Monday, January 26, 2009

Network Testing & Testers

A second story fiber story on today's front page is "LUS testing network as date of launch nears." The focus is on the system's beta testers—folks who are getting to test out the currently available setup and services. I'm sure that's both fascinating and frustrating and hope that someone will tell the tale of their trials and tribulations after the system launches. LUS is getting valuable information about both the technical end of the service and about how people get tangled up in the new offerings. I'm not sure which would be more valuable.
"These citizens agreed to help us test our systems knowing we would frequently interrupt their services to add and adjust the features needed on our system before we can begin commercial operations," Huval said...

"We're getting positive responses, and some suggestions," he said. "It's also training for us so we can learn how customers will ask questions and what information they need."
There's also the proviso, repeated often of late, that the main holdup at this point is contracts to fill out the channel lineup. That's been an issue for a while now. In the background is a complex set of issues about two different coops for securing channel contracts, the temporary closing of one of those coops to new members and LUS decision to forge on by cutting its own, separate deal with suppliers. In many cases, evidently, that's lead to good deals but its a slow and painful process—and one that leads to a mesh of differing constraints on what they can and can't do that may lead to difficulties downstream.

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