Stories by Tim Greene

Visual Networks Looks to Expand Net Management

Visual Networks wants to do more than keep an eye on the performance of your frame relay and ATM circuits: It also wants to make gear that automatically fine-tunes the performance and reliability of service-provider networks.

Coming to ComNet

If enterprise customers can cut through the clutter and noise of 50,000 attendees at ComNet 2000 next week, they will be treated to myriad new products such as high-quality voice-over-IP gear; faster, less-expensive virtual private network (VPN) devices; and the ingredients for more manageable digital subscriber line (DSL) services.

Voice over DSL promises big cost savings

Voice-over-digital subscriber line (DSL) technology has been hailed as a possible money saver for small companies and large firms' branch offices, but actual pricing information has been hard to come by until recently.

Alcatel takes aim at the branch office

Alcatel has figured out what it is going to do with the five network equipment vendors it bought for $US4.35 billion over the past 11 months: sell integrated voice and data gear to enterprise branch office customers.

That voice you hear may be from DSL

Digital subscriber line vendors at NetWorld+Interop '99 Atlanta will deliver a flurry of gear and services that promise to broaden the appeal of using DSL technology to deliver data and multiple voice channels over a single copper link.

Frame Relay Forum Renews Its Purpose

The Frame Relay Forum has set itself a new goal: to clarify its stance on quality of service (QoS).
Rather than shut down the forum's technical committee, as some industry observers thought they should, forum members voted to bolster the committee and spell out how to preserve QoS across frame-relay gear made by different vendors.

Tailored Phone Services on Tap from Broadsoft

Start-up BroadSoft is writing software that will let carriers offer tailored phone services to fit specific customer needs.
Backed by US$5 million in venture capital, BroadSoft's BroadWorks platform will create services by tapping multiple devices in carrier networks.
The platform is flexible enough to someday allow customers to fine-tune their own services, according to Michael Tessler, BroadSoft's president and CEO. For example, a customer might use a Web interface to choose a service option that forbids international phone calls at certain times of the day or blocks 900-number calls.

Covad is Taking the Pain Out of Ordering DSL

Covad Communications has developed a software platform that lets customers order digital subscriber line services online and also automates the process so the lines get turned up sooner.
The xLink Platform initially lets Covad's ISP partners order DSL lines by tapping directly into Covad's ordering system.
The platform will allow corporate customers to order directly as well.
The platform eliminates the use of faxes and electronic messages along the ordering chain, points where errors can easily be introduced, Covad says.

Vendors Stretch DSL's Reach

Copper Mountain has teamed up with GoDigital Telecommunications to extend the reach of a digital subscriber line service from about 36,000 feet to 100,000 feet.
The companies' technology makes phone company trunking more efficient so customers can be farther from a carrier switching office and still get high-speed DSL access services.

A new twist on DSL: voice services

While voice over DSL is a misnomer, the technology promises to offer customers savings soon.
So far, there's been lots of talk and little action about voice-over-digital subscriber line services -- but that situation is about to change.
Just last week, two service providers announced plans for voice-over-DSL services, and others hinted that they would come out with similar offerings soon.