Search This Blog

Tuesday, July 02, 2013

Wandering amid the weeds

USAC sent the FCC some data from 2011-2012, and you know me, I can't resist data, even if there are no charts.  And of course, I'm not going to do a responsible analysis, just pick out tidbits that look interesting.  So here they are, in no particular order:
  1. Web hosting took up 1.4% of the total amount committed for Priority One.  So anyone who hoped that kicking Web hosting out of the program would help the funding crunch, sorry, but you'll have to look elsewhere.
  2. Wireless Internet Access is becoming another bête noire, but it ate up only 1.5% of Priority One commitments.  It was over 7% of Internet access funding, though, and it's been spiking since 2011, so those numbers are probably higher.
  3. For all the excitement VoIP has caused, it was only about 1.2% of commitments.
  4. T-3 Internet access by far the most popular type of Internet connection.  According to USAC's numbers, it accounts for 37% of Internet FRNs, and 31% of funding (if you want to count OC-1 as equivalent, add 5%).  That makes the Obam-E-Rate plan more difficult, because T-3s are only 45 Mbps, a T-4, if you could even find  one, is only 274 Mbps, and there is no T-5.  But it seems most carriers, once you get above T-3, use the OC-whatever name.  To reach Obama's target of a gig, applicants would have to go OC-24, but you never see that, so they might have to go OC-48, or bond two OC-12 circuits.  
  5. 20% of Internet access FRNs are for T-1 access, 10% are on DSL, and 5% are on cable modems.  A third of applicants are looking at a painfully big leap to 1 Gbps.
  6. Leased fiber (dark and lit) accounted for a total of 103 FRNs.  That's less than one tenth of one percent.  They consumed less than 0.2% of committed funding.  Man, that's a whole lot of rules chasing a tiny amount of funding.
  7. I knew ATM was dying, but I didn't realize it was completely dead: 38 FRNs altogether.  I kind of think some of those "OC" circuits are really ATM, but maybe it really is dead.
What are the big consumers in the fund?  Let's look at the top ten categories, in terms of percent of the total Priority One commitments.
OC-N (WAN)15.47%
Cellular (including PCS)9.04%
Local/Long Distance Phone Service8.85%
OC-03 (WAN)8.62%
T-3 (Internet)6.80%
Local Phone Service Only5.86%
T-1 (WAN)5.04%
T-3 (WAN)4.90%
OC-03 (Internet)3.86%
OC-N (Internet)3.51%

Some observations on that table:
  1. If you add up local/long distance, local only, Centrex, POTS and PRIs, we get up to about 21% of Priority One funding.  I would have guessed that voice consumed more funding.
  2. OC-N digital circuits lead the pack.  That could be good news for the Obam-E-Rate, because maybe we're seeing the N because USAC only goes up to OC-12, in that case, those applicatns are already at a gig.  But I'm afraid it's just what applicants put down when they have OC-1 (45 Mbps) at branches, and OC-3 (155 Mbps) at the hub.
  3. Cellular is bigger than any other single voice category.  Kicking cell phones out of the E-Rate program would actually make a noticeable difference in demand, though it is far from solving the funding crunch.
  4. The E-Rate has a lot of products that get a little funding.  Only 12 products have 3% or more of committed funding, and there are 73 products on USAC's list.  51 products get less than 1% of all commitments.  Time to do some weeding.
Sorry, no big conclusions.  Just a little puttering through the data.

No comments:

Post a Comment