A Practical Navigator for the Internet Economy

NEXT GENERATION DSL TAKES ADVANTAGE OF INTELLIGENTLY MANAGED TRANSPORT LAYER

Elastic Networks Uses Edge Transport Technology To Create A Very Flexible Very Powerful Etherloop That Adapts To Network And User Demands

pp. 1 - 10, 24

In an interview with Jack Terry, its creator, we report on Elastic Networks' ETHERLOOP, a next generation DSL technology. Having many similarities to Ethernet, ETHERLOOP is a means of extending an Ethernet like environment via an always "on" copper loop from the ETHERLOOP Modems in the telco central office to customer's home or to a PBX in a hotel, or office building. Unlike the other DSLs ETHERLOOP either transmits via bursts or when it has nothing to transmit or receive, listens to and diagnoses its environment within the binder group. With ETHERLOOP linked to an office PBX, an existing LAN can be connected to the Internet more reliably and with higher capacity than is possible with other flavors of symmetric or asymmetric DSL.

Features in Ethernet and ETHERLOOP that are essentially the same are half duplex, burst mode operation, error correction by retransmission, fixed transmission symmetry and self adjusting traffic flow as a consequence of the use of the TCP/IP protocol. Critical differences between Ethernet and ETHERLOOP are a collision/ retransmission protocol (CSMA-CD) with Ethernet and a collision avoidance loop protocol with ETHERLOOP. Ethernet has a 10 megabits per second transmission rate whereas the transmission rather of ETHERLOOP is adaptive, according to loop and traffic conditions and can reach as high as 10 megabits per second.

The more ADSL lines that are turned on in a binder group the more likely they are to suffer from cross talk. According to Terry: Systems such as ADSL have no means to determine if they are interfering with other services as they transmit continuously and cannot therefore "listen" to coupling from other services in the binder group. By contrast, ETHERLOOP listens between data bursts to detect coupling with other services in adjacent pairs and takes appropriate action to reduce interference. Terry refers to this ability on the part of ETHERLOOP as 'stealthy' spectrum management. This stealthiness gives an ETHERLOOP circuit the ability to always come up functional whereas installed DSL circuits have only about an 85% success rate. ETHERLOOP is in trial with several CLECs. The fact that ETHERLOOP may be turned on in a binder group with many xDSL services already there will allow CLECs to take advantage of its stealthiness in order to assure themselves that they can still deliver services without interfering with existing ILEC services.

Because ETHERLOOP is bursty, it can take advantage of multiplexing. This allows ETHERLOOP Modem modules to be smaller that the DSLAMs of other DSL technologies. As a result in the telco central office where space is always at a critical premium, ETHERLOOP can accommodate significantly more revenue producing streams than its competitors.

Elastic Networks has several interesting business partners for ETHERLOOP. Texas Instruments has licensed ETHERLOOP technology for inclusion into their Digital Signal Processor (DSP) chipsets. As a result when makers of routers and switches and other telecom equipment would like to integrate ETHERLOOP capability into their products, they can buy the ETHERLOOP DSP chipset from TI and make their own cards to integrate ETHERLOOP directly into their own equipment. Nortel, where Terry originally developed ETHERLOOP, is a partner and is responsible for working with Sprint and Las Vegas Hotels. A Williams Network subsidiary, Williams Communications Solutions is offering integration of ETHERLOOP into 130,000 Meridian PBXs around the country.

For users connecting to corporate gateways, Elastic provides a server called YesWare. This server connects the user with something called InterProxy which in turn provides the user with IP mobility, by being a proxy server for the user's Web proxy, default gateway, and DHCP server and by providing Network Address Translation (NAT) for those users with static IP addresses on their laptops. InterProxy translates and routes traffic from random or "foreign" IP hosts into a format acceptable to an Ethernet-based local area network (LAN) router or Internet gateway. Using only one IP address, the Elastic Networks InterProxy can connect hundreds of random LAN clients to the Internet gateway of an Internet Service Provider (ISP), or to the router of the company Intranet. It also enables VPNs by means of the Point-to-Point Tunneling protocol and by means of IPSec using ISAKAMP for key exchange and ESP (the Encapsulating Security Protocol.). ETHERLOOP can support static IP addresses. Also Elastic Networks' Elite modems can support up to 128 MAC addresses per modem, thereby enabling allowing multi-port hubs to utilize a single EtherLoop Elite modem. ETHERLOOP is priced at $750 per port with substantial discounts available for bulk purchase.

WILLIAMS NETWORK BUILDS GENERIC CUSTOMER CONFIGURABLE OPTICAL NETWORK FOUNDATION

Purchase Of Single Wave Allows Carriers To Plug And Play With Their Higher Level Services, pp. 11 - 16

We interview Wayne Price, The CTO of the Williams Multi-Service Broadband Network. In the mid 1980s Williams, under the name Willtel, pioneered the use of an oil and gas pipeline for running fiber. By 1995 Willtel was the fourth largest carrier in the United States when they sold out to the LDDS Division of WorldCom for 2.5 billion. They kept one strand of fiber running the entire 11,000 route miles of the old Willtel network. With the purchase money they bought Transco, a Houston- based natural gas pipeline company. The purchase, represented 10,500 miles of virgin right-of-way never before been used for telecom. The Transco network connected Houston to New York.

After '95, while they couldn't compete in the retail market with WorldCom, they could be a construction company and plant fiber. Having done this, they could then sell fiber optic cables and dark fiber services to carriers, because selling dark fiber was not part of their non-compete. They have always been a wholesaler of services because they have a corporate culture of not competing with their customers. Note also that the fact that they kept one fiber from the old network leaves them with a network larger than Qwest or Level 3 and that the onset of DWDM since 1995 means that the bandwidth potential of that one fiber has grown 40 fold and will soon reach 100 fold. Their business model has been to get to as many places as possible to be able to provide raw carriage to as many companies as possible, most efficiently. Currently they sell everything from OC-48s to T-1s to ILECs for use in out-of-service areas.

Over the past 15 months, Price's major strategy for Williams was to invent a technique called interleaving which allows them to take and light up channels, in their DWDM infrastructure, without having to purchase "big iron" Nortel SONET equipment. In nine months Desh Despande of Sycamore networks went from a white board design to delivery of a product (the SNGX-550 Switch and transponder )that delivered service to paying customers. The Sycamore switch has OC-48, short reach optics, 13.XX nanometer interfaces. They connect the switches into the Sycamore transponder, then convert the 13 nanometer signal into a 15.XX, a frequency that will fit within the ICU grid of the Nortel SONET systems. Sycamore offered them a way where they could build a transponder for an optical network without having to ditch their entire infrastructure.

As a result Price is now selling to customers single lambdas that run at OC48. The customer is required to plug a router into a Sycamore transponder. This is done by means of a line card that is plugged inside the transponder with one interface toward the customer and the other toward the Williams backbone. Without the need for SONET provisioning, the circuit can be installed, tested and operated from a web based network management system in only a few days.

Sycamore provided network management software allows Williams to manage the Sycamore equipment, but also it offers additional features that permit the addition of things like customer network management systems. It has hooks in it where Williams can partition parts of the Sycamore network and let the customer view only his cards, which means that Price doesn't have to rely on his own system to do that. Williams relies heavily on Sycamore, to provide the network management tools. But on top of that, it has added a Williams layer. There they can also look at other components, such as routers and ATM switches. The result is to give an overall view of the entire network, not just the optronics part.

Wayne Price is developing a plug compatible greenfield network where customers can even bring their legacy ATM or SONET equipment with them, plug into the Williams backbone, go anywhere they want and exit out the other side.

ASO PROPOSALS BRING IP ALLOCATIONS UNDER ICANN REGIME INTO FOCUS ETSI AND ETNO SEEK ICANN MANDATED ROLE IN IPV6 ALLOCATION

EuroISPA Telecom Director Explains Potential Impact of Icann Regional IP Address Registry Policies on ISPs,

pp 17 - 19

The Regional IP Number Registries finally submitted their own ASO supporting organization draft to ICANN at the end of July. On August 6 ETSI (The European Telecommunications Standards Institute) served notice on the ICANN Board that it (ETSI) expected to be directly involved with the allocation of IPv6 since it did not trust the Regional Internet number registries to do so in a way that met the needs of the telephone companies.

With the author's permission, we present a discussion from the private BWG list among your Editor, Jim Dixon, the Telecommunications Director of the Euro ISP Association and Eric Weisberg of Internet Texoma. In the opinion of Dixon while the Internet would be better off with ICANN not meddling in IP number allocation, the Registries (ARIN RIPE and APNIC) are also to interested in accumulating their own power. He brings a very interesting and well reasoned European point of view to the table. The discussion offers a useful explanation of the difference between ARIN and RIPE, the current size of the industry (about 12,000 ISPs world wide) and the concern that ICANN control could move from IP number allocation to routing policies.

DOES BARSHEFSKY SACRIFICE ISP INTERESTS IN WTO ON BEHALF OF E-COMMERCE GAIN FOR IBM? BUREAU OF NATIONAL AFFAIRS REPORTS THAT NEGOTIATORS WILLING TO REGULATE INTERNET AS BASIC TELECOM SERVICE,

p. 20

On August 13 signs surfaced of a possible deal between the European Union and the US where the EU would give the US what it wants in e-commerce and the US would approve the regulation of the Internet as an essential telecom service under GATS. Since this would turn 15 years of successful telecom regulatory policy in the US on its head, it is to be hoped that Congress will give these Clinton Gore moves heavy Scrutiny.

HOW TO OBTAIN LOW COST DARK FIBER FOR SCHOOLS AND LIBRARIES WHILE US USES A TAX TO BUY SERVICE YEAR AFTER YEAR, CANADIAN NEIGHBORHOODS BUILD CRITICAL INFRASTRUCTURE

pp. 21 - 22

After a brief introduction we reprint two short essays from Bill St Arnaud on how public school districts in Quebec are finding it advantageous to build their own dark fiber networks. This stands in sharp contrast to the Gore policy of a two billion dollar a year tax on telecom users to buy service rather than infrastructure.