Seattle ‘Band’ still warming up

Last week I reported that Sharedband–the U.K. startup that bonds ADSL (to both DSL lines and cable)–was expecting to make its U.S. debut by week’s end. The company told me early last week it was on track to launch with three Seattle ISPs and planned to start recruiting Qwest ISPs in late February.

Today Sharedband told me it didn’t quite work out that way.


IPTV user experience…users?

For the past five months, I have been covering the always exciting, sometimes troublesome world of IPTV. New deployments, old problems and the latest applications have made news on the pages of Telephony, along with the battle between AT&T’s U-verse service, Verizon’s FiOS TV and a host of other telcos offering different levels of IP-based networks. It’s great to hear of the promise and much-touted user experience from the companies bringing it to market, but we want to know the real scoop on the service from you millions of subscribers. more…

700 MHz Auction: Bidding ends early on glitch

It turns out the hold in the auction was a technical delay. The FCC canceled the final round of the day, round 31, but will resume its regular 5-round bidding schedule in the morning.

700 MHz Auction: Bidding on hold

The auction mysteriously went on hold this afternoon, an we’re still waiting on the FCC for an explanation. Could it be that the auction is winding down? In round 30, the auction generated only 158 new bids as the bidding slows down on many of the licenses. Those bids result in only a 0.26% increase in the total bids so far, which reached $18.8 billion today. more…

Remembering Jeanette Symons


I spoke with Jeanette Symons just once, back in 2000, for a story in Telephony’s sister publication, Upstart.

I remember how friendly and personable she was. (In any picture you can find of Jeanette Symons, she shows a lot more teeth than most telecom executives do.) I remember how impressed I was with her brilliance and the fact that she flew her own plane whenever she traveled on business. more…

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.

700 MHz Auction: C-block bidding slows again

The further hiccups in C-block bidding we predicted yesterday turned out to be right on the button. The competitors for the nationwide open-access license didn’t submit bids in today’s opening round, leaving the license at its $2.98 billion provisional amount at the end of round 9. The lack of activity not only slows down the license’s advance to the $4.6 billion reserve price, which would unlock Google’s coveted open-access provision, but it also serves to lower the minimum bid for the next round from $3.42 billion to $3.38 billion.  more…

700 MHz Auction: Day 3, the status quo remains

The FCC upped the intensity of the auction today, hosting four rounds of bidding today instead of the two daily rounds of last week. Despite the doubling of activity of Day 3, nothing too startling occurred. Except for a slight hiccup in C-block bidding in round 6, the auction is essentially in the same state as we left it at the end of week one: bidding ramped up leisurely on the C-block open-access license, the D-block public-safety license was untouched and the really nasty fighting occurred over regional and market licenses in New York, Southern California and Chicago. In total, the auction has no generated $6.1 billion in high bids. more…

700 MHz Auction: Bidders take a breather on open-access block

For the first time in six rounds, no one bid on the open-access C block in Auction 73. After attracting a single bid in every round bringing the price up to $2.15 billion, the unnamed bidders competing for the large block of commercial spectrum stepped back in round 6, drawing into question the demand for the nationwide block that would support the country’s first government-mandated open-access network.  more…


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