3:10 PM --
Discussions of VOD are no good when you don't have a next-gen broadband service.
But is there a way to tell if your neighborhood is destined for a broadband upgrade? Absolutely. Get to know those boring beige, gray, and sometimes green boxes at the foot of neighborhoods and busy streets. (See Hunting Project Lightspeed.)
Andy Hill in Oswego, Ill. wrote to ask if he was looking at a network upgrade in progress. He sent some pics and the following observations: "There is fiber optic cable in the backyard, wrapped around the AT&T box. I'm guessing this fiber will ultimately run all the way to the house."
Correct. New subdivisions are more likely to get fiber all the way to the home.
He continues: "Down the street, there are a couple cabinets and a power pole. It looks like one is a cross-connect box, and the large one I'm thinking may be a DLC box and not a VRAD?I haven't seen any other VRAD suspects in the area, but I haven't looked too hard."
Right again. The tall squarish box is a VRAD cabinet. The other box is a crossbox -- where the feeder cable is terminated and cross-connected to the distribution cables going to consumer homes.
Long story short, AT&T has marked your neighborhood for the FTTH version of U-verse, so you're lucky. Keep in touch and tell us how the service works.
Machine learning is primed to help service providers run more efficient and effective networks, but first the good ideas have to make their way from the lab to the real world – and that's a big challenge, according to the University of Chicago's Nick Feamster.