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April 10, 2001 Provided by System Dynamics Inc. in association with Pulver.com

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IN THIS ISSUE:

Heard on the Net

Top Ten Ways to Confuse the Consumer (part 1)

End-to-end IP
Wreaking havoc or stepwise evolution?

Free World Dialup -
An Exclusive Offer for BBHR Subscribers

China
Broadband and Politics

TV versus PC
Answering the "desert island" question

Broadband Home Europe Summit 2001
Speaker Roster is Complete!

pulver.com 2001 Calendar
Upcoming conferences


Heard on the Net

News about People and Companies influencing The Broadband Home

People News

Donna Bletzinger has been named Director of Market Development at ShareGate. ( www.sharegate.com )

Chinook Communications ( www.chinook.com ) has named its new management team including:

  • Andrew Audet , former GM of the Cable Data Products division at Motorola, was named president and CEO

  • Elliot "Doc" Honan , former CFO of Into Networks Inc., was named executive VP and CFO

  • David Scott Brown , former GM, U.S. Operations for Peach Networks, was named VP of Marketing

Jeff Dykan as been named Chairman and Chief Executive Officer for BitBand. Dykan was formerly CFO of VocalTec Communications. ( www.bitband.com )

Rhonda Lewandowski has been named VP of Operations at HarmonyCOM, a provider of broadband provisioning software. ( www.harmonycom.com )

William Rodey , senior VP of Marketing and Engineering for HyperEdge Corp, was elected the DSL Forum’s new chairman and president. The Forum also elected eight members to its board of directors. ( www.dslforum.org )

The NY Times reports that President Bush's three nominees to the US Federal Communications Commission includes two Republicans: Washington communications lawyer Kevin Martin and telecommunications attorney Kathleen Abernathy (VP of public policy for CLEC Broadband Office). The Democratic nominee will be Michael Copps , an assistant trade development secretary for President Clinton and previously a senior aide to Senator Hollings at the Commerce Committee.

(Please email people@bb-home.com to report a change in your position.)

Company News

--Acquisitions

BreezeCOM and Floware Wireless Systems , both providers of Broadband Wireless Access (BWA) equipment, announced that the companies have agreed to combine in a merger of equals, through a stock-for-stock transaction. ( www.breezecom.com ) ( www.floware.com )

C-Cor.net will acquire MobileForce for $20 million in cash and assumption of the company's debt. ( www.c-cor.net ) ( www.mobileforce.com )

LSI Logic Corp. agreed to merge with C-Cube Microsystems Inc. in an $878 million stock-for-stock exchange. The merger, expected to be completed by the end of June, combines the companies' complementary technologies for high-growth cable, satellite, terrestrial and DSL set-top box markets. ( www.lsilogic.com ) ( www.c-cube.com )

Proxim 's planned purchase of Netopia has been aborted as a result of falling stock values. ( www.proxim.com ) ( www.netopia.com )

SONICblue™ has completed the sale of its FGL Graphics divsion to ATI for up to $10 million. The company is concentrating its focus on the Internet, digital media and consumer device markets. ( www.sonicblue.com )

Sony acquired a 10 per cent stake in KDDI Corp.'s unit, KMN Corp. , for 270 million yen (US$2.13 million), to gain expertise in cable TV-based Internet services. Sony plans to start a broadband Internet service via cable TV lines through its subsidiary AII Inc. Sony's service will initially be provided to subscribers of Tokyu Cable Television Co. Sony invested 3.3 billion yen in Tokyu Cable on the same day. ( www.sony.com )

--Funding

Chinook Communications Inc. , a developer of spectrum-enhancement technology for broadband operators, has launched its operation and raised $17 million in financing. OneLiberty Ventures, WaldenVC, BancBoston Ventures, Highland Capital Partners and YankeeTek Ventures made investments in the round. ( www.chinook.com )

CyberCity , a Danish broadband services provider, has obtained $53 million in second round investment from Lehman Brothers Communications Fund L.P., together with original investors including Advent International. CyberCity is delivering broadband and managed services focusing on DSL service in Denmark, Norway and Sweden. ( www.cybercity.dk )

Pacific Broadband Communications (PBC) has secured $50 million in Series B funding from leading broadband and financial companies, including Bowman, Cox, Juniper Networks, Pilot House, Raza Foundries, Scientific-Atlanta, Vulcan and YAS. ( www.pacificbroadband.com )

--Other News

3Com has discontinued its Internet appliances, including the Audrey and a planned Kerbango Internet radio. The move is part of their layoffs, other cost-cutting and restructuring. ( www.3com.com )

ANT Ltd. 's Internet software has been adopted by Spanish broadcaster Quiero TV , which will use their Fresco browser and e-mail client for Internet via Quiero. Quiero uses four set-top box manufacturers, each of whom licenses ANT's software. Quiero provides digital terrestrial pay TV and aims to distinguish itself by also offering Internet access. Since PC penetration in Spain is comparatively low, Quiero sees the TV as the right Internet medium for that country. ANT's embedded browser software is targeted to OEMs of such devices as set-top boxes, home entertainment systems, PDAs and in-vehicle information systems. ( www.antlimited.com ) ( www.quierotv.com )

AT&T won bankruptcy court approval to buy NorthPoint 's assets for $135 million. Since AT&T did not take over NorthPoint's customers along with the network, many customers were left without high-speed Internet access. This prompted angry reactions and a regulatory effort to reverse the shutdown in California. Meanwhile Telocity (now called DIRECTV Broadband, Inc.) offered unlimited dial-up access to its DSL customers cut off because of NorthPoint. ( www.att.com ) ( www.northpoint.net ) ( www.telocity.net )

BellSouth announced two relationships to speed deployment of DSL service in its nine state southeast US service region. They partnered with Dell to jointly market broadband-enabled PCs and DSL service plans. They also agreed to deploy Broadjump's software for service deployment and management. Bellsouth plans to triple its DSL customer base to over 600,000 by year-end. ( www.bellsouth.com ) ( www.broadjump.com ) ( www.dell.com )

Broadband Home (no relation) announced the creation of the Home Cable Network Alliance (HomeCNA) to bring together service providers, consumer electronics manufacturers and network equipment makers to establish coax cabling as the dominant home networking infrastructure for advanced services. They also announced a home networking architecture that moves voice, video and data over a home's existing coax wiring at 100 Mbps.( www.homecna.org )( www.broadbandhome.com )

The Broadband Wireless Internet Forum (BWIF) is reviewing proposals from major technical laboratories to test equipment for the wireless transmission of high-speed voice, data and video. Manufacturers will submit their equipment to the BWIF-selected laboratory and can label their equipment "BWIF Certified" if it meets Forum-established requirements. ( www.bwif.org )

Carrier Corp. and IBM announced plans for testing an Internet-based air conditioning control service this summer in Great Britain, Greece and Italy. Consumers could start cooling their homes before leaving work by setting the temperature on a Web site. In addition, appliance troubles could be diagnosed without home visits. A Carrier spokesman indicated that a service fee could be associated with this capability. Customers could also sign agreements allowing a utility to raise the thermostat setting by a few degrees during peak demand periods to avoid brownouts and redirect power to other grids. If this sounds familiar, see our article "How The Home Gateway Can Help Avoid Blackouts" in BBHR 1/21/01. ( www.ibm.com ) ( www.carrier.com )

Charter selected Liberate software for an interactive rollout later this year. Charter's St. Louis digital subscribers will have Liberate-enabled Motorola DCT5000 set-tops with 'Net access, TV Guide's IPG, and TV-based e-mail and ITV portal services from digeo. Beta trials are scheduled to begin in 3Q with billing expected to start in 4Q. ( www.charter.com ) ( www.liberate.com )

EarthLink and 2Wire have launched EarthLink Home Networking, combining 2Wire's residential gateways and EarthLink's broadband services. ( www.2wire.com ) ( www.earthlink.com )

Enikia announced a partnership with IT & Process AS (ITP) , a developer and OEM of utility service and smarthouse technology products, to create a bundled solution for combining high-speed home networking technology and next-generation energy control and appliance automation technology. ( www.enikia.com ) ( www.itp.no/English )

Germany's Bundesrat has cleared regulatory hurdles for powerline high speed access technology. Germany is a leading test market for high-speed powerline Internet access. German utility MVV will roll out the technology in Mannheim as early as May and has agreed to franchise the technology to five other utilities via Power Plus Communications AG (PPC), a venture with its Israeli partner Main.net. Major German utility RWE's powerline distribution plans are in conjunction with its Swiss technology partner Ascom. ( www.rwe.de ) ( www.mainnet-plc.com ) ( www.mvv.de )

Intel has decided to support the WiFi (802.11b) standards for its high-speed home networking products rather than HomeRF 2.0. HomeRF supporter Proxim reports it is set to deliver HomeRF 2.0 products and notes that Motorola, Compaq, Siemens and telecom providers have joined HomeRF. It also notes that Intel will continue to sell and support HomeRF 1.0 products (lower speed) and stay with the HomeRF Working Group. Previously, Intel used the HomeRF standards on home products and WiFi on commercial ones. ( www.proxim.com ) ( www.intel.com ) ( www.homerf.org )

ITRAN Communications announced its 2.5 Mbps USB Power Line Networking Modem. The modems enable net throughput of over 1.85 Mbps over power line and integrate ITRAN's proprietary PHY and MAC layers. The chip has been tested in both in-home ("last inch") and power line Access ("last mile") environments. ( www.itrancomm.com )

Kabel NRW has awarded a contract to Gotham Broadband to develop and integrate a content-management delivery system, design a portal interface and build a broadband consumer platform that delivers value-added services to Kabel NRW subscribers. Germany's largest private cable-network operator -- majority owned by Callahan Associates, Kabel NRW plans to start introducing high-speed Internet, iTV and IP-based telephony services this summer to its subscriber base of more than 4.2 million homes. ( www.gothambroadband.com ) ( www.knrw.de ) ( www.callahanassoc.com )

Level 3 Communications has signed a "multiyear, multimillion dollar agreement" to deliver digital content and streaming media from Yahoo! Inc. over its high-speed network. Yahoo will use Level 3's CrossRoads Internet access service to deliver streaming applications, including Yahoo FinanceVision and Yahoo Broadcast. ( www.yahoo.com ) ( www.level3.com )

M-TEC WIRELESS has been incorporated as a separate entity, but remains fully owned by the M-TEC GROUP. M-TEC WIRELESS is managed by William Watté, who was a speaker at the Miami BBH conference. The legal separation is intended to provide flexibility for attracting venture capital and speeding up R&D and marketing efforts. ( www.mtecwireless.com )

Microsoft Corp. and NTT have formed an alliance to develop a high-speed broadband online gaming service in Japan for Microsoft's Xbox video game system. Microsoft will reportedly offer services using NTT Communications' ADSL Internet. The service is expected to be launched in 2002. Microsoft also unveiled Xbox plans in a strategic alliance with Sega, which will create 11 new games for the machine. Gate's announcement speech highlighted Xbox's broadband connection to the Internet. ( www.ntt.com ) ( www.microsoft.com ) ( www.sega.com )

Microsoft has been licensing technologies for integration into Windows XP. Picturetel licensed its Siren wideband audio technology to Microsoft for enabling VoIP applications that will be interoperable with other VoIP systems. Microsoft also recently developed SIP capabilities for the XP platform via Mediatrix Telecom's technologies. ( www.picturetel.com ) ( www.microsoft.com ) ( www.mediatrix.com )

Netgear Inc. launched its new Cable/DSL Web Safe Router with hacker safeguards and parental filtering. It also provides NAT routing, broadband access sharing, an integrated four-port switch and VPN pass-through. ( www.netgear.com )

Sony has restructured its business units, increasing the number of major divisions from five to seven, and putting more focus on broadband internet access and mobile computing products. ( www.sony.com )

StarBand Communications , provider of two-way high-speed satellite-delivered Internet service, announced that it has reached 25,000 customers throughout the U.S. ( www.starband.com )

Two Way TV will launch its interactive games across TV Cabo Portugal. TV Cabo has started deploying digital set-top-boxes using Microsoft TV, is running a pilot and expects to begin commercial rollout soon. ( www.twowaytv.com )( www.tvcabo.pt )

United Pan-Europe Communications N.V. (UPC) and PrimaCom AG will combine their German cable businesses to create the third-largest cable operator in Germany with about 1.6 million subscribers. This continues the consolidation process in the German cable-TV market. ( www.primacom.de ) ( www.upccorp.com )


Top Ten Ways to Confuse the Consumer (part 1)

We doubt that the Broadband Home industry has a conscious death wish, but sometimes it's hard to be sure. Our actions, coming from the early stages of industry experimentation, make it look like we're all going out of our way to confuse most consumers enough to postpone buying until after the shakeout.

This month we highlight two examples of this behavior. We know there are more that belong on this list -- that's why we've labeled this article "part 1". Let us know about others that belong here and we'll share them in future reports.

#1. Trumpet the fact that this is the year of home networking. Then create so many competing ways of acomplishing it, with names that sound so similar, that even those in the industry aren't sure what to choose for their own homes.

#2. Leverage all the publicity about Napster and the search for legal AND cosumer friendly digital music distribution by announcing four new digital music ventures in one week.

Okay...so what do we mean?

#1--Home Networking...

Those of you who read the 1/2/01 BBHR may recall that one item on our "wish list" for 2001 was: "A year that ends with fewer home networking standards rather than more." As we've pointed out, it's hard for a consumer to figure out what all the (often similar sounding) jargon means. We now have HomePNA, HomeRF, HomePlug, Home Director, 802.11b (a/k/a "Wi-fi"), Ethernet,...all on the market simultaneously and several with multiple variations. Although HomeRF took a body blow this month when Intel announced it will support Wi-fi going forward, Cahner's In-Stat reported that Proxim's HomeRF based products represented 25% of total wireless home networking revenues in 2000. Proxim and HomeRF continue to point out the benefits of its new generation of faster products, so we can't count them out.

Meanwhile, this month we've added another "standard" to the mix--HomeCNA (see Broadband Home [no relation] in "other news" above). HomeCNA has some real benefits, so we're not knocking their goals. Because it is coax-based and runs up to 100Mbps, the architecture accomodates whole home networking and the complete gamut of needs, including voice, data, video and control.

And 802.11a (obviously the successor to 802.11b -- try to explain that to the uninitiated!) and Versatile Home Networking (VHN) are about to be added to the mix.

Pity the poor consumer -- or service provider -- trying to make any sense of all this! Maybe it's one more reason why we said "It's time for the IP Plumber" -- see BBHR 3/18/01.

#2--How to get my digital music...

In case you didn't follow all the recent announcements, we'll summarize:

1. RealNetworks and three major record labels (BMG, EMI and Warner) announced MusicNet to create a clearinghouse and platform on which RealNetworks can create subscription models. 2. Sony and Universal announced plans for a venture called Duet for music distribution via Yahoo. 3. MTVi and RioPort.com announced they will offer paid music downloads from all five major music labels (BMG, EMI, Sony, Universal and Warner) on Radio MTV.com and VH1atWork Radio. 4. Microsoft's MSN launched MSN Music for streaming radio and plans to offer a download susbscription service.

Many questions remain about what all these announcements will actually mean for the consumer. Users will want to understand if they can get all the music they're looking for from one service, or will have to go to multiple services; whether they'll need different software for different services; whether the songs they download can be transferred to a portable device or CD; whether downloaded songs might expire if a user stopped paying the subscription fee (and some we probably haven't thought to ask yet).

Meanwhile, as Dick Wiley points out in the 4/6/01 "Communications Today": "Broadband delivery is essential to the provision of high quality audio and video content via the Internet. A new generation of technologies has arisen to provide Internet access through various transmission systems...The challenge facing government decision makers is how to apply current laws (and develop new ones where needed) in a way that will promote Internet innovations while still protecting the rights of content providers and end users."

Tell us what you think! Please let us know your top candiates for our list of ways we're confusing the consumer. Also, maybe, just maybe, help us all figure out where we (as an industry) go from here with some of these...


End-to-end IP: Wreaking havoc or stepwise evolution?

Spring VON General Session "End-to-End IP - The Future of IP Communications"

Those attending the VON (Voice on the Net) conferences are a strange community! Given the choice of a safari-themed reception replete with good food and drink, or a panel on End-to-End IP at the end of a long day of sessions, a huge number of Spring VON attendees stayed in their seats until the very end of the panel.

The session was an outgrowth of last year's BBHR two-part series called "End-to-End IP--How will the ILECs survive?" (see BBHR 9/26/2000 and 10/26/2000). Based on a session at Fall 2000 VON and on Clayton Christensen's "The Innovator's Dilemma", our article suggested that the ILECs and their vendors were at serious risk from a disruptive technology.

Jeff Pulver invited us to organize the general session to continue the industry discussion of these issues. Dave moderated, and the seven panelists were chosen to represent a diversity of views from across the industry:

  • Mike Noonan, Cisco

  • John Pickens, CTO, Com21

  • Steve Craddock, VP, Comcast

  • Martin Taylor, CTO, CopperCom

  • Brough Turner, SVP Technology, Natural Microsystems

  • Joc Jacquay, CEO, Pagoo

  • David Young, Director, Internet and Technology Policy, Verizon

Dave's introduction observed that there are two very different views of what "voice over IP" means for the PSTN (public switched telephone network).

  • On the one hand, VoIP could mean using the superior economics of IP-based voice to replace existing components of the PSTN one at a time, preserving the features and interfaces of each component. (This is the way the telephone network has grown over the past century, and would not be disruptive to the incumbents.)

  • On the other hand, VoIP could mean building a complete new network from scratch, with telephone sets originating and terminating IP voice and connected together without any element of the current PSTN. There would be suitable accomodation to the PSTN to take advantage of all the phones currently connected to it. (This is the disruptive scenario.)

It appeared to us that many of the vendors exhibiting at VON were focused on the first, some on the second, and some are indifferent -- selling chips to either side, for example.

Is "End-to-end IP" disruptive?

For those not familiar with Christensen's theories, John Pickens made it very real by using a decidedly non-hitech example from the field of excavating equipment. Since hydraulic excavators couldn't originally provide much bucket capacity, the market leaders discounted hydraulics and stayed with the cable technology. Over a period of twenty years, hydraulics replaced cable-actuated systems in nearly every market segment -- and nearly all of the market leaders were driven from the market. This illustrates what made hydraulics disruptive: initially inferior by the leader's criteria, hydraulics manufacturors found a market segment -- backhoes -- where the small bucket size was acceptable. They then developed the technology with progressively larger bucket capacities. Because they understood hydraulics technology much better than the incumbents, the new entrants were able to take each segment in turn, even when the incumbents started to defend their markets.

Nearly all of the panelists agreed that "End-to-End IP" could or would be disruptive:

  • John Pickens: "There might be some red-letter day when new vendors could wreak havoc on the legacy market"

  • Steve Craddock: "IP could be the death knell of the circuit switch, something far beyond POTS - much more than voice...IP is counter-culture to the ILECs - it causes a strategic brain-freeze"

  • David Young: "It's so disruptive because it separates the underlying access network from the applications riding on it, and enables innovation by non-affiliated service providers, software developers, and equipment vendors."

Martin Taylor, the exception, was skeptical about using IP for the voice traffic. He presented a case for migrating to IP protocols for call management while preserving many elements of the existing PSTN for high-quality voice transmission.

The necessity of quality of service (QoS) guarantees for consumer acceptance of IP voice services provoked vigorous debate between the panelists. While some believe that QoS is critical, others felt that customer expectations had been sufficiently diminished by cellular service that customers would accept a non-QoS approach. Much of the discussion seemed to revolve around the question of whether incumbents will tie QoS inextricably to their services. David Young of Verizon agreed on the disruptive nature of end-to-end IP and saw the cause of the disruption as being the ability it provides to separate the underlying access network from the applications riding on it.

All of the presentations are available for download at slides.pulver.com. (If you haven't visited this site before, click on "Register" and enter your email address - you'll be sent a password to use with your email address to enter the site.)

Implications for the Broadband Home - It's voice, stupid!

Although the "broadband home" started largely with data communciations applications (faster Web browsing) we see lots of signs that voice is coming next.

An increasing number of companies are demonstrating -- and a few are rolling out -- IP voice devices and services for the home. Many of these combine the broadband and PSTN connections in innovative ways. A few examples:

  • deltathree has created a turnkey solution for broadband service providers which they indicate is scheduled to be trialed by nine providers ( www.deltathree.com )

  • Free World Dialup (FWD) is a community telephone service for anyone with a broadband Internet connection that wants to reciprocally share their local phone access with other members of the FWD community - see next article ( freeworldialup.com )

  • Soundpipe uses a device based architecture to enable service providers to offer consumers and small businesses advanced voice and audio services and unified communications. ( www.soundpipe.com )

  • Pagoo builds voice applications and end-to-end communications solutions for Broadband providers, IP carriers, CLECs, retailers and other service providers. ( www.pagoo.com )

Some of these services are designed as "peer-to-peer" services -- these are the ones which several of our panelists felt would be "massively disruptive". For example, Free World Dialup enables its members to make free phone calls through each other's local access.

Other companies are building extensive carrier class VoIP networks -- these include Level Three, Zephion, deltathree. These networks assume that originating IP voice traffic will terminate on IP devices whenever possible, and will go through a gateway to the PSTN if required. They are now trying to convince broadband access providers, such as cable and wireless operators, to roll out these services.

All of this activity indicates that IP telephony will soon take off as a new money-making making application for broadband. Consumers are willing to pay for telephone services, and a lot of money will change hands.

Who will be the winners? If this is truly disruptive, and we pay attention to the applications, not the technology - as Joc Jacquay urged us - the customers will be on the winning side.

What does this mean for the cable guys?

North American cable operators (MSOs) have been working toward "end-to-end IP" through the PacketCable project at CableLabs. Most of them have long believed that they would need guaranteed end-to-end QoS for IP calls in order to take "first line" telephone customers away from the incumbent telcos. The PacketCable specifications for IP voice and the second-generation DOCSIS 1.1 cable modem are based on an innovative approach to QoS over cable developed by CableLabs and participating vendors. Products built on these specifications will reach the market later this year.

But other companies are not waiting for the MSOs to deploy QoS. They observe that the end user who had been taking "six nines" reliability for granted on a wired phone is now getting used to "four nines" or worse with cellular service. They believe there is a significant market for "second line" telephony which doesn't require QoS. Freed from the requirements for "lifeline" services that accompany "primary line" service, they are moving quickly to test their beliefs in the marketplace. These companies believe that real people don't think of primary telephony in terms of lifeline (and its requirements) but rather in terms of what phone and service they use most of the time. And for a growing number of users, that has become their cell phone, despite some quality and reliability drawbacks. In the same way, IP-based teenage phones introduced in Sweden may become "primary" for many, and not just teenageers!

Having spent three years developing the PacketCable specifications, and still some time away from completing the full specs for "end-to-end IP", the MSOs may find that their competition for voice services is not the incumbent telcos at all but new entrants offering IP services over broadband -- who aren't waiting for QoS. Many of these companies would like to make deals with the MSOs to offer their services under the MSO's branding, but they will do it without the MSOs if they can't.

The MSOs think that their services will be sufficiently better than non-QoS broadband services to command a premium price. Indeed, many seem to think that they will be able to charge a per-minute rate for IP telephony. We think there's a window of opportunity for the MSOs to offer telephone service, but we suspect the right pricing model is more like cellular (a flat fee for a lot of monthly minutes) than traditional "pay by the minute" service.

Although the PacketCable architecture could be applied to any broadband access technology (cable, DSL, Ethernet, fixed wireless, etc.), the cable industry has not tried to include endpoints connected by access other than cable. Thus we are likely to see islands of IP voice connectivity, with the PSTN acting as the backup connection. It would make a lot more sense for all broadband access companies to see themselves as part of a "broadband ecosystem" and work together to grow the broadband pie. Otherwise, someone will overlay these VoIP applications on top of all the access infrastructure and may well emerge as the winner of the game.

Read the tea leaves -- SIP in Windows XP

Just as Napster showed the world the power that PC users (especially broadband-connected ones) have at their disposal, and just as Gnutella does in a peer-to-peer way, imagine your PC coming with software that prepares it for peer-to-peer voice applications.

Microsoft's announcement that Session Initiation Protocol (SIP) will be incorporated into Windows XP tells us that this new world is coming quickly. With SIP becoming the defacto standard for call setup and signaling in conjuction with IP voice, this announcement signals the sowing of the disruptive seeds into new PCs as they ship with XP.

On the VON exhibit floor Microsoft demonstrated a prototype SIP client on a beta release of Windows XP, scheduled for release this fall. Since XP is the converged Windows platform and is intended to replace both the consumer (95/98/ME) and business (NT/2000) versions of Windows, we think it's very significant that it will come with built-in SIP and a client for IP telephony. With IP telephony supported in all new Windows clients and servers, we think the market will take off quite rapidly as XP takes over.

Following the Microsoft announcement, John Pickens said "That's the backhoe!" The disruption is under way.


Free World Dialup -- An Exclusive Offer for BBHR Subscribers

Free World Dialup (FWD) is a SIP-based community telephone service for anyone with a broadband Internet connection willing to share their local phone access (dialing plan) with other members of the FWD community. In exchange, community members can make free phone calls through other FWD member's local phone access. FWD uses VoIP (voice over IP) technology to carry voice over the Internet between member nodes, and uses SIP (Session Initiation Protocol) for call setup and control.

FWD has started beta testing its service with over 30 FWD nodes located in five countries and growing. These beta testers are constantly making calls to one another and to cities where the other FWD nodes are located. They are an energized group!

Free World Dialup is inviting up to 100 "Broadband Home Report" subscribers to become FWD beta testers. Acceptance in this beta program includes free equipment during participation in the program.

Requirements: A broadband internet connection (cable, DSL, Ethernet, ...); a phone line (2nd line if possible) to the PSTN; an analog phone; and time to test and provide helpful feedback to the FWD community and team.

Please note that when a FWD member makes a call through your FWD node, the charge for that local call will be incurred by you. You can limit the number of minutes of calls that will be made through your node on a monthly basis. We advise all beta testers to contact their local phone company in regard to plans that help to mitigate this cost.

If you'd like to be a beta tester, please visit http://www.thebroadbandhome.com/fwd.html and fill out the online form completely. You will be contacted by FWD if you are accepted in the beta program.

For additional information on FWD, please visit http://FreeWorlDialup.com and read the FAQ, or email fwdIIIserver@pulver.com .


China: Broadband and Politics

While most of the media attention on China has focused on its standoff with the US over 24 detained Americans and their spy plane, our interest in China is its less visible but nonetheless important broadband developments.

Alcatel has signed a multiyear deal with China Telecommunications Corp. to deploy about 50 percent of the equipment CTC needs for DSL in China. The Wall Street Journal reports the contract's value at between $70 million and $225 million in the first year, depending on market growth and the equipment needed in various provinces. It indicates that most of the business will come in later years.

Meanwhile, the Xinhua News Agency reported that the number of cable TV subscribers in China has passed 90 million and is expected to reach 120 million in the next five years. Chen Xiaoning, director of China's Information and Networks Center was quoted as saying that China is "working hard" to integrate telecommunications, television and computer networks and to develop a "high-speed wide band information network." He also indicated that authorities are pushing to expand the use of set-top cable boxes and to link local networks to a national cable system.

The April 1st NY Times quoted Rick Baum, a political scientist from the University of California, San Diego, regarding the implications of all this: "While China is still some distance away from having truly accountable leaders, the gap appears to be closing. When a tree falls in the forest there are now likely to be multiple sets of ears — and cell phones and chat rooms and videocams — tuned to the event."


TV versus PC: Answering the "desert island" question

Not too long ago we saw a survey asking "If you could have either your TV or your Internet connection, which you would choose?"

Reporter David Pogue gave us his answer in the 4/5/01 NY Times, saying "My name is David, and I'm a TiVo addict. Oh, sure, I love my cable modem, I take my laptop everywhere, and they'll have to tear the Palm V out of my cold, dead hands. But if I were cast away on a desert island with only a single power outlet, I'd want my TiVo." Having pondered this question for myself, I think I come out on the connected PC side, but when I think about giving up the Sopranos on HBO, I do waiver a bit. It's a good thing we're not really being forced to choose. And we do think that each has its proper place and applications that are much better on it than the other.

That said, we've been fascinated with the differences between countries that focus their interactive broadband services toward the TV (like the UK and Spain - see BBHR 8/13/00) and those that are more PC-oriented like the US, Sweden and Netherlands. We'll be exploring both views at Broadband Home Europe Summit. In Roundtable 6 we'll talk about "Re-Inventing the TV: ITV, IP-TV, VOD, and more..." And our industry perspective speaker, Kerstin Schueler from Intel, will discuss using the PC platform to extend end users capabilities into audio, video, entertainment and communications using broadband. Meanwhile, we're glad we don't really have to decide!


Broadband Home Europe Summit 2001: Speaker Roster is Complete!

The Broadband Home Europe Summit 2001 will take place May 14-15 at the Sheraton Airport Hotel and Conference Center in Amsterdam, Netherlands. Whether your target is broadband services, content, applications, infrastructure or products, we hope you'll join us to hear expert perspectives on what will be "hot" in the future -- complemented by insights on what customers want and need right now.

We've completed the speaker roster for the conference and posted the speakers and session descriptions on the conference website -- please visit www.thebroadbandhome.com/bbhe2001/schedule.html .

Our conference theme is "BREAKING BROADBAND BARRIERS: Creating New Models for the Broadband Community". We'll focus on some of the unique aspects of the European residential broadband marketplace. These include leadership in:

  • creating compelling TV-based applications and business models

  • pioneering durable fiber-based "end-to-end IP" broadband solutions

  • developing services models providing real value and cost justification for the service provider

At BBH Europe Summit 2001 you will have an opportunity to hear from and meet the senior executives who are driving the industry, in a uniquely personal atmosphere. Our conferences are geared toward: • Bringing together decision makers • Creating community across broadband content, connectivity and devices • Encouraging profitable partnerships

The conference will include a Welcoming Reception for delegates and participants on the evening of May 13th and a Conference Party the evening of May 14th. These will be great places to network with colleagues from the industry in an informal setting.

The conference schedule includes Industry Perspectives by thought leaders, with the balance of the program devoted to roundtable panel sessions. The format of this Summit will put a premium on interactive discussion between the panelists and the audience.

The Industry Perspective speakers include:

  • Sudhir Ispahani, CTO, chello broadband n.v. and Chair, Technology Board, UPC

  • Kevin Jones, VP and GM North America, Nokia Home Communications

  • Andy Trott, CEO, Networks & Connected Devices, Pace Micro Technology

  • Kerstin Schueler, Consumer Products, Intel GmbH

  • Sandy Teger and David Waks, Co-Founders, System Dynamics Inc.

Eight roundtable panels will include presentations and encourage dialog between the panelists and with the audience:

  • Compelling Broadband Applications - A survey of applications that matter to real users

  • Broadband Access Choices - Cable, DSL, Fiber, Satellite, Powerline and Fixed Wireless

  • Home Networking and Appliances

  • Home Gateways

  • Behind the Scenes - Provisioning and managing services

  • Re-Inventing the TV - ITV, IP-TV, VOD and more

  • What's Hot in Technology and Standards

  • Sharing Broadband Experiences - What can we learn?

Seating for the conference is limited. If you are thinking about attending, we suggest that you register soon. If you plan to attend and will require a hotel room, we recommend that you make your hotel reservation as soon as possible to take advantage of the special conference rate.

Visit the conference Web site ( http://www.thebroadbandhome.com/bbhe2001/index.html ) for the up-to-date conference schedule. Conference brochures, registration and hotel reservations are all available online through the website.


pulver.com 2001 Calendar - Upcoming conferences

System Dynamics will be organizing and moderating the Broadband track at several upcoming conferences as well as organizing upcoming Broadband Home Conferences. (See the complete calendar at www.pulver.com/conference )

Broadband Home Europe Summit, May 14-15, 2001 - Amsterdam, Netherlands ( www.thebroadbandhome.com/bbhe2001 )

Voice on the Net Europe 2001, June 12-15, 2001 - Stockholm, Sweden ( www.pulver.com/europe2001 )

Broadband Home Fall 2001, October 1-3, 2001 - San Jose, CA ( www.thebroadbandhome.com )

VON Asia 2001, November 12-14, 2001 - Hong Kong ( www.pulver.com )


Subscription and Copyright

If you are aware of others who would like to receive our report, please ask them to visit ( http://BroadbandHomeCentral.com/report/subscribe.html) to subscribe.

To change your email address, report format, or other subscription information, or to unsubscribe, please visit ( http://BroadbandHomeCentral.com/report/change.html )

Please send your comments and feedback regarding this issue of our report to editor@bb-home.com. Your suggestions for topics to be covered in future issues would be greatly appreciated.

Sandy Teger and Dave Waks
Sandy and Dave's Report on The Broadband Home
Originally published as The Broadband Home Report
April 10, 2001

editor@bb-home.com
http://BroadbandHomeCentral.com/report



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