Tuesday, August 26, 2014

The Mega-Mergers Update

So the Rural Telcos told the FCC: Reject Comcast-Time Warner Cable Merger:

"The proposed $69.8 billion combination would create a mammoth entity with unprecedented market power that would stymie facilities-based video competition throughout the country, harming consumers and the public interest," declared the ITTA (Independent Telephone and Telecommunications Alliance), in a 19-page petition filed Monday with the FCC." [source]

AT&T went quietly to the DOJ to get approval for Ma Bell eating DirecTV. Meanwhile, DTV renewed its Sunday ticket with the NFL for $1.4B!!!

Cbeyond is now Birch. Their booth at ITEXPO even had Birch written in via a green marker.

Bets are being placed on how long before Level3 messes with tw telecom's network like they did with Global Crossing's network. More notice and thoughtfulness should go into this decision.

Amazon spent almost $1B to buy Twitch, which is where people watch videos of other people playing video games. Yeah that coach surfing moment happened.

Google bought Zinc, a special effects company. They are getting into movies now?

And Google bought Emu. "Emu was at heart an IM client, but it differentiated itself from the crowded market with smart features that incorporated a virtual assistant not unlike Siri to automate tasks based on your conversations," writes TC.

Burger King is merging with Tim Hortons.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

So Much Going on at FCC

The FCC has a lot of issues in front of it - CAF, TDM-to-IP transition, Net Neutrality / Open Internet, Wi-Fi, Rural Broadband, spectrum allocation, and a number of mergers. They will screw up a number of these despite the comments and input they seek.

Comcast Spends $110k On Award Dinner For FCC Commissioner, Doesn’t See Why Anyone Thinks That’s A Problem. Mignon Clyburn is the commish in charge of the Comcast-TWC merger review. So the 2 cablecos paid for a dinner to get her an award.


Over 1 Million comments have been received by the FCC about keeping the internet open! Look at the responses visually at NPR. BTW, over 4300 of them contained a F-bomb.

And just as important (to me), the FCC may repeal NFL blackouts. [source] In an article about the renovations at stadiums around the nation, the fight for seats isn't so much about ticket prices as it is about comfort (customer experience). The NFL is fighting people to get off their own sofa. With big screen TV's, wi-fi, snacks and cheaper drinks, people would rather stay home to watch the game than go to the stadium. [It is also the problem movie theaters face.] In the end, if it isn't a necessity, then it becomes about user experience. The Bucs need to add more wi-fi to their stadium.

Rural Broadband, Coops and E-Rate Changes Make the News

Electric Co-ops are building Rural Broadband Networks, according to BBP.

Study: Broadband Boosts Rural Jobs, Income

“We found that rural counties that did a good job of adopting broadband had higher rates of income growth and lower rates of unemployment growth,” said Brian Whitacre, Oklahoma State University Cooperative Extension economist, and leader of the study group. [source]

"As the FCC looks at the Connect America Fund (CAF) for rate-of-return carriers, it is reviewing if it should increase the broadband speed target for USF support, and should it adjust support in areas served by an un-subsidized or qualifying competitors (like WISPs)

The Duopoly is making noise about GigaBit Broadband. [See the map here.] C-Link, AT&T, VZ, Google and now CinBell have announced GigaBit Broadband. [CinBell announcement here.]

And let's not forget C Spire who announced that they are making Silicon South. Huh?

If you are winning business, do you submit press releases like this? You should. (I can help)

Order Modernizing E-rate Program Effective September 18

The FCC published in the Federal Register on August 19, 2014, the Report and Order on modernizing the E-rate program to support robust Wi-Fi networks in schools and libraries. The Order maintains E-rate’s current budget of $2.4 billion (adjusted by inflation) and makes available an additional $2 billion to support Wi-Fi over the next two years. The Order is effective September 18, 2014.

Monday, August 18, 2014

VoIP Provider Hacked

"Hackers caused a phone outage in the Clay Center area Friday, just as a local radio station was trying to raise money for a good cause." [source]

Big River Telephone is the underlying provider that was hit with a denial of service attack. Just making you aware that this stuff can happen.

Another FCC Webinar about Form 477

FCC to Hold Second Webinar for Form 477 Filers

The Wireline Competition and Wireless Telecommunications Bureaus issued a Public Notice on August 14, 2014, announcing they will hold a webinar for the filers of FCC Form 477, Local Telephone Competition and Broadband Reporting, on how to use the new filing interface and other filing requirements, on September 5, 2014.

Wednesday, August 06, 2014

NYC Data Centers

TELX is using a movie to market its data centers in NYC.

"Between 1928 and 1932, Western Union and AT&T Long Lines built two of the most advanced telecommunications buildings in the world, at 60 Hudson Street and 32 Avenue of the Americas in Lower Manhattan. Nearly a century later, they remain among the world's finest Art Deco towers — and cornerstones of global communication. “Urban Giants” is an 9-minute filmic portrait of their birth and ongoing life, combining never-before-seen-construction footage, archival photographs and films, interviews with architectural and technology historians, and stunning contemporary cinematography." On VIMEO HERE

Gizmodo picked it up (or was paid to write it) on their Aussie site HERE.

If you need data center space - anywhere in the world - I can quote TELX and a couple of hundred other data centers. Call 813-963-5884 today.

Monday, August 04, 2014

Broadsoft Explained

On Voiceops there has been an on-going discussion thread about Broadsoft - versus other platforms like Metaswitch and Asterisk; wholesalers; and Broadsoft's own offerings.

The person who started the thread is not happy with his current white-label provider because it isn't current or complete (meaning all the bells and whistles). Personally, I think that all the bells and whistles are nice IF your customers will buy them AND IF your sales team can sell them. For probably 85% of customers, a basic Broadsoft deployment will work.

To expect a white-label platform to be your be-all, end-all is kind of ridiculous. White-label is foremost about a stable platform, uptime and ease of use/ordering/support. That doesn't lend itself to upgrades often.

There are a bunch of confusing brand names for the services that BSFT sells. Here is they are:

BroadSoft - the company
BroadWorks - the software that BroadSoft write
BroadCloud - a cloud deployment of BroadWorks wrapped with a BSS/OSS system operated by BroadSoft. It includes a series of products (e.g. IM&P, SMS, PacketSmart, PBX) some of which can be used by BroadWorks customers (e.g. SMS and IM&P) and some of which offer an alternative to buying BroadWorks.
BroadTouch - a brand for a group of clients written by BroadSoft integrated with BroadWorks and available on BroadCloud
UC One - a branded bundle of BroadTouch software and BroadWorks services that provides a specific user experience.
BTW, there are 7 instances of UC-One on the Google store.

"BroadCloud has a very specific target market - it's designed to be a "standardised" deployment of BroadWorks coupled with Rialto, a "quote to cash" provisioning system (Broadsoft's marketing material)."

I understand not wanted to make the half-million dollar investment plus hiring the engineer who has to make the softswitch work. I have seen where service providers just can't get it done. Yet if you want full control of the servcie you offer, how else can you do it?

On the other hand, there are enough white-label providers in the US for Asterisk, Metaswitch and Broadsoft that you have a lot to choose from.

More on UC-One today from BSFT. "BroadSoft Introduces UC-One Hospitality, enabled by acquisition of SDD. BroadSoft has acquired SDD, a services provider to many of the largest and most prominent global hotels." [bsft]>/p>

Saturday, August 02, 2014

Changes in my Email, Websites and Books

My current hosting provider, IXwebhosting, has been giving me fits for about a year. I will be transitioning my websites to TriParish.net, a client of mine for many years. With those DNS changes, my email may be wonky this week, so if you don't hear back from me, please try calling, texting or another email addy (I have about 10).

My publisher, Lulu.com, has discounted all of my books, so it is a good time to buy them. My last book, SELLECOM2: Selling Cloud Services, is available for more than 40% off the original price!

Also, the Soft Selling for Customer Service people webinar was full and well received. The playback is available for 60 days. (If interested, let me know.) Upselling for Technicians is this Wed. Register NOW!

See you in Vegas at ITEXPO!

Thursday, July 31, 2014

477 Filing With the FCC

The FCC will be holding a webinar to explain the new filing interface on August 6th at 2:30 est. Check out http://www.fcc.gov/events/fcc-form-477-webinar. Today should be the first day that the new system is fully available for viewing and filing. Because of the changes (and their delay in making the system actually available), the FCC has extended the next filing date to October 1st.