Archive for January 30th, 2008

Stretching copper

When AT&T moved the goalposts back again on its expected deployment of bonded VDSL2, the industry seemed to collectively shake its head in frustration. Yet another delay in the carrier’s fiber-to-the-node initiative. And yet another return to the inconvenient truths about the bandwidth limitations of copper.

“AT&T will need to do something dramatic in order to find the bandwidth to deliver multi-stream high-definition [TV], especially since the cable and satellite competition have expanded their HD channel line-ups and/or VoD libraries substantially,” said Erik Keith, an analyst at Current Analysis. “MPEG-4 will help, but FTTN DSLAMs will not be the best strategy long-term. FTTP is really the best way to go.”

However, a few developments this week are aimed at not giving up on copper so quickly.


700 MHz Auction: Open access one bid away

The C-block package license was bid up to $4.29 billion in today’s opening round. If someone takes the bait in round 14, the provisional winning amount will break the open-access barrier, paving the way for the first wireless network with a government mandate to support any application or device. Of course, that’s only if someone bids in round 13. If the bidders follow their current pattern, they’ll skip a round in between bids, which will drop will the minimum bid necessary. Right now the minimum bid is $4,865,795,000. The reserve price set by the FCC to activate open access is $4,637,854,000.

For a full analysis of the open-access race see Telephony’s wrap-up story for Day 4. For the full auction results see the FCC’s Auction 73 page.


January 2008
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