IP Capsule - November 30, 2007

Thu, 11/29/2007 - 7:00pm
 November 30, 2007 
IPso Facto...

What goes around
Rouzbeh Yassini is credited with inventing the cable modem. Two decades later, Yassini feels broadband is falling short of its complete promise, and he's doing something about it.

Brian SantoThe Internet is an incredibly valuable tool, but the Internet's success is predicated largely on mass appeal and mass applicability—which makes it little different from any other commercial endeavor. For every mass market phenomenon, there's a group of people who end up missing out on the benefits.

Wonder drugs? Only for those with conditions afflicting enough other people to make a market big enough for a pharmaceutical company to address.

And the Internet? The web is by nature a visual medium, so how are the blind to gain its benefits? And Internet-based applications tend to be mass market applications—shopping and the like. What about possibly non-commercial applications for populations much smaller than the total universe of broadband subscribers?

"Broadband should be more than Internet access and chat," Yassini said, explaining why he has established a new Yassini Broadband Knowledge Center and will begin funding research grants.

Through the grants and the support infrastructure for researchers, Yassini hopes to inspire solutions of the type that will help the broadband industry fulfill its promise for everyone. "What if a blind person wants to access the Library of Congress and have documents read to them? Or for diabetics—what if someone could find a way to help them safely monitor their blood sugar using online applications?" Yassini asked.

Yassini Broadband Knowledge CenterYassini is putting up his own money to fund four $50,000 research grants every year, one per quarter. Each will be for a nine-month period, long enough for Ph.D. research. The Knowledge Center will publish details on how to qualify grants shortly.

The Yassini Broadband Knowledge Center, based in Boston, will be the support center for the grant recipients. Other activities planned for the center are:

  • New technology research and innovation with anticipated industry impact within five years;
  • An executive scholar and broadband policy center;
  • A broadband "Think Tank" for entrepreneurs, scientists, consumer electronics researchers, and service provider executives; and
  • Weekly educational tours to share the tools and power of a next-generation, broadband work force.

The idea is to spread broadband knowledge. "There are not enough mentors in the world," Yassini said. "That's the challenge. We have the knowledge base, and we want to share the expertise we have."

"The last 30 years of my life has been spent making corporations richer and richer and richer. And that's okay, capitalism is great. But for the next 50 years, I want to contribute, not just with money, and not just with expertise," Yassini said. "Even if it ends up being 24/7 work for me, if I can work with a person from Bangladesh or Mongolia or Finland, and I enable them—that's great fun—that's the ultimate benefit."

Brian Santo, IP Capsule Editor & CED Magazine Editor
The Future TV Show

Verizon hikes prices for new subs to FiOS TV service
Verizon will be increasing the price of its video service to new subscribers beginning next year. Starting Jan. 20, Verizon's FiOS Premier TV subscription rate is slated to increase by $5, to $47.99 FiOS TVper month for new subscribers. Last year, Verizon raised the price by almost $3, to $42.99.

According to a Verizon spokesperson, subscribers who signed up in the last two years will see their rates increased to this year's price level of $42.99, but customers who subscribed in 2007 will not see their rates change. Customers who do not have a bundle contract can lock in the 2007 FiOS TV price of $42.99 by signing up for a 12-month or 24-month bundle.

An e-mail from Verizon said the price increase was "not a cable TV-like annual rate hike," but some media outlets reported that the new price was the result of higher programming costs, and the result of having to pay for the build-out of the fiber-to-the-home (FTTH) network.

In related news, Verizon's FiOS TV service is now available to about 15,000 more Massachusetts households thanks to a newly approved cable franchise in Waltham. Verizon currently offers the service to more than 400,000 households in 59 Massachusetts communities.

Connexion picks BitBand's IPTV servers
Connexion Technologies will be using BitBand's servers for its IPTV deployments. According to the agreement announced today, BitBand will help Connexion provide multi-dwelling residences and BitBandcommunities with advanced entertainment packages delivered over a single fiber-to the-home (FTTH) network.

Connexion deploys fiber-optic infrastructures for properties in the U.S. The company designs, installs and operates the networks and provides a one-stop-shop for real estate developers and communities. Utilizing BitBand's servers allows Connexion to quickly enable and deploy on-demand IPTV applications and business models.

Smart Telecom selects Verimatrix for IPTV security
Dublin, Ireland-based telecom provider Smart Telecom announced today that it will be using Verimatrix's security offering for its interactive and VOD services.

Smart Telecom will use Verimatrix's video content authority system (VCAS) to deliver secure content on its digital video network. Smart Telecom is offering IPTV triple-play services over its Carrier Ethernet network.

AT&T's adds U-Verse features in Detroit, Houston
AT&T's customers in the Detroit and Houston areas now have access to new TV features: AT&T U-bar, which brings customizable weather, stock, sports and traffic information to the TV screen; TV, a new way to search for local businesses and other information on the TV; and AT&T Yahoo! Games, which are also available on the TV screen.

AT&T U-bar
AT&T’s U-bar

8x8's Packet8 MobileTalk compatible with nearly 450 cell phones
8x8 Inc.—the provider of Packet8 broadband VoIP, videophone and mobile VoIP communications services—announced that the recently launched Packet8 MobileTalk international calling service is now compatible with nearly 450 different mobile phones.

The Packet8 MobileTalk service connects international calls from the mobile phone to the Packet8 digital VoIP network, enabling cell phone users to reduce their international phone bills and maintain high digital voice quality while still enjoying the convenience and flexibility of mobile calling.

Acme Packet's SBCs chosen by Vodafone Portugal for VoIP service
Acme PacketAcme Packet's Net-Net session border controllers (SBCs) have been chosen by Vodafone Portugal so that the operator can provide secure residential VoIP services throughout the country.

Deployed as part of an Ericsson Core IP Multimedia Subsystem (IMS) solution, Acme Packet's SBCs protect Vodafone's IMS network, as well as provide a solution for service assurance, service reach maximization and regulatory compliance.


AT&T to make dial-up more expensive than DSL
AT&T is set to raise rates for its dial-up service, to be more expensive than its basic DSL plan, in a maneuver that seems designed to encourage dial-up subscribers to either move to AT&T DSL or to a competitive dial-up service. On Dec. 1, AT&T will raise its dial-up price to $22.95 per month for its month-to-month plan. Some customers will see their rates go up to $15.95.

AT&T has several dial-up plans. Price points include $9.95 a month, $15.95 a month and $21.95 a month. As to how the price increases would be applied, the AT&T spokesperson said only that the price increases will be based on each subscriber's current plan, and that for many current customers, the increase to $22.95 would be an increase of only $1.

As for a rationale for the price increases, the AT&T spokesperson said, "This change is intended to better reflect the overall demand for broadband service."

When asked for elaboration, the spokesperson said, "Throughout the years, as broadband has become more pervasive, consumers have been drawn to the benefits the technology offers over dial-up."

In related news, AT&T announced the expanded availability of its Yahoo! high-speed Internet service to consumers in El Portal and Wawona, Calif.

Verizon, Alcatel demo single-wavelength 100 Gbps on 10 Gbps fiber
Verizon has wrapped up a field test of 100 Gbps transmission on a live, in-service, 312-mile optical network route between Tampa and Miami in Florida. The test was designed to demonstrate the ability to upgrade a 10 Gbps optical network to 100 Gbps.

The company said it successfully transmitted a live video feed from FiOS TV on a Verizon Business optical system carrying other live traffic at 10 Gbps.

Verizon used Alcatel-Lucent's 1625 LambdaXtreme Transport system for the test. There are two ways to achieve 100 Gbps. One is to use 10 separate 10 Gbps wavelengths to carry an aggregate 100 Gbps. Verizon demonstrated the other method, a 100 Gbps signal on a single wavelength.

Verizon offering symmetrical FiOS Internet service in 16 states
Verizon is now offering its high-speed symmetrical FiOS Internet services to consumers in 16 states, with downstream and upstream connections of up to 15 or 20 megabits per second (Mbps), depending on the state where the service is sold.

On Oct. 23, Verizon launched the symmetrical FiOS Internet service—featuring an upload and download speed of up to 20 Mbps—in New York, New Jersey and Connecticut.

In Florida, Massachusetts and Rhode Island, Verizon now offers downstream and upstream connections of up to 20 Mbps, as well. And in California, Delaware, Indiana, Maryland, New Hampshire, Pennsylvania, Oregon, Texas, Virginia and Washington State, connections of up to 15 Mbps are available.

Verizon Business boasts Dashboard, eBonding enhancements
Verizon Business' Customer Center (VBCC) Dashboard—a customized network-monitoring tool that allows customers to view their communications landscape—now features two new enhancements.

The first enables users to track how well Verizon Business' IP services performed against service level agreement (SLA) standards, and the second, called the LEC/PTT Performance Report, gives customers visibility into Enterprise Trouble Management System tickets referred to local exchange carriers (LECs) and foreign carriers (or PTTs) for resolution. Verizon Business has also added two eBonding enhancements: an eBonding Implementation Toolkit and a new eBonding Center.

French provider builds Ethernet backbone with Juniper routers
Juniper Networks announced that French IP services operator Neo Telecoms has deployed Juniper's MX960 Ethernet Services Routers (ESR) to create a new high-performance IP backbone to support hosting, IP and MPLS-based connectivity services. The MX960 ESR can deliver up to 960 Gbps of switching and routing capacity, and it is optimized for emerging Ethernet network architectures and services.

Company: IneoQuest Technologies Inc.
Mansfield, Mass.
CEO: Marc A. Todd

Claim to fame: IneoQuest offers its telco, cable, broadcast and network equipment customers combinations of hardware, software and services to design, build, deploy and manage IP video networks.

Recent news of note: SureWest Communications has deployed service probes from IneoQuest, not only in its test labs, but also in subscribers' homes, which will enable SureWest to assure video quality.




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