Facebook Getting Pushback on Open Source Hardware Initiative

Getting startup and investor pushback on Telecom Infra Project.

Mitch Wagner, Executive Editor, Light Reading

June 8, 2017

2 Min Read
Facebook Getting Pushback on Open Source Hardware Initiative

Following startup and investor pushback about open source technology, Facebook is launching a new industry coalition to license networking technologies on "reasonable and non-discriminatory terms" (RAND).

The new group, either alongside or within the Facebook Telecom Infra Project (TIP), "reflects concern about the business model surrounding open source technology," and "risks upsetting open source players that have regarded the Internet behemoth as an unwavering ally," my colleague Iain Morris writes at Light Reading. (See Facebook Takes TIP in New Direction as Investors Doubt Open Source Payback.)

TIP launched early last year, as an alliance between Facebook and hardware vendors, to challenge the slow-moving network equipment industry, using open source design principles to speed up development of new, low-cost and innovative networking technologies.

Figure 1: Photo: Steve Snodgrass (CC BY 2.0) Photo: Steve Snodgrass (CC BY 2.0)

Facebook this week picked vendor Amarisoft, which develops Virtual Radio Access Network (V-RAN) technology, as one of three startups to get support from Facebook and Orange as part of a new initiative to bolster young telecom infrastructure players. Says Morris:

But Amarisoft CEO Franck Spinelli lashed out at TIP during a pitch to investors and Orange executives in Paris earlier this week, blaming TIP's commitment to open source for the lack of progress his business has made.

"We don't want to let our technology go for nothing. We want money for that..."

More here: Facebook Takes TIP in New Direction as Investors Doubt Open Source Payback.

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About the Author(s)

Mitch Wagner

Executive Editor, Light Reading

San Diego-based Mitch Wagner is many things. As well as being "our guy" on the West Coast (of the US, not Scotland, or anywhere else with indifferent meteorological conditions), he's a husband (to his wife), dissatisfied Democrat, American (so he could be President some day), nonobservant Jew, and science fiction fan. Not necessarily in that order.

He's also one half of a special duo, along with Minnie, who is the co-habitor of the West Coast Bureau and Light Reading's primary chewer of sticks, though she is not the only one on the team who regularly munches on bark.

Wagner, whose previous positions include Editor-in-Chief at Internet Evolution and Executive Editor at InformationWeek, will be responsible for tracking and reporting on developments in Silicon Valley and other US West Coast hotspots of communications technology innovation.

Beats: Software-defined networking (SDN), network functions virtualization (NFV), IP networking, and colored foods (such as 'green rice').

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