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Et Tu Covad? 260 Central Offices To Close 127

Posted by timothy
from the back-to-pigeons dept.
Mr. Haplo writes: "It seems that Northpoint isn't the only CLEC going through troubled times, these days. According to this article, Covad Communications is planning on closing 260 central offices. This bodes not well for those of us trying to avoid the stranglehold of the ILECs."
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Et Tu Covad? 260 Central Offices To Close

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  • ILEC = Incumbent Local Exchange Carrier - whoever owns the office, or "the pimp"
    CLEC = Competitive Local Exchange Carriers - "the whores"
  • We tried using them because they were the only provider that could do all of our remote locations. Should be convenient for us, right?

    • Their lines were slower than advertised
    • Their lines were down an average of 8% of the time
    • Their support was terrible

    We were constantly on the phone with them reporting problems. One particular problem was a faulty switch at the CLEC. It took them 5 weeks to figure this out. Apparently all 31 of the other customers on the switch never complained about it. We called twice a day about it. Every single problem we called them about had to be escalated because they weren't getting it solved.

    Luckily, our company began to be more profitable and it became reasonable for us to get a T1 at each location (due to affordability and to bandwidth needed for increased staff).

    Of course, this is anecdotal evidence from one person. They may have been a good provider other than what they showed us.
  • DSL Reports [dslreports.com] is by far the best site I've seen for anything related to DSL service. I wish there was a site like it for every expensive item or service I plan on purchasing. It should answer any questions you have, and for those of you who read the post about Speakeasy's DSL Dictionary, they refer you to DSL Reports for more information.

    I just hope my Speakeasy (they rock) / Covad DSL line isn't affected by this.

  • That's why I never signed up with them even when i was begging for *DSL. Fortunately, my patience came through and I'm happy with Qwest for DSL.

    I just about dropped my jaw on the triple-figure fees they were charging, which were slower than Qwest's. They even charge you if you aren
    t aronud for the install. Do they credit you if THEY don't show?
  • I'm starting to think that T1 ought to be dirt cheap, at least cheaper than 2Mbps DSL. The tech is as old as the hills and the equipment to support it at high densities should be at least as cheap as DSL if not cheaper. The local loop will probably never be cheap, but at least the net connection ought to be.

    A friend pointed out to me today as I was whining about this exact thing that at least our local ILEC (Bellsouth, yuck, ptooey!) is tariffed, so they don't really have much choice in the matter of what they charge for a T-1.

    I was wondering - is this true, and if so, does anyone have any actual experience in lobbying their local Public Service Commission to lower a specific service tariff rate?


    --
    Swampfox
    Real Hacker (tm) Wanna-be
  • HEY AC! do you think this is my real ID? I happen to have a # belowe 30K
  • I'm wondering if there's a list somewhere, and whether it includes the one near my office, from whence they're supposed to be installing my 1.5Mbit SDSL link tomorrow. Sheesh, this doesn't sound good.
    --
    Swampfox
    Real Hacker (tm) Wanna-be
  • Get cable.

    I tried 3 DSL providers, Covad being one of them, until I finally got fed up and got Comcast. I normally get speeds around 1.5 mbps to 3.0 mbps, which is *much* higher than the rated speeds for the best ADSL connections (and a hell of a lot cheaper).

    Let Covad die.

  • This can't be good to get high speed access to the masses. If you can't get cable and Covad goes under, then there may be no real alternative short of expensive ISDN or T1 circuts.

    I hope that wireless solutions like Starband [starband.com] and Teledesic [teledesic.com] can come through to offer a decent performing and priced solution.

    Until then, we wait...

    Brian
    http://www.assortedinternet.com [assortedinternet.com]

  • I use Megapath [megapath.net] and they're excellent, but since they've apparently stopped taking residential accounts I recommend people investigate SpeakEasy as well.

    Today I saw that Speakeasy has a GIF ad that says "Speakeasy -- We Pay our Covad Bills": http://www.speakeasy.net/images/dsl/silver-speak-h eader.gif [speakeasy.net]

  • The links you provided support your claims, but offer little in objectivity of most responsible journalism. Is the WSJ saying these same things?

    Our views clash in such a way that I doubt there is any middle ground.

    This sums up my views:

    We aren't seeing change in competition because CLEC's haven't learned how to enact a profitable business case. The days of 'free' service are about over. The '96 Act was formed out of a "head in the granola sack" (to quote a previous slashdotter) mindset that failed to realize the reality of the business world. Any CLEC that fails because it banked its success on the promises of the '96 Act and the knee-jerk frenzy of the shareholders gets no sympathy from me.

    I know you disagree, but I welcome your comments.
  • I'd give Starpower a call and see when they're planning to get your area on line.

    (I have no vested interest in this other than to help people get better and less expensive connectivity.)
  • Let's let the ping times speak on this one.
    I realize that throughput often comes above latency when considering bandwidth options, but when the routing is this shitty, one has to wonder where all the bandwidth goes.

    From gwyn.tux.org to my home host, 144k IDSL.

    --- xxxxxxx.org ping statistics ---
    5 packets transmitted, 5 packets received, 0% packet loss
    round-trip min/avg/max/mdev = 39.806/40.738/41.747/0.690 ms

    From gwyn.tux.org to my friend's RR box, about 5 miles from my house.

    --- xxx.dynip.com ping statistics ---
    5 packets transmitted, 5 packets received, 0% packet loss
    round-trip min/avg/max/mdev = 343.826/483.237/680.057/113.163 ms

    Yes, cable rocks!
    I'm a Northpoint customer, so I could be shut off as early as mid March. That's after being hooked up only since early January.
  • My PacBell friend has even witnessed other PacBell installed pulling pairs that have Covad tags on them off the screws while winking and saying "Oops".

    Happened to me too. In the Dallas, TX area. I had just had DSL service installed by Reflex, a company that bypasses the last-mile by installing equipment in apartment leasing offices. Not one hour after the install it mysteriously stopped work for no reason. When the tech finally came out he sais that apparently SWBell came out to do an install and pulled thier wires out. SWBell is just as evil as the other bells. And now with the deregulation they are taking over GTE's local strong holds and destroying all the CLEC's.
  • I sincerely doubt that we disagree to the point that there isn't common ground between us.

    As far as the WSJ, no I haven't read anything regarding these claims there. But why would they publish them? There were very few papers that dared go against the grain and predict bad things from the '96 telco act. Seeing as how the WSJ is generally targeted to the people that will benefit most from the current state of affairs, I doubt we'll see it either. Maybe there has been or will be some mild criticism, but not much.

    "Responsible Journalism" is a nice catch phrase, but doesn't really apply here. The balance you're looking for is coming from the other sources that aren't running stories like this. If you believe half of what you hear, are those stories enough to distress you? Why aren't you charging the WSJ with disregarding "Responsible Journalism" and being the lapdogs of the RBOCs?

    This sums up my views :

    We aren't seeing change in competition, because the RBOCs are not being held to the conditions they agreed to. While it is true that the '96 telco act would best be used as toilet paper, why aren't its basic points being enforced? Why are the CLECs blamed for the fact that the ILECs ostensibly broke the law? That's the main failure of the telco act - the fact that no company is being held responsible to its part of that act. Can you see why blaming the CLECs is kinda backasswards in this regard?

    What's our common ground you ask? Well, being as I work at a small ISP I know what its like to hear an RBOC "promise" something. I saw predictions of these same things when the telco act was first passed. I generally agree that most CLEC ventures are doomed due to the unchecked monopoly power of the ILECs. Two different conclusions to the same outcome, maybe a bit cynical, but hey...I deal with these guys for most of my day.

  • New England Te^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^HNynex^H^H^H^H^HBell^H^ H^H^HVerizon
  • ILEC's do suck. CLEC's may or may not suck.

    We do know that ILEC's suck(*).


    Now, that said:

    All the bitching about what the ILEC's charge the CLEC's for their copper? Unfounded.

    If that cost was such a huge burden, why aren't these CLEC's stretching their own last mile solution?


    (*) I've been in telecom (WAN services) working for various carriers for 5+years so have that much anecdotal evidence to support this.
  • My cutoff is on March 1. I've currently got a 144k IDSL circuit, mainly because I'm 26480ft from my local CO. My ISP, Speakeasy.org [speakeasy.org] , is giving me a "reimbursement" of sorts. Since I now have a dedicated pair ran out to my house, I'll be going the ISDN route. Bellsouth [bellsouth.com], my phone company, offers dual BRI's with POTS and caller id, call waiting compatibility for only $84/month (240hrs). Nothing like good 'ole ISDN. I'm just going to miss stat IP's and 144k channel speed.
  • "I happen to have a # belowe 30K"

    Then if you have something to say that's worth saying, use that account.

    If you have something to say that isn't worth saying, then don't bother saying it under any name, including "Anonymous Coward".

  • they're my DSL provider you asswipe! I just got the fucking thing after 3 months of damn pain in the ass BS. Its not surprising they're going down the toliet, their service is shit, at one point during the initial install, they told my ISP I told them I didn't want DSL, because I changed jobs and my new employer wasn't going to pay for it. Total made-up BS!
  • You're wrong, there is no middle ground between our views. And no arguments made on this site will change them.
  • The ILECs (baby bells mostly) do make it HARD for people to use CLECs like Covad. (They can also do a job on themselves, but that's because they're just incompetant as customer support - witness Verizon....)

    Covad had some of the same problems other CLECs did, plus some perhaps. A friend and I both tried to get Covad. I _fought_ to get them to believe my house was where it was, and not 1 mile further from town (they had a mapping DB (mapquest I think) that had the numbers going the wrong way for about 1.5 miles). Even after multiple physical loop length tests, there just wasn't a way to get their system to stop cancelling the order. Finally I went with Telocity, which is a DSL ISP (with their own DSL modems) that in this area uses Verizon. Telocity was a totally smooth install (true ADSL, no new pair needed), and real customer support unlike Verizon Hell. (Verizon has some of the worst support known to mankind.)

    My friend ended up out of range for any DSL (even though he's quite close to the CO).

    The Bells have wire DBs that are full of errors as well, and they've been swamped with demands for installs. In the northeast, right when DSL took off they had a strike, and got even further behind.

    I'm happy with Telocity (and DSL) now that I finally have it installed; I've had it for most of a year.
  • I don't think that is a troll comment and I think anyone who has used the service would know better. If you don't know enough to have an opinion don't chastise someone who does.
  • It's really a shame that you think that way. Do you own stock in one of the ILECs? You're really defending them tooth and nail.
  • What is it about the market that makes it impossible for a company to focus on providing quality service, and let growth come when appropriate?

    It's the consumers. All the common sense tells you consumers would choose the provider with better service. But time and time again we are shown that while all polls and surveys and market research say otherwise, consumers are simply not willing to pay more for better service, at least not in numbers significant enough to sustain a business. Sure they say good service is the most important thing they look for, but good service costs money and when it comes time to put up the money attitudes suddenly change. All things being equal, a company with worse/cheaper customer service will provide a given product at a lower cost (let's ignore CS outsourcing propaganda for a while here). Also, when people pay more for better service they expect more, and it doesn't take much to have them threatening to go somewhere else.

  • My PacBell friend has even witnessed other PacBell installed pulling pairs that have Covad tags on them off the screws while winking and saying "Oops".

    Happened to me when PB installed other (non-DSL) service at my home. Took a couple of days to fix. Not surprised at all.

  • And what kind of upload speeds do you get on your mighty cable modem, hmm? Cable modems usually have a much lower upload speed compared to the download speed /and/ not every area has upgraded their cable wiring to handle cable modems.

    Since I actually run a server off of my SDSL, I need a balanced connection with a good upload speed. That's something I haven't seen a cable modem provider able to offer.
    --

  • My SDSL from Speakeasy, using Covad, has an external DSL modem with one ethernet jack. It plugs into my hub, my computers plug into that. I get static IP's from Speakeasy.

    My point here is that everyone does DSL differently. Ameritech's DSL apparently uses some kind of weird internal DSL modem that requires you to dial-in before you have access. My connection is always on.
    --

  • Do you also have a cable modem? I still say the innate latency of coax cable is lower than the innate latency of DSL. And I have both. Yeah, of course if your cable/DSL provider is stupid you'll get poor ping times. But on a non-crowded network, the cable modem will win.

    I thought my DSL was great until I added the cable modem.

  • Why would a moderator listen to a AC?
  • I'm in the DC area, in MD, and I pay 40 a month for basic cable, and then if I wanted to get cable modem access, it would be another 40 (50 if you're not subscribing to their cable service). That's a good chunk of change.
  • Well duh, but with no cable available in my area, it's Covad's best attempt at hitting bandwidth numbers or Verizon's complete lack of any hard numbers or guarantees of bandwidth in either direction for MORE money. Scuh-rew that.
  • Good, call, but I think you may have missed the mark a little. Here's why:

    The market as it is currently set up will offer us service from a very few providers, each of which will choose its own reaction to government oversight and regulation, copyright protection, file sharing, etc.

    The market is currently set up as you state, however as far as choosing reaction, they pretty much go with the flow of the other telecom giants. Especially with regard to oversight, regulation and copyright protection.

    The standardization of ISP services is at hand...not due to the choices of thousands of Internet users but because of a ruthless economic slowdown which is taking out businesses without a chance to test the true utility of their strategies, technologies and social models.

    The standardization of ISP services is not at hand. Most successfull ones are very unique when it comes to HW SW, CABS billing and various services such as DSL. The ruthless economic slowdown which is taking out businesses without a change to test fully their strategies, technologies and social models will simply allow the stronger ones to survive. That's why the old guys, (Read RBOC's) will be the last man standing.

  • by tech81 (128914)
    Well, guess what? I'm a victim of the closures. After fighting with various ISP's for over a year, I finally get an IDSL circuit to my house, and pay out my @$$ for the service just to get dumped. I mean, I realize that they've had problems, but can't they just raise the cost for me or something? Now my only options are ISDN or a FracT1 (192k is $400/month). I guess I'll end up with ISDN (hell, I already troubleshoot it for a living).
  • I've worked for a troubled CLEC, and from what I've seen, ALL CLECs are in trouble.

    Most of them can't compete with the ILECs in the local fone service market, more over - the CLEC mentallity of "we can do it all" is crushing the ones who otherwise may have stood a chance.

    CLECs want to be *your* local carrier, long distance carrier/exchange, and your broadband provider.

    CLECs are primary telco, lets face it - thats the type of company they need to be, their hardware is going to be physically located in a ILECs CO anyways. So these are Telco companies - yet they've entered into the failing marketplace of dsl, without even striking out victories as an alternative to ma'bell for local service.

    The CLECs all seem to be dying now, classic case of putting the cart before the horse.

    Rodney Caston

  • Get cable.
    Although it's nice that there is an "option" for some to get cable modems, I think it's very sad that DSL is getting beat up like this. Next year, you'll probably have two choices: DSL from SBC (or whatever RBOC) or Cable from AOL (or AT&T). It's been taking up to six weeks to get a phone (telephone user interface) installed here since the ONLY company who can do so is Ameritech. And I've been waiting since NOVEMBER for DSL service (Ameritech keeps blowing off appointments and saying I wasn't home). The potential of the internet will never be reached if the bandwidth providers (and there will be fewer and fewer of them...read: Monopoly) are too busy playing cat and mouse games with CLECs to let the people have it.
  • Just because you are buying the DSL service from the owner of the lines does not mean you are getting better service.

    Case and point: Bell Atl... excuse me... Verizon DSL has to be the worst excuse for DSL there is. Not only is the service flaky (at times I wondered why I ever switched from my dialup), but they had other little sneaky tricks too. My favorite being this seemingly insignificant piece of software that when they install it claim that "it helps troubleshoot any problems you may face with your Verizon Online DSL connection". What they don't tell you is that it also somehow only allows one connection to the modem at the same time!

    What's funny, is that they didn't activate this "feature" immediatly; they waited until it was widely installed and forgotten about, then it was turned on. Luckily, you can just remove this software and still be able to connect.

    Long story short, I switched to cable >:)

    --
  • Bluestar.net (a covad company) opened up a local branch around our area a year or two ago and tried to sell dsl services. They were also interested in signing up isps wich wanted to sell dsl. You basically give them their customers and they give you a few bux a month. They then changed it to something that an isp could sell. Although there was no wholesale prices that an isp would pay (they paid the full price for a circuit without bandwidth) they did get a few local isp's to signup including the one I work for. Just as we were geting these customers up and going they closed down their offices and said that they no longer offer service in this area. (actually we just kinda assumed until about a month later someone called us and said, by the way we closed down the local pops) We spent a good deal of time and money in them and then they died with stacks of signed, unfulfilled contracts in their hands. Now our ILEC is the only provider of dsl in the area and it is ADSL and not SDSL.
  • Once again it's time to start something up?? WTF? I think you missed the boat. Look House bill HR133 and Senate bill S321 are both designed and to limit the exposure of small ISP's. Ant the whole regulatory scheme is crafted my the bigger monopolies. This is in the interest of STABLE service and we won't have to re-invent the wheel, we invented it just fine the last time.

    Look, let the big guys play the way they need to, they will prevail in the end and in the end we'll have better service at lower prices. as the MCI board said to Covad:

    ALL YOUR CLEC ARE BELONG TO US!

  • Well, I was getting 1.5/1.5 from Covad for $80/month. Guess I can kiss that goodbye.
  • There goes the rest of my portfolio. So much for getting rich from the bandwidth boom. :(


    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    ~~ the real world is much simpler ~~
  • Consider that the prices the Incumbants charge the CLECs are regulated rates that have been approved by the respective state utility commissions. Granted, the political power of the RBOCs does have an influence on those rates, the RBOCs still have to provide a case to the states that the CLECs can make money. (What price would you charge for someone else to use your facilities that you bought and are still paying for?)

    I think the cause of most CLEC failures is a combination of poor business models & over inflated stocks(that took a nose dive 1Qtr 2000).
  • ummm... just to clarify for anyone who might be misled by the above post: DSL does *not* have lower latency than cable modems.
    DSL:
    64 bytes from 151.203.46.1: icmp_seq=0 ttl=255 time=30.910 ms
    64 bytes from 151.203.xx.x: icmp_seq=1 ttl=255 time=32.866 ms
    64 bytes from 151.203.xx.x: icmp_seq=2 ttl=255 time=94.914 ms
    64 bytes from 151.203.xx.x: icmp_seq=3 ttl=255 time=29.929 ms
    Cable:
    64 bytes from 146.115.xx.x: icmp_seq=9 ttl=255 time=22.306 ms
    64 bytes from 146.115.xx.x: icmp_seq=10 ttl=255 time=86.162 ms
    64 bytes from 146.115.xx.x: icmp_seq=11 ttl=255 time=29.843 ms
    64 bytes from 146.115.xx.x: icmp_seq=12 ttl=255 time=16.554 ms

    OK, yeah, the cable modem *is* getting a bit slow right now, but the inate latency is much lower (usually 15ms~20ms vs. 30~40ms.)

  • SpeakEasy is great, I have been very happy with their (Covad) service.

    Of course that won't do me much good if my CO gets the ax. There are other DSL providers in my CO, but none of them offer IDSL which is all I can get 24000 feet away.

  • Speakeasy is my provider now, Concentric was the year before. Both use COVAD. I purchased COVAD stock (bad choice) partly because I was so impressed with they professional and competent manner in which they handled both installs. The Verizon techs on the other hand (thats my local phone company) were difficult to schedule and did not seem to know much about what they were supposed to do. The few problems I experienced were directly attributable to Verizon.

    I guess customer service and quality people are not enough when your business depends on the cooperative competence of your competition -- as it does in the case of DSL.


    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    ~~ the real world is much simpler ~~
  • Agreed. I got DSL also figuring it'd be better than my RoadRunner cable hookup. Big mistake - it kept disconnecting itself when it would connect at all, and the internal PCI card worked only with Windows 9x (no NT/2000, no MacOS, no Linux/BSD/Be/etc). Meanwhile I'm frequntly getting download speeds in excess of 200K *bytes* per second on RR, which is well above where even the twice-as-expensive 1.5 Mbps DSL tops out at. And the cablemodem has a standard 10BaseT connector and uses standard TCP/IP and DHCP (no wacky logins or "secondary dialup adaptors").
  • by pivo (11957)
    I've already been cut off. I've been at 768Kbps SDSL for two years now, for a very reasonable $60/mo. I used to pay more for 128K ISDN. I think I'd rather have no connection than go back to ISDN or dialup. I do not have a cable option.

    I live in Verizon town, and have heard such bad things about their service that I think I'll go back to the dark ages until Boston gets a clue.

  • The tarrifs only apply to the local loop -- the IP connectivity isn't tariffed at all. They could charge the tarrif rate for the loop and sell the IP connectivity any way they want.

    I don't have any obvious gripes (well I do, but we'll call the loop a fixed cost) about the loop, it's an ISP charging $8-9k per year NOT INCLUDING THE LOOP for "T1 Internet Access" (cue cash register effect) and then turning around and charging under $5k for 2 to SEVEN Mbit service, including the fsck'n loop, for the very same IP connectivity.

    What gives there? I mean, DSL is a "new" tech with newer, more expensive gear at the CO, an ATM net to maintain. T1 is stone-age simple, the telcos understand it, the 55 year old chainsmoking CWA union guys can fix it.

    It's not like the DSL people aren't getting routed through the same upstreams as everybody else. I thought we were buying bandwidth from the ISP, instead I think we're getting a dirty sanchez.
  • You should clarify which market you mean: the free market of ideals, or the actual market. Mostly because market failures are usually a natural result of capitalism in action, pulling them away from the ideal market.

  • "cable modems suck due to the shared bandwidth, bus architecture" that is krekt, sir... "you really want to be on a bus WAN?" no, i do not... "
  • I use Megapath and they're excellent, but since they've apparently stopped taking residential accounts I recommend people investigate SpeakEasy as well.

    I use Speakeasy at home and Megapath at work and they have both been excellent so far. Their tech support, customer support, and quality of service is so far and beyond Verizon. Of course, that may be largely because Verizon's DSL service is the bottom of the barrel, but then again when have you heard of a residential DSL service where the tech support offers to help you troubleshoot your Linux setup (Speakeasy did this for me)? It's good to know that Speakeasy has been passing along my money to Covad because they are a great company and should be kept in business.

  • AOL TimeWarner is the only game in town here for kaybull teevee and kaybull modem service... i never ever even considered using AOL as an ISP, not in my most horrific nightmares... i do not and would not give TimeWarner kaybull a single penny... WHY IN THE HELL would i want a monolith like AOL TimeWarner to provide me access to the 'net via kaybull??
  • by boarder (41071) on Monday February 19, 2001 @06:21PM (#419117) Homepage
    The point of the closures isn't that it is Covad losing business and going down or anything bad that you suggest by saying "it serves them right." If you had understood a word of the article, you would've noticed that they only closed down offices in small markets in podunk towns. When Covad opened shop a few years ago, they opened up a billion offices all over the place. In the small markets, nobody was really buying DSL so it doesn't make sense anymore to keep that office open. They still have a ton of offices in major markets and are still the market leader of backend DSL providers.
  • by unitron (5733) on Monday February 19, 2001 @07:53PM (#419118) Homepage Journal
    All your high-bandwidth wire are use Marxist dielectric.
  • Yeah, you tell him!
  • That's basically what we are getting at work only it's a T1 with ISDN backup. Cable modem actually is reliable enough for a high usage residential link, in most areas where I've seen it (I have what was MediaOne and is now AT&T Broadband in the Boston area and the service is phenomenal, even their tech support isn't all bad, adding and removing MAC addresses to their DHCP tables and the like is usually easy). By contrast, even supposedly business grade DSL (the SDSL we have currently at work) goes down like a 2 dollar whore once every week or two for up to 3-4 hours at a time. And the ADSL I have from BellAtlantic/Verizon in New York is the worst excuse for high speed internet access I've ever seen. Wouldn't touch that shit again with a ten foot pole. Have had up to three straight weeks of down time with them. It still regularly goes down for an hour at a time (at least two to three times a week that I notice) and sometimes will be out for a whole day. Awful, awful service.
  • Stop bitching and moaning. Get your 501(c)(12) and crank'er up. Community organizations can do this, don't let a few corporations control your life blood and the communication medium of the future. For all the supposed technical expertise on /. you'd think we'd be rolling in public broadband alternatives.

    Shesh, mental masturbation can only get you so far in life...

    ttp://www.topica.com/lists/community-broadband/ [topica.com]

    -Warum
    Because you can!

  • I didn't understand a word of that article, but it serves them right for having one of those names that you *know* they paid someone else to think up.

    Covad, Derant, Lanient, that kinda thing (made those last two up -- send me money if you use them)...

    http://www.blitzbasic.com/

  • There is no slowdown. Intel, a tech bellwether said that PC sales are declining "the market is softening." The fact is Intel basically stagnated while AMD went from less than 15% market share to over 40% in less than a year. But the market believed them. So investors are seeking other investments that they may see as more stable. Again a good business with a good model will still do alright because the money is still there for solid investments. Gone however are the days of investors throwing good money after bad on unproven bs business models like most dot coms had. Welcome to competition. Welcome to the real market churn associated with the demise of a monopoly. Scary for investors, great for consumers and great for the economy. I am glad the dot coms are dyeing. Their primary goal was to make money without providing a tangible product or service. Their employees deserve the huge tax burden that their devalued stock options have given them. Their primary assets were great PR and marketing... commonly known as corporate liars. Make a product I cannot live without and I will buy it AND invest in your company. Intel should be hammered for causing what they have instead of simply saying "competition this year was fierce and we folded time and time again (i820 chipset,rambus,1.13ghz,beaten to 1gig,unable to provide top end chips in volume, etc...) we are having trouble competing because we are no longer a monopoly and are business plan requires us to have huge profit margins in order to maintain our monopoly and market share" instead they said "the market has softened" and set this whole thing off... shame on them and the death of a thousand paper cuts to anyone who wants my money without providing VALUE. may all their stock drop below a dollar for more than a month and be forced off the NAZDAQ
  • What are they and whats the difference?
  • 2600 Central Office To Close...better forget this MPAA thing before it owns more than 50% of my head...
  • by joedumb (106053)
    What does this mean for the future of DSL?
  • I fail to see how I am nefarious. Not including this reply I have probably posted a total of only 5 times. Granted, my previous statement may have troll-like qualities, but I have been a long time anti-fan of Covad.
  • Actually, "Covad" stands for "Cable over Voice and Data"; kind of a pun, really, because it's really voice and data over cable.

    So no, I don't think they paid someone to think it up, and I don't think it got taken from a government acronym.
  • Just so everyone knows, cutting 260 COs will only affect roughly 4% of Covad's customers, even though it is probably 10% or more of their COs.
    So obviously, they weren't making very much money on these COs, and it is unlikely that any given person will be affected. Specifically, if you live in anything like a real city, you will almost definitely not be affected.
  • And how do you propose I run my sendmail, apache, and DNS servers? upload caps of 128k blow chunks, and those cable companies (@home,etc) are server-nazis. Sorry, I'll stick with my 1.5/384 DSL


    --------
  • by perdida (251676) <thethreatproject&yahoo,com> on Monday February 19, 2001 @03:53PM (#419131) Homepage Journal
    Market failure: the inability of the market to provide for the effective distribution of some goods, especially social goods.

    One social good the market will not provide is choice.. the choice to select cheap, independent online service based on telephone lines. Existing telephone lines, which are regulated, not owned by one company or a few companies, like much of the new cable that is laid every day.

    The market as it is currently set up will offer us service from a very few providers, each of which will choose its own reaction to government oversight and regulation, copyright protection, file sharing, etc.

    The fewer such providers there are, the less options we will have in terms of specialized services, additional security, unorthodox attitudes towards security and privacy, etc.

    The standardization of ISP services is at hand...not due to the choices of thousands of Internet users but because of a ruthless economic slowdown which is taking out businesses without a chance to test the true utility of their strategies, technologies and social models.

    Once it's safe again to start something up, we will have to re-invent the wheel, to recreate the quality service and specialized perspectives of the small ISP's-- if the regulatory regimes crafted by the monopolies will still allow it.

  • Ahh gotcha,

    Much appreciated.
  • I use Covad for my residential DSL, specifically because so many of my friends have had nightmares with PacBell. I contacted Covad, and chose Fastpoint Communications as my provider. From time of call to initiation of service took a mere 14 days.

    I was very impressed with the level of service I received throughout the signup process, and when I spoke with the installation guy, I thought "hey, these people are on the ball."

    So I bought some stock. I'm still holding onto it in hopes that Covad will do better, but the important point here is that Covad offers excellent service. My DSL has had no problems. I've needed no technical support. Everything just works as advertised.

    I have friends who are *still* having problems with their PacBell connections, months after going through nightmare installation processes.

    Yet Covad is still undergoing financial troubles. Good technology and service alone aren't enough to get ahead.

  • AT&T or factions of the monolith will be the last one standing. They, even though deregulated have been lobbying very hard for 10 years to create a climate in which ILEC's and CLEC's cannot survive do to legislation such as schools and library taxes and surcharges. Look they own the last mile and as owners are charging the CLEC's and other local resellers out the yaya. Basically the CLEC, within the law only make about 0.02 on the dollar as it is. AT&T for all it's bumbling has proven to have stood the test of time by sticking with it's strategic direction. Long live the monopoly of AT&T, they are the only ones who will truly keep our local access rates down./
  • Hmmmn, darwinistic communism. One centralized provider, selected by a competitive process but then left to service the entire market. Maybe the Marxist dialectic was an accurate prediction, after all. Except that the stockholders, rather than the workers, hold the reins.
  • They sort of stuck it to me as well. I'm an independent consultant in a bluestar area. They promised me a commission on any sales I helped them close. They are as of today 6.5 months behind on paying and owe me about $2000. After numerous calls to the person in charge of the partner program I was promised a check mid-February. Considering that I should have origianlly been paid in August, I didn't hold my breath. Now they are saying that they don't have an estimate on when I'll get paid. Of course they fed me a line - get a 1.5Mb/s SDSL from us and you commissions will net out the charges. My lawyer advised me to quit paying for the service as it may be the only recourse, to trade service for money owed. I have followed his advice, since my dog has a higher net worth than these guys right now!
  • by swb (14022) on Monday February 19, 2001 @04:20PM (#419137)
    Hey, out of curiosity, how much "extra" do you think they charge for T1 connectivity? I mean, let's forget the local loop part -- that's a given. But $750/mo for 1.54Mbps? I get calls EVERY WEEK from DSL-equipped CLECs/ISPs offering me 2Mbps bidirectional for $500/mo including the router (which is probably some cheesy desktop thing with no features, but hey).

    I think "T1 internet access" is, other than the loop, a royal butt banging. I *know* I'm not getting any better technical support out of the deal and the "free" CIDR blocks that come with it are nice but don't really cost the ISP anything. SMTP queing and single name DNS hosting? Yah, more "high cost value added."

    Given that any ISP with anything more than wet dreams about competing in the corporate ISP field needs AT LEAST one DS3 or even OC-3 and a couple of T1s to multiple providers, it's not like they're starved for bandwidth, either.

    I'm starting to think that T1 ought to be dirt cheap, at least cheaper than 2Mbps DSL. The tech is as old as the hills and the equipment to support it at high densities should be at least as cheap as DSL if not cheaper. The local loop will probably never be cheap, but at least the net connection ought to be.
  • Instead or reporting the business dealings of these massive venture-cap corporations, why doesn't slashdot have the balls to report an advisory to make other connectivity arrangements?

    _DSL is a crazy world of nonsense, incompetance and excuses. Most times, it takes months to get a line installed. Beyond that, it usually takes days or weeks to actually get the service to work correctly.

    Covad is obviously going under. Northpoint is as well. When these CO's are closed, users never (never ever) have a reasonable amount of time to re-order the service from another provider and end up reverting to dialup while they wait for another confused provider to complicate their lives.

    Instead of talking about bankruptcy and low share trades, wouldn't it be nice if someone would just spell it out: Time is running out on your current carrier. Go find a new one... immediately.
  • It wasn't enough to divide PacBell the phone company from PacBell the DSL company. They still operate as one and will always operate as one.

    Maybe where you are, but not in SNET-land.

    We had a big problem with our DSL (three week outage) caused by SNET switching the cable loop that our dial-tone was on. They remembered to connect DSL on the new cable, but forgot to unplug the DSL on the old cable. Result: the effective cable length was instantly doubled and the DSL signal went to hell. If we had figured this out a week after we actually did, the DSL tech would not have been able to make the direct call to the CO that he did to get the problem fixed.
  • by Anonymous Coward
    CLEC has something to do with cops, a CLEO is the Chief Law Enforcement Official in an area. Actually, they're FLAs that people should explain when they use them instead of assuming that the readers all have ESP and know what the hell they're thinking about. Same with all the TLAs that get thrown around, depending on the context they can mean very different things. Oh, sorry, Four Letter Acronyms and Three Letter Acronyms. Kinda like using AI without defining it - to dairy farmers that means Artificial Insemination, they used that acronym for years before the uber-geeks stole it to mean Artificial Intelligence.
  • But it seems like lots of publicly funded companies pursued too much growth too fast. What is it about the market that makes it impossible for a company to focus on providing quality service, and let growth come when appropriate? It seems like corporations are trying to be malignant tumors - irrational rapid growth followed by death.
    I wonder how much of Covad's problems came from a) Consumers' inability to perceive how little the ILEC's were offering in their 'cheap DSL' packages and b) The ILECs' deliberate non-cooperation in setting up circuits.
  • by Anonymous Coward
    With all the discussion of conspiracy theories on the part of the ILECs, has anyone even considered the thought that some of these CLECs do, in all honesty, suck ass?

    I have many business acquaintences in Kansas City that were suckered in by the promise of "something that isn't Southwestern Bell". Sounds good -- until you find out that it's something far worse, if that's even imaginable, considering how bad SWB is already.

    I've lost count of all the horror stories about Birch Telecom -- we have one ourselves, at the moment they are so disorganized they can't even tell us who our long distance provider is. On a good note, they moved into a building across the way from us, so I have excellent sniping position if I ever feel the need. Everyone I've heard a story from has flocked back to SWB within months -- we're still stuck with Birch, because "it works" according to our manager (although he ignores the amount of time our accounting department wastes each month sorting out their billing problems for them).

    I have a customer who used to have ADSL through a CLEC (whom she didn't identify) where the line was inactive for 4 months!!! And they offered no explanation, and even worse, kept trying to bill her for the months without an active line! (She has since gotten Road Runner at home....)

    These companies all suffer from dotcom syndrome -- grow way too fast and sell a lot of stock to make up for it and hope everything works out in the end. Guess what -- it doesn't. Try providing quality service first, instead of providing the same crap en masse that we already have.

  • Well, compared to DSL, I get my bandwidth no matter what. I know how many DS3's my upstream has and who they're with. Also, I can resell/do whatever I please with it, no fucking around or bitching. Also, DS service is a known quantity. I've got ADSL here to the house and GTE doesn't know what the fucks wrong with it when it goes tits up. At least with DS type services the folks know what to do and how to fix it. (Not to mention, when there is a problem I can haul techs/engineers out of bed at 3am if I have to to get things fixed.)

    As for the local loop, if I went frame relay (which is what xDSL is) I could go a bit cheaper, but I'm willing to pay the bucks to get PtP circuits.

    A PC Clone will do the job as a server, but I'm willing to pay for a VA/Penguin/Dell/Compaq (and actually build my own (ASUS, IBM HD's, top notch cables, etc) box to keep things chugging well.

    As it stands, I've got dual T1's and don't need the headaches of xDSL.


    rodent...

  • The problem you're describing is a problem not with Covad, but with the monopolistic phone companies (ILECs). When a phone company does an install, it is a good install 90% of the time. When Covad has to do an install, it is good only 70% of the time. The reason is that Covad has to go through the ILECs to get you service. The ILECs don't like this and don't do a damn thing to help (and are even being accused of harming). This is a major issue and Covad is taking the ILECs to court over these issues.
  • The future is fine if the government will step in and investigate why/how the ILECs (read phone companies) are harming the other DSL providers (Covad). The future is still OK even if all other DSL providers close because the ILECs will still provide DSL (just more expensively).

    The closing of 260 offices isn't all that significant to Covad or the DSL future picture. All the closures were in markets so small they couldn't support an office. Markets in cities or college towns support the market fine so they are open. Podunk towns where only five families have signed up are closing down.

    When Covad started business a few years ago, they opened offices in thousands of markets big and small. The smallest markets are just not worth it so are closing. My best friend works at Covad and he said the 260 closings are not all that significant a percentage of Covad's total market.

  • Several of my friends have had 3+ mbit cable modems for quite some time now... and while browsing at the magazine section at B&N yesterday I noticed mention of 16-25 mbit broadband in MaximumPC. How far off are these from nationwide deployment? Are they available in major cities yet? What medium do they use (cable, xDSL, fiber-to-the-house)? I recall some marketing propaganda over the past year from both RoadRunner and Covad talking about 8+ mbit (1 MByte) access coming in the "near future". Does anyone have this sorta "mega broadband" yet, and if so, how's it been working for you?

    Please note, I'm talking about --CONSUMER-- broadband, not multiple T1s, a T3, or OC3 to a household (regardless of what Rob Malda and countless dot-com folks can now afford).

    Also, does anyone know of some GNU/Linux friendly broadband (1.5 mbit +) ISPs that I can recommend to new linux users?
  • by green pizza (159161) on Monday February 19, 2001 @09:49PM (#419151) Homepage
    The largest benefit of a T1/DS1, T3/DS3, or OC-class circuit is the quality of service. You get a point to point connection with loads of guarantees. Hardware troubleshooting (on both ends) is usually available around the clock, often with little more than 15 minutes of leadtime. Bandwith almost never an issue as most Tier-1 providers (sprintlink, uunet/worldcom/mci, cable&wireless, etc) have enormous headroom, oftentimes over 40% above any concievable usage. If a problem occurs, it's fixed fast and by someone that knows what they're doing. -- MOST of the time

    This is not to say that many xDSL and cable setups *aren't* good. There are MANY excellent such setups, some even offering quality guarantees and excellent service, often times providing MUCH better bang for the buck.

    It all comes down to the reputation, support, quality, and even scalability. If I were to start a large business, I'd probably get a fractional T3 from sprintlink. The pair of fiber (who uses a pair of coax anymore) that would come to my office could then easily be upgraded to support full or muliple T3 circuits in the future. AFAIK, a typical cable or xDSL circuit will probably never support more than 25 mbit, which, even then, would probably require the user to be 50 feet from the CO.

    Bottom line, try to get a reputable cable or xDSL setup until you can afford or need something better. Wait for that IPO before you order a full T3 for the den.
  • Where do you live? I really, really wish I could get cable from one of my local CLECs. In my area I can only get cable from TimeWarner ($38/month for expanded basic + $19/month for RoadRunner cable modem access). We have several CLECs, though based on the services they're providing I have had no reason to switch from Southwestern Bell.
  • I remember reading several months ago that Covad sued PacBell for various dirty deeds they were doing to screw up Covad's customers.

    They won a settlement of several million dollars and then, I think, PacBell appealed.

    So what ever became of that? Does anyone know?

    Personally, I think SBC communications needs to be slapped with an anti-trust lawsuit much more than Microsoft. I have a friends who is an installer for PacBell and another friend who is an installer for Covad. You would not believe some of the stories I hear them tell.

    The whole problem is forcing PacBell to do what they don't want to do: serve their competitors.

    If you have six pairs of wire in the average phone box, is it any surprise that PacBell DSL customers get the best ones and Covad customers get the ones with interferrance? If there's a bad port at the CO, do you think it will be a PacBell customer who gets told "sorry, we have no ports available until we install a new backplane"?

    My PacBell friend has even witnessed other PacBell installed pulling pairs that have Covad tags on them off the screws while winking and saying "Oops". Of course when the eventual repair report is filed, it's "Covad tech failed to secure wires properly" and such.

    It wasn't enough to divide PacBell the phone company from PacBell the DSL company. They still operate as one and will always operate as one.

    Look at California. Since 1996 PacBell has been required to allow other companies to provide local phone service. At first, there was Sprint, GTE, and AT&T all getting into the local market. Now, four years later, it's only PacBell because the other companies couldn't keep customers due to PacBell persecution.

    I think that local governments should use the power of emminent domain to buy all the first-mile infrastructure and then PacBell and Covad and everyone else will finally be competing on equal ground.

    - JoeShmoe
  • by Anonymous Coward

    Yes, we're finally seeing that DSL just doesnt work. DSL isnt the future, Cable modems are.

    Thanks to those big thick wires, they can deploy to oodles more customers, and more cheaply as well.

    Face facts, even DSLReports is admitting that cablemodems are a better deal. Higher speed, better latency, way way cheaper, and much more widely available. Additionally, you're dealing with big, deep pocketed ISPs, not the fly-by-night operations that inhabit the DSL world.

    DSL is a trick, just like ISDN, 56k modems, and "shotgun" connections -- a trick to try and use quirks of the phone system to try and stave off the (now) obvious obsolescence of the phone companies.

    DSL's going on the technological scrap heap alongside BBSes and tracker music. A bump on the
    road to universal cable-modem goodness.
  • by omega9 (138280) on Monday February 19, 2001 @03:58PM (#419158) Homepage
    I think you are misunderstanding me. It seems that you reading my initial post as "It's about time I posted first!", when actually it is intended as "It's about time Covad went down!" Agree or disagree with my post, but don't knock me for simply posting.
  • by sleeplesseye (113792) on Monday February 19, 2001 @11:55PM (#419159) Homepage Journal
    The comments on this issue seem to be another case of the dumbing down of Slashdot. Seriously, folks... if you don't know anything about what is going on and can only spew FUD, do us a favor and save the bandwidth.

    I worked for Covad in a position that gave me a unique perspective in where the company was going and what their business plan was. Fortunately, I got out last year when I saw warning signs, months before the axe fell. What has happened is just a symptom of a fundamental shift in the marketplace.

    Covad was the first major CLEC (Competitive Local Exchange Carrier) in the DSL marketplace. CLECS were essentially created by the Telecommunications Act of '96. Basically, the Telecommunication Act allowed two main changes in the law:
    1> It allowed for local phone companies to offer long distance service.
    2> It allowed for CLECs to exist, essentially using phone company lines for a fair market value. It made the right for phone companies to offer long distance contingent on them opening their lines up fairly for CLECs to do their job.

    Covad started in the San Francisco bay area, fertile ground for a DSL company. They were first in the market, with about a 6 months lead on Northpoint and Rhythms when it came to their number of subscribers and their ability to roll out services effectively. They have done a good job of maintaining that lead, too.

    Originally, DSL companies competed for business locally... but when the glut of investment capital came rolling in, it became obvious that there was a huge demand for broadband and not enough supply. The way that DSL companies dealt with this was to spend billions on rolling out their networks and putting equipment in as many central offices as possible. In many cases, these central office deployments were redundant... Small marketplaces would have the choice between 2-3 CLECS, plus the local phone company in order to get DSL.

    Why were companies like Covad willing to put equipment in locations that wouldn't return a profit anytime soon? Because, in a bull marketplace with a glut of investment capital, what was going on was essentially a landgrab. The first person to "drive their stake" into a marketplace and to get their message across would be the dominant player in that market... eventually. How could they be sure? Because, once people have DSL, they don't want to go back to dialup, and they rarely ever switch DSL providers.

    As we all know, the stock market soured and the venture capital money has dried up for the time being. Now, the stakes are higher for these companies... they either have to achieve profitability before their warchests run out (say, 18 months for Covad and Rhythms)or they have to sell out all or part of their business to their current phone company competitors.

    When I was at Covad last year, I could tell you... they brought on a ton of people, constantly. They developed an absolutely annoying, gluttenous amount of middle management in no time flat. The people who really knew anything were stuck in meetings all day and weren't able to get anything done, and there were a lot of new people who were very inefficient, often causing more work than they were performing.

    In other words, I'm glad that Covad has laid off so many of these new workers. I'm glad that they're willing to pull the plug on deadbeat customers... and I'm glad they are willing to remove equipment from locations that just don't pay. I am certain that Covad will be the first CLEC to achieve profitability... and profitability will give them the creds to get back in the favor of investors and VC's... the first to reach profitability gets to grow again, essentially.

    Not that Covad won't grow this year... it will concentrate on what gets them the bucks: business installs easy residential customer self-installs. If you want to be profitable in a short amount of time with a DSL company, you can't be rolling out a install truck a half-dozen times just to set up a line for a customer paying $45 a month. That's why self-installs are so important. Covad has great testing and line qualifying equipment. They can easily determine whether a residential customer's line is able to be handled with a self-install or not. If it is, they do the deal, if not... let the local phone companies pay to fix up their crappy lines! Covad has been very successful with their self-install program, which gives them an edge over Rhythms in this respect.

    Covad also is and has been very successful with business customers. Business customers are very important, and the DSL lines offered to business customers bring in more revenue and more profit than residential customers. If you want to maximize profitability, you have to concentrate on businesses first.

    What are the longterm ramifications of the DSL CLECS falling on hard times? Probably this:
    1> Some CLECs won't survive. Some will sell out to local phone companies, too.
    2> Phone companies will get a larger proportion of the DSL marketplace than they might otherwise have gotten.
    3> In the short term, there will be less of an incentive for broadband providers to compete with each other on a price level. Don't expect price cuts anytime soon on broadband. Demand still outstrips supply.
    4> DSL will take somewhat longer to catch up with the growth of cable-based broadband in the U.S. All statistics still point to DSL access growing faster than cable broadband access, however. Cable-based broadband is also expensive to roll out service for, and money is tight everywhere. Eventually, DSL should outstrip cable in the marketplace. Let me make one thing clear... there will be no winner in the broadband marketplace until there is a clearly superior technology. Neither DSL or Cable will "win"... but we will see profitable companies in DSL, cable, and wireless.

    What should be the biggest concern about this issue for consumers? Ultimately, it's all about choice. Choice means competition and lower prices, after all. It's that much more important to pay attention to the decisions in front of the FCC and Congress and to make sure that the interests of consumers are met and that the marketplace is kept friendly for CLECs and, ultimately, for competition. Normal people can and do influence FCC decisions, and it is worthwhile to point out that some of the worst decisions by the FCC are those that only get a handful of responses from the public. Want to make your opinion actually count? Don't just voice it here. Go to http://www.fcc.gov [fcc.gov], keep up on what's REALLY happening, and let your voice be heard on the issues there. The last I heard, it was your government, after all...

  • by electricmonk (169355) on Monday February 19, 2001 @04:23PM (#419160) Homepage
    IANAL, but AFAIK, I have no idea what he's trying to communicate when he says "CLEC" and "ILEC."

    This is, of course, IMHO.
  • by JoeShmoe (90109) <askjoeshmoe@hotmail.com> on Monday February 19, 2001 @03:59PM (#419161)
    SpeakEasy (the BEST DSL provider, IMHO) has a great dictionary for keeping your acronyms straight:

    For the link-fearing:

    http://www.speakeasy.net/dsl/dsl_dictionary.html

    Or click Here [speakeasy.net]

    - JoeShmoe
  • I think they had trouble staffing up quickly to grow quickly. I have (I think, who knows when it will die) Covad-supplied DSL and when I first got it I got real morons for the "install" (plug in equipment), clueless dorks for the tech support when it didn't work (one "escalation engineer" kept running traceroutes on his console telling me he was getting through; I kept telling him the traces WERE FROM HIS PC, *not* mine, and he kept insisting they were mine..).

    Other than the initial 3 months of groveling, insulting, threatening and otherwise hating them the service *has* been rock solid. Few outages, speed at the rated limit and no need to call tech support.
  • All kidding aside, and I beleive you were serious.

    But isn't that sort of the American way? That's the way the whole infrastructure got started and grew.

  • No, your DSL sucks!

    traceroute to www.yahoo.akadns.net (64.58.76.179), 30 hops max, 38 byte packets
    1 mombasa (10.0.6.3) 0.852 ms 0.730 ms 0.653 ms
    2 ATM.VR1.DCA3.DSL.ALTER.NET (206.66.32.1) 8.271 ms 9.283 ms 8.340 ms
    (lines deleted in heroic attempt to battle the lameness filter)
    13 www10.dcx.yahoo.com (64.58.76.179) 11.132 ms 11.046 ms 11.528 ms

    Like you, I've had consistently fabulous results with Covad DSL for a good long time. No sluggish times of day, no outages to speak of.

    There are so many people in the tired old DSL v Cable debate that have one or the other - or know someone who has one or the other - and have thus proclaimed themselves ultimate arbiters of all situations in the universe. The simple fact is, service providers vary. Different companies, different parts of the country = different results.

    One of the more powerful arguments in favor of DSL is the choice factor. Cable modems are almost always provided by huge monopolies that are only nice to you because they still have to be. DSL ISPs, on the other hand, are actually competing with each other (except of course the ILECs, who underprice everyone else). With DSL I can pick and choose a provider that gives me static addresses, reverse DNS, various other extra services. With cable you get what they offer, and if you decide one day that you don't like gruel, tough.

  • The next logical step is to get both a cable modem and DSL, and terminate them both into a router. The combined MTBF might be acceptable.
  • by isdnip (49656) on Monday February 19, 2001 @07:09PM (#419178)
    Covad bought Bluestar last year. Bad move. They're now mostly closing down much of what they bought from Bluestar, and considering a write-down of the whole purchase. Bluestar did retail DSL+ISP while Covad was primarily wholesale DSL to ISPs. The combination made Covad a competitor of their customers. Bad move. Plus their customers (ISPs) have been, uh, slow to pay.

    Covad doesn't compete much with cable modems or cheap consumer DSL. Their main business is SDSL to business. Rather oversaturated; several CLECs (not usually ILECs) sell in that space, and there's not enough business to go around. Covad might end up the survivor though.

  • Is this a result of the dot-com crash? I mean, I gather most of these huge clec's didn't actually make any money yet... they just banked on market-share and figuring out how to make money later?
    Have they run out of public funds?

  • by popular (301484) on Monday February 19, 2001 @03:59PM (#419182) Homepage
    An LEC in this context is a Local Exchange Carrier.

    The Incumbent LEC is the local telephone monopoly. A Competitive LEC is a company that leases your telco's infrastructure, e.g. NorthPoint, Covad, Rhythms, etc. The big ones are focused on DSL, but there are plenty of smaller CLEC's that are more interested in local phone service alone, or as part of a more comprehensive package they can provide (e.g. long distance, wireless).

    --

  • I work at an ISP that offers DSL. We give the EU a choice between the ILEC (PacBell) and the CLEC (New Edge).

    PB: DHCP dial-up wanna-be DSL crap + CPE: $150

    NE: always-on, permanent static public IP + CPE: $400.

    However, to be competetive and make a profit, we use static public IP's on PB orders too (which is why PB ISP/DSL is cheaper).

    This is just for the initial setup (CPE = customer premise equipment). When we offer our customers the choice, guess who they want to use. They see only "$150 vs $400." Some want to skip us as the ISP all together and go PB all the way (ha!).

    PB also screws up NE's orders ALL the time. Or they won't let us provision the line or do other stuff if that phone # is in use by PB somewhere in the "system." Or when a PB DSL goes down or can't be installed b/c of a short in the lines in the house, PB won't fix it 'cause it's NE DSL (but PB ownes the lines...). Etc, etc. I could go on all night.

    NE recently had a promo with free equipment/install, and we signed up a LOT of people with it. PB doens't like that of course, and we're still trying to get these things installed.

    I currently have NE DSL. Free Efficient Networks router/installation and an IP bound to a p166 that's been running 2 domains on one web server, a ftp server, a mail server, firewall, NAT server, roger wilco base station, and an occasional delta force server 24/7. Can't beat that I guess. Does PB let you do that? Does Covad? I'm not sure, please let me know.

    Oh, and here's the kicker. When there's bridge taps or load coils on the line PB removes them for their customers for free. And they charge us (our customer) $200. How sweet of them. I believe there was a lawsuit in Texas about BellSouth removing stuff from a phone line for DSL, charging $200, then charging anyone else in the neighborhood the same amount to remove the same piece of equipment! So say 5 houses on a block want DSL, and there's a load coil, they'll charge $200 per house, even though only the 1st $200 would remove it and the other 4 EU's would be ok. I think they lost, or at least I hope they did.

  • From Everything2 [everything2.com]:

    CLEC [everything2.com]: An acronym for Competitive Local Exchange Carrier which is a telephone company that is independent and challenging a monopoly and or mainstay carrier in the business of telecom service.

    ILEC [everything2.com]: Incumbant Local Exchange Carrier. Perhaps an RBOC, basically, well, the Incumbant Local Exchange Carrier.

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