Archive by Ed Gubbins

As carriers gird for FCC fight, an omen down under

As the new FCC Chairman focuses “relentlessly” on competition, he cannot have failed to notice the recent admission of Australian carrier Telstra that it has engaged in anti-competitive practices, denying rivals the legal right to interconnect by falsely claiming there was no room for new equipment in seven exchange facilities – an admission that came only after the departure of its former chief executive officer, Sol Trujillo.

Known for his adversarial relationship with unions and the government (which owned the company just four years ago and still owns a large part), Trujillo will be remembered by Australians as “the one who took on the government and lost,” one analyst said. As the former CEO of US West, Trujillo must have been shocked to learn that a Fortune 500 company can take on the government and lose. Now Australia is barreling ahead with an ambitious plan to build a $34-billion open nationwide network, dramatically changing Telstra’s tone and inspiring others around the globe. more

AT&T, Level 3 round out top 5 CDNs

AT&T (NYSE: T) and Level 3 Communications (NASDAQ: LVLT) scored well in a recent assessment of content delivery network (CDN) providers conducted by the Yankee Group, taking fourth and fifth place, respectively, in the crowded market. more

Broadband stimulus ‘underserved’ rule becomes more flexible

The federal government’s definition of “underserved areas” for purposes of awarding broadband stimulus funds has caused consternation among some applicants – in particular municipal leaders who feel it excludes them from the program. For example, the chief information officer for San Jose, Calif., recently complained of a downtown fire station that is underserved but sits in an area that wouldn’t qualify. A city official in Northfield, Minn., said she doubted any of her state’s cities would qualify.

But further clarification of these rules may ease some applicants’ minds as they prove more flexible than previously thought. more

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AT&T to spend 35% to 50% more in 2H09

AT&T (NYSE: T) expects to spend 35% to 50% more in the back half of this year than it did in the first half, the company said during its second-quarter earnings report today.

Having spent about $7.2 billion in the first half of the year – just $4.0 billion of that in the second quarter, below some analysts’ expectations – AT&T reiterated its previously voiced expectations of spending $17 billion to $18 billion for the entire year, suggesting that 58% to 60% of its annual budget would be spent in the back half. more

Cloud providers pressured to open APIs

Rackspace’s (NYSE: RAX) announcement last week that it would release open application programming interfaces (APIs) for its cloud computing services and open-source API specs in the coming weeks is another example of cloud providers gaining advantage in the market by doing what more established players in the telecom world won’t do. more

Avaya to leapfrog Cisco with Nortel acquisition

With its $475-million purchase of Nortel Networks’ enterprise business, Avaya will leapfrog Cisco Systems to become the industry’s largest enterprise voice equipment vendor, according to the Yankee Group. more

Broadband stimulus details separating likely winners, losers

The so-called ‘broadband stimulus chill’ is thawing as the federal government’s recently released guidelines shed more light on how broadband stimulus funds will be applied. more

New rules for a cloud-based world

“We raised $3 million, and we’re effectively an infrastructure company,” James Lindenbaum, co-founder and CEO of Heroku, said at last month’s Structure show, seemingly in half-disbelief.

San Francisco-based Heroku is a hosting and platform provider that helps app developers create, test and deploy their apps more easily. It offers a choice of dedicated and shared resources, making use of Amazon’s flexible cloud-computing platform. And as highlighted by that quote from its CEO, it’s one of a growing number of startups dismantling traditional notions of infrastructure and services in a cloud-based world. One more mortal roasting meat over fire stolen from Mount Olympus. more

Hard times an infocom wake-up call for hotels?

Can the nation’s hotel chains be dragged into the digital age?

Every time I check in to a hotel that promises free WiFi only to discover it has nothing of the sort — because coverage only extends to the front third of the building or because the network’s capacity can accomodate no more than three users at a time — I’m amazed how many hotels catering to business travelers still believe that the truly essential infotech amenities in the room are the TV and the never-used wireline phone, while Web access is not their concern. more

Nortel and the megavendor innovation myth

In early post-mortems of Nortel Networks (TSE: NT), the criticism that the company failed to “innovate,” I think, misapprehends the current role of the world’s top telecom equipment vendors. These days, major suppliers survive and grow in large part not by inventing new technologies but by capitalizing on the innovations of other companies. more

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