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[#] Tue Mar 23 2010 17:16:39 EDT from IGnatius T Foobar @ Uncensored

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The cable company here is running ads where they say "we've been using fiber since 1991!" But they fail to mention that it's only FTTN/HFC, not FTTH, and that all services (voice/data/television) are all fighting for that same 1 GHz of DOCSIS bandwidth.

FTTH is a long term strategy. Some might argue that it's the only viable long term strategy.

HFC has some life left in it. Maybe another decade or two. But as subscriber demand for more Internet bandwidth and more high-def television increases, they're going to have to keep doing more and more node splits until it eventually makes more sense just to go FTTH.

[#] Tue Mar 23 2010 17:55:20 EDT from Spell Binder @ Uncensored

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Update on my AT&T U-Verse install.

Our voice number still hasn't been ported over, but, hopefully it will be
all done this coming Saturday.

"What's the hold up?" you say. RingMaster(TM).

For those not familiar, RingMaster is the name our phone company, formally
Bellsouth, now AT&T land-line, gives for a features that allows more than one
phone number to be associated with the same physical phone line. It works
like this: someone calls the primary number, and your phone rings as normal,
"RING...RING...RING" If someone calls the secondary phone number, you get a
double-ring, "RING RING...RING RING...RING RING" It's a great way to share a
single phone line with multiple people or for multiple purposes. We were
using it for receiving fax calls.

"How does this affect setting an AT&T U-Verse voice line, though?" you ask.
U-Verse currently only supports one phone number per "line."
Thus, when the
order was originally placed, it was requesting both phone numbers to be
ported over. This caused the computer to automatically cancel the order, so
RingMaster has to be cancelled. That's no problem. However, U-Verse, even
though they're AT&T, is technically a separate entity from AT&T land-line, so
they say they can't cancel it. I have to call and cancel it. A little
annoying, but ok. I go ahead and get RingMaster cancelled.

"That should've fixed it, right?" you wonder. Nope. Even though RingMaster
has been cancelled, the second number was left on the order, so it gets
cancelled again. The U-Verse order desk supposedly fixes the order and
resubmits it.

"Now we're cooking with gas, right?" you think. Nope. The order gets
cancelled yet again. "What's the excuse this time?" you question with some
exasperation. Supposedly, the AT&T land-line department "wasn't
ready on
time" for the installation. Frustrated, I grill them about what's going on.
I'm losing money having to carry the more expensive land-line. Can they make
an assurance that the install will happen? They say they can't give me an
assurance in writing, but tell me that everything should be ok.

"I sense that the story's not over yet" you say, and you'd be right. The
day before the install, this past Friday, we get an automated phone call
CONFIRMING the installation. We're somewhat surprised, and a little hopeful.
Friday comes, but no install tech. No phone call, either. Wondering what's
going on, I call the AT&T U-Verse order desk (I have their phone number
memorized, now). They tell me the order's been cancelled. WTF?! This time,
they say that the order got cancelled because it requested to port our primary
phone number, and disconeect the secondary number. But the secondary
was already cancelled! The computer doesn't see it that way, though. The
computer tries to disconnect the secondary number, which fails, so it kicks
the order back out.

We've had enough by this point and my wife and I take turns blasting them,
trying to get our issue escalated beyond the typical level-1 telephone
people, and trying to get a gaurantee that the install will happen. They
can't provide either. My wife does some research and finds the e-mail
addresses for AT&T's VP of operations and VP of mobility and customer service
and sends them a polite e-mail asking them how long they've had their head
up their ass. Five or six phone calls later that day, and they'll make sure
the install gets done. The regional manager will even be coming out to make
sure things get done. Plus, they want to use our case as an example to help
train their customer service reps.

The Saga continues...
U-Verse Binder

[#] Tue Mar 23 2010 23:50:14 EDT from IGnatius T Foobar @ Uncensored

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I wonder how long it'll be before the idea of "a phone line" becomes a thing of the past, and phone numbers are just mapped onto Internet everywhere.

[#] Wed Mar 24 2010 02:25:12 EDT from fireball @ Uncensored

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Yeah, that's persicely what our cable company is saying (we've had fiber
since the 90s), except for so has every other decent sized ISP including
this one. That cable company sucks for different reasons though then
that really, the whole thing about having an unlimited plan, and then
them sending you a bill when you pass something like 40 GB in a month
because you are using "over average" bandwidth is somewhat annoying.
Luckily I don't see them lasting long here (I've never personally dealt
with them, though I know of them).

[#] Wed Mar 24 2010 08:02:29 EDT from skpacman @ Uncensored

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I don't think i've ever hit an "over average" barrier before. I think i average around 20-30Gb/month just from watching movies and listening to music online.

I don't really listen to wave radio anymore, internet radio has always had better selection (depending on which site you get it from).

My friend in Canada is with Shaw Communications and has gotten charged for "over average" usage, but he did 30Gb upload and 65Gb download that time... he's still complaining about that bill (it was about a year ago).

[#] Wed Mar 24 2010 10:59:27 EDT from athos-mn @ Uncensored

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U-Verse: it's the Party Line, 2.0

I remember my grandparents having party lines - it would ring differently depending on which house was called.

[#] Wed Mar 24 2010 11:16:16 EDT from IGnatius T Foobar @ Uncensored

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They should have just run a T1 to your grandparents' house, then they could have 23-24 subscribers on the same wire at the same time :)

[#] Wed Mar 24 2010 16:05:52 EDT from Spell Binder @ Uncensored

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Why a piddly T1 when you could get a nice honkin' OC-3 line?

Although, personally, I'd still prefer a 1 Gbps Ethernet over fiber, but, then, I work for an Ethernet networking company. :)

[#] Wed Mar 24 2010 17:24:28 EDT from IGnatius T Foobar @ Uncensored

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Well, I've already got BPON at home, which runs at OC-12 speed *plus* an entire 1 GHz cable band on another wavelength. Now they're moving to GPON which runs at OC-48 speed. Either one makes an OC-3 look piddly by comparison.

I remember reading an article in Unix Review many years ago about early fiber deployments. Someone had proactively put a bunch of fiber on the poles but they hadn't quite yet figured out what to do with it. The author of the article was one of the people lucky enough to be involved in the experiment, and casually wrote "for now, we're just running it as a FDDI ring."

1 Gbps Ethernet is ten times faster than FDDI but it just isn't awe-inspiring.

[#] Thu Mar 25 2010 11:07:17 EDT from Spell Binder @ Uncensored

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We'll have to agree to disagree about FDDI rings being awe-inspiring. Now, a DWDM network using RSVP-TE as a control protocol to allocate wavelength paths through the network, that's what I find interesting. :)

Don't get me wrong, though, about FDDI. As a former IBMer, I was a big fan of collision-free multiple-access networks because they had better performance and more predictable behavior than a CSMA/CD Ethernet network at high loads.
However, the move towards switched networks instead of multiple-access, and the drastically lower equipment costs for Ethernet, have made technologies like token-ring and FDDI nearly obsolete.

When you say that there's a BPON running at OC-12, are they really using full SONET framing or just that the network is clocking at 622 Mbps? How much of that bandwidth is actually being brought into your home? Is it shared bandwdith a la cable-modem, or dedicated back to an access switch a la DSL? If they use SONET framing, is there an ADM somewhere that's pulling out one or more timeslots for you?

Curious minds want to know! :)
Token Binder

[#] Thu Mar 25 2010 12:40:39 EDT from IGnatius T Foobar @ Uncensored

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I don't know whether it's "true SONET" but bandwidth sharing on a PON is pretty straightforward:
* Downstream is statistically multiplexed. Since the head end can speak to all terminals at once (due to the optical signal being split 32 or 64 ways) it just puts a target address on each frame. There is also a small amount of encryption added to prevent snooping (I don't know if Verizon uses this feature since they control the terminals).

* Upstream is time division multiplexed. Since all of the terminals are sharing the same upstream wavelength, only one of them can speak at any given time. The head end also figures out whether there are any significant differences in the distance between itself and the various terminals, and figures out those speed-of-light delays into the timeslot map. It also "knows" when a terminal needs more upstream bandwidth and will allocate it more timeslots if it can.

Obviously, they don't simply give you a raw 622 Mbps pipe. The terminal splits it out into Ethernet, a couple of POTS lines (the terminal does SIP internalls) and whatever it's using for monitoring and management.

[#] Fri Mar 26 2010 11:31:48 EDT from Spell Binder @ Uncensored

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Thank you! I'm definitely going to have to look more into that. I've been doing a bit of reading lately on wireless access methods and it's interesting that a number of technologies are shared between wireless and wired access methods.

[#] Fri Mar 26 2010 11:39:20 EDT from IGnatius T Foobar @ Uncensored

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The Wikipedophilia article on PON is actually pretty decent:

[#] Mon Mar 29 2010 12:14:47 EDT from Spell Binder @ Uncensored

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The AT&T U-Verse Saga concludes.

Yes, you read that right. Our voice install finally happened this past Saturday.
It didn't take long at all, thanks to the technician who did our TV and internet install doing some of the telephone work the first time around.

Turns out they still want to do some more work on our setup, though. When I mentioned that we've been seeing some intermittent freezing of video and audio from our TV service, the tech decided to run some tests and found that the line into the house is receiving 20,000 errors every 15 minutes. The pressure from the higher-ups must have been working, becuase he called in a cabling tech to check the line and see what could be done. The cabling guy came out the same day and spent 2-3 hours working on the line from our house all the way to the VRAD. He said he checked all the bonding points along the way, and rebalanced the line "to within a foot when we normally only do that to about 50-60 feet."
However, even though he moved us onto the best pair out of the five in the bundle going from the junction box across the street into our house, he said he still wasn't satisified about the quality of the drop. He put in an order to get the line retrenched, but said it could be a while since they have a big backlog.

I'm a little suprised that they're going to put in the effort to trench in a new line, but I'm not going to complain. :) However, I did tell my wife that if I really wanted to be a bastard, I could've pushed to have 'em run fiber into the house and install an ONT.

Now that we actually have U-Verse voice working, I can't notice any difference between it and the old land-line in terms of voice quality. I've noticed a slight hiss, but I've read that some VoIP services intentionally introduce noise to reassure you that you're still connected. My wife isn't sure that the call-waiting "beep-through" is working, but we tested it this morning and it worked fine, so maybe it was just a temporary glitch.
U-Verse Binder

[#] Mon Mar 29 2010 13:57:50 EDT from IGnatius T Foobar @ Uncensored

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If retrenching is going to happen ... have them run conduit or interduct.
Buy the materials yourself if you have to. It's much better to be able to pull different services later on without having to dig up the yard again.

[#] Mon Mar 29 2010 15:24:57 EDT from Ford II @ Uncensored

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I'm thinking AT&T isn't doing FTTH because 1) it's expensive, and b) they're trying to play catchup with verizon as quickly as possib.e although I guess tjhat doesn't make sense since they don't really compete in the home space.
verizon made a big gamble, but does anybody know if it's paying off?

What I find funny are the cablevision commercials that say "read the fine print... verizon's high speed internet services (which they won't even sell to you anymore) is half of cable's speed" or something like that.
Of course they have to compare apples to oranges, because in reality they're getting their ass kicked.

History being a great repeated though, it is fairly safe to say that in 10-20 years cablevision will be the good guys, just like vzon is now just like IBM was in the 90's-00's compared to MS and so on...

[#] Mon Mar 29 2010 16:14:18 EDT from IGnatius T Foobar @ Uncensored

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That's if they mention Verizon or its products by name at all. Cable commericals usually compare their service to "phone company Internet" which ends up being Verizon's entry-level DSL service.

Sometimes they also compare themselves to "telco TV" which ends up being U-Verse, even if the commercial is airing in a non-AT&T market.

[#] Tue Mar 30 2010 11:46:51 EDT from Spell Binder @ Uncensored

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Re: Why is U-Verse FTTN and not FTTH?

From what I've read, it does basically boil down to cost. FTTH costs more to deploy. However, from the Wikipedia article on U-Verse, AT&T does deploy it as FTTH in some markets.

I do have to agree with IG about the long-term viability of FTTN, though.
Just the fact that the techs wanted to check, recheck, rebond, and now retrench the bundle going into my home, is a lot of work and expense. To be fair, that bundle is at least 14 years old. However, that makes me wonder what kind of situation they'll be dealing with if other people in the neighborhood start ordering U-Verse. They may end up having to run all new copper for everyone.

[#] Sat Apr 17 2010 15:34:01 EDT from IGnatius T Foobar @ Uncensored

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Verizon Begins Testing IPv6 on FiOS Services

"FiOS is a key service that can take advantage of IPv6," said Jean McManus, executive director b packet network technology for Verizon. "We've been working on an IPv6 transition plan for FiOS along with our other residential and enterprise services, and this work involves testing network equipment and making necessary customer premises equipment changes to ensure interoperability and proper operation of equipment. The FiOS trial is a key step toward enabling IPv6 in our core network, on edge routers and on CPE."


[#] Sun Apr 18 2010 11:31:30 EDT from Ford II @ Uncensored

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oh well. :-)

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