RE: Cable networks RE: best effort has economic problems, maybe OT

So what's the cable HFC Achilles heel?

As an observer, only, here.... :wink:

  ... for one thing, investment is one of HFC's weaknesses as it relates to
alternative transmission techniques in the broadband space, as witnessed by
Rainmaker Technologies' early out. And while Narad's team may tell you that (and
here I'm now getting this part second hand) they can customize a downstream mesh
or ring for reliability and failover purposes, the reality is that most of these
will go in as linear spurs off the local neigborhood block amplifier or
thereabouts in an unprotected manner. And then there are the intrinsic capacity
constraints imposed by coaxial's distance-attenuation characteristic, facing a
ceiling far lower than that of optical fiber.

I've been impressed with some of the other MSO-related endeavors, however, where
they've implemented native fiber rings - sans coax - for GigE and SONET
applications to industrial/corporate parks and educational campuses, going head to
head with the ILEC. Cablevision's Lightpath division comes to mind here, as do
several of COX' and Comcast's metro entrees. But these, of course, are not based
on some RF exorcism device. Instead, they are standard fare, comparable to what
MFN/Abovenet or the local ILEC would install. I suppose that the Narad approach
works for limited numbers of corporate type accounts on the same segment, maybe
even more than I could envisage. I couldn't tell you exactly how well it would


On Mon, 31 May 2004 13:47 , 'Christopher J. Wolff'> sent:

All of these are great observations. So what's the cable HFC Achilles heel?