your outside plant wrong your in big trouble, buy the wrong OLT/ONT solution, company go bankrupt, etc. You end up having to buy new equipment, likely cheaper than the first ones you bought, (going to be doing this anyway) but your not toast.
rjmcmahon
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rjmcmahon,
User Rank: Light Beer
12/4/2012 | 11:58:50 PM
re: RBOCs Hungry for Fiber
Good post. Hopefully people will read it, carefully, and it will help them understand PON's disadvantages make for a substandard communcations infrastructure, technically, economically, and politically.

Those that find a way to deploy an active fiber network for their communities will be leaving a legacy for decades to come. Your posts are helpful contributions towards these ends.

Let's all keep pushing, not only for the best communications infrastructure our money can buy, but also for moments of excellence, which can be found in each and everyone of us.
Ramu3
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Ramu3,
User Rank: Light Beer
12/4/2012 | 11:58:51 PM
re: RBOCs Hungry for Fiber
from post #24:

re: There are no sweet offers comming from the Cable Companies and once the fiber is in the game is over.

Not if all the RBOCs deploy is PON. It is more like "game equal," and only in terms of the base infrastructure. RBOCs are totally inept at deploying video (and not particularly swift at data), and this will prove to be a VERY important fact in the next few years.


re: Since a PON is passive, there are no active electronics in the loop.

Maybe, but not necessarily. PON is sometimes (and arguably, "often") attached to active equipment already in the field, in which case this argument is pointless. Besides, there are active electronics in the field in every telco network already. They've kept the network running pretty darn reliably will all that "troublesome active equipment" for decades.


re: This translates into significantly lower maintenance costs and longer mean time between failure (MTBF).

This is purely speculation based in a narrow definition of "maintenance." When there are problems, PON's shared broadcast nature makes it very difficult, costly, and time-consuming to troubleshoot compared to active. The MTBF arguments are also misguided. The MTBF of a quality active equipment is much longer than its service life. Granted its MTBF is shorter than a passive splitter, but it is long enough so this claim is not relevant. By the way, an active "home run" architecture has lower maintenance than PON, since there is nothing in the outside plant except fiber. Not even splitters.

re: The need to power, heat and/or cool electronics in the field is eliminated, as is the cost associated with their use.

More PON propaganda. The PON ONU on the side of the residence is powered, and must be temperature stable. ONUs--because they are deployed as individual units and require individualized service for each one--dont benefit from aggregation. The sum of all these costs will overwhelm any maintenance cost comparisons to an aggregated switch, over time. I also question the relevance of maintenance costs as a percent of TOTAL ongoing operating costs--it's just not high enough to use this argument as the primary criteria for selection.

re: With fewer network elements, there are fewer points of failure, so maintenance costs and requirements are minimized.

PON people love to push these silly appeals at "dick and jane" logic. First, PON does not have fewer network elements than active home run. Second, fewer network elements DOES NOT necessarily mean lower maintenance costs. It is not the quantity that matters, it is the quality.

re: A PON architecture is future-proof; capable of handling today's voice, video and data applications; and equally capable of handling the emerging applications of the future.

More weak propaganda. Nothing is future proof, and PON has a weaker case in this regard than active switched or active home run. It's a shared broadcast architecture for future that is decidedly leaning toward dedicated point-to-point services. It's a profoundly bad choice, and will only hamper growth in those new services.

There is ONLY ONE service where a shared broadcast PON is a technically sound architecture choice, and that is broadcast TV. There is no growth in that service; why in the world burden the physical network architecture with that, especially when active architecture are now quite competitive in cost with passive solutions.

Also, those that claim the "shared nature" of PON, at 32:1 or whatever, is an ADVANTAGE seem to ignore that an active switch can aggregate significantly higher port counts into one trunk, if a deployment desires ridiculously high oversubscription ratios. Active can do hundreds, and send them hundreds of km; PON is pushing it at 32:1 and 20km.

re: You can stop taking my word for it now, ask the RBOCs
http://www.usatoday.com/tech/n...


If you believe everything RBOCs say about deploying new broadband optical networks (or anything else for that matter) you sure haven't studied history very well.
nixon
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nixon,
User Rank: Light Beer
12/4/2012 | 11:59:02 PM
re: RBOCs Hungry for Fiber
Y2KickIT seems to get it! Nice posting.

By the way--
Have SONET/SDH radios completely gone away? A few years ago, I thought these were the rave. Build a SONET ring across the roof tops of a City and distribute via some MTU-type devices.
Line-of-sight and poor weather conditions are some issues that I was aware of.
Accelerated  Photon
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Accelerated Photon,
User Rank: Light Beer
12/4/2012 | 11:59:02 PM
re: RBOCs Hungry for Fiber
Telcordia will eventually come out with Requirements for PON and the RBOCs will adopt them just like GR-303/909 & 57. They will probably take most from the FSAN specifications the way they create documents using ANSI T.1 documents.

http://www.telcordia.com/resou...
sevenbrooks
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sevenbrooks,
User Rank: Light Beer
12/4/2012 | 11:59:03 PM
re: RBOCs Hungry for Fiber

Vinci is a startup. Telcordia is a more likely 3rd party lab.

seven
optical Mike
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optical Mike,
User Rank: Light Sabre
12/4/2012 | 11:59:06 PM
re: RBOCs Hungry for Fiber
Here is a company working on a FSAN B-PON interoperability test plan
http://www.vincisystems.com/po...
sevenbrooks
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sevenbrooks,
User Rank: Light Beer
12/4/2012 | 11:59:06 PM
re: RBOCs Hungry for Fiber

Doco,

You are correct about FSAN not doing Interop testing. I think that is currently due to the size of the inhouse Product Approval labs at the major carriers. My expectation is that as the products mature we will see either FSAN doing Interop testing or sponsoring 3rd party Interop test labs (See DSL Forum TR-48 the bit hammered into the DSL Forum by the RBOCs).

seven
Y2KickIT
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Y2KickIT,
User Rank: Light Beer
12/4/2012 | 11:59:07 PM
re: RBOCs Hungry for Fiber
Got to give it up: rjmcmahon, firstmile, and opticalmike get it.

It is about more than fast Internet. It is about 200+ channels of HDTV, plus many POTS lines, 10Mbps or better Internet access, plus AMR/SCADA, remote monitoring, telemetry, telemedicine, etc. That is what you can use a Gbps for.

Also realize that PON/FTTx can provision services to small business too. PBX's still need ATM PRI for CRM systems etc to get caller ID, etc.

Check this site out for one view on Gigabit access: http://www.cenic.org/NGI/Kille...

As for wireless, has any vendor shown a profit without cooking the books? That may be overstating the case but there has not been a good history on wireless.

AT&T, Sprint, MCI, WorldCom all were looking at wireless to jump the last mile, some deployments were made, but there were too many problems both technically and in the business model.

Wireless technology moves faster than your return on investment, you can't get your cost back before someone can put up something better, cheaper, faster.

Wi-Fi, is in a bubble phase, the major vendors are "me tooing" because its a battle for the commons. It is unlicensed spectrum with first come first served. It may be a loser but just in case, they better own some footprint in the major markets.

The flaw with wireless is that you need to connect it to something, like fiber, and provide backhaul. But antenna siting, powering, line of site issues, servicing of outside plant, all has costs too. Why not just go the last couple hundred feet with a fiber drop?

The beauty of PON is that if your topology is sound it can sit there for years or decades while cheaper, faster optoelectronics is hung at each end. Yes the fiber build is expensive, but not when you look at the value proposition.
rjmcmahon
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rjmcmahon,
User Rank: Light Beer
12/4/2012 | 11:59:07 PM
re: RBOCs Hungry for Fiber
What would the 1Gb/s be used for? It is hard to think of applicaions that would require such speed.

It will be used to support multiple, congestion free, bidirectional, unicast, audio and video streams, and switching latencies that can meet the requirements as defined by human (including their tools) perceptions and capabilities. It's the basis of a modern communications infrastructure.

Applications, content and services will come from retail providers only after the infrastructure is installed. The infrastructure must be operated in a manner that enables these retail businesses to be profitable, or they will never be created. The model also needs to bypass the FCC as that institution has failed our society terribly.

Or in other words, we'll replace the failed institutions of both cableco and telcos by offering their so-called services at a much cheaper cost. We'll make sure the rate payers monies are only spent on their interests of building the best public infrastructure their money can buy (rather than lining the pockets of these corrupt politicians and uncompetitive pigopolisits staffed by lobbyists and lawyers). Finally, we'll enable our technology industry and allow our country to take its rightful place as the true leader it can be, not by double-speak and empty rhetoric but rather by noble execution.

PS. Also, in my opinion, something we should not be wasting our resources on (because the outcome has no viable legacy and adds no value to soceity) are efforts which make an abundant resource scarce. Using our public institutions, e.g. the legal system and the local governments, as the vehicle is misguided at best. For an example of that, notice Comcast and the city of San Jose, fighting, where unfortunately neither side is serving the public interests one iota. (Both sides need to be fired)

http://www.bayarea.com/mld/mer...

Cable TV firm sues S.J., disputes costs, services
REQUIREMENT TO PUT IN SPECIAL SYSTEM CALLED ILLEGAL
By Mike Zapler
Mercury News

Comcast, San Jose's new cable TV provider, filed a lawsuit against the city Thursday alleging that officials are illegally trying to force the company to pay for a costly telecommunications network connecting city buildings and schools in exchange for the right to operate in San Jose.
...
doco
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doco,
User Rank: Light Beer
12/4/2012 | 11:59:09 PM
re: RBOCs Hungry for Fiber
BPON wins because of FSAN. Cable has Cablelabs, Telecom the DSL Forum. Which has served its audience better (answer Cablelabs). FSAN is the group setting the standards as the carriers want them. GPON will be the next standard.


But - CableLabs does interop testing. Something that FSAN hasn't addressed That makes FSAN closer to the DSL Forum.
gea
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gea,
User Rank: Light Beer
12/4/2012 | 11:59:09 PM
re: RBOCs Hungry for Fiber
"Logic and reason doesn't work against the story."

Well, I've seen Huber speak on a number of occasions, and he always made a decent case for Corvis gear, and he did understand current optical network architectures. (Of course, I didn't agree with what he thought would ultimately drive the demand for Corvis, but it was not something silly or out of left field.)

With this kind of post I get the feeling that they've must have dug Guilder's 'Telecosm' out of the discount bin, who in turn had little clue about how real optical networks work. These characters seem to think that one day I'll have my own personal wavelength, and whenever I need content my wavelength will be routed between my home and the server, which is of course absurd.
sevenbrooks
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sevenbrooks,
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12/4/2012 | 11:59:12 PM
re: RBOCs Hungry for Fiber

To respond to firstmile....

1. Actually, PON wont be there fast enough to help. They need DSL to compete with Cable. The answer is UNE-P....no voice unbundling on Greenfield PON according to the preliminary ruling from the FCC on 2/20/03.

2. The joint RFP.....volume. At best they will be able to do the number of lines equal to new housing starts for a while (1.5M). That requires 100% of new lines to be FTTH. Not true for a long while.

3. BPON wins because of FSAN. Cable has Cablelabs, Telecom the DSL Forum. Which has served its audience better (answer Cablelabs). FSAN is the group setting the standards as the carriers want them. GPON will be the next standard.

seven
optical Mike
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optical Mike,
User Rank: Light Sabre
12/4/2012 | 11:59:13 PM
re: RBOCs Hungry for Fiber
Probably, but I would wonder how many people with cable (as in Cable TV) would opt to get FTTH when given a sweet offer by the CATV provider to also offer broadband service. Phone's already there too, so unless it is a new construction, can't see it happening. I have enough time with one provider to tackle another one! :-)

---------------------------------------------
There are no sweet offers comming from the Cable Companies and once the fiber is in the game is over. Cable and DSL are active systems which cost more to operate and maintain.
Since a PON is passive, there are no active electronics in the loop. This translates into significantly lower maintenance costs and longer mean time between failure (MTBF). The need to power, heat and/or cool electronics in the field is eliminated, as is the cost associated with their use. With fewer network elements, there are fewer points of failure, so maintenance costs and requirements are minimized.
A PON architecture is future-proof; capable of handling today's voice, video and data applications; and equally capable of handling the emerging applications of the future.
You can stop taking my word for it now, ask the RBOCs
http://www.usatoday.com/tech/n...
spegru
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spegru,
User Rank: Light Beer
12/4/2012 | 11:59:14 PM
re: RBOCs Hungry for Fiber
Hotels, offices, air ports, coffee shops, trains, planes etc, are all prime candidates for WiFi installations. They are also the places where the biggest use of these mobile applications will take place......, WiFi can decapitiate 3G by taking away the most valuable parts of its market ....

I v.much see your point but you are making the assumption that 3G is all about office-style connectivity to the internet and office systems.

In practice (so far) wifi hotspots have been under used/ paid for because users expect access to be free and will wait until they get to the office if it isn't. OTOH Text Messaging, video phone, picture messaging, video clip downloading are all proven customer-attracting, payment-incurring services - and for that you need ubiquity.

rgds

spegru

sp@mmer
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sp@mmer,
User Rank: Light Beer
12/4/2012 | 11:59:14 PM
re: RBOCs Hungry for Fiber
> PON is the best technology available today that
> make economic sense for the RBOC to deploy to
> compete with the cable companies and provide
> service where the limitations of DSL prohibit
> its deployment.

Probably, but I would wonder how many people with cable (as in Cable TV) would opt to get FTTH when given a sweet offer by the CATV provider to also offer broadband service. Phone's already there too, so unless it is a new construction, can't see it happening. I have enough time with one provider to tackle another one! :-)

sp@mmer
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sp@mmer,
User Rank: Light Beer
12/4/2012 | 11:59:15 PM
re: RBOCs Hungry for Fiber
> I will concede that at some point 1 Gb/s home
> service might be commonplace, again supporting
> the case for Dr Huber's all optical approache.

Sure, at some point. But it takes years for such an industry to develop -- even today, you would be hard-pressed to name a _consumer_ application that requires 1Gbps transmission. Unless you are running a remote storage facility business out of your basement (but that technically makes you a business), I'd say this was a distant dream.... Adoption takes years...



sp@mmer
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sp@mmer,
User Rank: Light Beer
12/4/2012 | 11:59:15 PM
re: RBOCs Hungry for Fiber
> Starting with something that supports at least > 1 Gb/s, full duplex, per premise seems like the
> bare minimum for anybody serious about
> deploying a real public infrastructure

You're kidding right? The backhaul needs to be in the Gbps range, but for access -- when was the last time you used 1 Gbps to your home? Not even when you were downloading porn... :-)

You can tell who's a techie in these parts -- they always think bigger is better. Only works for 'em tits boys. :-)


dljvjbsl
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dljvjbsl,
User Rank: Light Beer
12/4/2012 | 11:59:16 PM
re: RBOCs Hungry for Fiber

If we are talking hotels and offices then sure wifi has an important place, if only as a cheap-to-install alternative to 10BaseT. But a few hotels, offices and cofee bars etc certainly do not create ubiquity.


In my opinion, you have just pointed out 3G's fataql vunerability. Hotels, offices, air ports, coffee shops, trains, planes etc. are all prime candidaes for WiFi installations. They are also the places where teh biggst use of these mobile applilcations will take place.

In this view, WiFi can decapitiate 3G by taking away the most valuable parts of its market and thus making it financailly impossible.


As another example of how WiFi changes the scene, comsider the hotel case. The hotel invsts heavily in a VoIP PBX and also some cheap WiFi base stations. A user is faced with making a long distnce call. Does he:

a) use the hotel PBX and pay the hotel premium

b) fire up his VoIP client on his laptop, connect to his home netork and talk to his heart's content

Also in the WiFi case, the user will have his home network voice features with no need to pay any hotel premium

The availability of cheap wirless bandwidth connected to the Internet changes the applicaion landscape dramaticaly. 3G, VoIP PBXs with fancy expensive sets, etc., all face severe competition that could draamtically change user behavior and eliminate their market.
jnj
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jnj,
User Rank: Light Beer
12/4/2012 | 11:59:17 PM
re: RBOCs Hungry for Fiber
3G is not to be...
and as it becomes obvious the money spent is not coming back..it's gonna make some folks hyper-ventilate
see shirkys' essay permanet vs nearlynet
http://shirky.com/writings/per...
firstmile
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firstmile,
User Rank: Light Sabre
12/4/2012 | 11:59:17 PM
re: RBOCs Hungry for Fiber
Or at least the most important points...

1. Why are the carriers looking to PON?
Because the cable guys are eating their lunch. RBOCs are losing a huge number of subscribers each quarter and the competition is wireless (which they are trying to own) and cable. The bad news and urgency for the RBOCs, is that the cable guys still have not yet nationally stepped up the efforts on getting softswitches out in their networks. But the RBOCs know that they will, and also know that the Cable guys will eat their lunch with a triple play (voice, video, data). Sooooo what's an RBOC to do? Offer their own triple play. But you cannot really deliver the necessary bandwidth from the existing DSLAMs and the existing copper plants (Note-we're not talking IOCs in BFE where 10 channels are enough). The RBOCs need fiber to the home. They have held off due to previous concerns about unbundling. Those concerns are now gone.

2. So why this joint RFP? Because they want to follow the same model that they did in ADSL. Anyone remember the "Joint Procurement Committee" (JPC)? Same players...and oh by the way, I would not be surprised if Alcatel pushed for this type of format, because it worked out so well for ADSL. And by the way, I'm pretty sure that the Alcatel 7300 ASAM (DSLAM) is the same platform that supports BPON.

3. Not the best technology? This I have to agree with. Just by the fact that BPON (read APON) will probably win because of the Alcatel footprint. It's the economy...it's just too hard for the RBOCs to do anything new, when the incremental business case for taking baby steps looks so good.

My 3 cents

-fm
skeptic
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skeptic,
User Rank: Light Beer
12/4/2012 | 11:59:18 PM
re: RBOCs Hungry for Fiber
What on earth are you talking about? Do you actually think that what Corvis is trying to offer is a system of reconfigurable lightwaves all the way to a user's home? Not even Huber would claim that, and indeed he wouldn't: it's nonsensical (ie, you seem to believe that even routers will dissappear).
------------------
He is just repeating material from the high
level Corvis vision pitch. There isn't any
understanding of networks beyond it.

Corvis markets itself to ignorant people by
confusing them about its products and how
they are used in networks. In the Corvis
vision, Corvis is the magical ideal all-optical
router which cannot ever be surpassed and which
has made all existing networks obsolete. And
everyone is going to save so much money by
buying Corvis that the products pay for themselves
and cost nothing.

ANd when integrated with Dorsal, Corvis will
inevitably replace or obsolete all of the
undersea capacity in the world.

Logic and reason doesn't work against the story.
As far as an investment, Corvis might not be
a bad stock anymore. The story of Corvis is
so strong that it seems to defeat any attempt
to bring reality into the picture. And it
doesn't seem that far fetched anymore that
they could change nothing and end up with
a multi-billion dollar market cap.
gea
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gea,
User Rank: Light Beer
12/4/2012 | 11:59:19 PM
re: RBOCs Hungry for Fiber
Jet wrote...

"I will concede that at some point 1 Gb/s home service might be commonplace, again supporting the case for Dr Huber's all optical approache."

What on earth are you talking about? Do you actually think that what Corvis is trying to offer is a system of reconfigurable lightwaves all the way to a user's home? Not even Huber would claim that, and indeed he wouldn't: it's nonsensical (ie, you seem to believe that even routers will dissappear).

As djbvsl indicated, the application of a 1GbE to the home (and PON isn't that, by the way) merely allows a very high bandwidth that the user can burst up to if desired. This GbE will still be terminated on (at most) an edge router. Bandwith on the ore-side of the router will be highly oversubscribed. In the far future, that router might be able to summon up more bandwidth a la GMPLS, to crerate more bandwidth between it and a core router. On the other side of the core router is where Corvis gear might get deployed, if the traffic patterns grow in such a way as to make ULH worthwhile.
spegru
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spegru,
User Rank: Light Beer
12/4/2012 | 11:59:19 PM
re: RBOCs Hungry for Fiber
My own impression of 3G is that the market (resd users) have already given its verdict on this. It is expensive and does not provide any useful features that cannot be provided better....
I agree with Metcalfe that WiFi will replace cellular and 3G before it is born. ....
A new hotel owned by Terry Matthews of Newbridege fame has just opened in Ottawa. It boasts 14 WiFi base stations.....


I was really picking up on dljvjbsl's impression that it is conectivity & communities that are important.

That's the thing with mobile phone networks - they really are pervasive. It'll be a *very* long time, if ever, before WiFi can manage that. I really don't understand the hype about wifi replacing GSM etc. There is no fundamental technology reason why it should and theref are are fundamental problems wrt user authentication, security billing and roaming. Wifi has a huge task to manage all that - and why bother, GSM,3G, CDMA etc have already done it.

It's still v.early days for 3G - only a couple of months for one network so far in the UK, so no verdicts have been offered yet.

If we are talking hotels and offices then sure wifi has an important place, if only as a cheap-to-install alternative to 10BaseT. But a few hotels, offices and cofee bars etc certainly do not create ubiquity.
IMHO the biggest competitor to wifi (where it does suit) is not moble radio but bluetooth...

discuss/flame away!

spegru
spegru
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spegru,
User Rank: Light Beer
12/4/2012 | 11:59:19 PM
re: RBOCs Hungry for Fiber
the truest broadband connection to the home is FTTH. PON is the best technology available today that make economic sense for the RBOC

What I was really querying was the business case cost of fibre digging/ deployment compared to DSL etc that are already there.
The arguement here seems to be about absolute speed, but most people hav'nt even got dsl or cable yet.
FTTH may come one day - I just can't see it any time soon.
So I'm surprised about these apparent RFPs...

spegru
dljvjbsl
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dljvjbsl,
User Rank: Light Beer
12/4/2012 | 11:59:20 PM
re: RBOCs Hungry for Fiber

I think you'll find that that if you want ubiquity of connectivity it'll be GSM & 3G. Text and Picture messaging has already done this. GSM is growing in the US too.


My own impression of 3G is that the market (resd users) have already given its verdict on this. It is expensive and does not provide any useful features that cannot be provided better and cheaper by other technologies.

I agree with Metcalfe that WiFi will replace cellular and 3G before it is born. The economies of the two technologies create a compelling case that WiFi or a future variant will win.

A new hotel owned by Terry Matthews of Newbridege fame has just opened in Ottawa. It boasts 14 WiFi base stations. I think this is an example that shows that 3G just does not stand a chance of surviving.

With its 14 base stations, the hotel is also boasting about its VoIP phone system whereby guests can plug into the network through the VoIP telephones in their rooms. This strikes me as the desparate attempt by VoIP and PBX vendors to maintain their relevance. A user with a WiFi modem can connect to the network by merely switching on his computer. Why bother with jacks on expensive VoIP phones?

3G and converged wired VoIP PBXs - dinosaur technology trying to find some reason to survive. The WiFi asteroid has alrady struck.
dljvjbsl
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dljvjbsl,
User Rank: Light Beer
12/4/2012 | 11:59:20 PM
re: RBOCs Hungry for Fiber

Now if you actually believe fiber offers a practical/wide-scale/cost effective solution at those speeds - then you have just made the case for the need for massive bandwidth in the wide pipes, ie Corvis, among others. Once typical homes get that kind of connectivity and speed, the need for bandwidth would be never ending


The most practical benefit of these very wide bandwith channels to teh home is not to provide high bandwidth connections but to provide low latency applications.

Users will be able to download large files very rapidly. These will be provided either from nearby caches or by dynamically sharing a channel of similar size in the network. There is very very little prospect that applications requiring continuous 1Gb/s rates to users will be developed
Accelerated  Photon
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Accelerated Photon,
User Rank: Light Beer
12/4/2012 | 11:59:21 PM
re: RBOCs Hungry for Fiber
... surely DSL and cable have that last mile sewn up??

Surely this is backwards thinking, the truest broadband connection to the home is FTTH. PON is the best technology available today that make economic sense for the RBOC to deploy to compete with the cable companies and provide service where the limitations of DSL prohibit its deployment.
spegru
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spegru,
User Rank: Light Beer
12/4/2012 | 11:59:22 PM
re: RBOCs Hungry for Fiber
strucdtured and personalized connectivity with their friends and acquaintances. ....

And of course WiFi is ideal for this.


I think you'll find that that if you want ubiquity of connectivity it'll be GSM & 3G. Text and Picture messaging has already done this. GSM is growing in the US too.

WiFi? well it's ok in the office I suppose.

What that says for the fibre requirement I'm not sure... surely DSL and cable have that last mile sewn up??
opca2004
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opca2004,
User Rank: Light Beer
12/4/2012 | 11:59:22 PM
re: RBOCs Hungry for Fiber
I guess they are very serious to think about using one line to carry everything. Like, no cable needed, if fiber to home. Then, only RBOCs, no cable companies. Now, cable company are in local phone market.
Jet
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Jet,
User Rank: Light Beer
12/4/2012 | 11:59:23 PM
re: RBOCs Hungry for Fiber
Now if you actually believe fiber offers a practical/wide-scale/cost effective solution at those speeds - then you have just made the case for the need for massive bandwidth in the wide pipes, ie Corvis, among others. Once typical homes get that kind of connectivity and speed, the need for bandwidth would be never ending

I tend to see (less speedy but still fast) Wi Fi as the near term 3 to 5 year most probable solution to the consumer "last mile" bottleneck. Now recently "fraudband" Wi Fi is being hyped but that is precisely due to its very success w/o much hype the last few yrs. Wi Fi has been a ground-up revolution not something manufactured by venture caps at cocktail parties.

Keeping in mind what Thomas J. Watson, chair of IBM, said in 1943: "I think there is a world market for about five computers." I will concede that at some point 1 Gb/s home service might be commonplace, again supporting the case for Dr Huber's all optical approache.














dljvjbsl
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dljvjbsl,
User Rank: Light Beer
12/4/2012 | 11:59:24 PM
re: RBOCs Hungry for Fiber
Extending my argument


People want to have strucdtured and personalized connectivity with their friends and acquaintances. This requires intelligence at the end points and especially not high bandwidth connections.


And of course WiFi is ideal for this.
dljvjbsl
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dljvjbsl,
User Rank: Light Beer
12/4/2012 | 11:59:24 PM
re: RBOCs Hungry for Fiber

Starting with something that supports at least 1 Gb/s, full duplex, per premise seems like the bare minimum for anybody serious about deploying a real public infrastructure.


What would the 1Gb/s be used for? It is hard to think of applicaions that would require such speed.

My own impression is that what is required is not high bandwidth but high connectivity. The killer applicaion of the Internet has turned out not to be commerce but community. People want to have strucdtured and personalized connectivity with their friends and acquaintances. This requires intelligence at the end points and especially not high bandwidth connections.
rjmcmahon
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rjmcmahon,
User Rank: Light Beer
12/4/2012 | 11:59:26 PM
re: RBOCs Hungry for Fiber
The best technology doesn't always win, and its wi-fi (despite its imperfections) not fiber to the home that can win on a cost/benefit basis the battle for consumer ultra-high speed net connectivity.

Wi-fi isn't ultra-high speed. It's just another fraudband technology. It's mostly being used to create Wall Street hype and justify the jobs of too many lazy people. And it doesn't work very well when the microwave is popping corn or heating up a cup of coffee. Wi-fi could work for Windoze 3.1 users -- though those MSFT licensing fees will make the FCC auctions (for some real spectrum) look affordable.

Starting with something that supports at least 1 Gb/s, full duplex, per premise seems like the bare minimum for anybody serious about deploying a real public infrastructure.
Jet
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Jet,
User Rank: Light Beer
12/4/2012 | 11:59:28 PM
re: RBOCs Hungry for Fiber
The best technology doesn't always win, and its wi-fi (despite its imperfections) not fiber to the home that can win on a cost/benefit basis the battle for consumer ultra-high speed net connectivity
rjmcmahon
50%
50%
rjmcmahon,
User Rank: Light Beer
12/4/2012 | 11:59:29 PM
re: RBOCs Hungry for Fiber
As much as I dislike and distrust the RBOCs, their validation of the fiber demand is good for our industry. Too bad most will have to wait until 2004 and beyond to see if they are just blowing more smoke up our collective asses.

In the meantime, the numbers are looking better for the independents who can do the job at a much cheaper cost and using much better technology. In other words, just say no to PON and to RBOC expense structures.
metroshark
50%
50%
metroshark,
User Rank: Light Beer
12/4/2012 | 11:59:30 PM
re: RBOCs Hungry for Fiber
Can't believe that RBOCs got together and decided to deploy an already obsolete technology. The rest of the world seems to be converging on 100Base-BX for FTTH/FTTB applications.
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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.

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