The Federal Communications Commission has named David Farber, a telecommunications professor at the University of Pennsylvania, as its chief technologist. Farber will replace Stagg Newman, who steps down Jan.
14. According to an FCC statement, Newman is moving to North Carolina for family reasons and will become Senior Telecommunications Practice Expert at consulting company McKinsey and Co. Farber heads the Center for Communications & Information Science & Policy and the Laboratory for Distributed Systems at Penn. He directs research in ultrahigh-speed networking, computer architecture design and distributed collaboration methodology.
Covad Communications and Pacific Bell have worked out an automated ordering process to speed provisioning of circuits for digital subscriber line (DSL).
DSL carrier Covad must lease lines from the local phone company, so any streamlining of the ordering system can cut the time between customers ordering service and actually getting it. The companies claim it cuts loop-ordering time by 25 percent and is less expensive for PacBell than completing order forms.
Covad hopes to do the same with other local carriers.
FutureLink is now playing with the big boys. Last week the San Francisco application service provider (ASP) moved its trading stock from a bulletin board trading site to NASDAQ. The stock opened at US$30 per share, but was selling slightly lower midweek due to an overall drop in stock markets around the world. Of the ASPs that make up the ASP Consortium's more than 250 members, only about 25 percent trade shares publicly.