AT&T and Sprint this week announced enhancements to business services. At the same time, it is becoming apparent that the strike Verizon is experiencing is creating problems for its business customers.
AT&T said that it is increasing speeds of its Business Fiber service in four markets. Subscribing businesses in Chicago, Dallas, Miami and San Francisco now will have access to 1 gigabit per second (Gbps) speeds in both the upstream and downstream directions. The telco’s website has links to press releases specific for each market.
The upgrade was a bookend move to new offerings on the consumer side. FierceTelecom reports that the carrier is launching its GigaPower service to homes, multiple dwelling units (MDUs) – as well as small businesses – in parts of Atlanta, Kansas City (KS) and Oklahoma City. The services will be available later this year.
The commentary in the story on the business expansion said that the fiber-to-the-premises (FTTP) network will be driven by on-demand Gigabit passive optical network (GPON) and Ethernet services.
Sprint made an announcement as well. Though it didn’t provide a precise date – it only says “recently” – the company said that it has created the Global Wireline Business Unit.
The new unit, the company says, will offer products that rely on a number of Sprint assets. They include its global multi-protocol label switching (MPLS) and dedicated Internet access network, which are available in about 155 countries; its global Session Initiation Protocol (SIP) trunking and toll facilities; unified communications (UC) and managed network and security services. It also offers services for disabled, wireless and wireline options and the Compass Web-based management tool.
The month of May has not been as upbeat for Verizon or its business customers, however. The strike that began April 13 is taking a toll. TechCaliber senior consultant David Rohde is quoted at Network World to the effect that while the brunt is being felt on the consumer side, enterprise customers are not avoiding inconvenience.
It seems to be indirect, however. Rohde says that enterprise requests are not being met because the personnel capable of fulfilling them are taking the place of strikers and serving residential customers. Two examples were cited in the story:
A police department in Pennsylvania has blamed the strike for a telephone outage that lasted some two weeks. In Syracuse, N.Y., a century-old purveyor of safety shoes and supplies called Henry Frank Wholesale has been without phone or DSL Internet service for more than a week, despite multiple service visits from Verizon’s replacement roster.
According to the story, Verizon said that the Syracuse outage was not due to the strike.
Enterprise customers are vital to the welfare of the telephone companies. The past few months have seen new services offered by two – and problems for a third.
Carl Weinschenk covers telecom for IT Business Edge. He writes about wireless technology, disaster recovery/business continuity, cellular services, the Internet of Things, machine-to-machine communications and other emerging technologies and platforms. He also covers net neutrality and related regulatory issues. Weinschenk has written about the phone companies, cable operators and related companies for decades and is senior editor of Broadband Technology Report. He can be reached at [email protected] and via twitter at @DailyMusicBrk.