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No. of Recommendations: 21
*(Posted 05/10/99; working links restored 07/09/99 -mgk)

Welcome to the FAQ and to Rat's Broadband Bandwagon - a motley
group of first-borns if ever there was one!

"Infinite processing power will only let you so far with limited bandwidth.
But the coming era of early free bandwidth will liberate the computer to
fulfill its powers. Just as the 1980's saw the demolition of the vertical
structure of the computer industry, so the 1990's will see the demolition of
the vertical structure of the communications industry.

You think computer prices are plummeting. Wait till you see what happens
to bandwidth."

- Andrew Grove, Intel

You will find here a group of dedicated Fools, exploring together the intricacies
of broadband technology, the opportunities for investment, and optimal
directions for understanding the economic shifts inherent in the coming age of
broadband communication dominance. You will find discussions that are not
limited in scope strictly to so-called "broadband" companies, but rather which
encompass possibilities that range the spectrum of this emerging revolution in
communication - including the interoperability of appliances, Internet
applications, data storage capacities, and related topics.

If you are new, please browse the recent discussions before posting
specific questions.
Many times, the information you seek will be found in prior
threads. Demonstrate your courtesy and respect to others here by checking the
Board first, to avoid the need for continual repetitive replies. Use this Board as a
resource - a virtual encyclopedic medley of collective thoughts. This can be
done with the 'Search' feature which is located at the very bottom of every
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choosing that selection, and note your topic in the 'Message Body' box. If you
know a word in the Subject Heading for a thread, specify that, or a particular
author. Most successful general searches however, will be done by simply
specifying the date range and the topic in the message body.

Please note that as a courtesy to fellow posters, most of us participating here
have filled out the Profiles. This is a convenient and congenial way to disclose
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Also, for anyone new to this Board or to TMF, please check out the basic
functions and features that will help you to navigate successfully. There are many
helpful messages which provide a variety of useful tips (e.g. italicizing,
bold-facing, navigating effectively through threads, etc.) but one of the best is by
Nole1 on the ATHM Board (thanks, Scott!). Click on this hyperlink to get

In addition, many general topics (e.g. abbreviations, valuation tools, etc.) may be
accessed by way of TMF's Fool FAQ index:

"…we are amazed by the continuing demand for bandwidth. It seems that
it's like MIPS (millions of instructions per second) in computers -- the more
bandwidth you give people, the more things they can find to do with it, and
the more the demand grows. So we see a very strong continuing
transformation from a computer-centric world to a bandwidth-centric

- Kevin Kalkhoven, CEO Uniphase Corp.

(submitted 5/10/99: messages thru #1400 (4/23/99)

Preliminary (above)

What is "Broadband"?
- from Computing Dictionary
- link to ATHM discussion of broadband
- link to Gilder's discussion of broadband/bandwidth

The Board and Its Founder - The Irascibly Irreverent Visionary Rat
- Investing Rat-Style
- Rat Sample Posts Collection

Posters' expertise and specialties

Stock-picking disclaimer

Useful Website Links (IPO, Earnings, Whispers, etc.)

Newsletters, subscription services, frequently mentioned publications

*Synopses of Specific Subject Threads (with Links)

DataSlave Archives Link

(Selected) Specific Company Thread Links

*This is the outline of primary threads, with brief summaries, and links to a key
message of the thread.

What IS Broadband?

According to the Online Dictionary of Computing:
" A transmission medium capable of supporting a wide range of frequencies,
typically from audio up to video frequencies. It can carry multiple signals by
dividing the total capacity of the medium into multiple, independent
bandwidth channels, where each channel operates only on a specific range of

For a more comprehensive discussion visit this link on TMF's ATHM Board:

And, for yet another (historical and descriptive) perspective concerning
bandwidth, see this message which quotes extensively from the writing of
George Gilder, author, technophile, and virtuoso futurist:

The Board and Its Founder - The Irascibly Irreverent Visionary Rat
This Board embodies an idea that was ripely timed for its relevance and pivotal
importance in the realm of technology investing. The overwhelming popularity of
this site and the enthusiasm of this Board's community of posters attests to the
ongoing value of these discussions. We have here a group of highly articulate,
curious, professional, and assertive individuals whose respect for each other and
the topics at hand allow an enlightening exchange of ideas that range the
spectrum of Broadband and related technologies. The popularity and success of
this Board is also a tribute to the vision, style, and tenacity of its founding
member, known at the Fool as Trenchrat. His inimitably terse and succinct
pronouncements, spiced with liberal amounts of irony and self-effacement have
endeared him to many fellow Fools. His sometimes cryptic, sometimes
opinionated posts often convey an exceedingly sharp understanding. He is
well-loved and honored here on his home turf. As his legend grows, we hear
reports from faraway geographies, from the northern steppes of Mongolia to the
southern archipelago, as investors clamor for his insights.

Here, you are likely to find humor, wit and informed opinion - never hyperbole.

Investing Rat-Style
Quoting from message #1203:
"… (Rat) would describe his 'style' as an early warning radar screen for evolving
technology stocks that will capitalize on the paradigm shift to high bandwidth/
Internet twenty-first century lifestyle. He explores the candidates from a
qualitative fundamentalist viewpoint, looking for critical alliances, reliable
performance histories, etc. He examines chart trends for entry and prospective
short term growth and decides on viability of purchase for HIM. As a
well-known nocturnal carnivore once summarized: "That is a high-risk,
high-reward strategy. If Wall Street takes notice, money pours into the stock
and the price shoots up. Short-sellers are forced to cover, further feeding the
runup. It can create monster gains. That's if the strategy works. If it doesn't, the
stock can languish and sit around as "dead money." Or worse yet, short-sellers
may manage to drive the price down. Usually, those situations are only
temporary, but unless you know the business and feel confident, you are likely to
get shaken out in such an event." Rat has noted elsewhere that his aggressiveness
is due to his need for rapid accumulation, and has even recommended a slower
approach to those with longer time frames. I admire his willingness to disclose
his interests and his motivations. " (mgk)

Rat Sample Posts Collection

Posters' expertise and specialties
In addition to the well-rounded, renaissance minds of many participants, we are
fortunate to have people posting here who work in specialty areas related to
broadband or whose expertise is particularly relevant. They freely share their
technical expertise for the benefit of the rest of us. Among the frequent posters
you will find individuals proficient in: software research and development; IT
consulting; network design; systems/hardware design; telecommunications
engineering; regulatory analysis, E-commerce applications development, and
optical switch design. These folks have graciously filled out their profiles in order
to share their strengths. Nice to have such a group of technologically-informed
participants to clarify many of the complex aspects of this sector.

Stock-picking disclaimer
Since this is not a stock-picking board (as this is antithetical to TMF credo) and
since most of us (esp. Rat) do not want to be in the position of advising others
whether to purchase or not, there is no specific provision for stock-buying
recommendations. There will be some recommendations found scattered
throughout the posts, and these may be discovered in the process of browsing all
messages. But, be alert to dates, and market conditions at the time these posts
are made in order to understand the context of any such buying suggestions. It
may be that the stock in question is no longer as attractive. Caveat emptor.

As for people who visit with the question: "Should I buy this XYZ stock?" :
There are a range of responses to this frequently asked question. Mostly such a
question reveals a lack of preparation and basic understanding of the person
posting. Borrowing from IFindKarma's message on the CMGI board:
"Ultimately, it is your responsibility to determine what a good price for getting
into this stock is. There are no guarantees in the stock market. Do your
research, figure out what your goals are, and set your strategy accordingly."
Good advice!!

Useful Website Links (IPO, Earnings, Whispers, etc.)
Over the course of many questions and replies, certain helpful sites have been
mentioned. Following is a list of some of these website links:
Great resource list, with comprehensive listing of a variety of helpful URLs.
Lists announced splits with dates.
Earnings, whisper numbers for selected companies.
Whisper numbers.
Edgar archives - dataSlave's favorite.
Quarterly earnings announced, EPS estimates.
Stock charts, reports, etc.
Charting tips, T/A primer.
On-line computing dictionary

Newsletters, subscription services, frequently mentioned publications
Clearly we make every effort on this board to conform to TMF's standards of
copyright protection and respect of intellectual property rights. Sometimes
people may get a little confused about this, and instead of posting excerpts or
highlights, transmit an entire article. This may be construed as theft, especially if it
involves a paid subscription infringement. Two sites that come to mind in this
regard are (TSC), and the Gilder Technology Report (GTR).
Some favored journalists at TSC are J.J. Cramer, G. Smith, and J. Seymour,
and many of us do subscribe. GTR is also a favorite, and many of Gilder's
comments are discussed through hearsay only (by well-meaning
non-subscribers). Those who do subscribe attempt to put these remarks and
concerns in appropriate context.

Synopses of Specific Subject Threads (with Links)
These are primary message threads. Obviously, many posts are not referenced
here, especially if they were only a single post, or if they consisted primarily of
linked articles or other websites. Numbers indicate the TMF-assigned sequence.
Threads often span several days or longer, and thereby may have a long
number span. This may have little to do with the actual length of the thread
however, since posts are numbered chronologically, and not sequentially within
each thread. Don't be misled by the numbers, they are listed only to facilitate
location when searching. Please note the brief descriptions of primary message
threads. For some, the key post(s) are indicated. This is only to aid browsing,
and does not imply that other posts in the thread are not also important. A link to
the thread is provided for either the first post in the thread, or to a
key/summarizing post. If your browser is set for "threaded messages" then the
entire thread can be accessed by using the 'next' or 'previous' buttons once you
link to any message in the selected thread.


1-108: Greetings, Fool (initial congratulatory, chatty thread /a.k.a. Rat and
friends party on).

5-24: Fiber optic vs satellite (incl. Rat on satellite investmt.)

10-160: Security/Privacy (Internet) see: dataSlave (dS) post 106.

50-164: (Long thread) technical concerns Sonet & CSCO (2 posts by dS: 110;
109 re: csco.

71-94: Powerline comm. (deemed not a feasibly effective technology - key: MeirRatsky #94.

98-102: Cable and ethernet relation explained cf. AllBull post #99.

125-201: Gilder Tech Report pro/con.

167-342: Movies on demand: good discussn BW deliv./ cf. posts: MeirRatsky, Scollag; #216.

228-340: Global/Frontier Deal: clarifies terms of agreemt. disc. of industry (dS:
245, 251, 270, 280, 289).

230-256: Dow 10,000: Good background cf. DougS98 #234; TRat #238.

252-284: Bundling (exclnt. post by DS on the comm. industry : #252, Reply
MeirR: #258).

341-568: Incl. 26 posts: Articulate and thorough discussion of wireless
limitations for broadband including technical concerns, CDMA, feasibility of
access, delivery with contrib. from a variety of interested and informed posters:
cf. Mocha #341, 358 Patzer #344, dS #345, 350, 372. (from #358: "I do think
we agree after all. Wireless is going to profit from many exciting and unexpected
applications and I am investing heavily in one of those companies (my employer).
However, wireless just doesn't get to play in the "broadband to the masses"
gorilla game. It will fill the niches nicely, but there just isn't enough spectrum to
go around for everyone to get to have their own 1.5 MHz."

356-374: Wireless Voice and Bundling: dS #356, 370. Rumination over the
slower emergence of cell phone use in US compared to other parts of the world.

416-626: More Wireless Worth Considering: mostly a discussion of NXLK and
PMP tech. Mgk #416, 443, 446; dS #417, 450; Mocha #448, 463.

451-1170: Boxes & Content: dS #452, 493: Mgk #458.

564: dS on investment philosophy and some specific fiber stocks.

545: dS on SEC filings.

549: dS on his research methods (!)

624-648: The Boat Left Without Me!! Choosing and investing in tech winners:
(SalGal #635: "SaloonGal says do your research, limit your ante to what you can
afford to lose, and start "nibbling" (like Rat says). Add to positions as your
comfort level raises. Don't worry about missing the boat. There will always be
great companies to invest in.")

660-885: OT Post-Birth Order: Longest Thread! 47 posts (mostly first-born).

680-712: RTHM/Covad/ATHM: SalGal: #680; dS: #700, 712 (RE: ADSL,
AWRE, etc.) good thread!

711-845: For End User BB Investors: good discussion of PC's ; dS #749.

738-928: Fool on the DSL Hill: disc. of DSL tech: DirtyD #738, dS #744, 758.

792-1102: DSL vs. Cable Modems: Patzer #792; dS #795, 801, 805.

817: astacvi's P.O.D. (re: valuations).

806-926: Wireless : very good disc. of wireless plays: dS analysis of QCOM

836-933: VPN: virtual private networks.

858-879: Good Book on T/A: useful thread for recs. about learning T/A.

883-1418: Another Uncle Bernie Thread: tech vs non-tech holdings.

975-1141: Broadband servers? : Disc. of need for storage, servers, and which
co.'s will do it.

982-1171: Wireless connected to wires: further disc. of combining wireless
(satellite) existing wire framework; dS #984 (competing wireless co.'s), #1144
(is it time yet? YES)

1109-1154: SaloonGal's Analysis: SG #1109 "I think the risk of cashing out is
much greater than the risk of missing the next big move up over the next two
years."; dS #1114 (current market factors).

1153-1217: DSL/Cable: #1153 FrozenCanuck; dS #1161; Patzer #1174.

1275-1495: Invest in Wireless? Now's the time: #1275; MochaL #1290.

1353-1365: Board "Portfolio" of 10 Stocks.

DataSlave Archives Link
Some of the best that TMF has to offer. If you haven't read dataSlave, you're in
for a treat. If you have, then you know what we mean.

(Selected) Specific Company Thread Links
A number of inquiries and discussions ensue concerning specific companies.
Some of these receive only passing notice, others garner more attention. Here is
a link to some of the specific company posts that have been made. (You can
always do a SEARCH for a company name or symbol, to see if there has been
any mention of it on the Board.)

Thanks to all who make this Board such a special place. We are fortunate to
have the interest and contributions from such an informed, articulate, and
courteous group. Special gratitude goes to the frequent posters, the people who
continue to make this Board a stimulating destination to visit week after week.
And of course to the guy who's name is on the banner, the one who brought us
all together. At Squawk Box they refer to Joe Kernan this way, but for my
money, Rat is the "Big Kahuna". The Lead Dog…for sure. Thanks again, Dave.

-Mark (mgk)
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