A Practical Navigator for the Internet Economy

LayerOne Gear in Telco Hotels Provides Cost Effective Optical Interconnect for Carriers

Ciena Core Director Provides Service that Grooms Circuit Interconnection Between Fiber of Many Carriers,

pp. 1-14

We interview Alexander Muse, President and CEO of LayerOne which is offering optical interconnects for carriers at physical layer of the OSI reference model. LayerOne, located inside carrier hotels, uses the Ciena Core Director switch as a service to enable many different carriers to connect their fiber strands and provision circuits for each other.

LayerOne takes between 2,000 and 15,000 square feet of floor space insides a carrier hotel. They then bring in between four and 30 thousand strands of fiber into what they call a Nexus Bandwidth Exchange. The fiber is connected to a complex array of cabinets. To enable this they have a framework of ADC FEC boxes and the ADC FL2000 SC Connectors ELF bay. For electrical connections at the DS1 and DS3 level, they use a customized ADC Entraprise Frame. Optical to optical connections at levels ranging from dark fiber to OC-192 they make via ADC's Next Generation Fiber Frame. Ethernet connections are handled from a router/switch.

From this equipment fiber is tied into the Core Director. Instead of having customers bring in bays full of expensive SONET equipment LayerOne asks for the delivery of fiber strands in 96 or 192 strand cables. Initially they will connect two of them to the Ciena Core Director - each of which can handle up to 256 OC48s and each of which uses transponders and tunable lasers to do its work. Within the Core Director those would be then lit to a level of OC 48 or OC-192, depending on how their customers would want to interface. From there LayerOne grooms fat customer pipes to electrical STS -1s. It then maps those to the other providers to whom they want to connect. LayerOne charges them a flat monthly fee for connecting to it Core Director. The size of the fee depends on the bandwidth of the connection which can range from DS-1 to OC192.

But what is this grooming all about? As Light Reading explains, the Core Director is capable of grooming. That means it can set up any size of pipe across a network by combining any number of small STS1 (51.8Mbit/s) connections, ranging in size from 1 to 192." Grooming "slashes the number of boxes that service providers need to buy and maintain; it also helps them provision services faster and use bandwidth efficiently."

LayerOne is open in five locations and plans 15 or more by years' end. In the Bryant Street Dallas colo it is currently interconnecting 30 carriers. These range from Qwest and Level3, to SBC and Verizon, to Yipes and Telseon, to MFN and lesser knowns like Global. Metro.

Finally we conclude with a three page commentary on LayerOne by New York City consultant Frank Coluccio who paints a contextual picture of the LayerOne developments and who, emphasizing a point made by Muse, notes that "the capabilities that Layer One demonstrated were possible, were not capabilities that their vendor, Ciena, would have initially guaranteed, much less expect LayerOne to attempt to accomplish."

Changing Bandwidth Provisioning Models in Metro Area Fiber Markets

Net Access Chooses Acquisition of Dark Fiber and Self Provisioned Circuits Over Purchase of Shared Gig Ethernet

Prices of Telseon and Yipes! Viewed as Too High and Cogent's Business Model Seen to Be Unsustainable,

pp. 15 - 25

We interview Avi Freedman who relates his experience during the past year as he has sought to upgrade Net Access metro infrastructure from carrier provided to self provisioned using dark fiber. The network that he founded in Philadelphia in 1992 is now a 10 million dollar a year business supplying customer circuits from Boston to New York City, to Philadelphia to Baltimore to Washington DC.

Freedman's problem was to determine whether it made sense for him to buy Gigabit Ethernet from Telseon or Yipes!. Freedman says: "Gigabit Ethernet is something that we've actually found that people don't want primarily because it is difficult to be certain one is not getting shortchanged." "The fact is if I give you an OC12, you know you are getting an OC12 and there's nothing I can do to short change you on the matter of how many bits you can pump through it. You know that you have your full circuit even if it is being time sliced and sent over my WDM infrastructure. But if I give you a Gig E, you have no clue whether that's a VLAN on a big trunk or whether it is a real Gig E dedicated all to me, because the technology allows you to sell 10 people a GigE, put a 10 meg Ethernet in the middle and then sell you all Gig Es at the other end."

Freedman has found that it is most cost effective for him to lease dark fiber from MFN than to buy Gigabit Ethernet service from Telseon or Yipes! because they won't let him put his own measurement tools on the circuits. Under such circumstances the cost of their bandwidth is close to what it would cost him to lease dark fiber to supply an equivalent amount. To be competitive he figures the cost should be about one half of what he could provide it for himself. He also looks at Cogent which he believes to be selling to ISPs at rates that are below its cost. He questions how long they can stay in business.

He gives a great deal of useful pricing information and talks about scaling issues involved in the cost of providing the largest circuits (OC 192s). Provisioning OC48s is now more cost effective. As he puts it: "If you can do 32 OC48s and get another fiber pair, do 32 more OC48s, it can be cheaper (especially if you're trying to make your capital last) to just do this." He also explains that his customers have told him that they also want plain OC circuits without IP on them because what the carriers used to provide in seven to 30 days five years ago now takes six months or longer.

The article concludes with an exchange between Telseon Vice President Bob Klessig and Avi Freedman. A high light --Klessig: "It is safe to assume that the traffic between the routers is highly concentrated and that the routers will be in place for a long time. As Mr. Freedman says, this is a great scenario for a dedicated link such as dark fiber if it is available. But Telseon is offering a switched service. It provides for new data connections in minutes to hours between any two points on a Telseon metropolitan network. Bandwidth choices are highly granular and quickly changed."

Freedman: "There are no applications or software demanding highly granular and changeable bandwidth today that I know of from Net Access or Akamai. The base cost of Telseon and Yipes! 1mb-over-100mb/1000mb services are as much as customers will shortly be able to pay Net Access, and probably Enron and others for a 100mb provably dedicated pipe. Analyses and promises are no substitute for proof of infrastructure where the possibility for aggregation follows."

ICANN and Verisign in Alliance to Reinstate De-facto NSI Dot Com Monopoly in Return For Financial Support of ICANN

ICANN's Pattern of Fraudulent and Deceitful Action Continues With Board's Capitulation to Staff and Vint Cerf in Melbourne,

pp. 26-35

Those who established ICANN got much of their early support from pledging to reign in what they painted as a very nasty Network Solutions monopoly in the dot com and other gTLDs. Now operating under the guise that the Internet industry can be trusted to regulate itself, ICANN and Networks Solutions successor, Verisign started in secret last summer negotiations which on March 1, 2001 effectively reimposed the monopoly. While we offer our own analysis we also recommend that of Brock Meeks: Dot Com Hocus Pocus -The Remaking of a Monopoly http://www.msnbc.com/news/540693.asp.

The Australian Board meeting ended with the Board granting ICANN staff a blank check to make decisions for which they the Board should take responsibility. As Michael Froomkin wrote: Well, it's even worse than it seemed: we're stupid, and we've been snookered again. With no warning to anyone, the ICANN staff pulled a bunch of resolutions out of their pockets at the last minute. There was no public notice. No advance publication. As a result, the entire public comment period the day before the Board meeting was little more than a pointless farce, since no one except the staff (and maybe the Board?) knew what was on the agenda, and almost no one had time to wade through the pile of documents.

Meanwhile Vint Cerf as Board chair acted to involve himself as Versign's interests. Verisign CEO Sclavos wrote to Cerf on Feb. 28: "We also appreciate your commitment to seek formal Board approval for an appropriate extension of the time under the existing agreement should compliance with Section 23 be necessary. But we are hopeful that by working with you, and the Internet community, including members of the ICANN Board, we will all see these new agreements approved and successfully implemented."

A BWG attorney commented: Section 23 is the one that says that the com/net/org registry agreement expires in November 2003 unless Verisign divests the registrar by May 2001. Read the third sentence of the above paragraph. Sclavos is saying that Cerf has made a personal commitment to him that, if the ICANN Board does *not* approve the proposed agreements, Cerf will go to the Board to get the May 2001 divestiture deadline extended.

We also include a review of the completely revised ICANN Watch website This is now by far the best site on the web for tracking what this renegade Internet regulator is doing.

Optical Border Gateway Protocol Now Internet Draft,

pp. 36 - 37

OBGP is now an Internet draft for consideration at the spring IETF in Minneapolis. We briefly interview one of the draft authors Marc Blanchet about what to expect in coming months.

Letter to the Editor: DANTE Objects to Description by Kees Neggers,

pp. 37 - 38

Dai Davies General Manager of Dante suggests SURFnet criticism was unfounded. Kees neggers informed us he saw no need to respond. On March 6 SURFnet established the fastest external connectivity of any research network in the world. SURFnet Press Releases were posted at http://www.gigaport.nl/en/en_main_act.html