In This Month's Mailbag
In response to Robert Hashemian's February
2001 Reality Check column, Broadband & The 'Burbs.
It was very educating to read your article today. Thanks! I do hope
that you get your better Internet connections at the earliest. I have
heard that a few companies in U.S. are offering Internet via an Optical
FTTH method. Can I ask your opinion about the feasibility of this method?
Also, if DSL/Cable companies are taking so much time to implement their
connections, do you feel that Optical FTTH companies will be able to reach
their critical mass soon enough to sustain themselves? What in yousr
opinion should be the revenue model for such companies?
ï¿½- Gurmeet Singh
With recent reports estimating that Internet traffic is expanding by up
to eight times per year you can imagine the growing strain on the
traditional voice and data infrastructure. Optical technologies at work in
the core of the network are constantly scaling to solve bandwidth
constraints there. Most would agree that the major bottlenecks occur on the
access side of the network. These problems are likely to be exacerbated
further by bandwidth hungry multimedia applications including video
conferencing and collaboration, distance learning, and more.
While FTTH technology is still in its infancy, we are starting to see
some early work being done by service providers. For example, The Daniel
Island Media Company announced that a community in Charleston, SC is set to
receive FTTH technology for telephone, television, and Internet services. To
build the state's first FTTH network, the company selected solutions from Optical
Solutions, Inc., of Minneapolis. The plan is to deliver voice, video,
and high-speed data directly to homes in the Daniel Island community.
Residents will receive state-of-the-art telephone service as well as access
to additional broadband services including 60 channels of analog cable
television and high-speed Internet data up to 8Mbps. Over time, DIMC
anticipates offering 100Mbps data capacity, unlimited analog and digital
video selections and pay-per-view services.
So, to answer your question, yes, FTTH is becoming ever more feasible and
we're even seeing the first field trials. As far as DSL and cable go, these
technologies are ready today, and are being adopted readily by a
bandwidth-starved population. As FTTH becomes more prevalent, the cost of
existing technologies will drop to combat encroachment into their markets,
but I think it will be some time before we see FTTH deployments ramp up to
levels that would constitute "serious" market share. But hang in
there! It's definitely coming.
ï¿½- Greg Galitzine, Editorial Director
I've read your article and face the same situation as well as having to
deal with the insane issues of Ameritech, which has become a shambles
since its purchase by SBC. But that's another story -- possibly for you.
The situation I would like to have you take to task is the company Web
developers that have T1 lines or are on a LAN to their development
systems. It would be interesting for you to challenge them to go out to
the "Burbs," possibly your house, and have have them access
their sites in the 20kbps environment. And, chain them to the chair.
ï¿½- Sam Battaglia
PS: Today is a good day for me -- I'm connected at a whopping 28,800
We recently had the opportunity to read the article "Building
The MGCP Gateway" by David Fridley, in the February 2001 issue.
The article mentions that most companies will deploy MEGACO/H.248 in the
future. But there is also a study of ETSI called "Tiphon" and at
this study MGCP is foreseen as a future standard.
We kindly ask opinion of the author on this subject.
ï¿½- Atalay Borbay & Cengiz Dogan
David Fridley responds:
The International Softswitch
Consortium is also using MGCP. Whether MGCP will remain a standard in
the long run, or drop out and be totally replaced by MEGACO is a tough
question. The reason is that there are a good number of companies that are
supporting MGCP right now while MEGACO is just coming out. But, most
companies that are leaning towards MGCP, including us, say that they will
support MEGACO in the future. The real weight behind MEGACO is the
International Telecommunications Union, who is standardizing it as H.248.
The large, existing, telephone companies are leaning toward H.248 rather
So, I don't have a definitive answer for you and although I am not
involved in the ETSI TIPHON work I would say it just adds more fuel to the
fire, and doesn't lead to anything definitive.
But let me ask you why are you asking this question? Are you working on
some project and trying to decide between MEGACO and MGCP? To answer that
question I would need to ask two others: Is the customer an ILEC or CLEC;
and is this something you want to deploy in the next six months or later?
ILEC and later would imply MEGACO. CLEC and sooner would imply MGCP. Other
combinations would be hard to call at this point.
ï¿½- David Fridley, Anatel
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