NOTES FROM THE FIELD: Magic versus loss

NOTES FROM THE FIELD: Magic versus loss

Sometimes things just don’t go as I’d hoped they would. As part of my effort to get back in Amber’s good graces, I had her and her twin sister over for dinner the other night. But when I went upstairs for just a minute, my beloved pooch Apache snuck in and, covered in mud, jumped all over both of them. Her feisty sister left angrily, and it didn’t take Amber long to follow suit.

Near-death experience

I am not the only one with high hopes that don’t come easy, though. One of my gumshoes said that US-based Storage Networks, a pioneer in the storage service provider (SSP) fray, is now, well, almost dead. The clues are in place: the company has drastically scaled back sales and marketing, pretty much closed down its global operations centre, and reduced software developers to a skeleton crew.

The CEO quit, and remaining employees were given contracts saying they’ll be paid through June whether they work or not, but no guarantees after that. Finally, the company sent out a letter to its clients asking to be let out of their SSP contracts.

Cut lines

Although it was bought out by Cogent, a move that some industry insiders expected would help PSInet get its act together, a spy of mine reports that PSInet is back among the ranks of the troubled.

Apparently, Broadwing cut some T3s in several of PSInet’s major cities, including San Francisco, Chicago, Philadelphia, Austin, and St. Louis, leaving PSInet customers stranded. But that is not the worst of it. Without warning the T1 at my spy’s company went down and he was told by PSInet that the company was cut due to lack of payment. But another spy said that was not the case and it appears some pretty nasty legal wrangling is now taking place between the companies. According to a PSInet official my spy spoke with, the company is fighting Broadwing by working with other carriers. Supposedly Verizon helped in some of the markets by jumping in to lend a hand.

That is not to say Verizon is everyone’s hero. Another of my spies said that Verizon Communications was holding up widespread offering of DSL over fibre, or at least on the East Coast of the US, until after Towson/Dingle is passed. The equipment has been bought, the technicians trained, but no DSL if they have to provide facilities to the competition. Depending on how long, if ever, it takes Towson/Dingle to pass, those not on copper may never see DSL. That doesn’t seem fair.

As Lou Reed wrote, “There is a little bit of magic in everything, and some loss to even things out.” In this case, my loss was not even getting to see Apache do the dirty work. That might have been worth having Amber mad at me.

[Editor’s note: Towson/Dingle is a competing bill submitted to the US Congress that proposes how to regulate the uptake of broadband.

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