Occam cuts 10% of staff amid broadband stimulus chill

Occam Networks (Nasdaq: OCNW), considered to be a likely beneficiary of federal broadband stimulus initiatives, reported today that it is cutting 10% of its staff amid a sales slowdown it attributes in part to customers slowing purchases due to uncertainty over broadband stimulus allocation.

The access equipment vendor reported first-quarter revenue that was flat from a year earlier and down 39% sequentially to $19.4 million. And it is expecting second-quarter revenue to be sequentially flat.

“This weakness reflects the current economic conditions as well as a delay effect while our customers evaluate the timing and availability of potential government broadband stimulus funds,” said Bob Howard-Anderson, Occam’s chief executive officer, in a statement.

Occam’s remarks are consistent with other industry reports of a “chilling effect” among broadband providers caused by uncertainty over the specifics of the stimulus program, which is still shrouded in mystery as the government works to spell out more specificially how funds will be awarded.

But Occam’s remarks today contrast sharply with those of another broadband equipment vendor, Adtran, which reported last month that the prospect of stimulus awards was catalyzing activity in the market.

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