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The May 15, 2008 Issue Provided by System Dynamics Inc.
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Briefly Noted: Updates, Observations and Trends

Each month, we collect miscellaneous happenings, studies, trends or observations you might have missed. This month's briefs focus on the new P4P protocols, the demise of Pivot, the uncertain future of US access BPL, and a few items to lighten your day.

P4P the Solution to P2P?

Telefonica International Wholesale Services, part of the Telefonica Group, released data from its field test of advanced peer-to-peer (P2P) protocols, known as P4P, on Telefonica's broadband network in Peru. Their results showed the new P4P protocols increased network efficiency by shifting traffic from external to internal links and by routing the internal traffic shorter distances across the Telefonica network. The amount of data delivered from internal versus external links increased by 268% and the metro hop count decreased by 57% (from 3.78 to 1.62). P4P is a work group of the DCIA (Distributed Computing Industry Association). ( ) ( )

R.I.P. Pivot

Pivot, the short-lived relationship between Sprint and cable operators Time Warner Cable, Comcast, Cox and Bright House Networks to provide wireless services to cable customers, has ceased operation. Existing customers will have an option of moving their service directly to Sprint. However, as we report below, hope springs eternal and the parties have created a new relationship under the Clearwire umbrella for working jointly on a nationwide WiMAX network. ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( )

Access BPL's US Future Is Clouded

Count one in the winning column for ARRL, the association representing amateur radio operators. ARRL has been fighting the rules for access BPL's rollout. A US federal appeals court said the FCC had not justified its rejection of ARRL-submitted data that could have influenced the rules. Although the rules were not overturned, the FCC was instructed to provide more clarity and visibility into their decisions. ( ) ( )

The following day, the Current Group announced it was selling the Dallas BPL infrastructure it was building for Oncor Electric Delivery Company (TXU) to Oncor for $90 million. Oncor made it clear that their intended use is monitoring their network and not delivering broadband service over the grid. ( ) ( )

Odd Coalitions: Cattle Farmers and Libraries

It sounds like a riddle. What do cows and books have in common? The answer is that both farmers and rural libraries want more broadband. UTC Industry Intelligence reported that the National Grange, an agriculture interest group, has been advocating rural broadband funding in US farm legislation. The American Library Association supports rural broadband legislation, citing long lines for terminals in rural libraries. The U.S. Cattlemen Association says farmers need broadband to check commodity prices and sell livestock via online auctions. ( )

British Underground Humor

Telecom Web reports that the British town of Bournemouth has approved a plan for a start up named H2O to use the city's sewer system to install a municipal FTTH system. So far headlines have included "Bournemouth Broadband Goes Down The Drain," and "Broadband Coming to a Sewer Near You?" Telecom Web commented that "the whole thing has the FTTH community absolutely flush with excitement." ( )

Smell Tones for Cell Phones

Now that mobile phones have MP3 players, cameras, GPS, Internet access and more, leave it to NTT Communications to come up with Mobile Fragrance Communication service. NTT announced a pilot test, from April 10 to 20, of its version 2 MFC service. Fragrance Playlists can be downloaded via i-mode and transferred to a dedicated device pre-loaded with a cartridge of base fragrances. The device mixes the specific fragrances and emits them while the user enjoys the A/V content playback. Fragrance playlists also can be edited and shared with other subscribers. ( )