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Optical/IP

RBOCs Stay Home!

Light Reading’s latest research poll on RBOC Plans has turned up some noteworthy data.

Of the 50 respondents so far, an overwhelming number (82 percent) think the regional Bells should focus on their access networks versus spending the millions necessary to build out a data backbone. Going after interexchange carriers (IXCs) doesn’t seem to interest these respondents, nor does the idea that the RBOCs should be juicing up their copper plants.

”It’s encouraging, really, a true endorsement of the RBOCs' original mandate to serve their regional territories with better and better services,” says Scott Clavenna, research director at Light Reading.

He adds that to go after the IXCs, RBOCs would need to spend millions on core data gear, hire lots of expensive engineers to manage that gear, then go about the very complex task of interworking their existing ATM and Frame Relay services with this new IP/MPLS core network. This issue is discussed in detail in a report on Interworking on Light Reading.

Nearly two thirds of poll respondents (63 percent) believe the time has come for RBOCs to start large-scale deployment of fiber passive optical networks (PONs). This result is probably spurred on by recent news that three of the RBOCs, BellSouth Corp. (NYSE: BLS), SBC Communications Inc. (NYSE: SBC), and Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE: VZ), are getting serious about fiber-to-the-premises and plan to issue RFPs (request for proposals) for PON deployments this month (see Fiber Access Plans Proliferate, RBOCs Hungry for Fiber).

As many as 61 percent of respondents think the RBOCs should start wide-scale deployments of Ethernet-based business service over fiber networks, while a third think they will have more success deploying these services over copper/DSL. But before heading down this path, carriers should watch out for provisioning and billing issues related to Ethernet-based services, as there's not much integration with legacy systems here yet (see Carriers Face Ethernet 'Black Hole').

Clavenna was surprised that close to half (47 percent) of our poll takers think the RBOCs will deploy video services over fiber. About 40 percent think video services will be deployed over copper/DSL, and the remaining 13 percent don’t think it’ll happen at all.

”The RBOCs made such a mess of video in 1992 through 1995 that I’m shocked anyone is willing to go through that again. Maybe there is collective amnesia, or perhaps the folks that responded favorably weren’t around in the industry then,” he says (see Video Over Déjà Vu).

That said, the RBOCs might not have much choice in the matter, given the fierce competition they face from “triple play” voice, video, and data services from the cable companies (see Telcos Tackle Triple Play ).

Take the poll here.

— Jo Maitland, Senior Editor, Boardwatch

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trixie 12/4/2012 | 11:52:44 PM
re: RBOCs Stay Home! Um,

Given the number of customers in a given RBOC territory, let alone the hundreds of thousands of hits this web page gets every day,is 50 respondents a meaningful number to report on?

I'm not bashing the concept, but it seems a bit lean to be reporting any conclusive opinions. Deadline pressures?

wkdpssh 12/4/2012 | 11:52:41 PM
re: RBOCs Stay Home! How about being able to just fix the internal morass that makes it next to impossible for an RBOC to offer business customers multiple services seamlessly, or to even handle a data change on an account without taking down the account?
Peter Heywood 12/4/2012 | 11:52:41 PM
re: RBOCs Stay Home! Half the reason we ran this story is to encourage more folk to take the poll:

http://www.lightreading.com/su...
kjdocs 12/4/2012 | 11:52:41 PM
re: RBOCs Stay Home! PON, IPVPN, DSL....all these services are currently demanded in an economey that dictates caution. Carriers such as Verizon need to develope an infrastucture that can deliver the volume of traffic they will have to pass.

Just in the last month alone VZ has made offerings of Business DSL, Jacked up DSL data rates, and ISP's are ordering capacity for future growth, more bandwidth. Current backbone capicity could lead to a bumby transition. ISP requests alone have the potential for saturating carrier backbones with internet access and file sharing app use.

The thought of focusing soley on access is an approach that will only lead to customer frustration and a long transition into the truly high speed networked apllication world.

Investments need to be made to infrastructure. Monies will continue to move into capacity and migrating into the next technology cylce. The tricky task is to balance investment between core and access. To identify the markets tolerence for greater access copacity.

Truly, the growth is a marrige of access and core, carefully nurished in order to facilitate ROI.

mikel 12/4/2012 | 11:52:40 PM
re: RBOCs Stay Home! "He adds that to go after the IXCs, RBOCs would need to spend millions on core data gear, hire lots of expensive engineers to manage that gear, then go about the very complex task of interworking their existing ATM and Frame Relay services with this new IP/MPLS core network"

This sounds like the perfect way to reignite the telecom boom, restore full employment,bring back the "god box" and refloat my stock options.
rjmcmahon 12/4/2012 | 11:52:40 PM
re: RBOCs Stay Home! Truly, the growth is a marrige of access and core, carefully nurished in order to facilitate ROI.

Translated from RBOC-ese to what seems to really be goinng on:

Truthfully, the [status quo] is a [regulated consolidation] of access and core, carefully [manipulated] in order to facilitiated [sustained monopoly pricing].

The thought of focusing soley on access is an approach that will only lead to customer frustration and a long transition into the truly high speed networked apllication world.

The focus needs to be on enabling high speed municipal networks and treating our communications infrastructures as the public goods that they are. The above gets us nowhere close to an advanced communications infrastructure.
wilecoyote 12/4/2012 | 11:52:39 PM
re: RBOCs Stay Home! Happy you ran this article but think it was lame to quote Scott.

You guys can do better than that!

No offense Scott. You're cool.
alchemy 12/4/2012 | 11:52:30 PM
re: RBOCs Stay Home! Quote:
Nearly two thirds of poll respondents (63 percent) believe the time has come for RBOCs to start large-scale deployment of fiber passive optical networks (PONs).

What response did you think you'd get from a bunch of optical networking guys?
gea 12/4/2012 | 11:52:29 PM
re: RBOCs Stay Home! "Nearly two thirds of poll respondents (63 percent) believe the time has come for RBOCs to start large-scale deployment of fiber passive optical networks (PONs)."

This is a nonsensical response. Does this mean most respondents actually believe that the PON architecture is the best one from which to deliver FTTH? (If they really believe that then it's no wonder Telecom collapsed.)

In the end, putting an active device where the PON splitter is will always be superior and cheaper than a PON. PONs will be for niche applications where remote communities are served by a single fiber and where there's no place to put an active device. I'm sure most respondents don't know enough about what a PON really is to insist that PON is the best approach.
rjmcmahon 12/4/2012 | 11:52:28 PM
re: RBOCs Stay Home! Nice post gea. Thanks for educating us readers.

What are your thoughts on public goods and demand revelation as applied to an active FTTH network which strives for the principles of common carrier, universal service and bandwidth abundance? (PS. And what's your thoughts on the the geoists approach of collecting opex funds for the new network, i.e. could the fiber OSP be treated as the "land"?)

Demand Revelation: Better than Voting
by Fred E. Foldvary, Senior Editor

The problem with voting for collective goods is that it does not measure the intensity of preference. Someone who mildly favors a project has the same voting strength as someone who has a great desire for it. That can lead to irrational outcomes.

Suppose you have two housemates, and the three of you consider whether to buy a television for the household. If two vote against and one votes in favor, then the social choice is not to buy it. But if the one in favor greatly wants it, the rational choice may be to buy it, since the overall gain would be favorable.

If they trusted one another to tell the truth, they could just say how much they would pay to get a TV that costs $300. If one says $40, the second says $60, and the third says $250, the total is greater than the $300, so they should buy it, and each pay in proportion to their stated value.

But suppose we have a group where we are not sure if all would tell the truth. Some may try to be "free riders" who benefit from a collective good without paying for it.

There is a way to make social choices that is superior to plain voting. It is called "demand revelation." This method measures the intensity of desire rather than just recording "yes" or "no." Demand revelation also provides an incentive to get people to truthfully reveal their demand for a collective good.


http://www.progress.org/fold18...
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