December 28, 2006
THEN: In 1987, Mike Miller was director and area manager for ITT-USTS (United States Transmission Systems Inc., which sold private lines over an analog microwave network running from New York City to Houston through the Atlantic and Southern states and had 1,200 employees and revenue in the excess of $300 million). In 1987, ITT-USTS was budgeting for converting its microwave route to digital while the race to build nationwide fiber optics networks was just beginning.
Although most of the people that work for me today swear that I am older than baseball, my memories of those years are still very fresh, says Miller. ITT was three years into divestiture, approved by in 1984, and was still struggling to install a 9.6 baud circuits (standard business line back then) through the seven Bell operating companies – Pac West, Ameritech, New York Bell, New England Tel, Bell Atlantic, BellSouth, South Western Bell. When we started installing in 90 days we were thrilled.
He recalls that the use of T1s (1.5mbps) was growing, but most people thought companies would never use that much bandwidth in 20 years.
What I remember most though are the people — the enthusiastic, creative, risk takers that turned our industry from an analog voice call business to the technologies innovative business we have become, he says. Without these people, it would not been as much fun.
NOW: Miller is CEO and president of Fiberlight LLC, a fiber-optic network provider offering metro Ethernet, CO transport, PoP-to-PoP transport, OCn and fiber leases in eighttier one markets.
Weve come a long way from 1987, which was my ninth year in telecom, says Miller. T1s are being replaced overnight by Ethernet services averaging 10 megabits or 10 times the capacity of 1987.
Fiber-base services combining voice, data and video will continue to explode, he adds, noting wireless technologies like WiMAX will allow for greater expansion of these services both in the metro and rural areas. My vision is that FiberLight will be able to consolidate this traffic from metro hubs and transport this to switches, nodes or data centers of choice which will create a better access and delivery network for the future, he says.
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