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please let me know if this train of thought holds water, or if I'm all wet...

1- For broadband, fat pipes are always better.
This of course places cable modems at the top of the food chain, since fiber/coax trumps copper.

2 -The problem though, is that cable TV lines don't go everywhere, such as urban and commercial areas. Therefore most small & medium business have copper as their largest available pipe.

3 - There will be huge demands for large bandwidth.
The Internet hasn't even scratched the surface, e-commerce is in it's infancy, and streaming video is a joke. The real thing will take serious servers, routers, and bandwidth.

4 - The incumbent local exchange carriers will do everything they can to protect their control over the local networks. Although the FCC has told the LECs that they will be allowed into the long distance business when they open up their local infrastructure to competition, the local phone company is not prone to share. I don't see any signs that the Bell companies want long distance bad enough to give up their local stranglehold. One way or another, they will always make it difficult for anyone else to use their local copper pipes.

My point here is to show that although cable is king, there is still a big market for DSL, but the LECs want to be the ones to connect consumers to the local copper networks. Northpoint, Rhythems Netconnections, and Covad Communications have been innovative in bringing DSL to the local loop, but it is within the power of the ILECs to crush them through competitive pricing. Rarely will we see a competitive access provider gain a large market share. I'm not saying that the CAPs can't make money, only that their profit margins will be small and their subscriber numbers limited.

This brings me to the wireless data network providers such as Teligent, Winstar, and Advanced Radio Telecom. These guys can send data streams of up to 100 Mbps., a distance of five miles, on the 38Ghz. portion of the wireless spectrum, using 1 foot diameter rooftop mounted dishes. The upside is that they don't need the local copper exchange, the downside is that they do need to negotiate roof rights for their equipment. The bet is that obtaining these rights and deploying their MMDS & LMDS dishes is cheaper, faster, and easier than dealing with a LEC.

In my years of dealing with local phone companies, I can believe that just about any alternative will be quicker. (Reminder: To us it's a question of technology and profits; to the customer, service and reliability are the name of the game)

In trying to figure which of these companies to invest in, an interesting point comes from a June 1st report on ARTT from Deutsche Bank Securities. "ART trades at valuation levels well below recent spectrum purchases. Taking a look at some of these multiples, ART currently trades at $3.42 per pop while Teligent and Winstar trade at $28.58 per pop and $25.03 per pop respectavely."

I have a few more points on ARTT, but I would like to get some reaction to this wireless market, and see if anyone has opinions on Teligent and Winstar.
Thanks for your time.
- andy
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