Wishful Thinking

5:30 PM -- Sometimes being a journalist is fun, just because the gaping gulf between hype and reality becomes more obvious.

First off, FTTP: Where the heck is it? I'd think if it were truly mainstream, or considered a major priority, somebody might have thought about marketing it to my residence.

I live in a high-density suburb of New York City [ed. note: New Jersey!], which has plenty of professionals who would love the service. Because I telecommute at least a day or two per week, I use gobs of telecom services. But I'm still waiting for that Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE: VZ) mailer advertising FTTP in my neighborhood.

And how about today's news that SBC Communications Inc. (NYSE: SBC) is dropping broadband pricing to $14.95. Yeah, right. I'm not an SBC customer, and my broadband is stuck at $36 a month. If you read the fine print, the offer only applies to new customers who sign up online. I'm always reading about DSL "price drops," but my DSL services have only gone up in price since I first subscribed some five years ago.

Here's a good formula for how to figure out when stuff will be real: I first started writing about DSL in 1996, yet it didn't become mainstream until about 2001. Given this five-year hype-to-reality lag, I'm guessing that FTTP will start to become a mainstream service sometime around 2010.

— R. Scott Raynovich, US Editor, Light Reading

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