More Dirt on Project LightSpeed Losers

First it was Project Pronto, then it was Project LightSpeed. Now after publicly dissing FTTH for years, SBC is dreaming of 18 million fiber homes within three years. I am not sure, what changed their mind. Maybe, the FCC gave them the cake, the bakery and the silver as well.

Karl Bode: While the triennial review paved the way in keeping competitors from new fiber builds, the FCC last week went even further, declaring fiber to the node builds within 500 feet of customer premises didn’t need to be shared. After the ruling, SBC proclaimed they’d cut the deployment schedule for project lightspeed from five years to three. The bells had been complaining for years that there was no incentive to build fiber networks with regulation in place. No incentive, despite the fact cable dominates North American broadband, and the bells need television services tied to DSL bundles to better compete. No incentive, despite the fact the local and long distance business is stagnant, and the bells are morphing into pure, bandwidth hungry data companies that need fiber to survive.

Yesterday, I wrote about Alcatel winning the big dollars. However, there is more information on the whole bake-off. Alcatel won at the expense of Lucent Technologies which was desperately trying to get this business. Others who lost out on this deal: Juniper Networks,and Riverstone. Apparently, Ed Whitacre’s heir apparent Randall Stevens made the call on this one. From what I have learned, Riverstone was counting on this big order, and so was Lucent. Tells you far LU has fallen from grace. Cisco Systems losing out on their core business – routers to Alcatel, that surely got to sting. Light Reading has some interesting commentary. Some speculative insight: BellSouth and Bell Canada are about to announce their plans, and the winner will be Alcatel.

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