Cyberattacks: Lower Bandwidth Growth Rates?

January, 2015

Going back to 9/11, there began the realization that an attack on data center infrastructure would make a large corporation the most vulnerable – even more than the loss of the leadership. Simply put, it could stop business in the water. It seems that one of the biggest areas of potential exposure to cyberattacks is in the handoff to outside networks, and if there is a substantial shift in enterprises minimizing these interfaces, it would obviously decrease the amount of bandwidth needed for transport by public networks. We know of one Fortune 250 corporation, which has had at least two encounters with cyber hackers in China over the last two years regarding stolen intellectual property. One of the attacks involved Windows 2000 (Microsoft retired and stopped supporting those servers), and so the engineering team moved horizontally across the company to take control of those relevant...

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New Title II Will Choke Optical Investment

February, 2015

The logical presumption associated with the madness of the FCC’s planned takeover of the Internet will be that service providers should be expected to cut back on fiber optic network investment to an absolute minimum, at least until litigation in the courts has been completed. It is also reasonable to conclude that the impact on purchasing of equipment by these carriers of net traffic will be even worse than what happened with the Telecommunications Act of 1996 in which the incumbent carriers were forced to unbundle their infrastructure. The expected Title II ruling is more detrimental because it is a demonstration of a federal agency, reflecting the overall plan of the current administration, which is behaving as if it has virtually boundless legal authority over Internet service providers. Up until fairly recently, there was bipartisan support in the US for a more or less of a...

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Monetizing Older Networks: An Overreach?

March, 2015

Although one of the most thought-provoking panels at OFC 2015 will be on the monetization of optical networks, which will include seasoned experts who are vigorously involved in building new revenue models, it is not easy to imagine the kind of cultural metamorphosis that would be required for incumbent service providers to change their long-standing, bureaucratic behavior. In addition, while it is only commonsense to switch from a model that requires a lengthy period of time to install a circuit with a long-term commitment to more of a cloud-driven, network-on-demand paradigm, in which files can be loaded for say, a couple hours to be analyzed, we have discussed the very legitimate structural defects that would frighten executives away from moving in such a direction. Nevertheless, maintaining the status quo is also out of the question for these well-established carriers and seeking...

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AT&T’s “Transformation” Begs Disbelief

September, 2015

In general, AT&T is a competent service provider with the most established brand in the industry, and thus, no manager needs to fear ever getting fired for selecting the company over other competitors. At the same time, no other carrier in the world is close to being as encumbered on such a large scale with so many layers of antiquated technology that it actually cannot even come close to pinpointing the myriad possibilities for a major crash of services with an aggressive “Network on Demand” transition. While AT&T can do workarounds with virtualization to some extent, we doubt that executives at companies like Verizon, CenturyLink, Level 3 Communications, and Zayo Group are losing any sleep over a firm, which has not historically been inclined to be a mover and a shaker. AT&T certainly has been actively promoting itself as a new company and some people in the press and at...

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Optical Line Interoperability Illusion

October, 2015

Although Microsoft and others have been discussing the notion of an Open Line System (OLS) to provide standardization with long-haul and metro equipment, there is little precedent for such grand notions ever coming close to being real with any technologies in the past. Naturally, large service providers are always inclined to ask for everything under the sun, including compatibility between vendors to potentially reduce their operational costs. (In responding to an RFI or RFP from the three largest incumbent carriers in the US, if a supplier does not at least say it has a plan to accommodate absolutely every request, it will immediately be eliminated from consideration.). However, despite countless successful interoperability tests that have been performed over the years, optical vendors, especially the biggest ones, at the end of the day, usually have absolutely no desire to enable...

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