Category: Scotland

Reference Library – Scotland

Judge Kills AT&T’s Attempt To Thwart Google Fiber Competition In Louisville 0

Judge Kills AT&T’s Attempt To Thwart Google Fiber Competition In Louisville

There’s plenty of methods incumbent ISPs use to keep broadband competition at bay, from buying protectionist state laws 1 to a steady supply of revolving door regulators and lobbyists with a vested interest in protecting the status quo 2 . This regulatory capture goes a long way toward explaining why Americans pay more money for slower broadband than most developed nations. Keeping this dysfunction intact despite a growing resentment from America’s under-served and over-charged broadband consumers isn’t easy, and has required decades of yeoman’s work on the part of entrenched duopolies and their lobbyists.

Case in point: Google Fiber recently tried to build new fiber networks in a large number of cities like Nashville and Louisville, but ran face first into an antiquated utility pole attachment process. As it stands, when a new competitor tries to enter a market, it needs to contact each individual ISP to have them move their own utility pole gear. This convoluted and bureaucratic process can take months, and incumbent ISPs (which often own the poles in question) often slow things down even further by intentionally dragging their feet.

So in cities like Nashville and Louisville, Google Fiber and other competitors have pushed for so-called “one touch make ready” utility pole reform. These reforms let a licensed an insured contractor move any ISP’s pole-mounted gear if necessary (usually a matter of inches), as long as the ISP is notified in advance and the contractor pays for any damages. Under these regulatory reforms, the pole attachment process can be reduced from six months or more to just a month or so — dramatically speeding up fiber deployment.

ISPs like Verizon (in part because Google Fiber isn’t encroaching on their East Coast turf) has supported the changes 3 . But because this would speed up competitor broadband deployments as well, incumbent ISPs like AT&T and Charter did what they do best: they filed lawsuits against both Nashville 4 and Louisville 5 — claiming they’d exceeded their legal authority in updating the rules. The companies proclaim they’re simply concerned about the potential damage to their lines (ignored is the fact that the contractors doing the work are often the same people employed by ISPs), but the lawsuits are driven by one thing: fear of competition.

In Louisville, things haven’t worked out very well for AT&T, with a Judge recently declaring that the ISP’s claim that Louisville had somehow exceeded its authority doesn’t make any legal sense 6 : “AT&T claimed that Louisville has no jurisdiction under federal or state law to regulate pole attachments, an argument that the district court judge picked apart. AT&T argued that the rule referred to in-court documents as Ordinance No.

21 “impermissibly regulates the terms and conditions of pole attachments,” but in doing so AT&T “narrowly characterized Ordinance No.

21 as one that regulates pole attachments,” the judge wrote. In reality, “the ordinance actually prescribes the ‘method or manner of encumbering or placing burdens on’ public rights-of-way,” Hale wrote. “Kentucky’s state Public Service Commission has exclusive jurisdiction over regulation of rates and services of utilities, but cities are allowed to “regulate local utilities in every area except as to rates and service,” the judge wrote.

That’s good news for Louisville and people looking for beefed up broadband competition, but the damage is still done, and the delay still benefited AT&T (who’ll likely appeal) all the same. Google Fiber wound up being forced to consider a pivot to wireless in Louisville 7 after the company’s efforts to deploy gigabit-capable fiber in the city took notably longer than expected. Thanks, in large part, to large incumbent ISPs like AT&T, which at one point publicly mocked Google Fiber’s struggles 8 while omitting its lawyers were a major reason for the delays in the first place.

References ^ buying protectionist state laws (www.techdirt.com) ^ protecting the status quo (www.techdirt.com) ^ supported the changes (www.techdirt.com) ^ Nashville (www.techdirt.com) ^ Louisville (www.techdirt.com) ^ doesn’t make any legal sense (arstechnica.com) ^ pivot to wireless in Louisville (www.techrepublic.com) ^ mocked Google Fiber’s struggles (www.techdirt.com)

Acasa is building a platform for ‘Generation Rent’ to manage their homes 0

Acasa is building a platform for ‘Generation Rent’ to manage their homes

London-based startup Acasa 1 has come a long way since we covered its seed round in late 2015. The company, then called Splittable 2 , offered a way to manage and share household expenses with multiple house members. However, the bigger vision was to build a platform for ‘Generation Rent’ that makes moving from one houseshare to another as easy as logging in and out of the Acasa app.

A spew of recent updates (including the name change itself) are seeing that vision begin to come into focus. Within the Acasa web and mobile apps, household members in the U.K. can set up, manage and split costs for their energy, broadband, water and TV license provision, whilst I’m told Council Tax will be added soon.

To achieve this, the startup has partnered with a number of ‘challenger services,’ including broadband company Origin, and green energy provider Octopus Energy. It’s also penned a partnership with Virgin Media to offer the telco’s broadband services directly in the Acasa app. “Running a home sucks, it’s still analogue, archaic, and arduous,” Acasa co-founder and CEO Nicholas Katz tells me. “One person always gets screwed over by having to be the one in charge of bills/finances (which also means they take on all the credit risk which most renters don’t realise!). Eight days of every year of your life are wasted dealing with home finances, setting up bills, talking to providers, chasing people you live with for money”.

That pain-point was one Katz says he’s experienced directly as a bonafide member of Generation Rent. He claims to have rented 17 homes and lived with over 50 housemates in 4 different countries (U.S., U.K., Israel, Germany). “I’m an “expert” at dealing with housemate and shared housing issues,” he jokes. To get started with the Acasa app you register a user profile and then choose from the types of services you want to set up.

Currently this includes energy, Internet, TV license, water, with more coming soon. After adding some basic information about your home (ie how many people you live with, number of rooms, etc.), Acasa will provide a quote for all of these services. After a home is set up, a digital “magnet” for each supplier appears on the Acasa dashboard, which you click on to adjust how the cost is split between the people in your home or to learn more about the supplier.

Then when the bill is due, the magnet on the home will adjust automatically to represent how much each of you owe to the service provider, and each person is automatically charged the agreed portion of the bill and the money is collected by Acasa and sent to the supplier in one lump sum. “The magnet sets back to zero and it’s happy living until the next month’s bill is due,” explains Katz. The ultimate goal, however, is to make setting up a new home a one-click affair, with all of your required services automatically signed up to and trackable. A “technology layer for the home,” is how Katz describes it, something akin to the way co-working space provider WeWork has built what it calls a co-working Operating System.

A convenience layer might also be an apt description. The other aspect to Acasa as a platform is that you only need to make a user profile once, meaning that your Acasa credentials move house with you, either so you can be added to an existing Acasa-powered houseshare or create a new household of your own. That not only helps to make the app sticky but is a potential viral loop, too.

Meanwhile, since launching in 2015, the company has grown to a team of 9, with over 150,000 app downloads and on average tracks £5 million in home costs every month. In addition, I’m told that Acasa’s peer-to-peer money transfer service, which is only available to users in the U.K., despite the app being global, now averages £50,000 a month. The startup is publicly backed to the tune of $1.2 million 3 from VCs Seedcamp, Playfair Capital, the London Co-Investment Fund and a number of angel investors, but I understand has since closed a further follow-on investment round for an undisclosed amount.

I’m also hearing that Acasa is currently raising additional funding, most likely a fully-fledged Series A. “I love the idea of leveraging technology to help people live better at home.

It’s amazing to feel and hear how we are genuinely helping people improve their relationships with the people they live with as well as the suppliers they usually have an absolutely fucking miserable time with — think back to the last joyful moment you had talking to one of your utility companies,” adds the Acasa CEO.

References ^ Acasa (www.helloacasa.com) ^ Splittable (techcrunch.com) ^ backed to the tune of $1.2 million (techcrunch.com)

Could Broadcom’s Wired Infrastructure Earnings Improve in Fiscal 2H17? 0

Could Broadcom’s Wired Infrastructure Earnings Improve in Fiscal 2H17?

Opportunities and Challenges Surrounding Broadcom in Fiscal 3Q17 PART 7 OF 14 By Paige Tanner  | Aug 21, 2017 6:06 pm EDT Broadcom’s Wired Infrastructure segment In the earlier few parts of this series, we saw that Broadcom ( AVGO 1 ) is witnessing strong revenue growth on a YoY (year-over-year) basis. Fiscal 2Q17 was the first quarter where we could perform a YoY earnings comparison of the combined Avago–Broadcom company, and the results were better than expected. The combined company earns 50% of its revenues from the Wired Infrastructure segment, which is divided into two sub-segments—Data Center Networking and Broadband.

The first segment offers switching and routing, ASICs (application-specific integrated circuit), building block products, and fiber optics components to companies like Cisco Systems ( CSCO 2 ), Hewlett-Packard Enterprise ( HPE 3 ), and Dell.  The second segment offers STB (set-top-boxes) for consumers and access gateways such as DSL/PON for broadband infrastructure. Wired Infrastructure earnings Wired Infrastructure earnings are more or less stable as the earnings from the Data Center Networking subsegment are stable. There is little seasonality in the consumer subsegment, which largely drives sequential revenue growth or decline.  The Wired Infrastructure segment’s revenues rose 3% year-over-year to $2.1 billion in fiscal 2Q17, its slowest YoY growth since the financial crisis of 2007–2008.

The slow growth resulted from the comparable period of fiscal 2Q16, which included strong STB sales driven by the Summer Olympics. On a sequential basis, the segment’s revenues rose 1% in fiscal 2Q17 as seasonal demand for broadband products picked up. This momentum could continue in fiscal 3Q17, increasing the segment’s revenues 3%–7% sequentially to ~$2.2 billion at the midpoint.

Revenue drivers Broadcom is seeing the strong penetration of its merchant silicon switching and routing products among cloud customers. It is also seeing strong demand for its fixed switch and routers among traditional enterprise customers through OEM (original equipment manufacturer) partners. The overall demand environment is strong in the networking infrastructure space as enterprises and cloud transition to higher capacity.

Intel’s ( INTC 4 ) revenues from networking and communications rose 17% YoY in the June 2017 quarter. Broadcom has started offering customized ASICs to specific customers for their deep learning needs. This is an area dominated by NVIDIA ( NVDA 5 ) with its GPU (graphics processing unit) accelerators.  Google ( GOOG 6 ) also designed its own TPU (tensor processing unit) for deep learning.

Broadcom is leveraging its ASIC technology in smartphones and storage as well.

Next, we’ll look at Broadcom’s Wireless Communications segment.

References ^ AVGO (marketrealist.com) ^ CSCO (marketrealist.com) ^ HPE (marketrealist.com) ^ INTC (marketrealist.com) ^ NVDA (marketrealist.com) ^ GOOG (marketrealist.com)