Oops. I need a Glossary when I speak Telco:
– UNE (Unbundled Network Elements) — wholesale features present on switches like callerID, Call Waiting, Call Forwarding, etc. – RBOC — Regional Bell Operating Company(ies) like Pacific Bell, Verizon – FCC — Federal Communications Commission (Federal Regulators) – VoDSL — Voice over Digital Subscriber Line (DSL) – VoIP — Voice over Internet Protocol – TDM — Time-Division Multiplexing (used to refer to the plain old telephone network) – PUC — Public Utilities Commission (Regional Regulators) – AT&T — Sucks.
On 7/24/01 3:25 PM, “Kelly Tompkins”
> Hey Ian, a few less acronyms…
> At 03:09 PM 7/24/01 -0700, Ian Andrew Bell wrote:
>> But it’ll still have to compete with a host of newly-available products.
>> AT&T for example seems to be rolling out consumer services using UNEs
>> (Unbundled Network Elements — reselling features wholesaled from RBOCs)
>> which are all of a sudden a practicable reality thanks to the FCC.
>> The problems facing VoDSL and residential VoIP are still twofold:
>> 1) As long as there is no arbitrage-based, on-demand global hop-off network
>> most of the carriage of traffic will still be over the good ol’ TDM
>> network. As a result, the cost will be high.
>> — Jeff Pulver says he is fixing this, don’t ya Jeff?
>> 2) As the RBOCs are attempting to become Long Distance companies, and the
>> FCC and PUCs are forcing them to supply their competitors with whole-
>> saled voice services, bigger players such as AT&T will succumb to the
>> appeal of simply reselling TDM-based RBOC services.
>> Monday July 23 02:00 PM EDT
>> Voice-over-DSL getting new lease on life
>> By John Borland CNET News.com
>> One of the technological casualties of the telecommunications collapse is
>> gaining a second wind as companies again look for cheap ways to offer voice
>> services over high-speed Net connections.
>> Voice-over-DSL (VoDSL), which uses a single regular phone wire to offer the
>> equivalent of many phone lines, once teetered on the edge of mainstream
>> technology before falling back into obscurity. At a time when finding
>> investment capital was easy, start-up phone companies touted it as a way to
>> break into the local phone companies’ business cheaply and easily.
>> That never happened. The bottom dropped out of the telecommunications
>> market, and the start-up network companies found themselves too busy trying
>> to stay alive to test and offer new technology. In addition, the technology
>> did not work quite as well as advertised, analysts say.
>> But the voice technology appears to be on the cusp of a renaissance.
>> Northeastern phone and data company Broadview Networks is starting to offer
>> the service Monday, with business customers already signed up. AT&T is
>> signaling that it is ready to throw its weight behind the technology as it
>> seeks a new way to connect directly to consumers.
>> “I believe we are entering phase two of voice-over-DSL,” said Teresa
>> Mastrangelo, an analyst with RHK, a communications research and consulting
>> firm. “This year has been where carriers have gone back to vendors asking
>> for (changes in the equipment). Now we’re starting to see the vendors
>> A resurgence of the voice-over-broadband technology could boost local phone
>> competition, which has been one of the hardest-hit sectors in the
>> telecommunications meltdown. AT&T and smaller phone companies able to pull
>> together a bundle of voice and Net services could revive pressure on the big
>> local phone companies, which have seen their competition diminish, and
>> provide new options for consumers.
>> VoDSL technology allows the bandwidth of a high-speed Internet connection to
>> be split into multiple “virtual” phone lines, making a single physical
>> copper phone wire capable of carrying several simultaneous calls. Thus, a
>> small business could have many phone lines, plus enough remaining bandwidth
>> for Net access.
>> Under this scenario, a business might call Broadview for its local phone
>> service instead of Verizon Communications (NYSE:VZ – news). The single phone
>> line could be sliced the way the customer wanted, with four phone lines and
>> a fast data connection, or with 10 phone lines and less bandwidth available
>> for surfing the Net.
>> The technology is attractive to business customers, at least in theory,
>> because it allows them to have Web access and a few phone lines at
>> relatively low cost. Broadview’s prices, for example, range between 11
>> percent and 30 percent lower than comparable offers from Verizon, depending
>> on how many phone lines are ordered. The technology also reduces costs for
>> Making it happen
>> But actual installations, beyond trial projects, have failed to materialize.
>> Analyst firm TeleChoice estimates that fewer than 10,000 DSL lines in the
>> United States carry voice signals–a far cry from some predictions that
>> estimated the technology would reach several hundred thousand lines by the
>> end of last year.
>> Several companies manufacture the hardware required to split a DSL
>> connection into voice lines, including Jetstream Communications, TollBridge
>> Technologies, CopperCom, General Bandwidth and Accelerated Networks.
>> Lacking demand from carriers, some of these VoDSL gear makers have shifted
>> their strategy to include new technologies. For example, CopperCom last year
>> embraced so-called softswitch technology, or software that is capable of
>> routing phone calls and other voice features typically handled by massive
>> and expensive hardware. Others have tried to kick-start the VoDSL market
>> with newer versions of their hardware.
>> Most, analysts say, have been responsive to carrier concerns about
>> reliability and features and have spent the past year working on these
>> “Technically it has worked now for some time,” said Ron Nash, vice president
>> of marketing for CopperCom, one of the companies Broadview is using to
>> supply the technology. “But it has taken some additional work to get it
>> ready” for the carriers’ needs, he added.
>> In New York, Broadview says the technology has finally reached the point
>> where it’s ready for customers. Broadview is a company with more than
>> 100,000 customers across four states in the northeastern United States. It’s
>> been testing the VoDSL service for several months and already has 30
>> business customers, representing several thousand phone lines, signed up to
>> use the service in New York, the company says.
>> “We think the first real ‘killer app’ on DSL is voice,” said George Holland,
>> Broadview’s executive vice president of marketing. “This is what people have
>> been asking for for two years, and we’re finally able to deliver.”
>> Passing the test?
>> Although it’s still early, Broadview’s first test customers say the
>> technology is doing the trick.
>> “We’re very happy with it,” said Charles Seideman, the owner of Done Deal, a
>> wholesale distributor in New York that has used the new VoDSL service for
>> about six weeks. The company had no particular desire to experiment with new
>> technology, but Broadview was able to set up the system quickly after
>> another phone company went out of business, he said. “We needed faster
>> access, and they were there at the right place at the right time.”
>> AT&T isn’t quite to that point of delivering. But the consumer phone
>> division has said it will use the DSL network it recently bought from
>> bankrupt NorthPoint Communications to offer voice services, as it loses
>> access to the cable network it originally bought for this purpose.
>> Analysts say some of the big local phone companies have also experimented
>> with the technology in recent months and are expected to announce some
>> vendor choices relatively soon.
>> Not everyone in the industry is as sanguine about the technology’s return,
>> TeleChoice’s Adam Guglielmo, who has watched the hype evaporate during the
>> past few years, says he’s not convinced the equipment makers have satisfied
>> carriers’ technical concerns. Moreover, it will take a big backer such as
>> AT&T to push the technology to the mainstream, and it’s not yet clear how
>> strong AT&T’s support will be, he added.
>> The alternative phone carriers still will have to deal with resistance from
>> the big local phone companies, from which they still must lease the basic
>> phone lines to offer DSL services. Many of the competing phone and DSL
>> companies have said that the Bell companies’ resistance had proved to be one
>> of the biggest hurdles slowing their business progress. Some have even filed
>> suits against companies such as BellSouth and SBC Communications.
>> “I think the opportunity is there. The business case for the services, if
>> you can get them to work, is definitely there,” Guglielmo said. “But it’s
>> been slow going.”
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