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Geiger Steps Up to Pedestal

Light Reading
Supercomm News Analysis
Light Reading
5/26/2004

Pedestal Networks Inc. announced today that it has hired former AFC executive Corey Geiger as its VP of marketing. Geiger left Advanced Fibre Communications Inc. (AFC) (Nasdaq: AFCI) last month and says his personal career goal was to work with a smaller, not larger, company than AFC (see AFC's Marketing VP Resigns and Pedestal Names Market VP).

That explains why Geiger didn't stick around at AFC, which will soon merge with Tellabs Inc. (Nasdaq: TLAB; Frankfurt: BTLA) to become a company of more than 4,100 people. Pedestal, on the other hand, is focused solely on the access space and is just starting to get a fair amount of traction with Tier 2 and Tier 3 carriers, where AFC made its name many years ago.

Geiger says independent carriers have placed a huge amount of importance on copper-based broadband solutions. "Pedestal has a unique solution that appeals to large and small carriers," he says. "Triple-play is a big thing in the IOC [independent operating carrier] space."

Interestingly, Pedestal isn't yet a triple-play equipment provider, a hint that perhaps there is more on the drawing board than the hermetically-sealed DSLAMs it sells today.

The company's flagship product, the Universal Broadband Server (UBS), packs 24 ADSL modems, line splitters, and a digital crossconnect in a 12 by 14 by 2.5 inch box that can provide as many as 50 customers with DSL service, operating at speeds up to 3 Mbit/s downstream. The UBS reaches customers within 50,000 feet of the central office, Pedestal says.

In the past few months, Pedestal has bagged a round of funding, signed a large customer in Cincinnati Bell, and released a new version of its product, one with more downstream data capability (see Pedestal Secures $20M Series C and Pedestal Displays DSL Gear).

Lance Reid, Cincinnati Bell’s director of network planning, says the carrier intends to deploy "dozens to low hundreds" of Pedestal's devices. Reid says the carrier needs to reach the 14 percent of its 1 million-plus-line territory that is currently outside the reach of its CO-based ADSL services.

Despite its momentum, Pedestal is still working hard to distinguish itself from its competitors. Besides alternate access technologies such as fiber-to-the-premises (FTTP) and cable, Pedestal has to sell against the likes of Adtran Inc. (Nasdaq: ADTN), which is marketing its own line-powered DSLAM (see Adtran Intros Line-Powered DSLAMs).

Geiger, who held marketing and operations jobs at AFC, was tapped to help recast Pedestal as a triple-play contender, not just a cheap and cheerful DSLAM vendor.

At Supercomm, the company will display its UBS product in a fish tank, showing off the device's ability to provide loads of bandwidth in just about any physical environment, even underwater.

— Phil Harvey, News Editor, Light Reading

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