Cable Tech

Valo Begets Klamath

Valo Inc. founder Soren Pedersen and former Ascend Communications vet Jim Zeitlin have started Klamath Networks Corp., a new startup in the access equipment space.

Klamath is quiet about its product plans, but Light Reading has unearthed a few details about its roots, which stretch back to Valo.

Zeitlin, a former entrepreneur-in-residence at Sevin Rosen Funds, says Klamath has bought Valo’s intellectual property and some of its assets. The purchase was made possible by some funding Klamath has received from Sevin Rosen and Fidelity Ventures.

The company has taken up residence in Rohnert Park, Calif., in the same building that once housed Next Level Communications (see Motorola Buys Rest of Next Level).

There’s no word yet on how much money Klamath has raised nor how much it has spent on Valo’s scraps. One former Valo executive not affiliated with Klamath says the amount raised is less than $2 million.

“I feel that wireline access will be one of the first pieces of the telecom universe that will come back in a big way,” Zeitlin says. New Ethernet services will drive the comeback, but they will have to be delivered over a wide variety of media, he adds.

Klamath has 10 full-time employees and about as many contractors working there now. The company says it will be ready to discuss its product plans this fall.

Meanwhile, Klamath’s existence gives new life to Valo’s legacy, which received plenty of attention for the pedigree of its founders, but never sold a product.

Valo was founded in 2001 by George Hawley, along with Bruce Bowie, Ram Rao, and Pedersen (see Valo Vows Infinite Access and Valo Pledges Ultimate Access). Its product was an access system that was about one-foot high and could serve about 400 copper pairs from a carrier's central office. The system was designed to use a carrier's existing copper lines in order to provide business customers an alternative to buying T1 lines (24 voice channels at 1.5 Mbit/s) or breaking the bank on T3 service (45 Mbit/s, or 28 T1s) for their local area networks.

When Valo startup was forced to close in late 2003, then CEO David Stehlin told Light Reading: “"All I can say is that this team and this technology are definitely worth saving.” (See Copper Access Startups Tarnished .)

— Phil Harvey, News Editor, Light Reading

truelight 12/5/2012 | 2:06:01 AM
re: Valo Begets Klamath Zeitlin will have his hands full in getting the engineers to deliver on what they say. Rumour is that Valo failed because the FPGA team did not deliver and left everyone else waiting.
jiggerypokery 12/5/2012 | 2:04:14 AM
re: Valo Begets Klamath >Zeitlin will have his hands full in getting the >engineers to deliver on what they say. Rumour >is that Valo failed because the FPGA team did >not deliver and left everyone else waiting.

True. Pedersen has a long history of failures. His hardware teams at Fibex (scrapped by Cisco) and Valo never produced. Despite his alleged genius and dictatorial style, the teams' work had conceptual flaws and perpetually slipped schedules. Pedersen's real genius is in conning CEOs. Sevin Rosen just flushed another wad of cash.
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