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2Wire Connects the Home

2Wire Inc. is looking to extend its reach into consumer living rooms with new networked media products it expects service providers will deploy en masse. (See 2Wire Unveils Products.)

With its 2Wire intelligent home server and the 2Wire Shifter, the company says it allows end users to reach the content they want anytime, anywhere. At the same time, the products give service providers more control over multimedia connectivity as a managed service.

The intelligent home server combines network-attached storage with media server functionality to create a central repository of networked content. The home server hunts content on networked devices, building categorized libraries that are stored off-site and can be accessed from any networked device.

The 2Wire Shifter, true to its name, lets users remotely access the content that comes in through the set-top box or other networked devices.

Both products enable Web-based control through telco-run portal sites.

Companies like Sling Media Inc. have sold and marketed these ideas directly to consumers for some time. But 2Wire expects that its offering will take off due to service providers' interest in being a more active part of user's home multimedia experiences.

"Service providers haven't been playing in the backup solution space because they didn't know where they fit," says Jaime Fink, 2Wire's VP of technology and strategy.

Fink says his company's service provider customers were looking to deploy something that gave them more visibility into home networks and would possibly get consumers to sign up for even more managed services.

"Service providers don't want to put a product in the house that is the same as consumer products available that frankly aren't selling that well," Fink says.

That has led to a disconnect between what is available in the retail market and what service providers want out of a multimedia storage offering. "About 85 percent of [service provider customers] have come hunting us down saying, 'We need a product that will help us take control of media in the home and offer managed services,' " he says.

2Wire will be showing off the new products at CES, and they will be available in volume in the latter half of the year. According to Fink, the company already has customer commitments for the products, which will lead to some fully launched services by the third quarter of 2008.

— Ryan Lawler, Reporter, Light Reading

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Ryan Lawler 12/5/2012 | 3:50:26 PM
re: 2Wire Connects the Home If I use the 2-wire device as my storage hub for all my computers in the house, will Comcast or AT+T will potentially have access to all of my personal data?

The service would be an opt-in add-on for end users, so it's not like service providers would be backing up customer data without their approval -- or even their choosing to use the service.

But I asked about privacy and copyright-infringement implications and was told that there would be privacy policies in place. Media backups would be encrypted and treated as data, and service providers wouldn't be peeking into what was saved as part of those backups.
Ryan Lawler 12/5/2012 | 3:50:26 PM
re: 2Wire Connects the Home If I use the 2-wire device as my storage hub for all my computers in the house, will Comcast or AT+T will potentially have access to all of my personal data?

The service would be an opt-in add-on for end users, so it's not like service providers would be backing up customer data without their approval -- or even their choosing to use the service.

But I asked about privacy and copyright-infringement implications and was told that there would be privacy policies in place. Media backups would be encrypted and treated as data, and service providers wouldn't be peeking into what was saved as part of those backups.
tsat 12/5/2012 | 3:50:26 PM
re: 2Wire Connects the Home
If I use the 2-wire device as my storage hub for all my computers in the house, will Comcast or AT+T will potentially have access to all of my personal data?

Or, will I need 2 network storage devices: One owned by my service provider, and one for my own private data?

I am sorry, but I really don't want Comcast intruding in on my home network any more than they already do.

-tsat
scs_reader 12/5/2012 | 3:50:25 PM
re: 2Wire Connects the Home Why do I have to keep putting more boxes from the SP into my network to do this when their are already software applications on the market that allow me to do this with an existing PC in my network. It seems like the Router guys are desperate to come up new hardware products that, well, make them more then "Router" guys.
catalyst 12/5/2012 | 3:50:25 PM
re: 2Wire Connects the Home There should be compartmental type of arrangement on the box. A partition for service providers for always reachable to manage the box (upgrading/downgrading the SW, may be for activity log collection, or even isolating ISP network from consumer etc) and another partition for consumer. This type of design will easy all the pain.

Does it sounding like the need for 'Real-time Virtualization'?

-catalyst
spelurker 12/5/2012 | 3:50:23 PM
re: 2Wire Connects the Home > Does it sounding like the need for 'Real-time Virtualization'?

No it doesn't. Not even a little.
^Eagle^ 12/5/2012 | 3:50:22 PM
re: 2Wire Connects the Home Ryan,

you stated in your post: "The service would be an opt-in add-on for end users, so it's not like service providers would be backing up customer data without their approval -- or even their choosing to use the service.

But I asked about privacy and copyright-infringement implications and was told that there would be privacy policies in place. Media backups would be encrypted and treated as data, and service providers wouldn't be peeking into what was saved as part of those backups."

Do you REALLY believe that?! If so, then you are a perhaps a bit more naive than I would have hoped for a writer in our industry. Considering that virtually all the carriers rolled over and gave confidential information and communications for almost all users in USA (both voice and data and web browser usage) to George W's spying organizations (illegally I might add); how can you take the vendors' word for it that "service providers wouldn't be peeking"???

Come one now. How about a bit more objective analysis and reporting? Not simply repeating the press from the supplier.

If you truly believe the carriers won't peek then I have some very scenic land to sell you in south Louisiana!

sailboat
thirdlife 12/5/2012 | 3:50:22 PM
re: 2Wire Connects the Home Actually, it sounds exactly like a use case for a virtual appliance.
DCITDave 12/5/2012 | 3:50:22 PM
re: 2Wire Connects the Home re: "I know these people would rather change SPs than to bring more 2wire goodness into their realms. I know there is at least one biggie SP in the US that provides 2wire boxes - not sure which."

AT&T provides them in the U.S. as part of U-verse. BT also provides them for some of its services.
somedumbPM 12/5/2012 | 3:50:22 PM
re: 2Wire Connects the Home I have never had one of their boxes myself, but I have heard the name from my online buds many times - always preceeded by several expletives.

Before a timeconsuming online event, there is usually a prayer service held to the 2wire gods in an attempt to keep them appeased and as not to interrupt the event causing a lot of ivested time trashed.

I know these people would rather change SPs than to bring more 2wire goodness into their realms. I know there is at least one biggie SP in the US that provides 2wire boxes - not sure which.

My SPs have always provided Westells and I consider them to be nothing special, but sufficient.
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