Stories by Thomas Nolle

  • Economic crisis threatens networking growth

    The beginning of a new year normally is a time to reflect; it's all the more so when the network industry is facing (along with the rest of the economy) a major financial crisis. We are of a generation that has taken network growth for granted, that has seen the Internet reshape culture and that has come to believe that "more bits" paves the road to the future. It just might be that this comfortable view is the greatest threat we face, because networking is going to change one way or the other.

  • A 'C change' in CDN?

    In the world of content distribution networks, A is for Akamai. What about the rest? Is B for BitGravity, or maybe BitTorrent because of the potential impact of peer-to-peer technology on CDNs? Is C for content? I don't think so. I think it's for carrier or maybe cloud -- and in either case, the "C change" is potentially a major one for the CDN world.

  • Picocell tech could aid fixed-mobile convergence

    An interesting thing happened in 1999. The unit price of a long-distance voice call to consumers, which had been falling since the early 1980s, finally crossed over the cost curve and long-distance voice became a loss leader. This eventually led to the acquisition of the long-distance giants by the regional Bells. It was certainly one of those pivotal events in telecom history, but another 1999 event might be even more important.

  • Carrier Ethernet grows up

    There has been interest in carrier Ethernet for a decade or more and -- let's be honest --more than a little hype, too. In the early days, the focus was on how Ethernet was going to displace SONET and Synchronous Digital Hierarchy as a low-level optical technology.

  • Content delivery networks: Does more mean less?

    The Internet is poised on the edge of a content explosion. For years now there has been a group of companies that grew up to help with Internet content delivery with products called (no surprises here either) content delivery networks.

  • Triple play or triple threat?

    Things are supposed to happen in threes, and the trio the networking space has been focusing on is the "triple play" of voice, data and video service. But a new triple has emerged, one that's potentially a greater influence on the industry -- and for some at least it's not a good influence.

  • Just how far can WiMAX go?

    Last month's WiMAX World conference further raised the profile of a technology that's gotten a lot of attention for years, despite the fact that the standards are only now starting to gel.

  • Another Cisco face lift?

    For some, Cisco Systems recent acquisition of Procket's intellectual property seems to signal that the network giant has no strategy. What it really signals is that Cisco has too many strategies and that at least some in the company are trying to fix the problem. The question now is whether they can succeed.