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Optical/IP

Pannaway's Colonial B-RAS

Pannaway Technologies Inc. -- a 400-year old startup backed by former Cabletron founder Bob Levine -- today announced a new broadband aggregation router.

Well, okay, Pannaway isn’t 400 years old, though its marketing literature is rife with comparisons to colonial-era America, which makes you wonder (more on that later). Levine, the once-famous half of Cabletron’s original team duo -- the other half of which was Craig Benson (see Cabletron, R.I.P. ) -- has apparently led a private group of investors to put $12 million into the company, in two rounds, according to corporate press releases.

Today the company announced a new IP device designed to combine some of the functions of a DSLAM and a B-RAS, making the curious claim of being the "First 10 Gbps Routing Device designed specifically for ADSL2+ Networks at OPASTCO's Summer Convention," which it calls the 10-Gbit/s Broadband Aggregation Router (BAR) (see Pannaway to Unveil 10-Gbit/s Router).

What exactly is the "First 10 Gbps Routing Device designed specifically for ADSL2+ Networks at OPASTCO's Summer Convention"? Is it the first 10-Gbit/s router for ADSL2+ networks? Is it the first such router announced at the Cosmopolitan OPASTCO show (being held now in Calgary, Alberta)?

The 10-Gbit/s claim is a bit puzzling considering that the largest existing routers from routing big shots like Avici Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: AVCI; Frankfurt: BVC7), Cisco Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: CSCO), and Juniper Networks Inc. (Nasdaq: JNPR) have had interfaces of 10 Gbit/s for years, and they all have core routers that scale to total capacity measured in Terabits.

"Our aggregation router is the only industrial-hardened router," says a Pannaway spokesperson, who reached us just on deadline when we inquired about the press release headline.

Pannaway looks to be marketing an aggregation router for broadband services, with QOS (quality of service) features for differentiating network traffic such as toll-quality voice and data traffic.

Pannaway describes its BAR as an “IP-based, Layer 3 switch and router than can provide QOS features for deploying voice, video, and data services over broadband.” It’s designed to aggregate and manage traffic from up to 11 of Pannaway’s Broadband Access Switch devices and it can support up to 352 individual residences, according to materials on the company's Website.

”Deployed in the central office or remote terminal, the BAR enables the delivery of toll-quality voice calls, broadcast-quality video, and high-speed Internet access,” says the Web page.

A more detailed description of the product is here

As noted, the company is marketing additional products designed to make a run at entire chain of access devices needed in the triple-play access market, including a residential gateway and other CPE gear.

It’s an ambitious plan, considering the B-RAS, DSLAM, and triple-play market segments are now crowded with well funded public companies and startups alike, including Alcatel SA (NYSE: ALA; Paris: CGEP:PA), Allied Telesyn Inc., Calix Networks Inc., Network Equipment Technologies Inc. (net.com) (NYSE: NWK), Nortel Networks Ltd. (NYSE/Toronto: NT), Occam Networks Inc. (OTC: OCCM), and Tellabs Inc. (Nasdaq: TLAB; Frankfurt: BTLA), among others.

But enough about the product. Let’s get back to the interesting stuff, Pannaway’s pre-revolutionary marketing strategy. It’s explained that Pannaway takes its name from colonial-era New Hampshire. Here’s a snippet from the History section of the company’s Website:

    In 1623, a young man named David Thompson was sent to America by the authority of the English crown to establish a fishing colony in what is now New Hampshire. He settled on a piece of land at the mouth of the Piscataqua River which the Native Americans called Pannaway…

    Almost 400 years later, Pannaway Technologies is defining the new world of converged broadband. Much like David Thompson, Pannaway's founders looked at the telecommunications landscape before them and saw an abundance of opportunity.


Ah-ha! So that’s the root of the differentiation in their aggregation router. Perhaps the engineers also eat salt-cod?

— R. Scott Raynovich, US Editor, Light Reading


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