Uncle Sam: Major VC for Optical Gear Development Indefinitely?

October, 2014

Where will the money come from to fund R&D for next generations of fiber optic equipment in the telecommunications and data communications markets? Clearly, the vendors will have enough trouble just keeping up with the changes on existing equipment in what are many cases relatively low-margin businesses – and will be quite hesitant to move ahead significantly on next-gen devices before they get an adequate return on their original investments, including 100G. Despite the heavy amount of cash going into silicon photonics, the increasingly pessimistic outlook for its future could easily result in the last straw for venture capital firms for an extremely long time, which almost assuredly to this day have not fully received their money back on devices at much lower speeds, including those systems operating at 10 megabits and at 10 gigabits. Certainly, the situation of getting an adequate...

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AT&T’s Neutrality Reply a Red Herring

November, 2014

While on the surface, it is commendable that a large player such as AT&T is taking on the US government on net neutrality, its response is totally self-serving. The carrier knows that it will make relatively little money in providing fiber to residential customers. Plus, the biggest cause of network congestion does not come from uploads and downloads to and from the home; it is about the interconnection of data centers for high-volume content. Verizon’s concentration with fiber to the home was in areas that had large enterprises nearby. It divested a lot of its other lines that did not fall into this category. Verizon saw an opportunity to disguise aggressively going after the very lucrative business customers from the regulators – and FTTB subsidized FTTH. To this day, lots of people in the industry would prefer to believe Verizon was just crazy to do so much FTTH, especially...

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Google and Cars: Same Revenue Stream

December, 2014

There tends to be a lack of a full understanding of the intention behind the bulk, if not all of Google’s investments in new solutions. At the end of the day, they are each about the enablement of, or at the very least, showing the way of increasing the amount of Internet traffic in order for the company to enlarge the size of its principal business – advertising on the web. Google’s work on the self-driving automobile is no different in that to whatever extent a driver can legitimately divert attention while on the road, that person can potentially be spending time on the Net. In comprehending the mentality behind Google’s investments, one can see why it is pushing for the ultimate vision in autonomous automobiles. It is inconceivable that the firm would want to actually be a player in such a heavily regulated and extremely competitive market as well as open itself up to an...

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Verizon/AOL: Bypassing Title II with New Internal Infrastructure?

May, 2015

“The FCC’s chairman “said that he doesn’t see a role for the FCC in reviewing Verizon’s...recent proposed acquisition of AOL....’ I don’t think AOL has any [FCC-issued] licenses, so it would not trigger anything in that regard...,’” according to Telecommunications Reports. We at fibeReality believe that the fundamental unfairness of an Internet service provider being treated as a utility is at the heart of the AOL acquisition and we find the various other explanations that have been given in the market to be unpersuasive. First of all, the idea that Verizon would buy an antique as an initial step to competing directly against Google and Facebook seems absurd – Verizon craves full control of its networks currently enjoyed by these behemoth content providers. It has been over 30 years after the Ma Bell divestiture, and in a way, Verizon is being forced to go back to...

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To Infinera: Let Transmode Run as Freely as Possible

June, 2015

Infinera would be better off allowing Transmode Systems to operate as an independent division than to integrate it much into its own corporation. Despite all of the assertions to the contrary, their cultures could not be more unalike – the former, a high-profile, Silicon Valley-type of company with people consistently logging long hours, oftentimes grappling with very quick deadlines – the latter, a Swedish, low-key, usually pragmatic kind of firm with historically fixed, lengthy timeframes for R&D completion, with a strong belief in the necessity for taking long vacations to recharge one's batteries as well as to help maintain a relaxed demeanor in its development work. The biggest difference is that Transmode has been going after the sweet spot of the metro DWDM market – targeting the Tier II and below types of service providers and other customers in which there has not has...

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