Stories by David Rohde

Bells are failing to compete as they promised

Call it the "quid" without the "pro quo." In a grand bargain over the past few years, the government has allowed the eight dominant local carriers - the seven original Bells plus GTE Corp. - to shrink to four in exchange for written promises to begin competing with one another.

MPLS finds its way deeper into access services

Multiprotocol Label Switching (MPLS) has quietly proven to be a hit in big carrier networks. AT&T Corp. and WorldCom Inc. have used the traffic engineering technique to essentially turn their frame relay networks into IP VPN look-alikes, as we've reported in stories about AT&T's IP-Enabled Frame Relay and WorldCom's Business Class IP, recently renamed Private IP Services.

In search of port density in COs and collocation spaces

Vendors of integrated-access devices for the customer premise face an inherent challenge. IADs are not the kind of thing that end users just wake up one day and decide to buy. The very idea of "integrating" access implies that the customer is looking for a single carrier to handle voice, data and Internet connections, either at the access level or (less frequently) in a totally converged, end-to-end network service.

DSL Without Breaking Your Backbone

Many local exchange carriers, from giant Bells to small-town independent telcos, are coming under pressure to do something about their remote neighborhood terminals that extend ordinary voice lines but block DSL signals.

Lucent Leadership Gap Extends to Avaya

Snapshot from a few years ago: Lucent Technologies Inc. CEO Rich McGinn had just wrapped up a keynote address when a show attendee stepped up to ask a question. McGinn's speech had focused on changes in carrier networks, so the attendee - a network manager at a financial institution - asked McGinn what data products Lucent could offer him.

Infonet Unveils Cut-Rate Global Off-Net Plan

Infonet Services has added an off-net component to its global packet telephony service to let multinational corporations pay low per-minute tolls when calling outside the company.

Qwest to CLECs: Let's Be Friends

Openly repudiating the policies of US West Inc., the company it bought, Qwest Communications International Inc. this week dropped 17 lawsuits against telecom regulators and said it would welcome local competitors with open arms.

Building, Cable Access Decisions Ties FCC in Knots

Two of the hottest new places for carriers to place broadband gear are on cable TV pipes and the common facilities of multitenant office buildings. And with carriers clamoring for guaranteed access to points where public networks meet customer premises, the U.S. Federal Communications Commission has found itself in the middle of a lobbying frenzy on both fronts.

AccessLan Aims to Outsmart Digital Loop Carriers

DSL vendor AccessLan Communications Inc. says carriers no longer have to say "Sorry, service not available" when people respond to DSL ads and find they're sitting behind digital loop carrier systems.

FCC Postpones Building-Access Decision

The U.S. Federal Communications Commission Thursday postponed for up to two weeks a key decision whether to regulate multiple service providers' access to multitenant buildings.

Telecom User Groups Are Out of Touch

Do you ever read in the pages of Network World or another publication about some controversy in the telecom or Internet industries and say to yourself: "Why is it always one group of vendors arguing with another group? Why isn't the user voice represented?"

BBO Responds to Charges of Blocking Rivals

On the cusp of a major government decision about service-provider access to multitenant office buildings, the nation's leading real estate-owned carrier is fighting back against allegations that it prevents rivals from entering its buildings.