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I’ve got nine pages of notes from yesterday’s OSA Executive Forum at OFC 2007. Craig Matsumoto from Lightreading captured and blogged my fastball question to the Carrier panel composed of BT Group plc (NYSE:BT), Comcast Corporation (NASDAQ:CMCSA), AT&T (NYSE:T), and Verizon (NYSE:VZ).

My question was:

There has been a lot of discussion today about Video and the explosion of bandwidth needed to carry it, but Peer to Peer traffic is now the largest consumer of bandwidth on your networks. Do you view P2P technology as an opportunity or threat and why?

All four took me to task and indicated P2P, let alone P2P video, was not the biggest consumer of traffic, which would be a direct contradiction with several independent studies.

Their responses tell you a lot about the nature of their networks: (Text borrowed from Lightreading).

• “It is probably the portion of our video traffic that is growing at the fastest clip… The pressure on the upstream network is why we are paying a lot of attention to it.” — Ernie Carey, VP advanced network technologies, AT&T (T)

• “We don’t see a huge amount at the moment, but that’s going to be the major growth, and we’ve got to have the network to handle it.” — Dave Payne, manager of broadband architectures and optical networks, British Telecom (BT)

• “Yes, upstream is going up, but downstream is going up as well… [The ratio of 1:4 download:upload amounts] hasn’t significantly changed over the last three years; there is a slope to that curve, but it’s not significant.” — Vik Saxena, senior director of network architecture, Comcast (CMCSA)

• “If you can find enough uplink speed, which is what we’ve done with fiber-to-the-home, then that [question] goes away.” — Glenn Wellbrock, director of backbone network design, Verizon (VZ)

Source: Peer to Peer Networking: The Carriers Speak Out