Wednesday, June 01, 2005

Fiber IS the Future — even for phone companies

The Austin American Statesman reports that, despite a big loss in the Texas Legislature (you know, the one Tom DeLay bought back in 2002!), phone giants SBC and Verizon are hell-bent for the video business in Texas. Here's the kicker: they're going to deliver it via fiber!

Sure, they tried to brow beat the Legislature into letting them avoid local franchise fees, but as one observer quoted notes, with their core voice business going down the tubes, phone companies have seen the future and it's video into the home carried over fiber.

Oh, sure, BellSouth will tell us that they've got great plans to deploy a flavor of ADSL in three or four years here that will be damned near equal of what Cox has in the ground now. Of course, if legislation in Congress mandates that broadcasters hand over their analog broadcast spectrum and go HDTV-only by 2008 (as has been reported), then BS's ADSL is DOA.

Fiber is the future. The companies with a future know this. Companies that appear to be waiting to be bought out after current management retires (like BellSouth) are marking time, hoping that they can ring every last penny of value out of their obsolete copper infrastructure (which they inherited from AT&T back in the 1980s) and that the buyout comes before their market share sinks too badly.

The race is on!

SBC and Verizon say their consumers are demanding fiber. We are, too, in Lafayette. It's just that the incumbents are refusing to listen.

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