Ken Tysell: My name is Ken Tysell. I’m Executive Director at AT&T and I
work on three screen products.
Benjamin Higginbotham: What’s three screen products?
Ken Tysell: That’s basically the effort -- the initiative that AT&T has to
find common content and applications across the television, the PC and the
Benjamin Higginbotham: Is that like a triple player where you’ve got your
voice, data and video?
Ken Tysell: It is and so it’s looking -- obviously there has been a lot of
work done already on marketing level promotional efforts to bundle together TV
services, PC services and wireless services and what we’re looking to do is
integrate at the product level features and content across TV, PC and
Benjamin Higginbotham: So, I know Verizon is bringing fiber into the home and
that’s how they’re doing their triple play and that’s been the talk of a show,
so far how is AT&T doing that?
Ken Tysell: Sure, AT&T is doing something similar with our U-verse TV
product that’s our flagship video service now. It’s a “Fiber To The
Neighborhood” generally service, although in some green field applications
were also running Fiber to the Home as well. But really, within our TV
portfolio, we’re offering not just U-verse TV which is our fiber based product
or flagship product. We’re also offering Home-zone which is a hybrid satellite
set-top box in partnership with DISH network where we utilize both the DSL
line and satellite delivered when your television into a video experience.
Benjamin Higginbotham: So, it sounds like you’ve got a lot of fiber to the
node and then a couple like a little bit of Fiber to the Home?
Ken Tysell: Right.
Benjamin Higginbotham: If that’s correct? I assume that the Fiber to the Home
would allow you the true triple play just straight over that one line?
Ken Tysell: Yeah, From a product level, we’re able to deliver somewhere
between 20 to 25 Megabits per second of bandwidth capacity into the home.
Obviously, over there were able to run multiple simultaneous video streams as
well as internet data connection as well as the potentially the voice
connection as well.
Benjamin Higginbotham: What about your Fiber to the Node solutions? Is that
what you have to bring back into the Direct TV type stuff or you‘re still able
to bring that high speed into the ….. Ken Tysell: Well, we’re still able to --
so what I’d described earlier to 20-25 Megabits per second. That’s actually
Fiber to the Node or to the neighborhood. That’s 20 or 25 Megabits per second
and that’s really 80% or 90% of our build out for our fiber U-verse product
using the wide speed network. For those areas that are new greenfield
developments. They are of course, we’ll have the opportunity to run fiber all
the way to the home and we’ll have to be able to achieve even faster bit rates
than what we talked about earlier.
Benjamin Higginbotham: So, why Fiber to the Node on the existing developments?
Why not just bypass the node and just go to straight into the home?
Ken Tysell: Right, well, it’s a speed to market issue where we’re able to
still deliver vast amounts of bandwidth to the home. It’s basically a hybrid
physical architecture where you have fiber going from our central office to a
point in the neighborhood and then we utilize existing copper infrastructure
to the home and what it does is it enables us to still serve the customers
with the services they want, but we’re able to get it to them much faster with
somewhat less investment cost or somewhat less cost than what Verizon is
Benjamin Higginbotham: Are those costs then translated directly to the
customer as well?
Ken Tysell: Yeah, we think so. I mean so we’re going to spending around $5 to
$6 billion I think Verizon said something about $18 to $20 billion but we’re
able to get to market faster to many more homes much more quickly by utilizing
this hybrid fiber copper network.
Benjamin Higginbotham: Is the hybrid system, temporary system just get it into
the market, get the high speeds up there and eventually move fiber directly
into the home or is this more of a permanent …. Ken Tysell: We’ve a
flexibility to do that, so I wouldn’t call it temporary by any means. I mean
it’s a quality offering that will work today and it’ll work in the future, but
in the future, sure we think, it’s a good business decision to doing customers
want it, we’ll have the ability to extend fiber not just to the node in the
neighborhood but all the way to the home, but a nice thing about doing fiber
to the node is we don’t have to go into every single street, every single
neighborhood and be digging out trench lines and burying cable and turning
over flower gardens and things like that, so we don’t get unto the our
customer’s skin nearly as much as we’ll have to buy. Benjamin Higginbotham: So
you’re essentially getting the same speeds as the fiber to the home with fiber
to the node?
Ken Tysell: Well, you certainly get 20 to 25 Megabits per second.
Benjamin Higginbotham: Well, that’s approximately what Verizon is doing. Very
Ken Tysell: Yeah it’s pretty close and in generally the copper run is about
3,000 feet from the neighborhood node to the house and so it’s virtually the
same I think.
Benjamin Higginbotham: And the copper is existing and so existing
infrastructure. Ken Tysell: The copper is existing infrastructure so again the
good news is there is we’re not digging up everyone streets and driveways and
flowerbeds and things like that.
Benjamin Higginbotham: So, there’s quicker time to market, less disruption and
less cost to implement.
Ken Tysell: Right and we don’t have to find every backhole in the town and in
the city and in the state to be digging up people’s front yards.
Benjamin Higginbotham: And you are trying to actively then pursue fiber direct
to the home and all new developments? So that you can work I mean…
Ken Tysell: Yeah we are make sense in greenfield development say new sub
divisions, new office parks, things like that, would make sense for the
customers and our business then in those cases we’re making, we are sensible,
we’ll do run fiber all the way to the home.
Benjamin Higginbotham: And I know it feels like I’m repeating myself and I am
and the reason I’m doing that is because we’re pretty big advocates of Fiber
direct to the home. We’ve been screaming from the roof top for quite a while
and you’ve got a slightly different approach to doing it and ultimately I
guess we don’t really care if it’s fiber to the home, it’s really bandwidth to
the home that we mean.
Ken Tysell: It’s really bandwidth that matters and with our solution, we’re
able to deliver vast quantities of bandwidth to the home. It just so happens
that because this is more of a hybrid architecture. The last 2000, 3000 ft
from that location that node in the neighborhood to the house is copper and
what we find is performance is great, it works just fine, we’re scaling the
number of customers we have in service right now, and customers are responding
that this is a great service and it’s giving them all the features the
television and the internet that they want.
Benjamin Higginbotham: Now, we’ve heard about a lot about exponential growth
here at the show and how bandwidth users is just going to continue to go up
and the graph isn’t saying crazy is to what we’re going to do there the XFI
solutions and what not. That last bit to the home, will copper be able to keep
up? Do you have some room to crank that up if we need to?
Ken Tysell: I think we do because we’re delivering so much -- I mean
technologies are advancing quite a bit even on copper, not just on fiber and
we’re pushing fiber and a lot of it out to the neighborhoods, but you can do
things like bonding of copper pairs, so you have not just a single pair, but
potentially a couple pairs of copper that go that last two to three thousand
feet to the home and so you’re able to push more capacity through that and
because it’s a fairly short run, the signal doesn’t degrade very much, so
you’re still able to get those really high bit rates.
Benjamin Higginbotham: But now you are talking about multiple strands going to
the home. Are those already in the ground or there’s only one that’s in the
Ken Tysell: Yeah, yeah, they are. They’re already in the ground, yeah.
Benjamin Higginbotham: So, across my home, there could be just a big pilot
cable and …
Ken Tysell: Yeah, yeah exactly. I mean there in every neighborhood and every
town, there’s a lot of copper plant already physically in the ground either in
conduit or in trenches and we’re leveraging a lot of that existing
infrastructure which allows us to deliver this bandwidth at the vast
quantities that we’re talking about much more quickly.
Benjamin Higginbotham: Where do you go from here? What’s your next step?
Ken Tysell: Well, I think it’s finding and identify the right applications and
content to pump over this network and so that’s where so our three screen
strategy comes in and we’re looking on the video side again on our U-verse TV
platform, our Homezone platform which again has satellite DSL infrastructure,
or DSL PC based product and wireless products and finding the right content
and applications that customers want, there we can pump over this network.
Benjamin Higginbotham: Are you going to tie in at all with the wireless
network and just do like the ultimate super package where you can have your
wireless phone, your data, your just everything all at once.
Ken Tysell: Yeah, sure I mean so we’re already doing the triple play from a
marketing perspective where you buy all the triple play services from AT&T
and you get discounts and you get billed on a single bill. Customers love
that. We’re going to continue doing it. The next step from there is to find
features that interoperate or cross the devices and content that’s extensible
across the devices. So, in this case, what it might be is you take your
wireless phone from AT&T mobility, formally Cingular and you have web
remote access into U-verse TV or Homezone set-top box. So, I can look up shows
on the program guide and set my DVR to recorder just by using my wireless
Benjamin Higginbotham: That’s cool.
Ken Tysell: So, that’s one way that the devices, the screens can
inter-operate. The other thing you can do is take your PC and go to your
AT&T Yahoo DSL PC portal, go to the web remote access on that and control
my U-verse set-top box or Homezone set-top box, browse the program guide, set
the DVR to record, so I’m running late at work, the ball game starts at 7, I
forgot to set the recording, I can do that from work, I can do it from the car
or the train on the way home. Also from the PC on Homezone, you can trigger
movies to download and do other things too. So, there’s plenty of other things
that were working on terms of applications that play across three screens.