|AT&T's Bonding for the Millions; No Speed Increase|
|Thursday, 15 July 2010 20:40|
"Why would anyone want more than 24 megabits?" AT&T now-CEO Randall Stephenson asked me years ago. The remarkable sales of 50 and 100 megabit DOCSIS 3.0 around the world have answered that question. Users want speed unless the price is ridiculous, with cablecos in Holland, France, and England dramatically increasing their growth rate. In Holland, Mike Fries of Liberty Global/UPC tells me DOCSIS 3 is actually outselling fiber where they compete head to head.
T will only use bonding to extend the range of their IPTV from about 3,000 feet to close to the original specification of 5.000 feet. They will continue to hold speeds to 18-24 down, 3 up. 70% or so of U-Verse homes - including all of them now served - could get 50 meg down and 5 up, but overpriced cable competition in the U.S. leads T to believe they wouldn't find a market.
Karl Bode at DSL Reports reports AT&T originally told him bonding would be used in 2007, so they are nearly 4 years late. The original plan for U-Verse was that a single pair would solidly deliver 25 megabits down to almost everyone within 5,000 feet, based on promises from chip salesmen. They didn't come close, although DSM now installed has made a big difference in reliability. Bonding was originally for extreme cases only, but projections rose to 30% of the lines requiring bonding to reach the IPTV minimum.
DOCSIS 3 prices in the U.S. are literally twice the price in England and France, although it's less expensive to deliver 50 meg DOCSIS 3 today than 6 meg service a few years ago. If U.S. cablecos priced 50 meg at the $30-50 European prices instead of $99, there would be a mass exodus from the telcos. There's obviously a "gentlemen's agreement" preventing that, allowing telcos and cablecos to keep prices high. (Verizon and Comcast have raised their prices lately.)
Randall the Silent coming out Randall as CEO has been publicly almost invisible, letting Donovan, Stankey, and de la Vega do the public speaking and even boycotting his own trade association. I'm glad to see that change, with several public events scheduled over the summer. As CFO, he was "a good finance guy" but made frequent faux pas about the Internet and other parts of the company. Since he's taken over, exceptional results have shown he can learn and delegate. He's impressed me and I'd love to hear more of his thinking.
|Last Updated on Thursday, 15 July 2010 22:02|