This is a collection of notes and observations gathered during the LightReading Ethernet Conference that didn’t merit a standalone article. Unless noted, these conclusions were from conversations I had while at the conference, and not the opinions of presenters.
It is amazing how little can change in three years. I spent a great deal of time working on Carrier Ethernet in 2004 and 2005, and the presentations I saw at the Lightreading Ethernet Conference and Expo were no different than the ones I saw in 2004.
Equipment makers such as Ciena (CIEN) sang the praises of Carrier Ethernet (all true) and spoke of the various impediments to deploying it: standardization of inter carrier interfaces, administration & operation, quality of service. It strikes me that the bigger problem is much more basic than the ones being presented.
Only one half of Verizon’s wireline (VZ) revenue comes from consumers; the rest comes from business connectivity and services. Verizon, as well as other carriers, have been spending money to deliver better broadband services to consumers. What will happen when they spray this capex hose in the direction of their long neglected business customers? Which equipment companies will benefit?
Level3 (LVLT) tries very hard to appear hip with the Web 2.0 vibe, and today’s WSJ article cites content distribution (namely video) as the reason for a resurgence of investor interest in carriers. Simultaneously, investors continue to flood liquidity into content delivery networks (CDNs) like Akamai (AKAM), trumpeting them as key enablers of the Web 2.0 content rage. It is impossible for both to be right, as each business is designed to eliminate the need for the other.