Advent Networks Ultraband Boosts Cable IP Performance

By Jim Louderback  |  Posted 2003-12-03 Print this article Print

Startup Advent Networks on Wednesday announced a line of Ultraband switches that promise business customers 40 percent more bandwidth than a T1 line at a little more than half the cost.

ANAHEIM, CALIF.—Corporations looking for alternatives to expensive T1 service may soon get benefits from an unlikely place—cable TV operators. At the cable industrys Western Show 2003 here on Wednesday, networking startup Advent Networks Inc. of Austin, Texas, showed off its new Ultraband line of switch routers, designed to let cable operators increase cable modem bandwidth from 2 to 10 or more megabits per second. Advents new Ultraband 8800 works by layering time-division multiplexing on top of a standard DOCSIS-based cable plant. According to President and CEO Geoffrey Tudor, that provides more bandwidth for each user by eliminating overhead, as well as guaranteeing packet delivery.
"Our latency is never over 1.5 milliseconds", Tudor said, which is much better than traditional cable modem plants. Guaranteeing packet delivery will let services such as IP telephony and even HDTV video be delivered via IP, rather than through traditional means.
Based on time slicing, Ultraband can also increase bandwidth dynamically as needed for the delivery of large files, or other transitory data needs, company officials said. The Ultraband switch router—installed by cable network operators—will work with a number of standard DOCSIS. According to Tudor, his companys hardware will let cable operators deliver speeds of 10 megabits per second or greater to homes and businesses without changing the existing cable plant. In Japan, Mitsubishi Corp. is already using Advents hardware to deliver that performance to home users for under $40 a month. A Mitsubishi representative in Advents booth confirmed the performance benefits, and said the company was very happy with the systems performance. Time Warner Inc. is already using Ultraband equipment to provide IP service to business customers in Austin Texas. One of the first customers is IBMs Austin-based research lab. In general, Tudor estimates that companies will pay "thirty to forty percent less on a monthly basis for thirty to forty percent more performance." Available today, Advent officials expects that three of the top four cable operators will be using the companys equipment within the next six months.
With more than 20 years experience in consulting, technology, computers and media, Jim Louderback has pioneered many significant new innovations.

While building computer systems for Fortune 100 companies in the '80s, Jim developed innovative client-server computing models, implementing some of the first successful LAN-based client-server systems. He also created a highly successful iterative development methodology uniquely suited to this new systems architecture.

As Lab Director at PC Week, Jim developed and refined the product review as an essential news story. He expanded the lab to California, and created significant competitive advantage for the leading IT weekly.

When he became editor-in-chief of Windows Sources in 1995, he inherited a magazine teetering on the brink of failure. In six short months, he turned the publication into a money-maker, by refocusing it entirely on the new Windows 95. Newsstand sales tripled, and his magazine won industry awards for excellence of design and content.

In 1997, Jim launched TechTV's content, creating and nurturing a highly successful mix of help, product information, news and entertainment. He appeared in numerous segments on the network, and hosted the enormously popular Fresh Gear show for three years.

In 1999, he developed the 'Best of CES' awards program in partnership with CEA, the parent company of the CES trade show. This innovative program, where new products were judged directly on the trade show floor, was a resounding success, and continues today.

In 2000, Jim began developing, a daily, live, 8 hour TechTV news program called TechLive. Called 'the CNBC of Technology,' TechLive delivered a daily day-long dose of market news, product information, technology reporting and CEO interviews. After its highly successful launch in April of 2001, Jim managed the entire organization, along with setting editorial direction for the balance of TechTV.

In the summer or 2002, Jim joined Ziff Davis Media to be Editor-In-Chief and Vice President of Media Properties, including, Microsoft Watch, and the websites for PC Magazine, eWeek and ZDM's gaming publications.


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