Copper is Coming to an End

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

Copper is Coming to an End

After writing about outages being the new normal, I received a letter from the cableco about battery replacement for my voice line (SIP from separate cable modem).

As I watch Hurricane Matthew, I wonder how many elderly and infirm still have POTS lines.

Verizon workers can now be fired if they fix copper phone lines for DSL, according to reports (and HERE). Verizon wants people to buy fixed wireless and 4G LTE-A in place of anything copper.

Certainly, VZ needed the money when it sold off VZT in Cali, Texas and Florida to Frontier. It had to pay the FCC $10B for spectrum - and that is what the sale price was to Frontier. But it wants out of the union labor based telco business. Buying Yahoo and AOL is a way to be a mobile and entertainment business. So copper has to go.

power-lines-unsplash-small.jpg [credit to unsplash]

Windstream is using copper for G.Fast and VDSL2 in Project Excel as it beefs up broadband in its ILEC regions. Their ARPU is up, which is what they need - to pay for the upgrades AND to keep Wall Street happy AND to pay down debt.

AT&T uses copper for VDSL2 for the now retired brand U-Verse. "AT&T notes that "AT&T Fiber" may not actually mean fiber -- the telco noting that "under the AT&T Fiber umbrella brand we will use a variety of network technologies." That's likely to include wireless broadband, and should it ever come to market, AT&T's AirGig initiative which utilizes power lines." [DSLR]

After Google Fiber finished up its acquisition of WISP, WebPass, it started thinking about fixed wireless in places, instead of always actual fiber. Why? It got exhausted trying to jump through hoops with local governments for rights of way, pole attachments and more. Then there was the matter of the electric companies who also own poles. And finally dealing with the ILEC, who also owns poles, and who along with cable was suing to slow it down. Louisville being a good example.

Google Fiber reminds me a lot of Covad and the DLECs (and Earthlink's Muni wi-fi project): Good idea, poor execution, no telco experience, learning the lessons all CLECs know the hard way: ILECs will screw you to hamper competition. So will cable. Monopoly mentality just can't be changed.

It would be nice if the copper plant could be rolled up into a nationwide REIT (similar to CS&L), so that EoC, DSL and T1s could still be utilized by alternative carriers. It is the one thing that other CLECs find a use for XO: EoC. We'll see how it plays out.

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