Peter : On Rad's Radar?
| Peter Radizeski of RAD-INFO, Inc. talking telecom, Cloud, VoIP, CLEC, and The Channel.

June 2009

You are browsing the archive for June 2009.

Why Can't DC See What We See

June 26, 2009

I'm not the brightest guy in the world. Yet over and over I see politicians and regulators make decisions that the other 99% of the US knows will be bad news. One such decision: approving the sale of Verizon's New England region to Fairpoint.

For one thing, agents can no longer sell in that region because Fairpoint thinks they can sell better than a telecom agent can. Ha!

What Are You Selling?

June 26, 2009

While speaking at the FISPA meeting this week, I kind of focused on sales and marketing. Why? Mainly the E-Myth. Most of the ISP owners are technical but are very uncomfortable talking about business, marketing and especially sales. One point that is important is that ISP's are NOT selling Internet Access.

Marketing Outrageously

June 26, 2009

In the book Marketing Outrageously by Jon Spoelstra, in Chapter 13, Jon writes about radio and TV advertising. Basically, you need to dominate a show or a channel to gain market share. Spoelstra doesn't talk about market share. He thinks it's about your brand being considered socially acceptable. PR firms want you to do Frequency and Reach.

How the Mighty Fall

June 23, 2009

When I look at the fall of Nortel (and Alcatel-Lucent) as well as banking giants, Circuit City, GM, and more, I have to ask, "What happened?"  In his new book, How the Mighty Fall, Jim Collins writes about how once great companies have declined. Collins goes over the summary in Business Week where he identifies five stages of decline. Nortel came to mind as I was reading it but so did Lucent.

The whole situation is best exemplified by the music industry and newspapers. They didn't want to change - couldn't see the writing on the wall. Each was stuck in a revenue model that was supposed to work forever - and never bothered to examine a Plan B. Are you certain that you are not doing that?

In his book, Marketing Outrageously, Jon Spoelstra asks, "What business are you in?" Specifically, he talks about both railroads and Smith Corona.

XO all about Expansion in 2009

June 22, 2009

Expanding network into Charlotte and Raleigh was just the start of expansion for  XO in 2009.  

XO's been adding even more services to its too-big catalog lately. (I say too big because even XO sales folks don't remember half of what they sell or can brief prospects on more than a handful). The catalog is RBOC sized including Hosting, wireless, IP, VoIP, PBX, SIP trunks, transport, collocation, TDM, Ethernet, and Managed Services.

Oh, I forgot wavelength services too.  And in a deal with Pacific Crossing, XO extends its reach to the Asia.

XO is back to pushing Fixed Wireless that it relegated to the old Nextlink brand.  It was mentioned recently when XO announced that it was adding new speeds to its Hatteras based mid-band Ethernet service.

XO is also pushing Concentric, its hosting brand, with the announcement of a Managed Backup Service.  According to Phone+ magazine, the service will be sold via a new VAR Channel Program (as well as current XO Business Partners).

Beyond transport, XO added Hosted IVR, labeled as an Inbound Teleservice, and XO Connect, which is a mass notification service. I guess, they are taking lessons from Ifbyphone to use SIP to do more than make cheap calls.

And finally XO has an agreement to extend VoIP to 2800 LSO's in the US.

What Does Partner Mean?

June 19, 2009

Wouldn't Eminent Domain Work?

June 19, 2009

BellSouth and Cox fought Lafayette (LA) over the municipal fiber project (LUS) to the  tune of $500,000 in legal fees. Who do you think paid those fees? Taxpayers and consumers.

Then there's the Embarq, TimeWarner Cable fight over the Wilson (NC) municipal fiber project called Greenlight. It was a $28M project.

The UC Conversation Continues with XO

June 19, 2009

Tech Data's Senior Product Sales Champion for UC was at the event last night. I spent a few minutes chatting with him about his position, but couldn't really get a definition of UC out of him. Polycom and tele-presence are what he pushes - to me that's not really UC. HD Voice?

XO at the Tech Data Expo

June 19, 2009

I received an invite yesterday from XO to come down to the Tech Data Expo at the Don Cesar Hotel in St. Petersburg FL. ADTRAN shared the booth with XO at this event. Surprisedly, the other two carriers that distribute through Tech Data had assigned booth space, but were absent. 

XO is a good fit for Tech Data. While I think the XO catalog is too large to know well - wireless, hosting, IP, VOIP, transport, collocation and more - the VAR's at Tech Data vary so much in what they do and what would complement their business that the wide selection helps - IF you can get in front of them and remind them throughout the year how they can take advantage of the additional revenue stream. 

For many VAR's the advantage of XO through Tech Data is that there's no contract (especially for those VAR's already under contract with Ma or Pa Bell) and with Tech Data as the "master agency", it isn't likely you need to worry about your residual check.  (And now that XO has converted their debt, it is in a good position going forward, which other debt laden CLEC's can't say).

Many VAR's are already in the PBX space and were asking about SIP. I wasn't sure if they actually grasp the concept of SIP or that they just know enough to be dangerous. The biggest difference between a PRI and a SIP Trunk is Inter-Operability.

Usage Based Billing Rant

June 18, 2009

Occam Networks has a pretty good blog. Today's topic is usage based pricing. I disagree with the usage based pricing.

As I see it, we have had (mainly telco) rate hikes since 1999 on the promise of Broadband. In fact, in Penn. Verizon promised DS3 to the home.


June 16, 2009

Broadband Funding Round-Up

June 15, 2009

Everyone has some plan to spend money for broadband now that the BTOP is out there.  Much of the broadband problem revolves around lack of fiber. There's no conduit and no fiber, so what do you do?

This one blog post explains the conduit and fiber access dilemma and how if it is not addresses will create problems down the road. 

Then you have a couple of Congresspeople pushing a bill to build conduit into any highway expenditures. Except the Highway Trust Fund is broke.

Maybe we need to stop looking at the federal government for broadband deployment and start looking at the business plan for after you sink all those assets in the ground. Need we forget that there is plenty of fiber in the ground from companies that have long been forgotten that lies unused (because no one knows where it is, where it goes or who owns it). 

At the end of the day, there needs to be a business plan that allows for sustainable broadband.

Twitter Exchange on Arbitrage

June 15, 2009

This will be a strange post but Alex Balashov and I had a Twitter exchange today about the telecom industry and its relentless pursuit of arbitrage plays. From long distance to calling card to SIP trunking, it's all about changing the bucket of minutes for something cheaper so someone can make some short change coin. Kind of ridiculous.

I asked where the Purple Cows are. Where's the HD Voice in my Hosted PBX?

Customer Service Hall of Shame

June 10, 2009

Whitacre Running GM

June 9, 2009

Former SBC chief Ed Whitacre is going to be the next Chairman of GM. Huh? According to Bloomberg, Whitacre is doing his patriotic duty and loves the challenge. Rich Tehrani thinks that Whitacre was a strategist.

Dangling Phone Numbers

June 8, 2009

I have a problem with a dangling phone number - my home phone. It's the number that my parents, in-laws, friends, doctors, bank, etc. has - plus all those tele-marketers. My wife and I each have a cell phone, so what do we do with that home phone number?

RCF (remote call forwarding) from Verizon is about $40.

VoIP Is Taking Off

June 7, 2009

The financial activity in the ITSP sector that I am seeing leads me to believe that the ITSP sector is taking off.
Although there have been analysts who think that IP Lines will slow down, I have to think that in the economic reality we are facing, the distributed workforce, the tele-worker, and the mobility of employees, more and more lines will move to VoIP. For cost savings as well as productivity reasons. 

If lines do slow down it will be due to the following reasons:
  • layoffs - less employees = less lines needed
  • mobility means less landlines needed
  • email, social networks, IM/chat, texting is replacing phone calls.
  • over all trend for less phone calls.
There are so many reasons for small and medium businesses (and self-employed persons) to migrate to VoIP that I don't see it being stagnant for long. 

Who to go with?
The one issue is the share number of VoIP Providers (with little differentiation) makes the decision difficult for the business owner. 

Premise versus Hosted
The premise hardware guys are selling their gear as if it was hosted at your site. Many business owners aren't familiar with having such a significant communication service outsourced (off property). It's a strange concept to wrap your head around.

One Cool Ad: SIP TREK

June 2, 2009

Birch Ownership

June 1, 2009

From an FCC Filing by Birch:

On May 11, 2009, Birch Communications, Inc. (f/k/a Access Integrated Networks, Inc.), Birch Telecom, Inc. (BTI), and BTI's certificated subsidiaries, and Cleartel Communications, Inc. and its subsidiaries, Cleartel Telecommunications, Inc., IDS Telcom Corp., nii communications, ltd., Now Communications, Inc., Supra Telecommunications and Information Systems, Inc., and Telecon Communications Corporation, filed an application pursuant to section 63.03 of the Commission's rules seeking approval to complete a proposed transaction whereby Assignees will acquire substantially all of the customers, customer accounts, and telecommunications assets of Assignors.

The interesting part is this statement: "BTI is a Delaware corporation, and together with its subsidiaries, is wholly-owned by BCI, a Georgia corporation. .. The following U.S.

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