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Creating the Fiber Broadband Community over at G+

7 Dec

Google Plus launched a new feature last night called Communities. It allows for a quick and easy sharing of links, resources and comments and suspect it could make for a good place to have more dynamic debates than what blog comments or email lists allow.

It’s open for anyone to join, although civil discourse is of course expected of all. You can find the community here.

All you need is a (free) Google Plus account to join.

(Incidentally, if you just want to follow me on Google Plus, you can do that here, but remember that you get the whole of me: FTTx, but also photography, role-playing games, music, and various other oddities).

Broadband Trends is back and blogging

19 Oct

Analyst Teresa Mastrangelo has long been one of the top thought leaders when it comes to broadband. After a one year hiatus exploring issues related to content distribution, Teresa is now back to talking about broadband, and will be doing it not only on twitter where she is well known and loved (follow @broadbandtrends) but also on a shiny new blog, aptly titled Broadband Trends.

Teresa, you've been blog rolled. 

Complimentary Report: A World of Fiber

23 Feb

image from Ever since we launched the Diffraction Analysis subscription research service last month I realised that many people didn't know what such a service was or looked like. A lot of people see us as a consultancy but are not used to recurring research schemes. 

In order to make it clearer to many of our potential subscribers and also to demonstrate that we are indeed producing reports, we decided to release our latest report A World of Fiber for free. For instructions on how to get this report, please go to our company blog here.

I'm very interested in feedback on this report as well: in a sense, it acts as an extension of our missions statement in that it takes a broad view on deployment drivers and issues. 

Reflexions on broadband speed measurement

9 Sep

As you probably know by now, I've been spending a lot of my evenings in recent weeks working on analysing an actual dataset of last mile usage. I'm not quite there yet, but I'm hopeful that the results will be in by the end of the month and highlight some really interesting trends.

In the process of doing this analysis though, I've gotten interested in and have talked to people who are running a variety of speed test measurements. i've also become drawn into a kind of a twitter argument around the recent FTTH speed tests that were undertaken by DegroupNews in France. Let me tell you this story in one paragraph before I get to the core point of my post.

What happened was that someone on twitter posted the results, asking why the broadband delivered was so bad compared to nominal (off the top of my head, Free and SFR delivered a little above half of nominal, and Orange and Numéricable were around a third of nominal). An executive from one of these service providers answered saying that the measurement methodology was crap. I then asked them to publish real numbers if they were contested these numbers, and while I'm not optimistic that they will, I can't really blame anyone for believing what numbers are out there. I'm not optimistic that any of the big guys in France would share real numbers publicly, but you never know…

However, one of the side effects of this conversation and some other conversations I've had was to look into available speedtest services and whatever information was available on their methodologies. A friend suggested I should look into the methodology of Ookla, one of the speed measurement services of You can find the details here (

In here, there's a fascinating nugget. It's the last bullet on the methodology:

"Samples are sorted by speed, and the fastest half is averaged to eliminate anomalies and determine the result."

In case this isn't immediately evident, it's a statisical aberration. A survey house that said: "we rank respondants, drop the bottom half and average the rest" would be out of business in a minute. There are proven ways to eliminate outliers in any data set, and believe me, this is not one of them. So I'm left to wonder. First of all, what's Ookla's benefit in artifially (but dramatically) skewing broadband speed measurement results? What's in it for them to get people to believe that their speed is much higher than it actually is ?

The second question, which is perhaps more important, is why is the US government offering an openly skewed tool to end-users, but doing it transparently ?

I'm really puzzled. If anyone has any idea, let me know!

Fiber Resources

26 Aug

Thanks to Costas Troulos who seems to be more on the ball than I am (or maybe he just had less backlog when he came back from holiday. Yes, that must be it!) I found out about two new excellent resources:

Pauline Rigby is an erstwhile editor of the now defunct FibreSystems and she has started her own blog now that the publication is no more. It features her thoughts on the industry, as well as specific reflections on the UK situation and articles previously published in FibreSystems.

FTTxtra defines itself as a magazine focusing mostly on the vendor/equipment side of the NGA story. John Bartell who writes it is an industry veteran. There's a lot of content in there, although unlike John (and Costas) I find the layout very confusing and very not intuitive. But I guess this gets down to personal taste.

A good twitter resource for your fiber news

17 Aug

I've been wanting to point this out for ages but never really found the time. Marc Duchesne has started a pretty cool FTTx newsfeed on twitter which you can subscribe to over at It's an automated RSS but it's pretty well set-up and most of what it points out is relevant to me.

As you read this, I should be on the road back to Paris, ready to resume work tomorrow. I'll be announcing a number of trips and associated IRL meets if people are up for it. I'm also mulling over a number of fiber related initiatives which I will share with you hopefully in the near future.

Tech in a Sec

4 Aug

You will have noticed that it's been quiet here in the last few days. For the first time in years I'm enjoying a genuine holiday and made a semi-conscious decision that Fiberevolution was closer to work than leisure (if you want daily blog updates from me, check our Apprenti Photographe.)

Still, when a good resource comes up, it needs sharing, and such a resource has come up: my ex-collague Josh Martin has just started his own tech blog, entitled Tech in a Sec. My focus here is mostly on the network and how it allows you to access internet and applications. Josh talks about internet and applications.

His focus is mostly US centric and relatively even between Wireline and Wireless, but hopefully I'll convince him to tell us what the next gen FTTH enabled apps will be! His writing has the right level of wit and incisiveness to be entertaining as well as informative. Check it out!

Bury your own fiber

22 Apr

No_dp This is something I talked about as far back as 2007 if I remember rightly, but the following article in Telephony Online is well written and highlights some aspects which might not be well understood on Lyse's offer for customers to do your own trenching inside their property, so I thought it was worth highlighting again. Here it is: FTTH Provider's Customers Bury Their Own Fiber.

Fiber to the Kiwi Blog

3 Mar

Last week, in the aftermaths of the Broadband at a Crossroads conference, my google alerts started picking up a new blog on New Zealand Fiber to the Home (appropriately) entitled The New Zealand FTTH Blog. It seems to be anonymously published, so I can't know if I met the author last week or not. It's fairly controversial in its approach, it seems, but could be a good resource to follow to keep up with the developments in kiwi land.

The low down on Mobile Broadband

21 Jan

I'm always on the lookout for good telecom resources and blogs, so imagine my excitment when said resources are produced by people I think are top experts in their fields! The Future of Mobile Broadband is such a gem. It's maintained by an ex-colleague (of sorts) and top brain on the topic of mobile in general and mobile broadband in particular, Matt Hatton.

And since the future of mobile broadband is closely tied to the availability of very high bandwidth backhaul deep in the field… well I guess you can see why this is going straight into my telecom blogroll !