Tag Archives: Federal Communications Commission

AT&T is more interested in cost savings than network operations

English: Avaya ERS 8600.

English: Avaya ERS 8600. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

By George Mattathil – AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson says, “The really big numbers come when you get really close to turning off the switch on the old legacy TDM infrastructure. There are significant network and IT costs involved in sustaining those products and you don’t turn the lion’s share of those off till you take that last product out of service.”

It seems primary preoccupation at AT&T is not how well they can operate the networks, but how much money they can save. Current thinking is a continuation of the past decision to keep the then profitable long distance business and spin-off valuable technology (Lucent, Avaya, Agere) and access networks (Baby Bells.) Service quality, reliability and performance are being sacrificed for the sake of financial profits. Such flawed thinking is a common problem.

It is possible that AT&T is not really driving this effort, but the government. That would explain the series of illogical past decisions by AT&T.

Proceeding with the all-IP plans will result in a network system that is less than optimum. Past neglect of a fully developed rail network [1, 2, 3] has resulted in the less than optimum current transportation system in the US.

If the FCC agrees with AT&T plans, get ready for a sub-standard network infrastructure with reduced service features and performance.™¦


Comments at the FCC

Seal of the United States Federal Communicatio...

Seal of the United States Federal Communications Commission.
(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

This is in response to the blog post “The IP Transition: Starting Now” by Tom Wheeler, FCC Chairman.

By George Mattathil – Transiting to an all-IP network would be a bad thing..

There are three primary data types – voice, data, video. Each has its unique characteristics, and cannot substitute the other. Developments in digital technologies allow transporting voice, and data and video over packet networks. But, that is not the same as deciding how best design networks.

We have cars, buses, trains, airplanes, ships, spacecrafts, etc. for different modes of transportation. But nobody argues that we should build flying cars to replace all modes of transportation. Networks should be build in the same manner. Different data types have different performance requirements, and build networks to best meet those needs.

The unthinking affinity for the Internet is an after effect of the dot-com-bubble. One side effect of the bubble was the Telecom Meltdown and dissolution of Nortel and Lucent as the de facto telco technology providers. This has placed the US telcos in a pickle, as the telco systems with innovations and ingenuity spanning more than a century, since Alexander Bell made the first phone call in 1876, cannot be replaced easily.

Financially driven decision-making started at the original-AT&T with the decision to keep the then profitable long distance and divest the technology (Lucent, Avaya, Agere) and the customer-connecting access networks (Baby Bells.) AT&T then followed it by another disastrous decision to buy TCI cable network. As the original fantasies did not materialize, AT&T was forced to spin off the cable business to Comcast, and lost billions in the process. The result was one of the reconstituted Baby Bells, SBC, bought AT&T and renamed itself as the current at&t.

The telcos have been indulging in financial wizardry, and seems to have forgotten their primary mission. As Steve Denning points out, it is high time telcos realized that their mission is building and operating networks. More at: http://wp.me/pNLb5-ce0


The Thorny Issue of Net Neutrality

By Jeff Clark – The problem with the net neutrality debate is the lack of a clean slate to defend either model of the Internet. Telcos are not private companies in any honest sense of the word, so they cannot take unmitigated refuge in the concept of private property. On the other hand, these companies still aim to make a profit. In addition, attempting to treat telcos as purely public entities is likewise unwarranted.

Essentially, net neutrality is less far reaching a topic than proponents and opponents would insist. more> http://tinyurl.com/lxmhs57

AT&T, Verizon execs cite ‘chilling’ effect of murky TDM-to-IP transition regs

By Sean Buckley – “In 2009, the FCC set some very ambitious objectives, one of which was a complete shutdown of the TDM architecture and merge to IP by 2017,” said James W. Cicconi, senior executive vice president of external and legislative affairs for AT&T. “We’re here in 2013 and not a single thing that I can discern has been done to advance that objective.”

The FCC aims to shut down the TDM network by 2017. But AT&T, for one, previously announced it plans to turn off its TDM network by 2020. more> http://tinyurl.com/l7kuyx9


Why Broadband Consumers Are The Likely Winners In Verizon v. FCC

By Bret Swanson – YouTube and Netflix may, between them, consume more than 50% of last mile network capacity during peak hours of the day. These services not only demand lots of raw capacity but also €” because it is maddening to watch glitchy, halting videos €” require low latency and jitter. In other words, they do not tolerate delayed delivery of data packets. This strains the network.

And this is the rub. The net neutrality rules, as written, shift 100% of the cost of last mile bandwidth to consumers. The rules bar commercial relationships between the broadband service providers and the online content companies, in effect mandating a zero price. For the content companies, it is a regulatory subsidy. For consumers, it’s potentially a bad deal. more> http://tinyurl.com/knx6nc4

What Verizon’s Net Neutrality Challenge Is Really About

By Larry DownesNet neutrality is not an engineering term, but a political term, and as such, nearly impossible to define. Much of the anxiety reflected in reporting about the order and Monday’s argument is anxiety about just what is at stake, which has proven impossible to explain rationally to consumers and journalists alike.

Indeed, many advocates for (and some against) the FCC’s rulemaking have intentionally fomented confusion. Their true objectives lie far beyond obscure features of Internet engineering; net neutrality for them is only a side show. more> http://tinyurl.com/nty79a9


FCC’s Net Neutrality Rules May Not Survive Court

By Katy Bachman – The panel of three judges were so interested in the case that they extended the oral arguments from the traditional 45 minutes to two hours, still only a short time for a roomful of attorneys to determine the fate of Internet regulation.

What seemed especially vulnerable based on the judges’ questions is the provision that the FCC can force broadband providers to provide their service free to “edge” companies like Netflix, Amazon or YouTube. Doing so would reclassify ISPs as common carrier services—a move that is prohibited by the Communications Act. If the court strikes the provision, Internet providers, cable and telecommunications companies could charge Netflix-like companies to deliver a better connection to customers. more> http://tinyurl.com/nrwjp2o


Before Net Neutrality Eats the World (Part 13): What FCC Should Do Now

By Wayne Crews – The principle of neutrality should be replaced by a new principle, that of fostering competition in the creation of networks. Today’s challenge is that of lowering transactions costs of building large-scale infrastructure of every kind.

The regulated open access paradigm assumes away the problem of ignorance and relies on government force to solve problems about which there can be no permanent agreement. Disagreement is appropriate in market settings; that discontent is a source of new profit opportunity. It is wrong to exalt neutrality as a “good thing” rather than one of many network features. more> http://tinyurl.com/lls8w64


Verizon would end “century of regulation” by killing wireline phone, says NY AG

By Jon Brodkin – New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman this week accused Verizon of trying to “depart from a century of telephone service regulation” by ending wireline telephone service in a part of Fire Island devastated by Hurricane Sandy in October, 2012.

It’s no secret that telcos want to abandon the traditional public switched telephone network (PSTN) and switch to all-IP networks. AT&T has asked the Federal Communications Commission to lead this transition and also get rid of the “conventional public-utility style regulation” associated with landline phone service.

Such a transition will take years on a national level, but it’s happening on a small scale in Fire Island, where Verizon says the infrastructure costs of repairing damaged phone lines are too great. more> http://tinyurl.com/mcnftbw


FCC’s ‘free’ WiFi proposal generates buzz

home wi-fi wireless network (no wires !)

home wi-fi wireless network (no wires !) (Photo credit: osde8info)

By Brendan Sasso – A front page Washington Post story on Monday drew widespread attention to a Federal Communications Commission proposal to create super-powerful WiFi networks.

A portion of the spectrum will be set aside for unlicensed use. Unlicensed spectrum, which can be used by any company for free, powers technologies such as garage door openers, remote controls and, most importantly, WiFi routers.

The FCC set aside some of the “white spaces” in between TV channels for unlicensed use in 2010, and the current proposal would dramatically expand that effort. more> http://tinyurl.com/a4z8j5b