chiraqDrahi's Altice also is financing Layer3. They are offering a 4K set top with up to three terabytes, apparently designed to connect wirelessly to a simple network interface device. That avoids needing to wire in the home, which Fran Shammo says is often the largest cost in a Fios connection. They are about to launch in a Chicago neighborhood and are also hiring installers in Alexandria, Virginia. 

Cable tech legend Dave Fellows and partner Jeff Binder have raised $100M, hoping that Comcast, Verizon, and AT&T have loads of unhappy customers who will switch. Paulson is a gambler who made $4B betting that triple-A rated mortgage bonds would default in 2008.

Like most famous hedge fund guys, he has his slumps as well; half the money in his fund is gone. Bloomberg says the banks demanded a personal guarantee on a loan to keep his funds afloat. George Soros also has invested in an over builder; he put $75M in Hyperoptic in England.

Google is confident they will take 30-40% of the market in Kansas and make money. A decent take rate is absolutely required to pay the high costs of network building. AT&T hasn't fibered Chicago and I believe hasn't even brought U-Verse to the entire city. They are obviously vulnerable. On the other hand, Comcast has promised gigabit DOCSIS 3.1 will begin in the next 90 days in Chicago. Chicago Tribune. 

Comcast appears to be sticking with a slow upstream of 30-50 megabits rather than using the upstream capabilities of 3.1. As far as I know, they are waiting for full-duplex upstream. It's years away. Fellows could jump ahead with the more robust cable upstream possible with today's equipment.  

Dozens of well-funded outfits have gone bust hoping to succeed as a third broadband provider in U.S. cities. Without effective unbundling rules, they nearly always failed to acquire enough customers to cover fixed costs. $Tens of billions - literally - were lost taking on the telcos and cablecos at the turn of the century. Many thought the big companies were slow, fat dinosaurs ready to be decimated.

Covad's market cap was $10B, a success that inspired dozens of similar CLECs. Nearly all went bust within a few years. It became impossible to finance a third entrant into a U.S. broadband market for more than a decade. "Telecom is a business of scale," Verizon CEO Ivan Seidenberg explained. "The new outfits don't have scale so they have no chance." 

The drought is over. 








Often interesting


Mobile World Congress, Barcelona, Feb 27-March 2 100,000 mob Barcelona. Fares from New York are triple the usual price and hotels even higher - if you can find one less than a hour from the city. Everybody who is anybody goes so everybody who is anybody goes. Beyond the pomp and hot air are a slew of top technical people. Seek them out and make sure yo make appointments in advance with the people you want to see. Hint: You can still get rooms at the hostels in town. Next year, book way in advance to get one of the hotel rooms GSMA have negotiated with the city.

Digital Hollywood Media Summit, New York March 7-8. Victor Harwood always had an enormous number of top people in an almost overcrowded schedule. Senior folks from advertising, all media, marketing and more. VR and AR are heavily represented, from the talent to the salesmen. The price is about half what most shows charge and there are discounts for those with limited resources, including students.  A great way to learn what the most advanced in these fields are doing.

Brooklyn 5G Summit April 19-21st The most sophisticated people in wireless will be there, from the CTOs of NTT and Nokia to the most respected academics on the planet. Incredible S/N. If you can't come to Brooklyn, you must watch the stream. It takes two or three years for most people to catch up to what's learned here. Summit, Paris May 9-11 Trevor Linney of BT is deploying 10M lines. John Cioffi promises something astonishing. Everyone in the industry will be there except Broadcom, being their usual antisocial self. On the 9th, Hubert Mariotte of the standards committee has a deep technical tutorial and I have a session for everyone else.

TNO Ultrabroadband Den Haag June 12-15 Always a strong group.

I'm moving from to everything since July 2014 is here.


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