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Posted by Stephen Hardy

When I put together our article on Qwest's new FTTN roll out, we took up their PR firm's offer to field some questions I had regarding how they plan to provide the services and where. I didn't receive answers until after I had posted the story and included it in our e-newsletter that day. But thinking that late is indeed better than never, here they are.

The most interesting tidbit, given the recent troubles that the UTOPIA and iProvo FTTH initiatives are having, is that Provo and Salt Lake City are two of the markets in which Qwest's Connect Quantum and Connect Titanium will appear first. (No, Salt Lake City isn't part of the UTOPIA project -- but several of the munis involved in the project surround the city.) You don't need to be Sun Tzu to know that there's nothing like attacking a adversary at a moment of extreme weakness.

Here's a list of the 23 markets where Qwest will roll out the FTTH-enabled services first:

  • Arizona: Phoenix, Tucson
  • Colorado: Denver, Colorado Springs, Ft. Collins
  • Idaho: Boise
  • Iowa: Des Moines, Iowa City, Cedar Rapids
  • Minnesota: Minneapolis/St. Paul
  • Nebraska: Omaha
  • New Mexico: Albuquerque, Santa Fe, Las Cruces
  • Oregon: Portland, Salem, Bend, Eugene
  • Utah: Salt Lake City, Provo, St. George
  • Washington: Seattle, Vancouver

As mentioned in the article, Connect Quantum will offer download speeds of up to 20 Mbits/sec and Connect Titanium up to 12 Mbits/sec. Qwest now tells me that the upload speed for both is 896 kbits/sec. "We are continually looking at new technology that will expand both download and upload connection speeds, including options such as pair bonding and VDSL2," according to the Qwest source who provided the information. (His/her identity was not revealed.)

In response to a question about future video services over the FTTN network, the Qwest source cited the carrier's existing relationship with DirecTV. The source added that DirecTV has announced plans to add video on demand later this year, "so that will be an exciting video product for our customers and it's a complement to these faster speeds."

Finally, when it comes to technology suppliers, the source said, "We working with a variety of vendor partners, including Motorola, for our fiber-to-the-neighborhood roll out."

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Blogger FAC said...
At this point one can only muse about the extent to which any serious consideration was given by Qwest to do something truly enlightened here in the way of seeking a means to leverage UTOPIA's build. It's not a far stretch to assume that UTOPIA was built to the specifications of an RBOC, which I'm fairly certain it does approximate at the physical layer, at least, since Qwest, even if only in a pie in the sky way, was initially targeted by UTOPIA as a potential retailer of services, as was AT&T; and others of similar demanding criteria. AT&T;, in fact, was actually an interested candidate to purchase capacity on UTOPIA's physical layer prior to being absorbed into SBC. In any case, as I stated above, this is merely a spot of musing at this point, wondering how a business model based on true marketplace dynamics in the absence of monopoly influence might have played out in those dozen or so towns and cities.
Tuesday, April 29, 2008 12:21:00 PM EDT  

Blogger FAC said...
This post has been removed by the author.
Tuesday, April 29, 2008 4:40:00 PM EDT  

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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.