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David Vs. The DSL Goliath
Interview with Sonic CEO & CISPA President Dane Jasper
by Karl Bode 12:34PM Thursday May 11 2006
Dane Jasper is CEO of independent DSL provider Sonic.net and President of the California ISP Association(CISPA), which represents over 140 smaller ISPs. As such he has a unique view on what it's like to be an independent ISP in this age of super-incumbents (and the legislators and FCC who love them). We recently had a chance to talk with Dane about life as an indie ISP, the future of broadband, the effectiveness of the FCC, net-neutrality, and more.

BBR: A year or so ago, you joked that we may soon have to rename ourselves "SBCandComcastReports.com", even going so far as to offer a mock website. What are your thoughts on the state of competition in the broadband industry now?

DJ: Competition in the broadband marketplace continues to narrow, which should be of concern to consumers. With the FCC rulings in place that push the concept of "multi-modal competition", I think we're headed toward monopoly and duopoly options in most markets.

The multi-modal concept suggests that consumers have lots of choices - pick from DSL, cable, satellite, BPL or wireless. So - five choices for broadband. But, satellite is very high latency, BPL is largely unproven, wireless is plagued by interference and high equipment cost, and DSL and cable are not available universally.

There are many locations in the US where consumers have zero broadband options, and the ironic thing is that one of the reasons cited is that telcos won't build broadband there unless they don't have to "compete" with ISPs that they had been required to sell wholesale access to. This is silly - if retail consumer DSL is profitable at a price of $X, wholesale access to other ISPs should be profitable at $X - 10%, and having five ISPs pushing the same broadband platform - and converting their existing customers, etc - has GOT to mean deeper penetration.

BBR: That said, how is Sonic doing?

DJ: Sonic.net is doing well with DSL broadband, and we really value our growing partnership with the new AT&T. We enjoyed growth of almost 50% in broadband clients last year, and are on track to do even better this year. However, we're one of only a few successful ISPs - Sonic.net is the third largest SBC-ASI partner in their entire 13 state region. Most ISPs are not able to be relevant in this arena.

One bright spot though has been our wholesale offering. Last September we began offering wholesale access to our ATM network to other ISPs, allowing them to leverage our huge economics of scale alongside SBC-ASI DSL loops. To date, 55 ISPs in California are now buying network capacity from us for this purpose, and it's pushed our DSL line count up quite a bit. Here's an example of an argument FOR continued competitive access to essential underlying facilities.

BBR: As AT&T's third largest customer, you've likely got some leverage other providers don't have. What are your thoughts on how the merger between AT&T and BellSouth will impact those smaller broadband providers, that may not have AT&T's attention?

DJ: Earlier this year, AT&T withdrew it's longstanding term pricing plan relationship for ISPs, and replaced it with a "cancel anytime" month to month relationship for all new ISPs. As a grandfathered ISP, and a large one, we've got a very good ongoing relationship, but new ISPs do not get the same advantages of those who signed up prior to this February. At this point, a new ISP who is not grandfathered and who begins selling broadband could really lose their ability to do so at any time. That means it's virtually impossible to build a long term business plan today, as the entire landscape could potentially change at any time.

BBR: What's the financial situation for these smaller providers?

DJ: I think smaller ISPs have already suffered huge, huge losses. Many that I talk to are hanging on by either specializing in some vertical market - wireless, network design, consulting, etc, or they're shrinking to minimal staff and just coasting. Some are just a shell - these are businesses which formerly were vibrant, growing companies, but without the ability to compete, they've really changed.

BBR: Has the FCC been an effective presence in creating broadband competition and increasing broadband penetration?

DJ: Of course not. The FCC's mandate today is to unleash the monopolies - the administration and legislature believes that by doing this, America will gain more access to technology and will be better prepared for the future economic environment. I think that this is naive at best - absent effective competition, where's the motivation for innovation?

The FCC in the last few years has gutted any real potential for competition, through the elimination of line-sharing for CLECs, the rollback of UNE-P, the decision on forbearance with regards to access by ISPs to fiber served - Lightspeed - and legacy DSLAM based DSL, and of course the contested decision with regards to competitive access to cable.

BBR: What should the FCC be doing?

DJ: The FCC should not set aside essential facilities for the exclusive use of a single company. In all cases, the company which buried the wires should get a return on it's investment, and it should sell wholesale access to that essential facility to others. If one of those is an affiliated ISP, all the better - but there's no legitimate claim that there's a downside in wholesale access.

BBR: Zooming in a little, what's the specific competitive DSL environment in California?

DJ: Today SBC/Yahoo and Verizon have the vast majority of DSL clients, and Comcast has more cable customers than anyone else. There's virtually zero competitive access in cable, and DSL subscribers affiliated with ISPs other than those owned by the ILEC parent companies measure less than 10%. Covad has some facilities here, but note that they have some SBC ownership control today as a result of their bankruptcy exit.

NewEdge has some deployment, and ISPs have generally been positive the experience of working with them, but they have had some technical challenges - outages - in their network, plus their acquisition by Earthlink has sent a bit of a chill through the relationships.

On the upside, our wholesale platform in California has been really, really successful. AT&T is still partnering with ISPs, and we signed up most of them prior to the elimination of the term plan, so they've got some stability. Our coverage includes a huge chunk of the state, and we've got over a Gigabit of ATM deployed today, for use by Sonic.net and our other ISP partners. It's very exciting.

BBR: Can you explain to our readers what CISPA is, and what your organization does?

DJ: The California ISP Association is one of the largest and most effective trade associations in the industry. Like the Texas association (TISPA, -Ed.), in the past CISPA has engaged in litigation at the public utilities commission level to obtain more reasonable treatment for ISPs by SBC - then Pacific Bell. And like the Florida association - now the F in FISPA stands for "Federated" as they accept ISPs from all states, we have vendor relationships and present a sort of buying block to vendors. CISPA has lobbied at the FCC and California state legislature, and has advocated for ISPs and consumers on a number of CPUC issues. Today, there are about 140 ISPs who are members of the association.

BBR: What are your thoughts on the net-neutrality debate?

DJ: It seems that all of the cable and telco execs got together for a luncheon and decided that they should begin talking about "free rides" and "fast lanes" and other similar rhetoric. One will say something that sounds totally unreasonable to consumers, then another will take a similar tack using different language.

Clearly, they all belong to the same trade associations, and they've worked together to help craft the legislation that they hope will allow them to hamstring their competitors. In particular, VoIP companies like Vonage may suffer badly - if telcos, cablecos and ISPs prioritize that traffic badly, the product can become marginally unusable, and it will die out, to be replaced by VoIP with QoS from the carrier.

I don't think anyone's getting a free ride - applications such as web browsing, file sharing and VoIP are the reason that consumers purchase broadband connections. To suggest that someone who is actually USING their Internet connection for something - no matter what it is - is getting a free ride is a bit odd. Those who create content and indexes - like Google - create unique value, and can use that to leverage advertising to eyeballs - that's their model. Those who build networks should be encouraged that customers want more, faster, etc - and sell it - not try to block those applications.

BBR: Can you explain for our readers the difference between SBC - - AT&T, and SBC ASI, the retail/wholesale relationship,and how they've changed as well as your relationship to them? Does ASI still exist?

DJ: Actually, ASI is still in the picture. The decision which required it's creation was overturned, but it was never re-integrated.

Basically, you've got an ILEC, and there can only be one of these, as they own the wires that are in the ground, which go to your house, etc. In California, this was Pacific Bell, it became SBC California, and today it's "AT&T, powered by SBC". Note that you'll see ALL of these things push toward a single name - AT&T - as time goes on.

Next up you have CLECs who do fast packet services. SBC-ASI is owned by AT&T, but this also includes NewEdge, Covad and a few others. These CLECs run DSLAMs, ATM networks, etc, and buy access to copper from the ILECs.

Finally, there are ISPs, who provide the next layer, Internet services such as access transport, email, hosting, etc. These include the newly renamed AT&T/Yahoo owned by AT&T - also known as SBC-IS, or "information services", Earthlink, DSLExtreme, Sonic.net, etc.

BBR: Can you briefly outline some of the disputes you've had with them?

DJ: In the past, we've had issues with unfair treatment in general, for
example PacBell line technicians suggesting to customers that they should have just purchased their Internet "right from the source" and skipped Sonic.net. This makes little sense, particularly as this was during a time when PacBell itself was unable to transport IP beyond the LATA boundary.

However, today those behaviors have ceased, and the relationship is a very good one. There remain however issues with costs and pricing. The aggressive introductory offers require huge deep pockets to keep up, and it's challenging. In the past, we used to buy wholesale access for about $44, when retail was $40 - that was really bad. Now, there's a tiny margin on most products, a couple percentage points - but the 6.0/768 product is actually upside-down today.

BBR: Speaking of aggressive intro offers; your reaction to AT&T's new 6Mbps 12 month deal for $30?

DJ: Our costs for this today are about $40 in payments to SBC-ASI, so there's no way to match this retail price point, particularly after you consider the cost of IP transport, support staff, general overhead, etc. I'm hoping to negotiate a lower wholesale cost.

BBR: With cable networks off-limits, and many next-gen VDSL and fiber deployments off-limits, what are Sonic's plans in the wireless space? How many wireless customers do you currently have? Any interest in Wimax?

DJ: We're currently serving almost 1000 customers on various wireless products, but I have to say, it's a tough set of products. It's very expensive to deploy on a large scale, for example statewide, and the cost per customer to deploy is very high. Where we might spend $50 or so on equipment for a DSL customer, a wireless CPE and such can easily run $200 or more. In addition, it generally requires that an installer visit the location, which is also very expensive.

Assuming that there's a setup when it's purchased, perhaps one repair during
the life of the product, and finally tear down when the customer relationship ends, you're looking at perhaps $200 or so in additional costs for staff, vehicles, insurance, etc.

BBR: Any interest in some of these emerging wireless technologies?

DJ: We're certainly continuing to explore new wireless technologies in hopes of finding one which is both stable, cost effective and fast. Non-line-of-sight is important, and if/when WiMax gets to that point, it could be interesting. NLOS means that you can use UPS for your installs - in other words, ship the gear, the customer puts it on their desk, and it works. There's no requirement for an outdoor antenna, cabling running up the side of the house, etc - so it cuts out the installer costs. WiFi delivers this today, but the range and interference concerns make it really tough.

BBR: I recall your presence on a spam-panel on the now defunct Screensavers program before TechTV was lobotomized. You were one of the only panelists who seemed to take a hard-line on all spam. You're highly involved on this front - can you explain some of the things you've been doing?

DJ: Clearly, consumers hate spam - so to deliver an email box that they'll be satisfied with, we've got to block a lot of it. We continue to invest massive time and resources in the fight against spam, and it's certainly been appreciated by our customers. Today, we block about 75% of the inbound stream of messages as spam, meaning we junk over 1.5 Million messages a day. If we were to fail in our mission and these were let through, our customers would find their mailboxes far less useful. That said, this is a fight that all ISPs are constantly engaged in, and the sad thing is that this volume of junk to legitimate email is pretty typical.

BBR: Qwest's CTO recently stated that estimates of p2p traffic eating up broadband networks were "overblown". Agree, or disagree - and can you provide estimates of how much bandwidth is eaten up on your network by p2p?

DJ: We're certainly seeing an increase in network utilization, and I believe that we experience this more than most as we've traditionally reached consumers who were more tech-savvy and demanding about their choice of Internet service provider. For example, if you want PPPoE and scripted support, go elsewhere - if you want static IPs, routed IPs, IPv6, etc, come here.

Looking at our own stats today, we're actually seeing a bit less p2p traffic than we are simple HTTP web browsing. So, in other words, it's not by any means a 'vast majority' of our traffic.

BBR: What's the latest and greatest for Sonic?

DJ: Our "Business T" product. It's based upon a Cisco CPE we've put together that lets us gang multiple ADSL circuits which are provisioned on dedicated lines - not customer voice lines, as traditional DSL is, allowing us to deliver up to 24Mbps/3.0Mbps services to businesses using per-packet load balancing. The range of products is from "T1" - symmetrical 1.5Mbps at $299 up to 16xT1 downstream and 2xT1 upstream -24Mpbs/3Mbps - at $1499 a month.

This is cool because for the first time you can get T1 speeds and a service level agreement for less than three hundred bucks - and at the top end, it's more than half of a T3, for WAY less cost. Additionally, it can be deployed in just about three weeks, on copper, unlike traditional 45Mbps T3 which takes three to four months, and which requires fiber and thus a huge amount of physical space for the fiber cabinet, batteries, etc.

"Dane Jasper is CEO and co-founder of Sonic.net, and can be reached at dane@sonic.net"

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Derch
Premium
join:2004-10-16
Cross Plains, WI

ooohhh...

That mock website is scary

MysticGogeta
The Robot Devil
Premium
join:2005-03-14
League City, TX

Re: ooohhh...

Yeah creeeeepy

N3OGH
Yo Soy Col. "Bat" Guano
Premium
join:2003-11-11
Philly burbs
kudos:2
Yeah, but good for a laugh.

We've got to be able to laugh at ourselves, people. I for one, got a chuckle out of it....

djrobx
Premium
join:2000-05-31
Valencia, CA
kudos:2

Thanks Dane!

Your insight into the industry always makes a fascinating read. Thanks for sharing with us.

-- Rob
--
\\ROB - a part of the SCB local network

JTRockville
Data Ho
Premium,MVM
join:2002-01-28
Rockville, MD

Nice Price on the "Business T"

Any chance sonic.net is looking to move in to Maryland?

DaneJasper
Sonic.Net
Premium,VIP
join:2001-08-20
Santa Rosa, CA
kudos:9

Re: Nice Price on the "Business T"


Sonic.net California DSL LATA Map
Glad you like that - it's a great alternative to traditional T1 and T3 products. Faster, cheaper, and built-in redundancy.

Coverage for the Business T product today is California's LATA-1 (national 722), which is the greater San Francisco Bay area and Northward.

Our DSL coverage map is larger - see attached. Sorry we're not in your area!

rachelsfx

join:2004-09-27
Pensacola, FL

One Question:

If I owned SBC, God forbid, why should I be forced to line share my DSL at rates that aren't profitable?

CLECs refuse to answer that question, period. If you are willing to answer, do so. I hate SBC/T, but have to agree with the ILECs that "sharing" lines at cost is NO benefit to them at all.

Example:

I own Rachel's Supermarket and own Atlanta's biz with a 98% market share. If the government told me, you have to lease an aisle at my stores to any competing "company" wanting to sell groceries (aisle at cost), would I comply or tell them to get lost and build your own store? I'd say the later. Even if I made 10% profit on the aisle, why still would I not say get lost and build your own store?

rit56

join:2000-12-01
New York, NY

Re: One Question:

corporate shill

rachelsfx

join:2004-09-27
Pensacola, FL

Re: One Question:

That's no answer!

TScheisskopf
World News Trust

join:2005-02-13
Belvidere, NJ

Re: One Question:

I guess you have no understanding of what the word "wholesale" means, do you?

Oh, and what the guy above said.

JTRockville
Data Ho
Premium,MVM
join:2002-01-28
Rockville, MD
Maybe because there wouldn't even be a "store" (or in this case, communications infrastructure) if the government hadn't built it?
stonecolddsl
Linux Junkie

join:2004-01-07
Sarasota, FL
Simple, The Government did not give your tax breaks for your sotre the government did not give you money to put your store all over atlanta.

Teleco got alot of money over the years in tax breaks and incentives to wire this country end to end. Cable had no such break or incentive hence why cable is not being force to share. Now Verizon seems to be very open minded to the whole deal of whole sale and the company that I am with now for dsl is also authorized to sell fios over there own network.

You might had a point if the government force to lease an isle out to me and I sold the same products on that isle for half of what you are sellign them for but that is not the case.

The circuit (isle in your scenario) is paid for full retail price plus 10%

My circut charge from Internet junction is almost the same as what Verizon circut charge is about 2 dollars more. But where I save money is that Ij offers business class service for a fraction of the price. 69.99 sith 5 static ips vs verizion 100.00 for 5 static plus a damn usf fee.

All the government is doing is making the telecos play fair on government paid for lines.

rachelsfx

join:2004-09-27
Pensacola, FL

Re: One Question:

Yes, the government does give me tax breaks. Just like Wally World. My point is: why should they share lines they built with their own money, monopoly or no?

If you're right, why doesn't the power company have to share its lines?

The inevitable is coming: ILECs will NOT have to share its lines unless it wants to.

DaneJasper
Sonic.Net
Premium,VIP
join:2001-08-20
Santa Rosa, CA
kudos:9

1 recommendation

This is the common myth - they're not forced to share access to lines at rates which are not profitable! In fact, while in the past ILECs have been required to provide access, THEY set the price!

It's about unbundling, basicly. If a ILEC affiliated ISP can sell consumers DSL with Internet transit, support, email boxes, a personal website, etc at $X at a profit, and if you take out everything except the use of the line, you should be able to sell at $X-$Y, also at a profit!

Let's take the railroad analogy. If there is one railroad that passes through a city, and it's owned by Southern Pacific, you can ship your goods to that city in a Southern Pacific rail car for $1000. They run the locomotive, they've got an engineer driving it, they purchased the freight car the cargo is in, etc.

Or - they can sublease the use of the track to another company, who would haul your freight using their locomotive, their engineer, etc. The cost to that other company might be to use the tracks might be less than the $1000 they'd get by delivering the cargo themselves, but they don't have many of the associated costs.

Both could be profitable for the owner of the essential facility - the rail tracks, or the phone lines.

Rail was regulated like this, a long time ago - everyone recognized that it just wouldn't be practical to have ten or twenty parallel sets of tracks running into every town, mostly idle. Instead, the company that invested in building them gets a bunch of the cash but doesn't have to run the whole end-to-end system. Airports are similar - they're an essential facility, and we don't allow one airline to own them and bar all other carriers. Ports too - they're essential facilities that by their nature must be shared.

Phone lines are the same.

-Dane

frankenfeet
934 is 10-8
Premium
join:2001-10-14
Smiths Grove, KY

Re: One Question:

said by DaneJasper:

This is the common myth - they're not forced to share access to lines at rates which are not profitable! In fact, while in the past ILECs have been required to provide access, THEY set the price!

If ILECs set the price, what prevents them from pricing their competition out of the market? That is, they are forced to share the line with the competition, but decide to charge cost +50, or even 75% (forcing their competition to do the same with their customers). Their competition obviously can't compete with that business model. So at what point does the government step in, or do they even have the authority?
--
ƒ ƒ € †

DaneJasper
Sonic.Net
Premium,VIP
join:2001-08-20
Santa Rosa, CA
kudos:9

Re: One Question:

The only thing stopping them from charging an anticompetetive rate is concern for a market monopolization charge.

In fact, they used to charge more wholesale than retail, and did for a few years. Then, three California ISPs filed an antitrust case, which is still pending, and prices fell to some margin below retail.

-Dane

rachelsfx

join:2004-09-27
Pensacola, FL

Re: One Question:

You never answered the basic question: Why should they allow you to lease their lines?

Even the Telecom Act of 1996 wanted "competition" based on line sharing of phones proviso the CLECs built their own "last mile" eventually.

The Act failed except to give the Bells LD, which is destroying the LD companies piecemail (MCI is now VZ, T is now SBC owned, Sprint is hobbling on one foot). AT&T was basically dropping out of the consumer LD market.

Covad filed bankruptcy trying to compete and its rates are a joke. Honestly, I only care about VZ's stock.

My point: if the Bells have to share, why not cable? Cable is just as monopolistic as the Bells. The Bells might still be a "monopoly" but cell phones (and now Cable VOIP) are killing them. I do think the Bells should get franchises just like Cable was required to do for TV.

You point on "unbundling": Why shouldn't their stockholders get as much profit as possible, even out of you?

Also, if you put the DSLAM in the CO, no line share is even on the table, right?

Other than FIOS, may the Bells rest in Hell.

Personally, I hope your company gets to take ALL their DSL customers (T) furthering my hope T goes down in flames. Cable is at least honest that they are overpriced. Can't say that for the Bells or the Satellite bunch. I hate T more than any other company on this earth. I even have more respect for a drug dealer than T.

Cem C

@netone.com.tr

Re: One Question:

The (primarily) copper infrastructure going to tens of millions of homes is clearly a natural monopoly. Maybe 2 or 3 sets of infrastructure (ILEC + CableCO), but economically it certainly does not make sense to have 10 telcos dig up all the roads and lay new cables to tens of millions of homes. This is like asking trucking companies to build their own roads, and having duplicate roads in all the neighbourhoods.

Keep in mind as well that the copper telephone line infrastructure as built out over decades by the bells ina monopoly environment with a cost+ guarantee (i.e. no investment risk, the regulator guaranteed a return + profit on investment). This investment has been more than amortized by now and no new significant investment is going into the copper plant. The copper wires you get phone and DSL service from is the same copper cable laid decade(s) ago.

New investment is in DSLAMS and backhaul. The incumbents try to muddle this. "We are investing tons in DSL, so don't remove our incentives." But they are not investing in the copper plant, and the main thing CLECS and competitors want is access to the EXISTING, ALREADY AMORTIZED copper at cost+reasonable profit.

In France the regulator has been successful at LOCAL LOOP UNBUNDLING and now some of the most competitive ADSL offers in the world are there. ADSL take-up has taken off. Everyone, including the incumbent, is investing in the latest 20Mb/s+ ADSL2+ DSLAMS, in triple play offers, etc. This is what competition is about.

Monopoly or duopoly supply is not competition. The ILECS model of vertical integratition is a recipe for diaster. Already the ILECS are now pushing to extend their integrated domain to VOIP. Pretty soon they will be degrading the service of VONAGE, and making VOIP bundled offers of their own. "Why should VONAGE free ride on my network, this is killing my incentives to investm etc" We have heard all before and we are starting to hear it again.

As for the "well cable should be forced to share too then" argument, I agree.

asdfdfdf

@xtraport.net
"... why should I be forced to line share my DSL at rates that aren't profitable?"
later you say " Even if I made 10% profit on the aisle, why still would I not say get lost and build your own store?"

Clearly the question of whether it is profitable is not of any real importance to you. Even if it is profitable it won't affect your attitude. Nevertheless :

Keep in mind while rereading this that there is no reason to believe that dsl is not profitable for the bells.

" In the past, we used to buy wholesale access for about $44, when retail was $40 - that was really bad. Now, there's a tiny margin on most products, a couple percentage points - but the 6.0/768 product is actually upside-down today.

BBR: Speaking of aggressive intro offers; your reaction to AT&T's new 6Mbps 12 month deal for $30?

DJ: Our costs for this today are about $40 in payments to SBC-ASI, so there's no way to match this retail price point, particularly after you consider the cost of IP transport, support staff, general overhead, etc. I'm hoping to negotiate a lower wholesale cost."

It's difficult to believe that there is no profit when their own retail price is below wholesale price. I don't believe that their dsl service is a loss leader, so if they are able to make money on retail they are making money on wholesale.

sporkme
drop the crantini and move it, sister
Premium,MVM
join:2000-07-01
Morristown, NJ
said by rachelsfx:

If I owned SBC, God forbid, why should I be forced to line share my DSL at rates that aren't profitable?
You are confused.
--
Day dreaming days in a daydream nation

garagerock
Premium
join:2002-06-14
Louisville, KY
hey, 1998 called and said put down that Smashmouth CD.

phattieg

join:2001-04-29
Winter Park, FL
Lets consider for a moment that you ARE an ILEC. Why don't YOU buy your own resources to built your own backbone into the network, instead of leasing crap that others worked hard to build. This is why these companies are getting so big. Consider the fact that they all started small like everyone else, they are huge now due to proper management and knowhow. If others followed in their footsteps, they too would have success.
--
SIPPhone/Gizmo # 17476200648 / Ran by Asterisk & Slackware 10.1.

wifi4milez
Big Russ, 1918 to 2008. Rest in Peace

join:2004-08-07
New York, NY

Re: Nice Price on the "Business T"

said by DaneJasper:

Glad you like that - it's a great alternative to traditional T1 and T3 products. Faster, cheaper, and built-in redundancy.
How do you offer built in redundancy? Is that because you use multiple circuits to provision each "Business T"?
--
Now THATS superfluous!!

DaneJasper
Sonic.Net
Premium,VIP
join:2001-08-20
Santa Rosa, CA
kudos:9

Re: Nice Price on the "Business T"

Yes, that's correct. For example, Business T at 24Mbps/3.0Mbps is built on four 6.0Mbps/768kbps circuits, so if one was to go offline, the circuit would run at 75% speed until repair was completed.

This product comes with a very strong service level agreement, 24x7 support, a four hour time to respond, financial penalties for us in case of outage, etc - just like the T1 and T3 products we sell.

-Dane

wifi4milez
Big Russ, 1918 to 2008. Rest in Peace

join:2004-08-07
New York, NY

Re: Nice Price on the "Business T"

said by DaneJasper:

Yes, that's correct. For example, Business T at 24Mbps/3.0Mbps is built on four 6.0Mbps/768kbps circuits, so if one was to go offline, the circuit would run at 75% speed until repair was completed.

This product comes with a very strong service level agreement, 24x7 support, a four hour time to respond, financial penalties for us in case of outage, etc - just like the T1 and T3 products we sell.

-Dane
Thats pretty cool. Do you provide the same SLA on these "Business T's" as you do your regular T1's? Also, do you bond the circuits on both your end and the customer side, or how is that aspect accomplished?
--
Now THATS superfluous!!

DaneJasper
Sonic.Net
Premium,VIP
join:2001-08-20
Santa Rosa, CA
kudos:9

Re: Nice Price on the "Business T"

said by wifi4milez:

Thats pretty cool. Do you provide the same SLA on these "Business T's" as you do your regular T1's? Also, do you bond the circuits on both your end and the customer side, or how is that aspect accomplished?
Yes, the circuits are bonded with per-packet loan balancing in the CPE at the customer side, and in our network, to deliver the full speed - 24Mbps in the fastest product offering.

T1s are actually 24 channels at 64kbps - these are the voice channels in the traditional T1 circuit. A T1 CPE merges all of these together into a circuit that's roughly 1.5Mbps. What we're doing is similar.

-Dane

sporkme
drop the crantini and move it, sister
Premium,MVM
join:2000-07-01
Morristown, NJ

Wholesale Pricing?

DJ: The FCC should not set aside essential facilities for the exclusive use of a single company. In all cases, the company which buried the wires should get a return on it's investment, and it should sell wholesale access to that essential facility to others. If one of those is an affiliated ISP, all the better - but there's no legitimate claim that there's a downside in wholesale access.
That is so true. I've noticed that many folks talk about CLECs and ISPs always getting a "free ride on a network they don't own" on this forum.

Can you go into some more detail on wholesale prices to you (roughly) vs. wholesale prices for a small ISP vs. ATT retail?

And on another note, how accomodating is ATT in getting you access to an ordering system, ticketing system, etc.? I briefly dealt with Verizon east in the early days of wholesale and it was an absolute mess (on purpose?).
--
Day dreaming days in a daydream nation

David
I start new work on
Premium,VIP
join:2002-05-30
Granite City, IL
kudos:101
Reviews:
·DIRECTV
·AT&T Midwest
·magicjack.com
·Google Voice

Re: Wholesale Pricing?

I think I can give you some generalistics.

I know for a fact that all ISP parteners of AT&T Advanced Solutions have access to contact the ISPSC (ISP Service center) for tickets and order issues and such. I believe they also can get software systems to place orders and such against ASI. I think they are even web based, but not for sure on that one.
How is it "competing" when you do not own the lines that the service is provided on??

End franchise agreements, open the market to real competition, lay your own lines, you bum. The lines are not owned by the state, they are held by a private company. Stealing is stealing no matter how you try to word it. Franchising at the local level is the problem, it is nothing more than a state controlled monopoly, thanks to the leftist.........
The Gizmo

join:2002-03-12
Pearland, TX

Monopoly

I agree on the Monopoly part. I live near Houston, less than 30 minutes away, and living in that big of city you'd think I'd be able to get at least SOME kind of broadband right? Nope. All I can get is Dialup/ISDN, technology more than 20 years old. Where as my nextdoor neighboors can get ONE form and ONLY one form of broadband, Road Runner.

I'm not quite sure why Broadband ISPs continue to compete a little bit in areas where they're the only company that offers Broadband, except for their own reputation maybe, when they could be expanding their area instead.

AR
Premium,ExMod 2001-04
join:2000-09-21
Toronto, ON

Nice interview!

Hey Dane, I've been with Omsoft for over 5 years now but I gotta say, when I heard about the $12 promo from SBC, I had to check with them if I could qualify. I didn't and so I stayed with Omsoft.

How will you compete with SBC on the pricing for the customer who only wants always-on, no frills (that is, doesn't care static vs PPPoE, newsgroups etc) kind of customer?

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kd6cae
P2p Shouldn't Be A Crime

join:2001-08-27
Bakersfield, CA

how does line pricing work?

If I may ask, how exactly is the price for a given DSL circuit set? I ask this because, as an example, Verizon online to my knowledge does not even offer even to it's business customers here on the west coast anyway, their highest plan of up to 7.1Mbps/768KBPS. Yet LaBridge, a local ISP that sells DSL over Verizon lines, offers 7.1/768 for $199 a month.
Even more interesting, is the fact that my current DSL provider, DSL extreme, offers the same 7.1MBPS/768KBPS package for just $99.95 plus tax. How could Verizon, not offer their highest tier on their own lines, yet 2 independent ISP's are offering the exact same Verizon package at drastically different prices? It makes no sense.

Veloslave
Geek For God
Premium
join:2003-07-11
Martinez, CA

Informative

Great article...

SONIC ROCKS!!!

DaneJasper
Sonic.Net
Premium,VIP
join:2001-08-20
Santa Rosa, CA
kudos:9

Re: Informative

said by Veloslave:

Great article...

SONIC ROCKS!!!
Thanks mucho!

-Dane

curious123

@frontiernet.net

Smaller ILECs

Dane,

How come you guys don't partner with the smaller ILECs (i.e. Frontier Communications). Are they not held to the same competitive rules as the larger ILEC? It seems my area ( Elk Grove) has NO alternative to Frontier as the service provider other than Comcast cable modem.

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