Next-Gen Broadband in US

Broadband Reports has an interview with Dave Burstein:

BBR: What can we really expect in regards to a bell next-gen deployment timeline?

DB: In three to four years – because constructing facilities for millions of people take that long – expect that half of Verizon should have fiber at 15-100 meg, otherwise slow DSL. Half of SBC should have DSL at 10-20Mbps, from existing boxes 2,000-5,000 feet away (FTTN). The rest will be slow DSL and satellite resale. One-tenth of BellSouth customers should have 50Mbps+ service from fiber to the curb. Half of the rest should have 10-30Mbps DSL, often using two lines.

which solution do you see as the best of the next-gen options?

DB: Verizon’s fiber is the best stuff out there, especially after they switch to 2.4 gigabit shared GPON in a year. That’s why the smart cablecos are worried. What BellSouth and SBC are doing is essentially matching cable of 2002. By the time they deploy in 2007, cable should be well ahead.

But better technology doesn’t always win. Perhaps SBC, by spending less, will be able to price lower and do ok after all. Nobody really knows, although everyone has an opinion. My opinion is that the best tech is needed, especially in an HD world, and Verizon is making the right choice. But some very smart people have looked me in the eyes and said “the fiber numbers just don’t work. Still costs too much,” and other similar comments.

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Rajesh Jain

An Entrepreneur based in Mumbai, India.