I was the only French, together with Roland Montagne of IDATE, to speak at the conference, which was pretty much held by the "Dutch Connection" ! A piece of evidence that the Open Neutral Access approach is still not a standard thinking here in France...
Actually, I was supposed to be part of two panels : the one on Muni Fiber, and the one on new cabling techniques. I must admit : due to my hectic agenda over the last few weeks and my current focus on Rural Broadband, I totally forgot the second point and did only prepare the first. I realized my mistake... the morning before the panels, scheduled in late afternoon !
By chance, Hassan Clausen, Managing Director of HanseCom and organizer of the event understood pretty well the situation, and let me withdraw from the New Cabling stuff, which gave him the opportunity to get 3 speakers at each panel. I'm glad my mistake finally allowed Uffe Mogensen, CEO of GM Plast, to deliver a fantastic presentation on micro-trenching techniques.
So, as planned, I did present the Bottom-Up approach for deploying Fiber in Rural areas. To start with, I explained why the usual way of deploying municipal Fiber-To-The-Home networks in France is never satisfying for the citizens - see Pau Broadband Country or Gonfreville-l'Orcher : as the people were not involved in the project at the very beginning, they are to reject it quickly as soon as something goes wrong.
That's where the "Top-Down" strategy fails. Enters the "Bottom-Up" approach : help the people solve a real problem in their daily life - what we B2B marketeers call "the customer' s pain", and go a step beyond by offering them something else on top of the solution used to fix this problem. Work with them to define the solution, work with them to test and implement it. Doing so, you will get the citizens adopt the solution, as they are part of its design' process.
The first question is: is there an Open Neutral Access Fiber nearby ? If the answer is "No", then... well, look for alternatives (which are not part of this discussion, sorry !). If the answer is "Yes", then the next question is: can Fiber help solving the problem ?. If the answer is "No", bad luck for me (and you, BTW ;-). If the answer is "Yes", then let's work it out with the customer, er., the Citizens.
That's the Bottom-Up approach for deploying FTTH Fiber-To-The-Home, starting by the Church. Why the church ? Simply because in each and every small city or village out there, there's a church - or a synagog, or a mosque, or a temple, whatever religious construction that is (or was...) the heart of your town, with active social life around, e.g. a pub, a grocery store, a book store... The idea is that simple : get the Fiber to the very heart of your village, and get the people build a community around it. They will adopt the project, because they will be part of it, playing an active role.
Actually, that's nothing new. Think of the Web 2.0 stuff: how did all those famous startups which we all know today, the Facebooks, the Twitters, the YouTubes, proceed at the beginning ? Got an idea, test it among a bunch of buddies, then once the idea went polished enough, extend the testing phase to a larger audience, who will help fixing the bugs and adding new features, then launch the product publicly. And still keep their users onboard by creating a true community spirit. There's no difference with what Seth Godin, the iconic Marketing guru of the Blogosphere, calls the Tribe.
In the business, how do you get customers to use your product ? You do evangelize them, right ? Here, with Municipal Fiber-To-The-Home networks, all we need to do is the same. Hence the Church.
Let me evangelize you. Here is the presentation, available for download on Slideshare. I give three examples of actual projects based on this bottom-up approach.
Disclaimer : I'm currently working as a consultant for two of those municipalities: Montmirail and La Grande Paroisse. The two projects are ongoing, both in the preliminary phase of network design and definition of the first targets (low-investments, boot-strapping...). The project concerning Val d'Isere has not been approved yet - we just started the discussions a couple of weeks ago.Guy Jarvis is doing in the UK with his FibreStream organization, or Frans-Anton Vermast of i-NEC in the Netherlands and elsewhere (interview by Costas Troulos of Broadband Prime here). Although this kind of spirit is not that common here in France, I'm convinced that involving the people right from the beginning of a project as big as bringing fiber to their home is the only way to go when public money (means your taxes and mine) is at stake. Frans Anton has found a nice tweak to the FTTH acronym in the Municipalities environment : FFTH, Fiber FROM The Home...
Amen, and Carpe Diem ;-)
According to Robert Moore of RJ Metrics, "a on-demand database analytics and business intelligence startup that helps online businesses measure, manage, and monetize better", who published on TechCrunch a well-detailed article on Twitter data from an investor' s perspective, I belong to the smallest portion of Twitter users, with more than 500 followers, over 500 updates, and more than 3,200 tweets sent (excluding the 1,400+ tweets from auto-RT of @FiberNews).
Now the question is: how do I monetize my status ? ;-)
I strongly recommend that you read this article: it's full of interesting informations on how people do use Twitter. For Marketeers of all sorts, that's a gold mine.
Since I'm more and more involved with local projects here in France, I've decided to launch a new blog, to be french-only.
The reason is simple: I'd like to share ideas and facts with French people who don't speak nor read english at all.
Second: as the projects I'm working on are looking after french, rural, local territories, I'm not sure sharing even a small piece of information would be of interest for you my dear non-french readers.
However, I'd like to tell you that this new blog is hosted on the Posterous platform, which I'm discovering today. It's just a fantastic blogging tool: easy, simple, intuitive, yet powerful (e.g. the PicPosterous app on the iPhone).
I recently stumbled upon this video of a Southwest Airline flight Attendant doing his announcements the Rap way. Simply a refreshing moment of pure groove, as only Black people know how to spread joy and happiness just singing and/or dancing - I remember a nice saleswoman at a Duty-free store at Johannesburg' airport some years ago: she was dancing on the desk.
Actually, this moment reminds the one I enjoyed myself back in May 2000 during the first European Distributors Seminar I've organized at Agilent Technologies. A 3-days intensive workshop aimed a creating a tight bond between us the ONT Optical Network Test Division and our european reps, the outcomes of the event have proved being tremendous. From pure technical insights to creative ways to support our customers, this seminar has been a true milestone in the (unfortunately short) life of the Agilent ONT Division.
The "funny" thing is that on the last day of the seminar, I have had to let the people brainstorm without me: I had to work on a tender. A very last minute call from the regional Sales manager, who was unable to write the proposal himself. Of course, as usual, this was on Friday, for a hard deadline on the Monday. You can imagine how I felt: upset because this guy didn't follow my recommendations and suggestions, all made weeks before, and depressed because we were set to lose the tender anyway then.
Knowing me as a brother do, my friend Peter Schweiger came to my room to pick me up for the coffee break. It was almost 10:30AM, and I was almost shaking, as I was nervous as never before. As I entered the meeting room, all the distributors and my Agilent colleagues welcomed me like I was a Rock star (sort of ;-) : they knew I needed warm positive thoughts to get rid of my nervousness.
That's where this rap by the South West flight attendant comes in: deeply touched by their sincerity, I decided to ask all the participants to sing a french song with me. "Melissa", by Julien Clerc. I tell you: seeing 20 people clapping their hands in rhythm, and hearing them singing "Matez ma métisse" with the english, scottish, german, spanish, italian, danish, american (and french ;-) accents was a pure moment of joyce. They made me forget this bloody tender, and they made us a true, real team.
Almost 9 years after, when I meet some of my former reps, we always remember this very moment, when we all became part of the same group.
Keep in mind, the next time you have to create a team: let's sing together.
I just came across a brand new (4 months old) website dedicated to Fiber Optics: Fiber Optic Mania. Plenty of informations for both novices and experts. A bit too much of Google AdSense stuff, but as soon as you forget those banners and ads links, the site is worth reading (note to Fiber Optic Mania' s editor: where's the "subscribe" button ?).
Welcome and good luck, Buddy !
Fiber Optic Mania is here.
This is the true power of Twitter: break the frontiers and connect together people who normally couldn't be in touch. See the wowing email that I've got today :
Hi, Marc Duchesne (mduchesn).
Gov Schwarzenegger (schwarzenegger) is now following your updates on Twitter.
Check out Gov Schwarzenegger's profile here:
For those of you who still wonder what's this 'Twitter' thing everybody in the Blogosphere is writing about, here's THE pitch, by the folks at Common Craft. Just lovely AND effective, as usual.
Evangelism and Marketing guru Guy Kawasaki has posted a 10-points explanation on how to use Twitter for business. That's "Twitter for Dummies", if you wish: a must read for all of you don't have a Twitter account yet.
I often wrote here and there that I wished we Agilent Musketeers had such a tool at our disposal when we were developing our flagship product: there is no better way to reach and keep in touch with the end-users.
That's why I as many other folks out there are putting Twitter at the center of (product) marketing strategies, whatever "marketing" means for you.
The official announcement just landed here. The 4th edition of the Ultra-Broadband Solutions & Applications 'Odebit' conference & tradeshow will be held on the 22d and 23d of September, in Paris-La Defense.
I do have the very privilege to be part of the organization, as I will manage and facilitate the very first 'Fiber Camp' unconference event ever organized in France - and in Europe, to date.
Actually, I've suggested the idea to the charming Sandrine Lagardere, founder and owner of Odebit, a few months ago. She immediately bought on the idea, as such of brainstorming workshop kind of event is a must in the current situation of everything 'Broadband' here in France and elsewhere in Europe.
Calling on a Fiber Camp since a year or so, I was delighted to learn from the folks in Lafayette, LA : they've put together the world-first CampFiber event back in October, with quite a nice success.
I will do my best to serve the Fiber-To-The-Home community down there in Lafayette's home country, hoping that the FiberCamp Paris will be a model for others in other parts of Europe.
More in the coming weeks, of course.
UPDATE Dec.3, 2008 : FiberCamp @ Odebit'09 wiki page here.
Subject: Agilent Technologies is now following you on Twitter!
Date: November 11, 2008 11:19:20 PM CEST
Hi, Marc Duchesne.
Agilent Technologies (Agilent) is now following your updates on Twitter.
Check out Agilent Technologies's profile here:
You may follow Agilent Technologies as well by clicking on the "follow" button.
Wow. My former employer is now following me. The question is: how will I convince "them" to hire me again ;-)
Since a couple of weeks, I'm posting more and more on Twitter than on this blog, as many people out there in the Blogosphere.
Reading Guy Kawasaki' s advices on how to pick up followers on Twitter, I realized that I do share links for the rest of the Twitterers, but also for myself, using the service as a fast & easy substitute to Delicious.
Actually, each time I find an article interesting for the business in my Feedly pages, I click on the 'Tweet' button below the headline. Boom, the link goes on Twitter. Sometimes, I add a short comment or note after the linked URL, and that's it. Fast and simple sharing.
However, I continue to use Delicious as my main depository for bookmarks, as the tagging feature makes it easy to retrieve information.
You can find my Delicious page here, and follow me on Twitter 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 .
Thanks to Orange Labs's ePassport tool, everybody with a presence on the Web can get her e-passport. Here's mine. Well, not exactly, as there seem to be quite a handful of "Marc Duchesne" out there in the CyberSpace.
Anyway, once such minor glitch will be fixed (maybe I should find a unique cyber identity ?), I hope someday such an electronic ID will be enough to travel to the US - hey, imagine your e-Passport on the iPhone : seamless/painless security checks, thanks to RFID, voice/eye/fingerprint recognition, etc. Maybe Administration Obama will go for it...
Read this. Now I have to be worth Guy's choice ;-)
In her recent post on how to improve your customers' s experience during those harsh times such as the ones we're entering, Patty Seybold explains the different ways to use Web 2.0 tools to keep in touch and even reinforce the relationships with them.
Here's what Patty writes :
If you are forced to throttle back and/or delay customer-critical IT projects right now, consider some much lower-cost actions you could take. Each of these can be done by a relatively non-technical person and set up in a matter of minutes!
1. Adopt Web 2.0 “pay as you go” cloud-hosted applets rather than large monolithic internal ERP applications.
2. Develop interactive gadgets and widgets to deliver up-to-date interactive functionality and information via your Web site(s) and portals.
3. Use SMS, twitter, and instant messaging to communicate with customers.
4. Use Wikis and shared collaborative spaces to coordinate across organizational boundaries.
5. Encourage customers to take polls, contribute content, photos, videos, tags, and reviews to make your company's Web site more compelling and to help customers make buying decisions easily. (Hint: you can use third-party widgets to do many of these things.)
Keep in mind what Peter Drucker said : this is the customer who defines your business. He wrote that in the early 70's. Now that we have Web 2.0 apps & tools at our service, it would be a great mistake not to leverage on it.
Read the full article here.
Since quite a while, I'm moving my "online sharing" activities to more comments on others' s blogs and more twitts than ever before. Hence the relative silence here on FiberGeneration.
Actually, I'm investigating several ways to post those comments and twitts on this blog, should they be relevant with FiberGeneration' s *editorial line*. An interesting yet difficult job ;-)
In the meantime, Andrew keeps posting his short notes as often as his own job allows it. Also, my friends Georges and Handy should publish their first posts within the next couple of weeks (I know, I said that 2 months ago about Georges ;-)
Keep going, Namaste, and Peace Out (I think we all need it at the moment...).
On Tuesday, the Grenelle du Très Haut Débit will be held in Paris, during the fast-growing Odebit tradeshow & conference event.
I'll attend, on behalf of my boss Jean-Pierre Jambes of the Pau Greater Area. Being a rep of the Pau Broadband Country is a fantastic honor to me, since I've started my career 25 years ago hearing people claiming that Fiber To The Home was the Future. The Future is now, and it takes place as well in Pau.
If you're looking for a city where you can help changing the World thanks to Broadband, don't hesitate to stop by.
I will be attending ECOC'08 tomorrow Monday at the Brussels Expo exhibition center.
Whilst the french community is busy preparing the Grenelle du Très Haut Débit, where some members of the French Government will (hopefully) unveil its plans for fibering (hopefully) the country, others are working hard to make things real.
Congratulations and all the best to Geoff Daily, the organizer of this fantastic event for all of us evangelists of broadband, open neutral networks.
I've embedded the interview of Terry Huval, director of LUS Lafayette Utility Systems, by Geoff, for you to get a flavor of what's going on in the US those days.
Ed. note : I can't stop thinking about the situation if Napoleon didn't sold Louisiana to the US two hundred years ago. Maybe France would have been the true leader of the Broadband communities movement...
No, this domain name isn't mine, unfortunately ! That's a french blog on Fiber-To-The-Home and related stuff held by proactive insiders.
Shall you read/speak french, "fibre-optique-france.com" is worth bookmarking and subscribing.
Earlier this week, YouTube added Close Caption to its features set. As lots of people around the planet, I've been waiting for it since months- not that I'm deaf myself (at least not according to my last check-up last June), but I like to think from the end-user side.
According to TechCrunch, "[this] will not only allow videos to appeal more directly to foreign audiences, but will give YouTube excellent data for searching videos and targeting ads to them."
Go to the YouTube to read the whole announcement :
Here at YouTube, we're always trying to find new ways to enrich your
viewing experience and to help video creators reach a wider audience.
As part of this goal, we've added a new captioning feature which allows
you to give viewers a deeper understanding of your video. Captions can
help people who would not otherwise understand the audio track to
follow along, especially those who speak other languages or who are
deaf and hard of hearing.
You can add captions to one of your videos by uploading a closed caption file using the "Captions and Subtitles" menu on the editing page. To add several captions to a video, simply upload multiple files. If you want to include foreign subtitles in multiple languages, upload a separate file for each language. There are over 120 languages to choose from and you can add any title you want for each caption. If a video includes captions, you can activate them by clicking the menu button located on the bottom right of the video player. Clicking this button will also allow viewers to choose which captions they want to see.
Some of our partners have already started using captions to offer you a better understanding of their videos (even with the audio turned off):
- BBC Worldwide: captions are provided in five different languages on this clip from Top Gear.
- CNET: tech product reviews from CNET's Crave blog.
- UC Berkeley: footage from the Opencast Project Open House.
- MIT: full lectures on subjects like Physics.
- Gonzodoga: English subtitles on this awesome Japanese animation.
We hope captions will serve to tighten the YouTube community by bringing together international users from different cultures.
We're excited to see what kinds of fun and creative uses for captions you'll be coming up with for your videos!
I read the TechCrunch article and the YouTube post twice : I haven't seen any mention of hearing impairment, whilst this Close Captioning system is the perfect tool to give access to videos to the deaf people, right ?
Then I googled "YouTube closed caption" (btw : I used Ubiquity for this : fast & easy): only three out of the ten sites on the first page are citing disabled people as the target users of this new feature. That's Media Bullseyes, CNet' Webware, and - no surprise, provided the name of the site : 4HearingLoss.
IMHO, that's really not much. Lucky Web 2.0 key players : they suffer no disease...
The beauty of Dipity is that you can display any type of content in a chronological order (Timeline view), on a carousel (Flipbook view), or on a map (Map view, surprisingly ;-). For teachers and instructors of all kind, what a nice tool to keep your audience up and running.
As any true Web 2.0 app, Dipity is UGC : User Generated Content. In this case, it means that teachers and instructors can call for help to create a better content - think Wikipedia.
Well, Dear FiberGeneration Readers, I'm therefore calling on you ! I'll continue to edit the current timeline, for instance adding the missing locations, photos, URLs, etc. What I'm asking you is to add relevant content. For instance, as you can see the timeline ends in 1996. As some of you may have notice, quite a few interesting events occured between then and now in the Optical Communications arena. Those are typically the things you can contribute to, shall you have the relevant experience, knowledge, or insight ;-) Major milestones, breakthrough technologies, interesting field trials : please feel free to add !
Just drop me a line at : marc[dot]duchesne[at]mac[dot]com, and i'll set you as editor for this History of Fiber Optics. Thank you.
post-scriptum : for those of you who are not familiar with Fiber Optics, Jeff is publishing the "Understanding Fiber Optics" series since almost two decades now. The fifth edition was released in 2005. It's available here at Amazon.com. Enjoy the ride !
Firefox is therefore my default browser on my Macs and the PC. Each of them with the same setup, thanks to the Web 2.0. My favorites extensions : Feedly for reading my RSS feeds, Yoono for sharing stuff for myself between my computers, and to share things with the World too, and Piclens for pics & vids browsing and viewing.
Yesterday, the Mozilla Labs introduced a new add-on : Ubiquity. Read the description, watch the video, and install the first release. You'll discover a brand new way to deal with the Web. Absolutely stunning. Ubiquity might be the Web 3.0 (no typo ;-) for the rest of us.
We Mac users recently became used to hit the Space bar quite often - not to create a space between two words, but to read a document w/o opening the corresponding app. With Ubiquity, we're going to hit this Space bar even more often.
Ah, I forgot : for those of you who are still on IE, Mozilla Firefox is there.
A New Yorker artist and scientist, Harris is leading an outstanding project : "We Feel Fine".
It's all about people' s feelings. Amazingly captivating. Just this little warning : it's so captivating that you may end up spending the whole day exploring the Web through Harris and his team' s eyes. Quite a nice way to forget the rude reality of the daily life at the office ;-)
Whilst my friend Andrew decided to go to FOD Fiber Optics Devices Ltd, some of his colleagues at the IIT Institute of information Technologies of Minsk, Belarus, decided to create their own firm : OptixSoft.
A unique start-up of its kind, OptixSoft provides outsourced R&D services to the Fiber Optics Test & Measurement industry :
To give you an idea of OptixSoft' s capabilities, CEO Mike Ziuzin developed a few years ago a project of his own : a *pocket-OTDR*, based on a micro test probe (the "OTDR" per se) and a Pocket-PC. WiFi, BlueTooth, and miniaturization : the right package for an FTTH Fiber-To-The-Home tester...
You can contact OptixSoft by email at : firstname.lastname@example.org.
Alex Che, software expert, waits for your twitts here on Twitter
I visited IIT a few years ago. It was like if I were playing "Back To The Future" : those folks were using pretty aged equipments, things that we Frenchies got at the university back in the early 80's. And those guys were doing absolute jewels. Out of almost nothing, at least for someone like myself who has been working with the big T&M vendors such as HP/Agilent and NetTest for years.
Since this visit, I'm convinced that this team is capable of miracles. May The Force of the T&M be with them ;-)
Dear FiberGeneration Readers : I have the very pleasure to introduce my friend Andrew Luzgin to you.
A Belarus native, Andrew recently moved to Lithuania for a new job. A 200-km-only trip, but a giant quantum leap for someone who lived in a typical former USSR type of country until his 40's.
Since a couple of months, Andrew is discovering a brand new world, both on the business and the private sides. That's why I've asked him to share his once-in-a-lifetime experience with you.
Today is Andrew' s first day as author on this blog. Please forgive his not-so-Oxford english, and enjoy his vision of life. I am convinced that you will learn a lot from Andrew, as I do since three years we are in touch almost every day.
Just installed Twittervision on my iPhone. Absolutely stunning app. The potential uses in business are countless. I better hurry up creating my Web 2.0 start-up in Pau ;-)
Since last week and the latest Firefox 3 update (3.0.1), I can't get Feedly running any longer. That's a real pitty for me, as I consider Feedly as the best RSS feed reader so far - for once, you can design your own online newspaper at a fingersnap.
Unfortunately, the automatic FX update stopped the service. No chance to re-install the add-on : "The feedly 1.0b3 could not be installed because it is not compatible with Firefox 3.0.1."
So after several attempts, I decided to call on Feedly' support. I discovered the Get Satisfaction service : technical support the Web 2.0 way. Absolutely stunning, for it is the one place you as an end-user can go and call for help on most of your favorite tools and apps. The list of companies currently being supported by Get Satisfaction is definitely impressive, from the smallest newest startup (say... Feedly for instance) to the biggest largest company (say Apple). Twitter seems to be the number one in terms of questions and support team.
Among a few other Web 2.0 apps, Get Satisfaction is typically the sort of tool which every single Enterprise 1.0 should adopt and integrate immediately. It's a fantastic way to keep in touch with your end-users, by proving them how much you care about their satisfaction.
Actually, this type of service is based on an old concept made modern. In this case, it's Usenet and its numerous FAQs and discussion boards at the Web 2.0 sauce. Nothing new ("the people-powered customer service for absolutely everything") but all new (the ease of use and the flexibility).
As soon as I get my own startup up and running, Get Satisfaction will be part of the toolkit.
ps : my own dashboard is here.
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...
That is an amazing success story for the young start-up, formed by my old yet always up-to-date friend Georges Pantanelli and some of his developers.
Since the IM-T' journey is quite an unusual adventure, I've asked Georges a couple of months ago to post its diary here on the FiberGeneration blog. Now that they're WindowsLived, he has a bit more spare time to share it with you. Stay tuned for Mister Georges' s first post - due sometime by next week, as they say in the Web 2.0 area -)
post-scriptum : shall you know somebody able to help IM-T to get in touch with the US press, you can contact Georges at : email@example.com
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 ;-)
For those of you who a) use Firefox 3, and b) a RSS feed aggregator & reader, Feedly is the add-on you need.
Read the comprehensive presentation here on Mashable, so you'll get the whole picture.
I use Feedly since Day One (as well as Firefox 3, of course) : it's both simple and powerful, flexible and easy to set up and use. The page looks like an online magazine (which it is, at the end of the day), unlike Netvibes or GoogleReader. With its typical Web 2.0 attributes, such as The Wall where others can share with you recommendations and annotations.
Since Feedly is an add-on to your browser, you don't need to go to Netvibes or GoogleReader any longer : set Feedly as your homepage, that's all you need to do. Sure, you can do the same with your traditional RSS reader, but it's not "integrated" into your browser.
I'm convinced Feedly is another step forward to the true Enterprise 2.0, since it enables the user to aggregate multiple information and content onto a single page without the need to connect to an external website. A brief look at the Feedly's mash-up diagram tells me we've now everything in hands to create, implement, and truly use simple yet efficient & productive vertical *Web 2.0-based* applications...
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. "
So-derle, the Green Fiber Evangelist' video collection got a huge success last week at the training I was delivering to a french telco. For the second time since a quarter of century, I haven't used a single slide as my fiber optics training materials but a web page.
The first time I used a navigator instead of M$ PowerPoint was back in 1996, when my friend Didier Boucher and myself were touring France to evangelize installers and end-users. By then, Netscape Navigator was our best companion, displaying the html pages I created with GoLive and the likes.
Last week, Firefox 3.0 beta and the amazing add-on PicLens were on the party. Thanks to the Internet. Means, thanks to the connection to the Internet. Because, unlike 12 years ago when all the html and jpeg files forming my presentations were on my Mac's hard-disk, today the whole stuff is... on the Cloud. YouTube, Picasaweb, Facebook, etc. : they're all online.
That's the bad thing when you're a connected guy like myself : you do rely a lot on the Internet. It strucked me the hard way this morning, when I was to go on the Green Fiber Evangelist blog to start the training session I'm delivering this week at a large install company : got no LAN connection to start with, hence no Internet connection, hence no online videos, hence no *live* training materials.
Then, the IT guy came to the rescue after lunch, to give me the IP address, DNS servers, proxy settings things to help my Mac go online. It worked, except for one little tiny detail : this company forbids some websites, among which... YouTube. Bye-bye the Green Fiber Evangelist blog (at least for the rest of the week here ;-)
This is kind of weird : a 6,000 employees firm who wants to penetrate the optical networks installation & maintenance business don't authorize ubiquitous access to the Net. By the way, only 600 (six hundred) people out of those 6,000 have an email address. 10%. Who don't even get access to the most popular websites in the world. As my dear former boss Robert is used to say : "there is room for improvement" !
Anyway, Accor hotels do provide free WiFi to their guests. So, thanks to Accor (and Orange), I'm posting this text from my hotel room. After an hour or so spent on downloading all the Green Fiber Evangelist videos on my Mac, with TubeTV.
That's the lesson of the day : never rely too much on the Net. Download vids and pics and copy them on a USB key before going to the customer. And start evangelize people : you need an internet connection to get on the Cloud ;-)
I've revamped the Fiber On Demand blog. Was a matter of a few clicks only, thanks to Yahoo!Pipes (see the features in the previous post). Aggregating content from different sources onto a single web page has never been so easy.
Just missing a 3D/whirling/magnifying carousel, which will be available in a next release I guess.
Immediate translation of instant messages. You do nothing differently — IM-Translate™ integrates seamlessly into your existing IM application — just type as usual. Forget copy, pasting or jumping back and forth to a web-based translator. Your buddy receives your message plus a translation — instantly. You see the translation of the text you typed. You also receive your buddy’s messages in both languages. Free! — Downloads in seconds with broadband.
First IM app targeted : Windows Live Messenger, aka MSN.
As I told my friend Georges, CTO of IM-T, they should release a Mac version as quickly as possible, since Mac users are more suited for beta testing campaigns : we love giving feedback, for the developers to enhance their products.
Also in the pipe : the app for Google.
Interesting : IM-T is formed by... US citizens and registered in... France, for some legal and market issues.
IM-T is a typical Web 2.0 start-up : of the six co-founders and team members, nobody knows more than two others face-to-face. They never met altogether so far ! Their collaborative tools : Google, Skype, and email.
One of the founders is my old buddy Georges Pantanelli. A french High-Tech industry veteran, who relocated to the US in the 90's. Georges got his american passport two years ago, in San Francisco. The lesson : in California, everything is possible for those who have the entrepreneurial spirit.
IM-Translate site and download here.
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.
Luckily enough, more and more people go to the "About Me" section of this blog. Unfortunately, the more I read it myself, the more I think it's not appealing enough. Too much of a light resume.
The fact is, the people who go to the "About Me" page of a blog want to know who's the author, his background for sure, but mainly his current activities, hobbies, passion, or whatever make him write this blog.
Nothing people get when reading my own stuff. At least not in a proper "elevator-pitch" manner...
That's why I'm to rewrite this section sometime over the week-end. Easter is supposed to be a new start, isn't it ?
"Plusmo's mobile widgets application is a cool way to read RSS feeds on your cell phone or PDA, but that's not the only reason it was named a finalist on the Webware 100 list.
In true Webware fashion, Plusmo's site offers hands-on excitement--the chance to publish and share widget mash-ups and create an iPhone widget from templates. Users can also make personal blogs available as a Plusmo widget, and can install a browser bookmarklet or Yahoo plug-in to snag feeds while they surf."
When you think about it, Fiber-To-The-Home is the ultimate experience for outside plant technicians. For the first time ever, those folks are working right in front of the end-user.
That implies a lot of new behavior for the OSP people, as they are kind of the front-desk of the service provider. To make it short : the guy who's installing the fiber at the subscriber' s place is also the ISP' s sales rep.
Hence the need for coaching the OSP technicians to customer-facing situations. Be the best sales rep. That's quite an interesting challenge, for both the trainers and the installers themselves. Have a look at this video, and you'll understand why.
Buddy Blogger Benoit Felten has published two must-read briefs on two must-read reports : "CES'08", by Olivier Ezratti, and "Free's FTTH services testing", by the french newsletter Journal du Freenaute. Great readings for learnings.
Robert Scoble has posted a very long article on how to find a job during recession. Worth reading, provided the current situation in the Global Economy.
Here are a couple of my favorites, based on my own experience back in 2003 when I had to leave Agilent Technologies - should TypePad and YouTube have exist at this time (I think TypePad was in its early stage online by then), I would have jumped on them to do exactly what Scoble suggests. Hey, I've got the job with the city of Pau thanks to the Blogosphere, and I've discovered the wonderful world of WebTV last year thanks to Usenet. Lesson : listen to what Scoble says.
Here we go, with my own comments/feedback.
6. Do a video everyday on YouTube that demonstrates something you know. Loic does a video everyday. If you’re laid off you have absolutely no excuses. Get a cheap Web cam and get over to YouTube or Seesmic.Do it. It'll pay back quickly. That's the true aim of the so-called Web 2.0 : help people make connections faster.
10. Go to any job networking session you learn about. All of them were valuable to me, even though they didn’t necessarily bring me a job. Part of it is just feeling like you’re doing everything you can to get back on your feet. It’s an attitude thing. If you have an attitude that you’re going to work at this that will come across and will bring opportunities to you.I'll never forget the workshop sessions at the outplacement consulting firm I've been to thanks to my severance package at Agilent. Outstanding outcomes. For instance : at the very first workshop I've attended, I was with C-level people, from many different areas; industry, computing, bank, consulting, even politics (the chief of staff of a very popular yet powerful mayor of a city nearby Paris). It helped me realize two things : a) I was definitely not the only forced to look for a new job, b) I am a C-level guy (well, of the free-electron type ;-)
16. Go to every business event you can attend. Can’t afford to get in? Me neither and I have a job! Hang out in the hallways. You never know who you might meet. At minimum you’ll get interesting interviews for your blog. Have your resumes ready.My worst regret, when I look back at the 2003-2005 period. I didn't take enough time to attend those business events. I learned the hard way how proactive networking is mandatory (just because, before being laid off by Agilent, I never ever had to look for a new job : I always had the chance to meet the right persons at the right time).
Full post here.