All Hands on Deck for Our Broadband Access Debate

FRAMINGHAM (04/03/2000) - A few weeks ago, I challenged AT&T Corp., MCI WorldCom Inc., SBC Communications Inc., Qwest Communications International Inc. and Nextlink Communications Inc. to take part in a presidential-style debate on broadband access that I'm staging at NetWorld+Interop in Las Vegas. (I love doing these debates so much that some colleagues call me Network World's Chief Roundtable Officer. It has a nice ring to it, no?)I'm happy to report that all five recruits have risen to the challenge, and that means we can treat you to a top-notch Showdown highlighting the issues and opportunities involved in bringing high-speed access to your business. You'll find out how these new and established service providers aim to weave together technologies such as DSL, cable, fiber and fixed wireless to break the local loop bottleneck choking your WAN.

You'll learn which of them is best positioned to bring your company a 21st century broadband network. The debaters are some of the most powerful players in the broadband market, and they represent a variety of viewpoints - coming, as they do, from diverse backgrounds in long-distance, traditional local service and competitive access.

Our service provider panelists will first face tough questioning from NW staffers - News Editor Bob Brown and Senior Editor David Rohde - then they'll open up on each other in an unscripted, PowerPoint-free debate. Expect plenty of fireworks in this keynote-level session as the vendors poke holes in each other's service portfolios, voice doubts about rivals' acquisitions and customer care tactics, and raise questions that will help you make smarter choices about broadband services.

Our vendor panel includes J. Michael Jenner, a vice president with AT&T Data & Internet Services, and MCI/WorldCom's Chief Technology Officer Fred Briggs.

From Nextlink, we have Doug Carter, senior vice president and CTO, while Qwest is offering Augie Cruciotti, senior vice president of Qwest Link, Qwest's DLEC/CLEC operation. Finally, SBC is sending Jason Few, vice president of broadband communications.

So if you are among the multitudes trooping off to N+I, join us on Tuesday, May 9 from 12:30 to 1:45 p.m. for this Broadband Access Showdown. If you can't make it, don't worry. We'll provide plenty of coverage in print and on Network World Fusion (

- John Gallant

Editorial Director

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