How Broken is Telecom? (This is a Rant)

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

How Broken is Telecom? (This is a Rant)

It started as just 1 problem, but I ended up writing about 3 messes.

I try really hard to avoid cablecos. They don't like the Channel; they don't like wholesale. It seems that direct sales reps can get pricing much faster.

Unfortunately, cable is chasing market share by practically giving away services. So with that in mind I had to get a quote for a EPL between Nashville and Tampa. This would involve Comcast and Charter. Let's examine the timeline:

Request for quote enters the system on 3/15. On 3/21 Survey shows FL location serviceable with construction. Sent email for pricing. On 3/28 after buffing them, I get "budgetary" pricing. On 4/3 client asks for contract. On 4/26 I am still waiting for paperwork and the "formal" pricing.

How does a company who "As of December 31, 2016, Charter's network passed 49.2 million homes and businesses, and served 26.2 million residential and small and medium business ("SMB") customers" take so long to price and run contracts?

I know it would be an effort but there's this thing called Google Earth that you can use to map your network, so every site survey doesn't take days. MasterStream has a pretty good interface for quoting. There are tools in this cloud age to take some fo the friction out of the process - if anyone actually wanted to.

This raises some questions:

  • What will install be like if I can't get a quote in 2 weeks?
  • Will the NNI with Comcast be congested? Will anyone remember to order it?
  • What happens with a UCaaS order, especially post-ink?

I can't even fathom what a Desktop as a Service process must be like now that Navisite is under the Spectrum umbrella.

I know this looks like a bully pulpit kind of blog, but I can't be the only one who finds this ridiculous.

It gets better. One of the Tier 1 ISPs agrees to sell my customer a 1GB pipe that goes to Atlanta from Jackson, Mississippi. Route diversity was needed for my client, an ISP and VoIP Provider. Turn up took 111 days on a lit path. The Tier 1 ISP used Uniti Fiber for the loop. It was a mess.

The CFA (facilities assignment inside the central office where my client is collocated) was ignored, which created the first of a number of problems. TTU (test and turn up) was basically, "We plugged it in!" Repair had to be engaged to get it to work. (A new NID had to be installed.)

BGP took an extra week to get working properly. It only all started working properly yesterday. It was ordered on 12/19/16.

And the client says it routes to Dallas, not to Atlanta. Fantastic.

I turned up another circuit with an ILEC. It was a 20 MB DIA, but I guess 20x20 had to be specified, because it came up at 18x6. I don't even know how you make these kind of mistakes. This was noticed on the day after turn up, but we had to go through repair to get it fixed after the turn up engineer ignored all emails for 3 days.

What the hell is wrong with telecom that they can't just do the job they are hired to do? Every day we hear about airlines having big issues, but telecom firms have even more problems. I think it is just that we EXPECT them in telecom.

All I keep thinking is: If they can't deploy Internet pipes correctly in a timely manner, who would want to try using them for something complex like IAAS or security or UC?

And let's let them do more M&A! Everyone of the carriers listed has been involved in M&A in the last year. All of them suffer from the integration -- or choose to blame it.

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