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freehe
freehe
2/27/2017 9:48:23 PM
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Platinum
CenturyLink Virtualization
This just makes good business sense for CenturyLink. I suspect if most companies could save money implementing virtualization it would be implemented more often but either companies cannot see the money savings or are too afraid to implement it.

"We also have almost 50% of our network capabilities currently controlled through our SDN network, so (we have) virtualization of those capabilities," Post said in the transcript. "We have virtualized WAN service availability, virtualized interconnect between VPN customers; just a number of virtualization steps we've taken. Again, 50% of those capabilities are virtualized today."

Once the virtualization efforts are completed in about two years, Post said CenturyLink expects to save more than $200 million a year in capex.

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freehe
freehe
2/27/2017 9:33:38 PM
User Rank
Platinum
Century Link Article
@Mike Robuck, interesting read, great article. Thanks for sharing.

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JohnBarnes
JohnBarnes
2/27/2017 8:54:06 PM
User Rank
Platinum
Re: Good for CenturyLink...
ElizabethV,

Well, consumers and legislators are so far slow on the uptake. I think with the volume of consumer response data that telcos have, they're apt to realize soon that they would like to have some higher costs "imposed" on them because they can just pass them on as long as cut rate, poor quality services can't rush in to grab  price advantage.

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elizabethv
elizabethv
2/27/2017 6:13:12 PM
User Rank
Platinum
Re: Good for CenturyLink...
@JohnBarnes - The "last 50 feet" is why, at least for me, going with ComCast right now, despite the horrible customer service, has been the better option. Because everything in my area is ComCast. So I suffer through their insufferable customer service, and enjoy my good internet. (I suppose in all fairness to them they did give us a credit on our last bill without us asking because they had an outage in the area for about 12 hours. So perhaps their customer service is improving some.) I do think some are slowly coming to realize that a free market is not the best for every business that exists, but you're right, at best it's going to take a generation to get that message to the majority. Some are slow on the uptake. 

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JohnBarnes
JohnBarnes
2/26/2017 7:37:21 PM
User Rank
Platinum
Re: Good for CenturyLink...
mhhf1ve,

Excellent point, but I'm not sure that any analogy that invokes classical physics -- i.e. forces that push against masses that have inertia and friction, that sort of thing -- is really appropriate to technological change. Rather, change happens where some balance of evidence, reasoning, estimation, prediction, etc. all converge to make it appear the best bet to enough decision makers. The real mistake may be in thinking of it as a linear situation, where

Likelihood of Change=b0+b1current market conditions+b2firm's current position+b3availability of new options ....

when a better model would be nonlinear, like

Likelihood of Change=b0(current market conditions)b1(firm's current position)b2(availability of new options)b3

What's wrong with the linear model is that it suggests that if one area isn't working you just push harder somewhere else that is working; a nonlinear model suggests that balance, proportion, and coordination matter more.

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mhhf1ve
mhhf1ve
2/26/2017 7:25:59 PM
User Rank
Platinum
Re: Good for CenturyLink...
> "Who's the driver and who's the road here? (To continue your automotive analogy ...)"

Ha! I think the automotive analogies have been taken way too far here. The automotive industry itself is changing too much to be a reference for other industries! 

 

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JohnBarnes
JohnBarnes
2/26/2017 7:21:22 PM
User Rank
Platinum
Re: Good for CenturyLink...
elizabethv, dcawrey, afwriter,

A huge part of the customer service problem for internet/cable providers is the "last 50 feet" as opposed to the last mile; the reason they have to send out Larry the Cable Guy is because what is at the other end of the line is very unpredictable. And you pick Larry because you know he  will "git'r'done" because bad and costly and annoying as service may be, it's better than no service at all. Then you economize by outsourcing Larry's contact to a call center that may not be in the same time zone or language and hope he'll always be able to improvise.

There are a lot of better ways to do customer support but they all cost money, and margins are narrow. The classic fix for that would be to set a bunch of minimum standards and enforce them, and allow prices to rise accordingly (since this is a classic price-inelastic demand) but the political climate is all wrong for that now.  Might be a generation before people reacquire the wisdom of 1910 or 1935 and realize that when you don't want the free market result, don't allow the free market.

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elizabethv
elizabethv
2/25/2017 5:28:51 PM
User Rank
Platinum
Re: Good for CenturyLink...
@afwriter - Upgrading their customer service could potentially mean the biggest difference for them. Generally the internet from local cable companies, while it may come with great speed and reliability, tends to come with crappy customer service because the businesses know customers have limited choices. CenturyLink brings the speed and the customer service, I have no reason to stay attached to ComCast. 

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elizabethv
elizabethv
2/25/2017 5:27:05 PM
User Rank
Platinum
Re: Good for CenturyLink...
@mhhf1ve - I think you're right, CenturyLink is really working to bring themselves to the forefront of the business. Which is great considering I have hesitated being a customer for years now because the local cable company was just always better, not making you "share" your speed with your neighbors. My in-laws have CenturyLink and for the few brief months we lived with them (a few years ago) they just weren't reliable enough for me to even consider once we were able to get into our own house. If they keep moving with this kind of progress, that will very likely change.

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JohnBarnes
JohnBarnes
2/25/2017 5:22:22 PM
User Rank
Platinum
Re: Good for CenturyLink...
mhhf1ve,

One of those imponderable questions: Is CL's melding telco with data center operations something they're doing because it's  really, necessarily, inevitably the future, and they're going with it rather than fighting it -- or has CL's strategy of acquiring Level 3 and moving in that direction guaranteed that that will be the future? Who's the driver and who's the road here? (To continue your automotive analogy ...)

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