Sunday, September 14, 2014

Quoting Circuits Including the Loop

I think some people are under the impression that a Lit Building, a multi-tenant building with fiber into it, means that the carrier will give away the bandwidth. That is widely inaccurate.

A lit building means that you won't wait months for a build out and turn up of service. That's the benefit of a lit building to the tenants.

Most carriers, especially the ILEC variety, charge a loop to every address -- yes, even to some data centers unless that data center is on a special list. Even Level(3) charges a loop (or backhaul) to a POP. They have to make money on something because the cost of the port is so low.

Fiber locator has a fiber map program. Access is about $500 per month. It isn't a complete carrier list by any stretch. Cable companies and ILECs don't usually give out a lit building list. Carriers that are primarily fiber companies like Cogent do keep a list, but not a public one. And I don't quote Cogent because they are not channel friendly.

BTW, when service providers talk about Cogent or HE at $500 per Gig, they mean port only in a designated data center (like 56 in Atlanta). They don't mean everywhere. And roof rights on 56 are a challenge to come by. I have even heard SPs give per MB pricing for bandwidth but it usually doesn't include the loop. And there is usually a loop. Even in the data center, there is not only a x-connect fee, but that carrier has a loop somewhere to deliver that bandwidth where it needs to go. There is always a loop.

The latest is my average experience.

An ISP requests a quote for 100 MB and 200MB.

I explain that 100MB and 200MB that there will be a big difference due to one being delivered on FastE and the larger on Gigabit transport. The ISP tells me that 100MB comes on a Gigabit circuit. That isn't my experience; but it does depend on the carrier.

The other request was "because we are a WISP we are adaptive and flexible. Just find us a lit building nearby." I offer a fiber finder service for $350. This would have been a good match. Instead, I explain that I will have to manually filter through fiber maps and lit building lists as best as I can.

Two carriers no bid this because there fiber network was too far away. The ILEC did bid. It was off-net for another carrier but they did bid less than the ILEC and reasonable. I sent these quotes to the ISP.

The response was baffling, “Can you find a building that is nearby (say 5, 10, 15, etc miles) with more bandwidth?" That's a large, variable radius. The quotes were delivering the bandwidth to the end user site; not somewhere 10 miles away where you would have to negotiate roof rights and purchase licensed link gear.

In this case, the carriers I work with did not have fiber near this location. My lit buildings lists didn't have anything nearby either. (The lit building lists are spreadsheets, not mapped or organized by zip code.) I explain all this. Hear nothing back. Ping them again.

The reply, "I do think that the cost is higher than what we can do there, so we're looking at a nearby already lit building and licensed link."

The lesson I need to remember here is that as a salespeople I have to do a better job of discovery. I should have nailed down budget first. Next, I should have suggested the fiber finder service, which does come with a refund if the circuit is ordered through my company.

Many of you are also experiencing pricing pressure from your customers. I would encourage you to also ask at least one more question: what is your budget? It will save you time and frustration.

Tuesday, September 09, 2014

Smart Marketing

I don't like to give credit to the Duopoly but in this case, this was smart marketing:

AT&T and Box to pave secure path to cloud content via VPN.

For one, it is a strategic partnership (with Dropbox competitor, Box).

For another, it talks about security in cloud and adds the term VPN which IT managers can understand.

Tuesday, September 02, 2014

Where is the Gig?

It seems that there are announcements about Gigabit broadband weekly now. Gigaom and Gig.U have the latest report about Gigabit Broadband in the US - HERE.

The study notes - as I have said previously - Google was the seed for this. And usually if one provider announces it, like Google Fiber did in Kansas City and Austin, one or both of the Duopoly jump on the bandwagon.

The other thing Google did was make it a public-private deal. In other words, Google got great deals from the municipalities to make it happen. Then, so too, did the Duopoly and that became the framework for future projects.

Meanwhile, Rural American can't even have reliable phone service, according to this Journal Times editorial: Time to speak up about poor rural phone service.

Meanwhile at the FCC:

Keep up with Rural Broadband Experiments here. Also, FCC establishes application procedures for Rural Broadband Experiments

from NECA: "NTCA said both Petitions should be denied because State legislatures are more properly suited to evaluate and resolve certain of the difficult policy issues associated with municipal provision of broadband, and the FCC lacks the legal authority to preempt the laws of the States of Tennessee or North Carolina insofar as they govern municipality administration and operation. AT&T does not oppose the use of government owned networks in areas where advanced infrastructure has not been, and is not likely to be, reasonably and timely deployed, but said there are more effective ways of spurring broadband deployment in these areas, including through the Connect America Fund. The FTTH Council Americas supported the Petitions, and said municipal utility and other municipal network providers tend to build all-fiber networks, and have had a disproportionate effect in spurring such deployments across the nation, resulting in substantial economic and social benefits in the communities they serve. WISPA asserted the FCC lacks authority to preempt the Tennessee and North Carolina laws that are the subject of the Petitions."

A coalition of governors is warning the Federal Communications Commission not to interfere with state laws preventing cities from building out their own Internet services. [source]

It is USTelecom that wants to block muni fiber expansion. What's funny is that the Guardian thinks USTelecom is cable. UST is ILECs.

Connect America Phase II map HERE.

"The Open Technology Institute said the clearest path forward for strong open Internet protections is through reclassification of broadband as a Title II service. Nokia opposes reclassifying broadband under Title II." Nokia is a Microsoft company, that has fallen on hard times.

2 Book Lists

Here are 2 lists of books that you might want to read.

The first is my list of books that have an impact on me.

The second is a list of 10 best business books to replace an MBA.

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.