x
Cable/Video

[email protected]: Now in Broadband's Past?

Two recent pieces of news suggest the cable industry has moved squarely into the [email protected] era and is willing to invest in the equipment that will enable new broadband services.

[email protected], an ISP that was co-owned by several large cable providers, was essential to cable's initial push into high-speed data services. It provided its partners with a high-capacity, high-quality backbone and the expertise necessary to roll out services.

Then it melted down. [email protected] filed for bankruptcy late last year and finally shut down in February. Multiple system operators (MSOs) had to scramble to keep the company's roughly four million subscribers up and running.

But new developments suggest the industry is moving ahead, or at least trying to:

These announcements indicate that cable operators are moving forward with the task of deploying broadband, as they race against DSL providers to deliver value-added services to the lucrative small- and medium-sized business market. This trend was recently profiled in an Optical Oracle report (see Cable MSOs Set to Win?).

The key is that the industry survived the shutdown without panic. "They managed to keep the lights on," says Michael Harris, president of Kinetic Strategies, a cable broadband consultancy. "There have been some glitches in quality, but no mass losses in connectivity."

It is clear, however, that the demise of [email protected] will continue to reverberate in at least three areas:

  • The network: Though the [email protected] owners managed to cobble together backbones and keep services up, the job is far from finished. "They skipped a lot of steps in terms of optimizing the network," says Michael Goodman, a senior analyst for the Yankee Group's Media and Entertainment practice. "They deserve credit... but in some cases the network is held together by chewing gum and bailing wire.”

  • The services: The industry’s preoccupation with the network drew attention away from wide-scale rollouts of next-generation services. While gear is still being introduced -- as evidenced by the CableLabs announcement -- rollout of applications such as cable-based VOIP and streaming media will not begin until late in the year, according to insiders.

  • The economics: The [email protected] implosion impacted the industry’s collective business model. Operators have to spend more money on gear to create the backbones, but with [email protected] out of the picture, they get to keep all the money the cable modem business generates.

Though the industry was forced to scramble due to the drastic speed of [email protected]’s demise, few tears were shed by MSO executives. Operators had long-term plans to phase out the organization anyway. They paid [email protected] roughly 35 cents on the dollar for its services, and this arrangement had become antiquated as costs came down and as it became apparent that the necessary expertise could be developed in-house, or culled from the rolls of laid-off CLEC personnel.

The consensus is: What could have been a disaster has instead become an inconvenience, albeit a major one. "I think it's safe to say the industry is in the post-At Home era," Goodman says. "But it entails a lot of cleaning up behind the scenes of the At Home mess." — Carl Weinschenk, Senior Editor, Light Reading
http://www.lightreading.com

Editor's Note: Light Reading is not affiliated with Oracle Corporation.
Belzebutt 12/4/2012 | 10:41:23 PM
re: [email protected]: Now in Broadband's Past? In your list, you mention Scientific Atlanta as one of the vendors seeking Docsis 1.1 certification, but since their box is really Juniper's G10, it should be Juniper on the list.

That, or have these two been separated at birth? :)

http://www.scientificatlanta.c...

http://www.juniper.net/product...
AAL5 12/4/2012 | 10:41:22 PM
re: [email protected]: Now in Broadband's Past? Congratulations to 'Xros' on this great achievement. This is obviously evidence of their success working in super-stealth mode.

;)

AAL5
backnaction 12/4/2012 | 10:41:20 PM
re: [email protected]: Now in Broadband's Past? so..let me ask the obvious question...

after canning xros from nt, now what?
Belzebutt 12/4/2012 | 10:41:18 PM
re: [email protected]: Now in Broadband's Past? Congratulations to 'Xros' on this great achievement. This is obviously evidence of their success working in super-stealth mode.


They sure fooled you, you thought it was an OXC but all along it was a giant CMTS!
Bluebeam 12/4/2012 | 10:41:04 PM
re: [email protected]: Now in Broadband's Past? Author: Belzebutt Number: 1
Subject: Scientific Atlanta or Juniper? Date: 4/1/2002 2:28:35 PM

In your list, you mention Scientific Atlanta as one of the vendors seeking Docsis 1.1 certification, but since their box is really Juniper's G10, it should be Juniper on the list.


You should pay more attention when (light) reading. It is SciA modem which was certified, not the CMTS.

Bb


Peter Heywood 12/4/2012 | 10:41:03 PM
re: [email protected]: Now in Broadband's Past? Our goof. The company is Xrosstech not Xros.
HOME
Sign In
SEARCH
CLOSE
MORE
CLOSE