Letters to the Editor.
Recently, I read your Editor's Note, "At the Speed of Light," where you mention that bandwidth needs are expected to multiply by 200 times today's level. You inferred that the major players like Nortel or Luwidth-on-demand companies in order to gain market share in the last mile. Great stuff! The last mile is indeed a major interest to these players. But there are several utility companies out there taking an interest as well.
Advent is about to trial UltraBand to 2.2 million utility customers. One utility company has been investing heavily in telecom, and its revenue exceeds $10 billion. In fact, I'm finding out that utility companies are very interested in broadband technology because they know who their customers are.
Robert Rankin, The Bernard Group firstname.lastname@example.org
I am responding to an article published in the December 2000 issue of Communications News, "No Foolin'. Optical is a good last-mile choice."
I am concerned with the author's definition concerning "last-mile" connectivity. There is much discussion in the industry today regarding the use of free space optical communications equipment as an access technology into public networks, and so I believe it unfair to mislead your readers regarding the real capabilities of the products discussed in the article.
Traditionally, when we discuss the last mile, we mean the final leg of a telecommunications network connecting a home or office to a switch providing routing features to an ISP or access to the PSTN. The author of this article would have us believe that a remote LAN drop supported by an infrared signal is included within the definition of last mile, but clearly the product is not being used to access a public network--it is simply behaving as a strand of cable connecting remote terminals in a local area network
Free space wireless optical networking equipment is proven to deliver high-bandwidth, low-cost connectivity solutions in campus-area networks that require point-to-point communications across a physical barrier. When we discuss deploying free space optics as the primary access technology into the PSTN (the true last mile), we introduce a whole new series of alignment and reliability issues that the article does not make reference to.
Dave Murphy, SilCom Technology email@example.com