Sunday, October 21, 2012

Increased adoption of telework offers low cost means of alleviating California's transportation congestion

Dan Walters: Study of exodus from California doesn't prove its point - Dan Walters - The Sacramento Bee: [t]here are legitimate doubts about California's ability to attract the job-creating investment capital we need to emerge from recession because of the aforementioned regulatory climate, high taxes and other factors, such as poor-performing schools and congested transportation. (Emphasis added)
California's transportation congestion problem has a low cost means of mitigation: increased adoption of working from a home office -- known as telework -- that eliminates commute trips and peak hour traffic.  A U.S. Census Bureau report issued earlier this month suggests that's the trend.  According to the Survey of Income and Program Participation, the number of people who worked at home at least one day per week increased from 9.5 million in 1999 to 13.4 million in 2010, increasing from 7.0 percent to 9.5 percent of all workers. The largest increase occurred between 2005 and 2010, when the share grew from 7.8 percent to 9.5 percent of all workers, an increase of more than 2 million.

As home to Silicon Valley and companies that have innovated telecommunications and information technologies that make remote work and virtual organizations possible, the Golden State should lead the way on telework adoption. Especially since raising billions to maintain its aging, decades-old system of roads and highways is proving fiscally challenging.

AT&T likely to upgrade only small portion of residential wireline plant, analyst predicts

AT&T is likely to upgrade only a fraction of its residential wireline plant to deliver premises Internet to residences that it doesn't currently provide Internet service, according to an analysis by George Notter of Jefferies & Company discussed in this Telecompetitor article.  The telco's strategy is stated to be unveiled next month.

Notter's analysis predicts AT&T will upgrade only about 15 percent of its wireline plant to support its hybrid fiber/copper U-Verse triple play offering.  Some of the remaining premises may be offered AT&T's version of Verizon's LTE-based HomeFusion product, according to Notter. 

Sunday, October 14, 2012

DSL turbocharging schemes remain just that

DSL Renaissance Underway?: Zero Touch Vectoring
Vectoring technology is a relatively new innovation for DSL which basically is a noise cancelling technology which reduces cross talk in copper pairs, allowing DSL to achieve much faster bandwidth throughput as a result. Some vendors are claiming they can squeeze 100 Mbps out of VDSL2 vectoring, albeit at rather short distances. It’s very much a FTTN technology, where VDSL2 connects to the home from a fiber fed cabinet.
These stories continue to appear year after year as vendors hope telcos will adopt their latest sooper dooper DSL turbocharging scheme.  Problem is while telcos aren't investing FTTH CAPex, they aren't investing CAPex or OPex in their aging legacy copper cable plants either and are instead concentrating on the mobile wireless space where more rapid ROIs are to be had.

And the above reference to "Zero Touch" for many telco customers has an entirely different meaning: DSL won't touch their premises because the DSL signal can't propagate far enough over old copper to reach them. Zero Touch=Zero Service.

Friday, October 12, 2012

Wipro Launches Prepaid Broadband Solution for US Cable Market - Yahoo! Finance

Wipro Launches Prepaid Broadband Solution for US Cable Market - Yahoo! Finance

I'm not so sure that adopting a pre-paid pricing scheme like that of the personal wireless market will provide sufficient incentive and ARPU for cable companies to build out their infrastructures to capture new customers.  But from a consumer perspective, it's far better than the current practice of asking would-be customers to come up with $65,000 per mile (with no equity in return) to build out to their neighborhoods under so-called "self help" provisions of cable franchise agreements.

Tuesday, October 09, 2012

Software solution touted as way to help cable companies ration, monetize bandwidth

Active Broadband Networks Ensures Accuracy of Internet Usage Data in DOCSIS Networks - Yahoo! Finance: FRAMINGHAM, MA--(Marketwire - Oct 9, 2012) - Active Broadband Networks, an innovative supplier of next-generation operation support systems (OSS) for broadband providers, today announced enhancements to its software that improve operator visibility into the integrity of Internet protocol detail record (IPDR) data collected from Cable Modem Termination Systems (CMTSs) in DOCSIS networks. Cable operators rely on IPDR data to compute subscriber Internet usage for usage metering and usage-based pricing as well as a variety of broadband service management applications, so accuracy is a critical requirement as they seek to measure, manage and monetize increasing Internet usage.

When the business model is based on getting more out of existing customers rather than expanding to get new ones, this makes perfect sense.  A key component is commoditizing Internet bandwidth so it can be segmented into discrete unit prices. The company issuing the above news release is selling a tool to cable companies to help them do just that.
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