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Nortel breakup imminent?

April 30, 2009

Posted by Stephen Hardy

The Financial Post of Canada has a story on its website today suggesting that Nortel could announce the first major asset sale tomorrow, with others following in the near future.

The enterprise business group will be the first to go, the Financial Post reports, perhaps as soon as tomorrow and no later than next week. The Post identifies Avaya and Siemens Enterprise Communications as the chief competitors for the prize.

Meanwhile, the MEN group could be sold in as soon as five weeks; the Post says the group was on the point of being sold when Nortel filed for bankruptcy. Huawei, Alcatel-Lucent, Fujitsu, "and at least one private equity firm" are said to be vying for the group.

You can read the story on the Post's site.

If Nortel does go the breakup route, it will be a huge blow to the Canadian optical communications industry. Besides being the country's flagship fiber-optics company, Nortel has been home to many of the technologists and executives responsible for the other Canadian companies in the space. If the company that acquires MEN pulls the group's resources out of Canada, the vibrancy of Ontario's photonics community will diminish significantly.



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Oclaro: What's in a name?

April 28, 2009

Posted by Stephen Hardy

I'm always curious about how companies come up with their names, particularly in this age when nothing escapes the scrutiny of the spin doctors. So I asked Howard Jones, who does PR for what used to be Bookham, how the Bookham/Avanex combine came up with "Oclaro." He sent me the following, which I was told to consider as straight from the mouth of CEO Alain Couder:

    "The name Oclaro was created as a combination of 'Optical' and 'Clarity.' The word communicates our clarity of vision, with an emphasis on knowing where we are going with a clear direction in the photonics market.

    "The new tagline, 'Shining Light on Photonic Innovation,' further emphasizes our dedication to innovation, leveraging our components, modules, and systems-level expertise in photonics."

I have to admit that when I first saw it I immediately thought of a compact car (as in "...the new Ford Oclaro!"). That said, like any new name, it probably just needs a bit of time to settle in.

What do you think?

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Blogger primate said...
Oclaro first made me think of occlude, but I don't believe that this will be a universal association.
Tuesday, April 28, 2009 2:47:00 PM EDT  

Blogger JMacinSJ said...
Isn't Meghan Fuller wearing a pair of Oclaro's in her bio pic'?
Tuesday, April 28, 2009 6:20:00 PM EDT  

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Posted by Stephen Hardy

In case you missed it -- which means you don't live in Northern California -- someone (or more than one) apparently took a hacksaw to AT&T; and Sprint Nextel cables in four locations near San Jose and San Carlos early Thursday morning. The police are currently investigating, and no suspects or motives have been identified publicly.

"We didn't do it," the AP quoted Libby Sayre, area director for the California chapter of the Communications Workers of America, as saying. The union currently is in contract negotiations with AT&T.;

Service was restored in about 24 hours.

The affected cable ran in underground conduits about 10 feet below ground level, the AP reports.

AT&T; has upped its reward offer from $100,000 to $250,000 for information leading to the arrest and conviction of anyone involved.

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Blogger TomD said...
The cutting and theft of copper cables in South Africa is so common that it does not even cause a raised eyebrow these days There is however a problem in that if a thief gets into a manhole and is faced with fiber cables, they cut them just for the hell of it even though they do not steal them.
Friday, May 1, 2009 1:56:00 AM EDT  

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Posted by Stephen Hardy

A few stray bits of info to add to the story on the most recent twist in Australia's National Broadband Network (NBN) plans that I posted yesterday:

  • The Australian Government has posted a whitepaper entitled "National Broadband Network: Regulatory Reform for 21st Century Broadband" that lays out more details of what it has up its sleeve. You can find it here.
  • One interesting tidbit contained in the paper that I neglected to include in my story is that FTTH will be mandated for greenfield developments starting in July 2010.
  • Some have stated that the Government's new plan is a positive outcome for Telstra, since it potentially provides a way for the incumbent carrier to participate in the NBN after being shut out of the original RFP. However, the document makes clear that the Government plans to put the squeeze on Telstra to further open its network to competitors -- and this outcome was one of the major reasons Telstra balked at submitting a complete response to the RFP. The document also ponders the possibility of limiting the types of businesses Telstra could acquire or forcing it to divest its hybrid fiber/coax network.
  • Reaction from the companies involved in the RFP were mixed. Telstra and Singtel Optus appear ready to make the best of things, while TransACT is "disappointed."

One good place to follow the action is Australian FTTH News, a blog by consultant Stephen Davies.


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MSO PONs now or later?

April 3, 2009

Posted by Stephen Hardy

The NCTA Cable Show in Washington, DC, this week inspired a few announcements targeting the use of FTTH technology by MSOs, based either on RFoG, PON (here and here), or both.

But while many have speculated that RFoG is merely a waypoint on the path to PONs, John Dalquist, vice president of marketing at Aurora Networks, says MSOs aren't exactly stampeding toward the use of PON for residential applications. Most of his customers that are thinking about serving homes with fiber are going the RFoG route, he says. PON, for the most part, is being reserved right now for the delivery of commercial services to businesses.

The exception is in Europe, where there's interest in what Dalquist called a "blast and split" approach that looks a lot like Verizon's combination of RF broadcast and IP services via PON.

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The Lightwave editorial staff uses The Lightwave Blog to share their thoughts on optical communications and whatever else might be the current topic of conversation from cubicle to cubicle. Feel free to add your own opinions.

Stephen Hardy is editorial director and associate publisher of Lightwave, which makes him responsible for the editorial aspects of the Lightwave franchise. A technology journalist since 1982, he once had his job duties described as "gets paid to tick off advertisers ".

Meghan Fuller is senior editor of Lightwave. She has degrees from Franklin & Marshall College in Lancaster, PA, and the University of Delaware and is a card-carrying member of Red Sox Nation.