Dave Burstein

Dave Burstein

Editor, DSL Prime
Joined on April 10, 2008
Total Post Views: 109,154

About

Dave Burstein has edited DSL Prime and written about broadband and Internet TV for a decade. He authored DSL: A Tech Brief (Wiley, 2002, with Jennie Bourne). His work has been cited by nearly every major U.S. newspaper and business magazine. He chaired the Fast Net Futures conference for three years, and two Web Video Summits.

Featured Blogs

Cisco: Africa in 2017 to Have More Internet Users Than U.S.

Carlos Slim of Telmex tells me the world is about to change. "Two billion more people will connect to the Internet when smartphones cost $50. The phone makers are promising me a $50 phone in 2014." If Spreadtrum and Firefox deliver a $25 smartphone, as promised, that could accelerate takeover. ~310,000,000 Africans will be connected to the Internet in 2017, Arielle Sumits of Cisco predicts... It's inevitable that the U.S. will be dwarfed by the rest of the world. more»

In Broadband, China Is Definitely the Middle Kingdom - 270M In 2015

With a goal of 270M fixed broadband lines in 2015 and near-universal service by 2020, the new "Broadband China" strategy is extraordinary. OFweek, a valuable site in Chinese, breaks the plan into three phases. The first is a full speed stage, ending in 2013, that deploys basic broadband and 3G widely. The second stage, 2014-2015, is dedicated to a further takeup and wider deployment. That will include 400,000+ LTE cell sites. more»

China Continues to Add 30M Broadband Subscribers Per Year

China continues to add broadband subscribers at a rate of about 30M per year. MIIT puts the January growth at 2.5M to a total of 152.5M. Of those, about 1.5M were DSL. They don't release fiber counts, but Jeff Heynen of Infonetics is reporting tens of millions of lines of fiber gear are in the pipeline. China has been consistently at 2-3M net adds per month. Two key policy moves are likely to maintain or even increase the growth rate. more»

AT&T's Randall & Stankey: Wireless Data Growth Half The FCC Prediction

40%, not 92%-120%. "Data consumption right now is growing 40% a year," John Stankey of AT&T told investors and his CEO Randall Stephenson confirmed on the investor call. That's far less than the 92% predicted by Cisco's VNI model or the FCC's 120% to 2012 and 90% to 2013 figure in the "spectrum crunch" analysis. AT&T is easily a third of the U.S. mobile Internet and growing market share; there's no reason to think the result will be very different when we have data from others. more»

"Is DSL Finally Dying?" No!

Jeff Heynan at Infonetics reported a double-digit drop in DSL equipment sales, inspiring Dan O'Shea at Telephony to headline "Is DSL Finally Dying?" Both note that DSL sales in Q1 were actually ahead of the same quarter last year. Yet Dan writes "Fiber is the future." more»

21st Century Triple Networks: Ubiquitous 4G, WiFi, & Wires

The best engineers on the planet are coming to the same conclusion: a hybrid 4G/WiFi/landline network is the way to meet mobile demand. Folks like John Donovan of AT&T and Masayoshi Son of Softbank in Japan had this vision around 2007-2008. As the iPhone/iPad/Android made the coming demand clear, networks planners around the world evolved similar strategies. more»

Australia's Gigabit: Cheapest Upgrade in History

Australian Minister Stephen Conroy announced the National Broadband Network would offer speeds of 1 gigabit without spending a penny more of capex. Sounds like the usual politician's promise. The NBN is a huge issue in the election in 8 days. The opposition wants to kill the $43B project as too expensive; the government warns that a vote against them will condemn Australians to a second rate Internet for a decade or more. Both are right. more»

Failure of the Broadband Plan?

Craig Moffett sees this as I do: "If LTE networks are going to be usage-capped, then the last pretense that LTE can be positioned as a substitute for terrestrial broadband would seem to be gone." The heart of the U.S. broadband plan is to release more spectrum - enough for 10-20 networks like Verizon's LTE now building - and pray that will be enough competition in five to seven years to check price increases. more»

Canada: Smart Regulation, Not De-regulation

Canada's CRTC isn't as dumb as U.S. regulators who are considering ruling that the law doesn't apply where the telcos oppose it. (Title II deregulation) Canada just decided wireless needs to follow the rules. In turn, the CRTC intends to make sure the rules are reasonable. Rather than saying "never any rules," they instead try to write sensible ones. more»

Internet Traffic Growth Rate Falling by Half in U.S. According to Cisco VNI

In 2014, Cisco estimates Internet traffic growth in the U.S. will be less than 18%, far less than most previous estimates. Worldwide, they measure the current rate at 42% and expect that to fall to 30% in four years. Actual numbers at Cisco Visual Networking Index (VNI) is the definitive source on Internet traffic today because they have direct relationships with carriers from China Telecom to AT&T. Their future estimates are the most carefully done publicly available. more»

Absolutely No Wireless Spectrum Shortage in 2010

Sure the iPhone has problems, but John Stankey of AT&T thinks restoring a $2B capex cut will fix them. It may take a little more money than that, but Glen Campbell of Merrill Lynch has confirmed he's on track. In a 50 page report that's one of the best I've read in years, Merrill destroyed the common belief that wireless has a significant spectrum shortage. more»

AT&T CTO Donovan: We Need Non-Discrimination

"Outside applications need to be on an equal footing with our own applications," John Donovan said at a SUPERCOMM keynote here in Chicago. "My jaw dropped," one of his colleagues told me a few minutes later, because this is a reversal of AT&T's long-standing position they needed to be able to favor their own applications. AT&T D.C. needs to listen closely to their own CTO, because they are throwing everything they have in D.C. at preventing "non-discrimination" being included in the FCC Net Neutrality regulations. more»

Verizon: Voice is Dying

Ivan Seidenberg, Verizon CEO, saying "voice is dying" is a defining moment in telecom history. He didn't use those words, but his comments at Goldman Sachs are clear "we have to pivot and make a shift from the voice business to the data business and eventually to the video business. ... we must really position ourselves to be an extremely potent video-centric asset." more»

Craig Moffett from Wall Street: Wireless Prices Should Go Up Through Mergers

Jules (Julius Genakowski) may soon have a stark choice: should U.S. wireless prices go up or down? Jules talks a good game about wanting more competition and the evidence is overwhelming that going from 6 to 4 majors resulted in higher prices. Merrill Lynch a while back calculated margins went up $billions each year because of the consolidation. You can hire an economist to say almost anything, and two at the University of Chicago happily stretched the truth on this in the past. But the evidence both academic and common sense is clear. more»

HD Voice Really is Great

Listen for half a minute to a demo of a high-bit-rate codec and you expect they will transform our industry. The difference is like a CD with great headphones versus a little transistor radio. Suddenly, you realize just how awful the sound is on your regular telephone. Who wouldn't want their call to sound dramatically better was my first reaction. When Thomson and some of the cable folks discussed plans, I was enthusiastic. Years later, nearly no one is taking advantage... more»

FiberHome: China's Next Multinational Giant

Wuhan in 1911 led the revolt that overthrew the Qing Dynasty and now hopes to dethrone the world's fiber leaders. China this year or next will surpass Japan as world fiber leader, with estimates as high as 30M homes connected. Wuhan's FiberHome is now #2 in the world according to Infonetics, ahead of Alcatel, Motorola, and Tellabs. more»

Will Martin Geddes and Telco 2.0 Turn Around BT?

British Telecom (BT) is hurting because the wireline phone business is inevitably declining. Their new hire is one of the world's most interesting thinkers on possible new businesses for telcos. Martin has been part of the Telco 2.0 group at STL Consultancy, the best small group of European analysts... more»

Cisco: P2P Flat in North America? Some Experiencing Major Growth

North American p2p went from 370 petabytes in 2006 to only 416 petabytes in 2007 according to Cisco's figures. Since U.S. users increased 16% in the same period, that's a drop in p2p per user and a significant drop in p2p as a percentage of all traffic. There's a major margin of error in these figures, so I'm calling it "flat." That's very different from pre 2007 experience, when p2p grew rapidly. It severely contradicts what many in Washington D.C. are saying... more»

Overloading the Internet? Recent Media Reports Based on Dangerous Misinformation

The London Times article (and a similar one in the Guardian) are based on dangerous misinformation. The net isn't slowing down, and nearly no technical experts believe major "overload" problems likely on the backhaul, core, or decent local loop... Net traffic per user, as documented by Odlyzko and Cisco, has been growing at about 35-40% the last five years, and that growth rate is flat and possibly down the last two years. The net has been able to handle the increase without price increases, much less overload, because the primary and rate limiting equipment (switches, routers, WDM, etc.) have simultaneously been going down at a similar 35-40%. Moore's Law is bringing costs down and capacity up at a remarkable rate. more»

Topic Interests

BroadbandPolicy & RegulationTelecomAccess ProvidersWirelessIPTVP2PNet NeutralityVoIPMobileWhite Space

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