|Occam's Vela: We've shipped 100,000 full gigabit ports in the U.S. Upstream gig included|
|Written by Dave Burstein|
|Monday, 15 February 2010 01:15|
Most customers are only selling the service at 50 or 100 megabits, but the added cost for a true gigabit of active Ethernet is modest. Many of his customers are simply ordering the gigabit now rather than upgrade later, and starting to sell a full gigabit to commercial customers meanwhile. Vermont Tel is similarly selling a gigabit to schools and hospitals for about what many telcos would charge for 5 megabits of T-1. They gave me a “Gig-E for Vermont” t-shirt. If the stimulus helps with the fiber construction costs, they are ready to very quickly bring a gig to their 20,000 customers.
(For the record: I did a four figure consulting job for Vermont Tel on a wireless project.)
The GPON “passive optical” gear Verizon is using generally is slightly cheaper than active Ethernet, but is only designed for 200 Meg in each direction. Verizon with Huawei demonstrated the next generation 10-GPON, which is shared but should provide a full gig to any customer a very high percentage of the time. As 10G goes from the lab to volume production in a few years, it will probably cost no more to deploy than today's 50 and 100 megabit gear. Since the bandwidth usage doesn't go up nearly as much as the speed, the operating cost of the bandwidth should only be a few dollars more for a gig in a few years.
Anyone can verify how cheap a gigabit is by going to any computer store and pricing gigabit switches. Best Buy has a 48 port Netgear gigabit switch for $1,999.99, $42/port. Carrier gear has to be reliable so it's not quite that cheap, but you get the idea.
Occam also got some very good news from Fairpoint, a large customer. The bankruptcy is having only a minor effect on the New England DSL deployment. Fairpoint's plan to get out of bankruptcy has them losing only a few months in the deployment plans promised to the states. It appears the regulators did a good job getting commitments confirmed. Investors and regulators are rightly concerned about any telco without wireless, including British Telecom and Qwest. As analyst Craig Moffet has made clear, there's no good longterm plan to deal with the continuing loss of lines to wireless. The mid-sized U.S. carriers like Frontier have junk bond ratings.