Mark Floyd, chairman of Efficient Networks, talks with Senior Writer Brian Ploskina about issues facing the integrated access device (IAD) market.
In the corporate enterprise, what does an IAD need to do?
If youre a business enterprise today, you have your data traffic going over a leased line loop, you have multiple lines coming in for [traditional phone] service, a different carrier for long-distance and a different one for streaming video. A good thing for Digital Subscriber Line service is we can aggregate all that traffic and carry it over one or multiple DSL loops and its a huge savings — not only to the user, but to the network operator as well.
Considering there are fewer and fewer carriers and Internet service providers by the day, how fierce is competition?
From the equipment manufacturers standpoint, competition has always been there and always will. There are fewer customers than there used to be, but the other thing about VoDSL [voice-over-DSL] is its going to be a major international play as well.
The trouble with implementing IADs seems to be compatibility throughout the rest of the network. Where do you draw the line between compatibility and innovation?
I think the real question is compatibility between the IADs and the voice gateways. Bells wont deploy in mass quantifies until there is a standard protocol, because they wont deploy until they have second and third sources for the equipment.
How involved do you get with carriers in implementing a business proposal for implementing IADs in a profitable way?
If you think about VoDSL at the end of the day, if the carriers dont have a profitable offering, it wont get deployed. We spend a lot of time with them to implement VoDSL and find out what they expect the cost-per-port to be.