A startup offering Groupon-style group discounts for Broadband open neutral connections is now looking to connect with potential Broadband customers nationwide. On Monday Ulix 361 plans to expand access to its group Broadband discounts, installer recommendations and Broadband information services to another set of almost two dozen regions across France.
Ulix 361 works by using the power of the group to leverage a low-cost Broadband deal in certain areas. Similar to Groupon, Ulix 361 collects a critical mass of interested Broadband customers in a given area and uses the volume of people to make deals with Telecom operators. Think of the service as a way for entire neighborhoods to go Broadband in one fell swoop.
CEO and founder Olivier Zablocki explained to me in an interview that the idea of the service is to use the power of the group to shield consumers from lack of interest of the Telcos and to connect customers with reputable Broadband service providers. Broadband open neutral connections are a relatively new market in France, and prices, quality and delivery can vary wildly.
However, the bulk of Ulix 361’s deals have been delivered in regions with strong Broadband subsidies like Auvergne and Aquitaine. Ulix 361 has led to about 1,500 Broadband connections being installed since its first pilot projects were done in the summer of 2009.
The new nationwide plan launched this week provides a software tool for customers in regions that don’t necessarily have Open Access Broadband-friendly incentives to attempt to organize group deals and to see approved local Broadband services providers. But the catch is that customers in regions with weak Broadband subsidies probably won’t be able to finagle a group deal as low as ones in Broadband-friendly regions. In those instances, the software tool alerts the potential customers to how much they would have been able to save in a Broadband-friendly region and educates the potential customers about how they can connect with local legislators to ask for Broadband subsidies in their area.
It’s a smart bit of marketing, and it enables Ulix 361 to get involved with changing the unfortunate situation that the bulk of Broadband connections are done in a select number of regions. Ulix 361 says 20 out of 27 regions don’t have adequate Broadband subsidies that can generate economic connections deals. Ulix 361 generates revenue by charging Telecom operators a referral fee of 25 cents per megabit/second of contracted subscription.
Broadband and big data
The nationwide Broadband program is the latest example of an innovative startup turning to web analytics, big-data tools and smart algorithms to try to deliver more Broadband installations in France. The company has launched a Facebook app that shows how much savings a home Broadband connection is producing. Ulix 361, though, uses a monitoring device called the Spoutnik that a Broadband installer deploys at the home and that can track the current status of all the connected devices, their individual and overall power consumption, as well as the electricity eventually generated by renewable energy systems, e.g. photovoltaic solar panels.
Ulix 361 isn’t just using an idea that’s similar to Groupon; Ulix 361 also shares Groupon’s will to stay independent of the Big Guys. Recently, Olivier and his shareholders turned down an offer from Google, who is definitely seeking for field-proven, customer-focused, expertise in the Broadband area.
Editor Note : original article here.
Preceding its annual conference to be held Wednesday and Thursday this week in Delhi, India, the FTTH Council Asia-Pacific has released an appealing video about the Fiber-To-The-Home technology. Although it focuses IMHO a bit too much on the "Consumer" aspects, such as HD/3D-TV, and not enough on the "UGC" side, I love it.
Simply because it summarizes extremely well the true benefits of FTTH : non-TriplePlay services and usages. Efficient, Entertainment, Eco-Friendly : those are the arguments highlighted by the FTTH CAP to promote the concept.
Three "E", that makes an easy baseline for all of us Fiber Evangelists : "FTTH : Triple-E Services at Your Home".
Go to the 3:01 time tag to understand the power of Triple-E.
French startup Bluwan has finally launched two weeks ago in Milano. Founded in 2005 by former Thomson/Thales executives, the company was kind of acting in stealth mode until the FTTH Council Europe' Conference recently held in the Fashion' s european capital city.
Here's the promotional video of their unique solution, so-called FTTA Fiber-Through-The-Air. Don't be confused: there's no fiber here but the trunk network. There's even no laser beam as the video may suggest - remember FSO Free Space Optics ? Actually, Bluwan has developped a quite interesting multiplexing technology that allows "the aggregation of multiple independent channels (modems) through [our] wideband radios and antennas onto a single air interface."
Being involved with Ultra-Broadband deployment in Rural areas, I'm convinced such a solution must be part of the portfolio of networks operators : faster and cheaper to install than wireline/optics, Radio fits well with mainstream needs in most parts of the country but dense areas. What mainstream needs ? TriplePlay. Telephone, Internet, Television. Downstream apps, actually. Because the only yet radically crippling limit of this FTTA technology is the rather impossible symmetrical mode - as with most of the Wireless Access technologies to date.
Post-scriptum : Among all the ultra-broadband wireless technologies available today for access networks, I do prefer Free-Space Optics. Simply because it's way safier than Radio in regards of signals' s confidentiality. Of course, one may be able to tap in the laser beam to "listen" the actual communications. However, such a hack is much more difficult to achieve, compare to pure radio comms. In the case of BluWan, the interesting thing is the fact that its founders come from one of the key suppliers of the Defense/Military sector. Hence I would rather double-check the security issues with BluWan' engineers before deploying my first FTTA link...
Look no further. It's here, and it's coming on a fiber near you. Faster than you might think. Hey, we're humans, after all.
Ever wondered what makes the Middle East so attractive ? Watch this ad for Bahrain' s telco Batelco, and you'll get the answer.
The Making-Off is quite a enjoyable moment as well.
You can join the hype on Facebook here.
post-scriptum to Batelco's Top Management : shall you need some seasoned FTTH builder, I'm yours.
"You're not buying an unnecessary electronic device, you're buying a family." David Letterman, The Late Show, CBS, April 1, 2010.Direct link to the video via YouTube here
I got that video in my "Must-Share" list since months. Fact is, almost a year after this presentation, the situation has never been so accurately described by Derek Slater, Policy Analyst at Google.
When it's about Fiber-To-The-Home, the Last-Mile is still THE issue. Which can't be solved without the involvement of the customers into the loop : we must talk Fiber-FROM-The-Home, not "To".
The question is: who else, beside Google, could make such paradigm shift become a reality ? Maybe the answer will come from... France, later this year. Stay tuned.
Over the french Culture & Medias magazine "Telerama", journalist Samuel Gontier has published last week the apparently true story of his encounter with FTTH Fiber To The Home.
This story is the exact reflect of the actual situation in the country with FTTH install :
- the contractors, coming from the Enterprise world, are not used to deal with people like you and me, read the Residential market.
- budget constraints and obsolete technics make it difficult for the technicians to overcome material issues such as fiber layout.
The article being written in french, I will do my best to translate it within the next few days. However, you can try a Google Translate from there.
I will also elaborate on my personal view on the problem, which is, IMHO, the real reason why FTTH deployments are not so important at the moment in France : lack of skilled technicians and lack of state-of-the-art organizations are slowing down the whole stuff. Among a couple of other issues of course, such as the fact that private/listed Telcos make their profits on Copper and Cellular, not on Personal Care services...
According to the latest Global Bandwidth Forecast Service' report by Telegeography, Trans-Atlantic communications links are set to face a bandwidth glut within the next few years.
Says the press release: "According to new projections from TeleGeography’s Global Bandwidth Forecast Service, bandwidth requirements will grow 33 percent (CAGR) between 2008 and 2015. At this rate, trans-Atlantic capacity will be exhausted by 2014, and cables providing diversity along geographically unique routes may run out of capacity even sooner."
For Optical Communications long-timers like myself, this is no surprise. It's simply the center piece of the forthcoming overhaul of the Fiber Optics technology: Today's optical transmission systems are based on a 30+ years old technology. That's far enough, for the singlemode fiber which is used in backbones since the mid 80's is reaching its limits with the 40G and (worst) the 100G systems planned by some telcos around the planet.
Telegeography analysts state it clear: "While 2014 is 5 years off, lengthy cable financing and construction cycles mean that carriers must confront this challenge far sooner. New technologies, such as 40 Gbps transmission line rates, may allow operators to expand capacity on some existing systems, delaying the need for new cables. However, these technologies remain unproven on a commercial long-haul submarine cable, and will only postpone the inevitable day of reckoning."
As I already wrote several times here and there, my take is that a brand new fiber technology will leave the labs' s clean rooms to show up on optical systems vendors' s shelves as soon as massive deployments of FTTH Fiber-To-The-Home networks will be over. 2014-2015 seems to be the timeframe for that. (Not) surprisingly, 2014-2015 is also the time when submarine systems will have to be revamped.
For those of you who were not in the Optical Communications business in the 80's, I tell you what: submarine systems have always been the test bed for new technologies, from the SMF Singlemode Fiber itself to WDM Wavelength Division Multiplexing and Optical Amplifiers. It won't be different this time. Five years to go before the big change!
Every single speaker at every single conference where FTTH Fiber-To-The-Home is the core topic is talking about business model(s). Since years, they all look for *the* business model. The fact is: there is no business model at all. Surely not when you think about this question from the Telecommunications' industry perspective. Considering FTTH as any other Telecoms technology - DSL, WiMax, LTE, whatever - is a pure mistake. It should be considered as the Web 2.0: a breakthrough concept, allowing anyone to contribute to the community. Think Peer-To-Peer: I can directly provide you alone or the whole community on the network with the service you/she want, without any intermediate actor.
"FTTH = Web 2.0". Once you'll get that paradigm, you'll understand that there is no business model for FTTH at all. See Twitter.
Read this. Ethan Nicolas, Rock star at Sun Microsystems, is to quit his job to become full-time developer of applications for the iPhone/iPod Touch. Simply because the first app he ever developed for the Apple' platform is now #1 Top Paid Application in the App Store. At $2.99 the download.
Changing the World, you said ?...
Brian Solis of TechCrunch just published an outstanding article on entrepreneurship during a downturn time such as the one we are encountering today.
"Fear Kills Businesses, Dead" is a must-read for all of us who are in the Business.
We surely know it already, for most of us have been through the last crisis just a few years ago - remember the Dotcom ? However, some of us may be overhelmed by negative thoughts at the moment, generated by all the bad news we hear of all day long.
Therefore, here's our cure, folks:
"Building Your Business in a Recession
Obviously, capital preservation and cost cutting do not equate to sustenance or growth. The driving factors are poles apart when striving to merely stay alive vs. building a business.
If you’re sheltering cash to focus on development, then cut the services and expenses that will not impede your ability to cross the threshold to market success. If you’re conserving funds to prolong life, then realize that the only fountain of youth is cash itself. Focusing energies on generating revenue, increasing visibility, and enhancing customer loyalty are the most effective strategies for underwriting longevity, and hopefully growth, especially during an economic downturn.
The real question you have to ask yourself is, “How will my customers find me today and tomorrow?”
I’m not sure if this is a newsflash or not, but customers do not typically go out of their way to “discover” your products and companies. They have choices and it’s the job of any marketing and sales-centric business to reach their customers where they go for information—otherwise, they’re out of the decision making process by default. Marketing and sales are the conduits for connecting prospects to your business.
In a down economy, tomorrow’s leaders are born today. It takes vision, focus, and a hyper-connected sense of what customers are seeking, why, and where.
The reality is that there are hard costs tied to customer acquisition and retention. The key is to observe and listen to your customers to ascertain the most active and direct channels to reach and engage them.
Here are several, targeted and affordable suggestions:
1. SEO – Customers actively use search engines to find relevant solutions. Keyword and organic search optimization is an inexpensive and effective means for gaining strategic presence.
2. Blog Relations – It’s not just about news and pitching the A-List, creating a consistent and visible brand requires the inclusion of the authoritative, peer-to-peer blogs that your customers and influencers read for information, help and perspective. Oh, and be wise about using embargoes.
3. Media/Analysts – Reporters and analysts cover your space and by simply writing about your company or product, they can position you as an option among your customers; especially when they’re researching options to validate decisions.
4. Direct Sales – Some of the most successful companies right now are concentrating on direct outreach to the decision makers instead of hoping to influence them from the sidelines.
5. CRM – Building a customer-focused business saves money and increases revenue. Focusing on customers and empowering them improves business processes, product development, and also offsets marketing expenses as “involved and participatory” customers transform from a cost-center into an active surrogate sales force.
6. Participate – Social networks are much more than mere time killers. Participating across the social communities where you’re customers and prospects are active and vocal provides a looking glass into their thoughts, requests, opinions, dislikes, and recommendations. It also provides you with priceless opportunities to combat negative perceptions while also positioning your company as a resource.
7. Thought Leadership – One of the best ways to demonstrate thought leadership is to actively share your thoughts where they count. Contributing articles and posts to industry publications, forums, and blogs increases visibility and unobtrusively contributes to your sales strategy by helping customers find you.
8. Blog and Blog Comments – It may seem trite or perhaps even worthless, but I can guarantee that finding the time to host and contribute to a blog that demonstrates the expertise of you and your team is priceless. People are looking for information and direction, not just from your blog but others as well. Go where they are and offer counsel, contribute to the dialogue and establish trust and authority in the process. Why wouldn’t you position yourself as a resource for your customers or prospects? Too busy you say? Empower your staff. Contract outside experts to contribute to creating a one-stop-shop for insight and direction—just be transparent about their involvement. It costs less than you think to build a community around your product, or at least what it stands for.
9. Network in the real world – Participation isn’t solely relegated to online networks. Opportunities to meet and cultivate relationships in the real world are abundant. Meetups, industry events, groups, unofficial lobbycons associated with your favorite events are continuous and more valuable with your involvement.
10. Involve Your Community – Save money and time by involving your customers in the development process of your new and iterative products as well as your go to market strategy. Alpha customers are often ready to assist with the validation of your business model and also the honest feedback associated with your product benefits and features.
11. Websites are not Just Web Pages – Your Website must make an emotional connection with visitors, while also conveying stories and value propositions that specifically capture the attention of your customers – otherwise, all of your hard work and investment of time and money in sales and marketing campaigns will generate traffic, but lead to a dramatically reduced conversation ratios.
12. Innovate – Always learn and improve everything in order to stay relevant."
This and much more in Solis's post here.
Paul Boutin of Wired gives a pretty accurate look on the Blogosphere 2008. To make it short, amateurs' s weblogs are thing of the past, being replaced by Twitter, Flickr, and Facebook.
I'm 100% on the same page. Blogging requires so much time that either you do it the Seth Godin' short-form, either you keep your blog for the long-form *in-depth* articles.
Since a couple of months now, I'm part of the trend : moving to micro-blogging, thanks to Twitter, keeping FiberGeneration for the "long" stuff.
Actually, I do have plenty of material to publish here, with my different jobs within the Telecoms/Fiber/FTTH world : the many projects open on the Pau Broadband Country, the training & education with eXperide, etc. Unfortunately, Code of Conducts and Confidentiality agreements there hinder me to write about what makes most of my days since a year now. Finding ways to eventually post a couple of news here and there is fun, yet time-consuming : how to avoid legal issues when I want to publish a photo of a field-trial or a short note on a check-point meeting.
Plus, as many of us, I spend lot of time commenting and contributing to discussions on others' s blogs. That's the good-old-Usenet made modern.
Now, the funny part. Almost two years ago, I wrote a post titled "The Asymptotic Twitter Curve", which I started with those words : "Monday is going to be my ' blogging day '." The subject : a newly launched Web 2.0 service so-called Twitter. The post ended with this (really interesting ;-) question : "Today, I wonder if the Web 2.0 thing as a whole is not turning out to
be a new Bubble : who cares about what I am doing right now, but myself
or my wife ?..." I was then far away of thinking that one day, I would rather tweet than blog. To my defense, I was also far away of thinking that one day, I would have a tiny Internet device in my pocket, 24/7. The iPhone and its myriad of Twitter's clients
: the perfect fit for (micro)bloggers.
By the way : you can tweet me @mduchesn .
Yesterday, I've spent 3 hours only at the Paris Auto Show. My focus : the "green" cars. No deception : Hybrids, electric, and hydrogen prototypes, pre-production units, and production cars were all over the place. See my Flickr set for a brief overview.
Among several really interesting machines and concept cars, the Solo 2008 imagined by the Hungarian Antro Group is the one which kept my attention. Not only because of its exterior and interior designs, which both are eye-catching: the overall concept of the project seems to be drafted from scratch, as true breakthrough innovations always are.
Read the short story here.
That's from Hungary, folks. Not Silicon Valley or France (I have quite some doubts such an initiative would be possible here, for French generally dislike open non-profit ideas).
Of course, I discussed a while with the booth attendants. A young and shy Hungarian guy, who doesn't speak french at all (I imagine his nightmare on the week-ends at the show, when Mr. & Ms. Dupond of Aubervilliers - or any other place in France, no offense folks - stop by his booth), and a pretty nice Hungarian woman, speaking english and french like me. Both smiling and engaging, which is rare in such crazy environment such a crowdy day.
For sure, I didn't get her business card, but Antro' s managing director' s : Zsolt Magyar. Google this name, and you'll find this Zsolt Magyar. Can a "Hungarian born, Los Angeles based Production Sound Mixer with more than 7 years of experience" (imdb.com dixit) be also the lead economist at a green tech startup based in his mother country ? Why not. I'll find out this soon, as I'll get in touch with Antro for some sort of new venture I have in mind for the Pau Broadband Country.
Anyway, the actual team is impressive, although I'm definitely not familiar with Hungary and its ecosystem. At first sight, it proves the project to be really serious.
Now, why this free ad for an unknown startup in an unknown country ? Because of the Antro' s booth at the Paris Auto Show is made of... carton. Carton, wood, rope, linen fabric. Amazing. They've pushed the concept of sustainable development to the overall product marketing process. That's the clever thing. I never saw a exhibit in carton before. That's why I think those guys got it right. They understand the true meaning of being green. For them, "Green" is not just a marketing gimmik to gain customers 's attention. It's their philosophy.
See it by yourselves :
the door of the cabinet
Now you get it too, right ? So, next time you do think about being green, think Solo 2008.
The 2008 Olympics Opening Ceremonies have been the most stunning/impressive/jaw dropping I and probably billions of other people in the Galaxy today ever saw. The final fireworks said it all : China is ready.
With this absolutely unique event, China just has demonstrated its power to the entire planet. They master the Technology, they know the true means of Innovation, and they know how to execute a Life or Death strategic plan.
Maybe a few (thousands) people outside of Asia knew it already - have you ever dealt with a Chinese businessman ? Good luck, Dude ! Now, starting today 08/08/08, the whole World is aware.
One could not expect something else from the nation who counts Sun Tzu among her children.
French entrepreneur Jean-Michel Planche recently launched internetforeveryone.fr, a new initiative aimed at promoting an open, neutral and free Internet for everyone (french-speaking volunteers : feel free to join here). Of course, this initiative is the french equivalent of the well-known and pro-active internetforeveryone.org which focus on the US.
Beside all the sociological and ethical aspects, which are fundamentaly the most important ones, hence our priority number one, there's all the technological stuff to be adressed. From the very roots of the Internet (i.e. the IP protocol, Ethernet, etc.) to the less high-level kind of matters such as fiber networks installation and maintenance, we must to re-invent the whole thing.
With for some, like network construction, a pretty deep impact on Social : building Fiber-To-Every-Home networks will require tens of thousands of workers - meaning will create tens of thousands of jobs (100,000 in France alone for the next 5 years, shall the telcos push the ignition button). Just like the construction of railroads in the 19th Century gave jobs to thousands of emigrants and locals in North America ***.
That's what makes Jean-Michel' s initiative so exciting - and challenging. For once, we can be part of a World-Changing project.
Now, why now ? Why is it mandatory to * re-invent * the Internet, as opposed to enhance/upgrade/patch the existing infrastructures, protocols, topologies, etc. ?
Then, read this interesting news by VentureBeat, dated July 23d and titled "Hackers begin to exploit a critical Internet flaw". I'm no Networking (the technical sense ;-) specialist, but I know what a DNS server is (thanks to my early days with HP). So, if this news is true, I understand the potential danger of such flaw. Here's the extract of the article that will help you novices to understand too :
The bug is in the Domain Name System, or DNS, which is the system for translating the locations of network computers into Internet addresses. The flaw is in the design of the DNS protocol itself and is thus not limited to any single product that uses it. If someone hijacks a DNS server, they can redirect an unsuspecting Internet surfer to a malicious web site. A hacker targeting an Internet Service Provider, or ISP, could replace the entire Web (as accessible through that ISP) — search engines, social networks, banks — with their own malicious content. DNS is used by every computer on the Internet to know where to find other computers. Those attacking corporations could reroute network traffic and capture emails and other sensitive business data.
Don't you think it's time to think again ?
*** you may call me an utopist or a fool. Then, ask yourself the question : what is the REAL reason for all those FTTH nets' construction delays ? Answer is simple : lack of (skilled) resources.
Now, once again Apple is showing the way to the Future : how we'll be able to control any *connected* device from our smartphone - er, iPhone.
Possibilities are endless, including for professional applications. ***
More details on Remote here.
*** Call for developers : you 're young, you're open-minded, you're french (yes, some of us combine those three criteria ;-) you're an iPhone/Mac developer : please drop me a line (Twitterers welcome).
That is one of the headlines on the FTTH Council Europe homepage :
" Public and private interests in Portugal have this week made a series of ambitious and immediate commitments to FTTH investment that could propel the nation into the top tier of European fibre nations.
On Friday 4th July, the Portuguese government set the target of 1 million FTTH connections by 2010, and there is every indication that this will be achieved as carriers Sonaecom and Portugal Telecom announced investment plans to potentially exceed this number before the end of the decade.
Incumbent telco Portugal Telecom forecast connecting 100,000 homes by the end of this year and a total of 1 million by the end of 2009.
In February, alternative operator Sonaecom announced a €240m FTTH roll-out to reach around a quarter of Portugal’s 10.6 million population. Its project completion is anticipated three years from now."
So, Portugal enters the Ultra-Broadband race with a quite aggressive plan.
In the meantime, FTTH deployments are still on hold (sort of) in France, with the three major telcos : FT-Orange, SFR-NeufCegetel, and Free waiting (sort of) or the final decision by the Authority of Regulation ARCEP on the mutualisation.
OK-derle, Portugal is a small country compared to France - say 6 times smaller population-wise. However, 1 million connected homes by 2012 as target goal defined by the Portuguese government is more aggressive than the one set by the French government - 4 million homes (link in french) - when compared to the respective population numbers : for Portugal, the ratio is 1:10, whilst for France it is 1:16. Ever heard of the Digital Divide ?...
Second Life is dead. Google just launched its own "virtual world" platform : Lively. The difference with SL ? Lively is entirely Web-based. You don't need to install and run a standalone piece of software, as opposed to Second Life (how many of us have been rapidly fed up launching SL ?...). To play with Lively, you just stay with your favorite browser, aka Firefox 3 (it runs with IE too).
Lively is truly the signal most of us were waiting for to go investigate the potential of Virtual Worlds for business. And it's made by Google.
For a complete review on Lively here by Techcrunch.
Download Lively here. That's the only thing that sucks, by the way : there's no Mac version for the time being, although Mac users are among the most efficient beta testers because we easily become early adopters...
Yesterday in Mortain, a beautiful small town a few miles away from the Mont St Michel,was the 3d Ultra-Broadband Conference, held by the french optical cable manufacturer ACOME.
Here are my running notes, as is - means no re-writing * ( my personal comments under brackets ) :
Regis Paumier, CEO, ACOME. keynote speech :
- CETHD Center of Expertise for Ultra Broadband : 1,000+ visitors to date (note : opened mid 2007)
- there are many issues with Quality and Maintenance (on optical networks, FTTx)
- key issue in France (on FTTH) : rural environment.
Ms. Agnes Huet, President, Comptoir des Signaux. market survey by the FTTH Council Europe :
- FTTx networks Business Model :
a) OpenAccess is mandatory
b) Operator vs. End-User : capacity becomes commodity; extends potential services; puts the End-User at the center of the market.
- User-oriented solutions : puts the End-User at the epicenter of the system : dynamic bandwidth allocation, dynamic services allocation.
- Open Access / Open Networks not widely adopted in France : very few existing networks allow such services.
- xPON infrastructures limit Open Access systems.
- Collectivities want to : investigate all potential solutions; model contribution and ROI.
- Collectivities claim they don't have visibility on those solutions (hence the need for permanent live show-rooms).
Yves Le Mouel, President, French Federation of Telecoms (i.e. : Operators) :
- FTTH in France : need 100k new subscribers per month to be considered "mainstream";
- Investments : estimation = 10 Billions euros over 10 years (see recent announcement by SFR - link in french);
- New Business models must be invented, because based on abundance of bandwidth and services;
- the key question is : how to deploy a complex infrastructure to deliver services the simplest way (note : hence the need for a complete paradigm shift. Think Different);
- how FTTH will win by 2012 : the Killer App.
- the Killer App : images, video, online gaming, music, unlimited storage (read : Cloud Computing);
- services : teleworking, telemedicine, teleassistance, telemonitoring, online shopping;
- QoS : PnP, Easy2Go, AlwaysOn.
- avoid the Digital Divide : think Geography, Social, residential customers vs. enterprises...
- issues to be fixed : evangelisation, training & education of networks' deployment professionals (comment : good to hear that from the operators themselves);
- this represents more than 100,000 jobs (comment : good to hear that one too. I personally claim FTTH is a unique opportunity for new jobs and businesses creation, since months);
- target FTTH France 2012 : 3-Mo new subscribers per year. Same as ADSL. (comment : on this one, I slightly disagree : ADSL is easy to deploy, because it uses an existing infrastructure. FTTH : you need to install at least the last mile).
Thierry Houdart, Deployment Director, Axione (ETDE groupe Bouygues). an innovative solution for optical cable deployment :
- install the optical cable along the low-voltage power distribution network;
- speed : up to 1-km per day, by 2 technicians;
- no traffic disruption (road, power, telecom, etc.);
- capillarity : the fiber cable can go right to the end-user;
- infrastructure' cost : divided by a factor of 2 to 3 compared to existing traditional solutions, e.g. buried cables;
- green deployment : lower the CO2 emissions by 50%.
My personal take (this time w/o brackets, because it's a pretty crucial point ;-) : I assume the cost of deployment with this new solution is less than 30€ per meter, all together - site survey, components, installation, etc. Let say we can achieve 15€/m : a fantastic quantum leap for FTTH.
This solution is a true paradigm shifting one anyway : the split of the cost of deployment is no longer 80% civil work and 20% components + instal; it is now 20% civil work and 80% components + installation. On top, it's an eco-friendly solution. Fiber finally goes Green. Brilliant.
* I wish I could capture notes this way ;-)
The lovely city of Pau is truly The Broadband Country. See this hand dryer in the restrooms at the Pau airport. The Dyson Airblade™. It wipes your hands dry in a matter of seconds, the time for you to realize that it's done. When hygiene and fun meet. That's innovation, Folks !
For more details on the Airblade™, go here.
You may read the whole "Why Airblade" section : it's a pretty nice lesson of product marketing.
Also, the Customer Service part is a model. I never thought hands drying could be so interesting.
Rumor is spreading around the Test & Measurement small world : some interesting news coming soon from Sunrise Telecom, San Jose, California, and its swiss subsidiary.
Looking for some info to get the most out of FriendFeed, I found this post by Digital Inspiration.
Although a pretty interesting article with lots of useful tips, an ad banner catch my eyes : " Muslima.com, the International Muslim Matrimonial Site." That was kind of a surprise to me, since I always thought Islam religion would forbid such of dating services.
Says the About page :
" Muslima.com is a specialist Muslim dating and matchmaking website that assists Muslim ladies to find their perfect match anywhere in the world. We offer friendly service combined with sophisticated search and messaging facilities that will make your search for true love fun and enjoyable. "
In the aircraft bringing me back home last friday, I was sitting next to a Finance guy. You know, the kind of big-head/stripped-suit/heavy-smoker/VIP trader.
To give you an idea, the guy was still on the phone whilst we were ready for take off, discussing about a client of his willing to leverage on the fiscal package that Sarkozy offered to the richest French citizens on Day One of his Presidency.
Why post on that poor little anecdote ? This : during the flight, I've watched Al Gore' speech at the recent TED conference, on my iPhone. When the guy saw me, he took his Blackberry out of a pocket, and started to... play some kid's brick game.
Definitely, we are not on the same planet ;-)
Dan Lyons aka Fake Steve Jobs has the point with Bob Metcalfe' s EnerNet idea. His "one pair of glasses" theory is worth reading. Trust me. Because I'm a proponent of this idea that the Internet, Broadband, and Fiber can help solving the Climate Changes issues.
Google did it again. A true breakthrough online app, which is set to be the next revolution in the Internet mattress - ooops, sorry, matters. See here for more details.
Yesterday morning on my way to the FTTH Forum organized by the French Fiber-Lobbying association CREDO at the Telecom & Management Institute of Evry, 30-km south of Paris, I've lost almost 60 minutes.
The reason ? Watch the photo, and you'll understand : the A104 "La Francilienne" highway is one of the most crowded in the country, thanks to those awful convoys of trucks.
Why that ? Because : a) in this part of the Greater Paris area, the A104 makes the connection between the A4 highway which goes eastbound, and the A6 which goes southbound; b) this very piece of land is occupied by a handful of super-malls and... giant logistics/warehouse/whatsoever-big-chunk-not-producing-any-good hubs; c) just a few miles away, there is a huge road construction on the bridge over the Seine river, which forces drivers to slow down their already slow speed.
That's France, Ladies & Gents. An economy based on Consumerism. No more industries, as per the German terminology. We are a country made of shopping malls and logistics hubs. Commuters do waste hours in traffic jams each day because of some truck on a road somewhere has got a problem. Road constructions takes ages because of nobody cares of the end-user - read : the driver. We all together do send tons of CO2 in the air because of those stupidities. A vicious circle, like this road on the photo.
The irony : I've lost my time on the road to a conference aimed at Fiber-To-The-Home, which, among endless other things, allows teleworking.
Read on MacDailyNews :
"An Apple iPhone or iPod Touch will become a central part of Abilene Christian University's innovative learning experience this fall when all freshmen are provided one of these converged media devices, said Phil Schubert, ACU executive vice president.
At ACU - the first university in the nation to provide these cutting-edge media devices to its incoming class - freshmen will use the iPhones or iPod Touches to receive homework alerts, answer in-class surveys and quizzes, get directions to their professors' offices, and check their meal and account balances - among more than 15 other useful web applications already developed, said ACU Chief Information Officer Kevin Roberts."
This are my running notes of Bob Metcalfe' s keynote speech at the opening plenary session here at OFCNFOEC'08, San Diego, California. Posted after the speech, for misspelling corrections and irrelevant stuff deletion.
I'll comment some of them later on, in a further post. Just this personal note : Mr Metcalfe himself confirms that good times are ahead for the the Fiber industry. Should she wants to reinvent herself.
Running notes :
- BM has no ppt slides.
- uses instead 3 cards stacks, today will use 5 packs - reads the cards either on the table or hand held.
- the agenda of the day is to get the answer to two questions : "why should we be Terabit Ethernet ?", and then "how ?".
- 20 years between the first optical Ethernet in 1978 and the real commercial one.
- BM has a new project : create the Ether-Net, to solve energy crisis.
- SONET vs Ethernet : Ethernet won because of prices slash on cost per bit.
- BM prefers the terminology "telephon television and data" vs "voice video and data".
- the Internet is now carrying video, mobile, and embedded apps.
- Internet was not designed for none of them.
- Bubblephobia : people still afraid of traffic growth after the 2000 burst.
- expects growing traffic on embedded apps : first were mainframes then mini-computers then PCs then laptops then palmtops, so what's next ? : embedded.
- "alien wavelengths" : fiber people don't allow computer people to send their own wavelengths on the fiber.
- Ethernet technology will continue to ramp-up on a 10x slope, not 4x : 10G, then 100G, then 1T.
- Terabit Ethernet needs break out the existing infrastructure, otherwise it will be chaos.
- chaotic infrastructure because of too many levels, pieces, components - too much complexity.
- BM to the audience : "it's good news for you : it's gonna be fun". invent new stuff. means new business.
- BM lists some directions : new fibers : maybe carbon fibers ? how about no fibers at all ? how about free space mesh ? OOO (no more OEO conversion) ? etc ?
- we will never hear the word "OC3072" because of Ethernet 100G.
- Intel Sales & Marketing VP says TbE will not happen on terminal devices - it will be WiMax instead.
- when Tim Berners Lee invented the WWW, he never thought there will be a Google.
- today we have 4 layers, no more the 7 of the OSI model : at the bottom : Ethernet, then Internet, then WWW, then on top : Google.
- we need to re architect Ethernet because online video : download needs bandwidth, streaming needs QoS, interactive needs low-latency : Ethernet never been good at that.
- re-architect Ethernet : routing, switching, etc.
- meet people needs for lower energy consumption.
- Ethernet will help reducing transportation needs etc.
- BM asks the audience : "you fiber communications people are you ready to help solve the energy crisis ?"
Short biography of Dr. Robert M. Metcalfe: MIT engineer, Harvard mathematician, Internet developer, Xerox scientist, Ethernet inventor, Stanford professor, 3Com founder, Cambridge fellow, InfoWorld pundit, and now Polaris partner.
Read the OFCNFOEC plenary session program here.
See Bob Metcalfe' s recent interview by Light Reading here, and read more here.
Get the clear picture on why online video naturally changes the World here.
Last but not least, the legend of Bob Metcalfe is here, by Wired.