Excerpt from Chapter 7 Content

Portion of database used for S. Miami-Dade County study

Appendix 2: Hypercommunication Carriers in S. Miami-Dade

Who provides hypercommunication services?

This section introduces agribusinesses to a variety of hypercommunications suppliers (carriers) in Florida. Thus, the answer to questions such as "Who offers hypercommunication services to S. Miami-Dade", and "Why are there so many different kinds of carriers?" are answered in Appendix 2. Appendix 3 answers broadly the question "How much will hypercommunications cost?" but is based on an understanding of the material in this section.

Each carrier's product mix varies according to many factors. First, a carrier offers service in at least one of several sub-markets (POTS, enhanced telecommunications, private data networking, and Internet) that were outlined in the four Services Appendices. Second, carriers may have broad or narrow line of service bundles within the four sub-markets. For example, in the Internet area, one ISP may offer only two kinds of dial-up accounts, while another ISP sells a full range of services including dial-up, many kinds of dedicated access, VPNs, web design, website promotion, and e-commerce.

The third and most important dimension to product mix concerns convergence. Some carriers offer converged service bundles that encompass voice, data, and Internet. For example, one firm may offer telephony, enhanced telecommunications, private data networking, and the Internet as separate products, sold by separate divisions, each with different sales representatives, bills, and tech support contacts. Another firm may combine services from all four sub-markets into one converged product with unified tech support, one salesperson, and one bill. Such converged services allow agribusinesses to invest in only one set of CPE (Customer Premises Equipment) such as conduit (wires and cabling), one main form of DTE (Data circuit Terminating Equipment), and a single set of DCE (Data Communications Equipment).

Since convergence is not yet a complete reality, agribusinesses are left to choose from providers in six categories outlined in this section, each specializing in one-sub market, but often branching into other areas. Appendix 2.1 covers the structure of the hypercommunications supplier market. Then, six kinds of providers (as defined by the pre-convergent marketplace) are covered. For each provider type shown in Table A2-1, a brief description is given, along with a list of the most important firms in that category in Florida.

The services offered by a particular provider also depend on its access infrastructure and business strategy regarding convergence. Once a hypercommunications provider decides what territories to serve (based on boundaries in Section 3), it must decide what mix of services are technically possible and economically profitable in that local market, if regulation allows entry. Not all carriers are facilities-based (have their own access and or transport infrastructure), since many are resellers of another firm's network, while others own parts of their own networks while sharing other network elements with other carriers.

Table A2-1: Overview of Hypercommunication Suppliers
Sec. Description Traditional products Converging situation
A2.2 Telco suppliers
ILECs Local telephone monopolies: POTS. enhanced telecommunications, leased lines Long-distance, Internet, high-end data networking, SMDS, DSL, ATM
ALECs Local telephone competitors: POTS, enhanced telecommunications Internet, high-end data networking, converged networks, DSL, ATM
IXCs Long-distance carriers: enhanced telecommunications, data networking Local and long-distance POTS, data, Internet, wireless access
A2.3 Cablecos Analog and digital cable TV Internet, telephony, data networking
A2.4 Internet suppliers
ISPs Web hosting, POP-Internet transport, e-mail, dial-up access Dedicated access, DSL, VPNs, data networking, converged voice-data
NSPs Web hosting, Internet backbone connections Dedicated access, ATM, SONET, converged voice-data, managed router services
OSPs E-mail, online service DSL, web hosting
A2.5 Terrestrial mobile wireless
Analog Cellular Cellular telephony, AMPS Becoming obsolete
Digital Cellular Digital cellular telephony CDPD
PCS Digital telephony, paging Limited wireless Internet
Wireless Paging Tone paging, one-way  Enhanced two-way text and voice paging
SMR Digital cellular telephony, two-way radio communications Internet, two-way text and e-mail messaging
3G Not available Faster wireless Internet, data networking, telephony, and e-mail
A2.6 Terrestrial fixed wireless
2.4 GHz WCS Two-way Internet, WWAN, WLAN Internet, voice, data networking
MMDS Wireless cable, two-way Internet, SOHO Improved capacity
LMDS Broadband WAN, access Telephony, video
DEMS Broadband access, telephony, WAN, video, Internet Improved range, capacity
WLL Broadband WAN, access, Internet, telephony Full wireless T-3 (converged) to 155 Mbps
WLAN Wireless LAN Expanded coverage areas
A2.7 Satellite
DBS (GEO) TV, one-way Internet Two-way Internet
MSS Mobile satellite telephony Possible data and Internet
LEO Paging, GPS, remote monitoring Two-way data, Internet, Satellite telephony, broadband PCS
Broadband GSO/LEO Voice transport, high-latency data Internet, WAN, converged networks
MEO Messaging Internet, data networking

Carriers use various technologies to provide network access and transport, maximizing QOS (Quality of Service) dimensions (such as the bandwidth available for customer traffic) while minimizing the cost of providing services. Carrier strategies on how to implement convergence differ. Some carriers find it more profitable to offer separate voice, data networking, Internet, and enhanced telecommunications products. Other carriers feel their future profitability is best assured by converging separate sub-market services into a single hypercommunication service and cutting prices.

Additionally, there are value-added hypercommunication services, network consulting, hardware costs, installation fees, and software subscription fees, etc. Some carriers offer value-added services such as Internet web design, website promotion, e-commerce programming, and LAN/WAN management. Often, agribusinesses must buy these services from independent firms or hire employees to do such jobs. Fixed costs such as CPE (hardware and software) and installation may or may not be offered by the carrier at no extra charge. An introduction to pricing and costs is given in Appendix 3.

A2.1 Hypercommunications Supplier Market Structure

The structure of the hypercommunications market includes the number of services, number of firms, and competitiveness of providers within and between sub-markets. The hypercommunications environment is rapidly changing. Definitions of the entire hypercommunications market, sub-markets, and services are altered almost daily due to mergers, spin-offs, new technologies, and new entrants. Therefore, the structure of the hypercommunications industry will be shaped differently in 2002 than it is in 2001.

Hypercommunications market power is obtained in many ways. Sources of market power include: having better information than customers or competitors, legal monopolies, patents, or licenses, the number of firms, the number and structure of sub-markets, and the ability to price discriminate. Some sub-industry players are merging, acquiring, and forming strategic partnerships with others to yield more diversified operations. Often such moves occur because one firm does not an array of technologies in place to offer a full range of services.

Figure A2-1 illustrates how the separate provider categories summarized in A2.2 through A2.7 are converging towards a single category: that of hypercommunications carrier. As time passes, convergence will change the definition of the market.

Figure A2-1: Convergence of carrier categories

The current state of the hypercommunications market is a number of disjointed and (until very recently) separately owned carriers that provide service in different sub-industries. These include local telephone monopolies such as BellSouth (ILECs), Alternate Local telephone Exchange Carriers (competitors of the local ILEC), IXCs (long-distance carriers), cable TV companies, mobile telephone providers, fixed wireless providers, electric utilities, and Internet carriers (ISPs, OSPs, and NSPs). As convergence begins, the lines are blurring among carrier types.

Until recently when telecommunications deregulation occurred, many sub-industries were monopolies such as the Incumbent Local telephone Exchange Carrier (ILEC), electric utility, AT&T, and the cable TV provider. Sub-industries composed of former monopolies are used to being regulated and not accustomed to competition. As was mentioned in Section 3 on hypercommunication boundaries, many of these former monopolies are still heavily regulated to ensure that deregulation does not favor them over newer competitive carriers. Other sub-industries such as software, hardware, fixed wireless, and Internet access have remained regulation-free and almost tax-free as well. These "new" hypercommunication sub-industries are used to competition but not regulation. It is important for agribusinesses to realize that there is a greater choice of carriers than might be realized, but choices depend on local market boundaries as discussed in Section 3.

However, although separate carrier categories will converge into one market of competing technologies as suggested by Figure A2-1, carriers serve markets that are still based on the categories in Table A2-1. By looking at providers in separate categories one at a time, it will be easier for agribusiness managers to understand their choices. Importantly, not all carriers serve all parts of S. Miami-Dade, or even any part of S. Florida, because the lists are statewide.

A2.2 The Telco Suppliers: ILECs, ALECs, and IXCs

The first group of carriers is telephone companies (telcos for short), which include both local and long-distance telephone companies. This group includes ILECs (Incumbent Local Exchange Carriers), ALECs (Alternative Local Exchange Carriers), and IXCs (Interexchange Carriers). Most telcos depend on wireline technologies and infrastructures.

Florida has ten ILECs, or providers of local telephone service, enhanced telecommunication services, and private data networking products. Figure A2-2 shows ILEC service territories in Florida.

Figure A2-2: Florida ILEC service territories

Recall from Services Appendix 1 that traditional local telephony is a bundle of services including local loop, signaling, inter-exchange local and intra-LATA long-distance calls. Since the wireline telephone access infrastructure (the last mile of the local loop) is owned by the ILEC, the ILECs remain powerful in spite of deregulation.

Table A2-2 shows details of ILEC operations in Florida. BellSouth is the ILEC that serves Miami-Dade County. BellSouth, Verizon (GTE-Bell Atlantic), and Sprint represent all but a small percentage of access lines as Table A2-2 shows. These three ILECs (classified as non-rural carriers by the FCC) are responsible for most urban and rural local loops. In other areas, a small independent company or rural telephone cooperative is the ILEC.

Table A2-2: LATAs and area codes served, total access lines, for Florida ILECs
ILEC LATAs served (any portion) Area codes served Access lines, 1998 Access lines, 1999
Alltel Florida Jacksonville, Daytona, Gainesville 904, 352 78,106 82,719
BellSouth All but Tampa, Ft. Myers All but 727, 813, 863, 941 6,223,751 6,481,986
Frontier Communications (Global Crossing) Pensacola 850 4,142 4,266
GT Com (Gulf, St. Joseph, Florala) Panama City, Tallahassee 850 43,441 46,415
Verizon Florida (Bell Atlantic-GTE) Tampa 813, 727, 863, 941 2,268,455 2,368,938
Indiantown Telephone System Southeast 561 3,421 3,537
N.E. Florida Telephone Company Jacksonville 904 8,022 8,592
Sprint (United, Central) Ft. Myers, Orlando, Gainesville, Daytona, Tallahassee 321, 352, 407, 850, 863, 904, 941 1,930,720 2,048,042
TDS Telecom (Quincy Telephone) Tallahassee 850 13,249 13,270
Vista-United (Disney) Orlando 407, 321 13,513 15,236

Source: FPSC, Annual Report, 1999 (2000).

A new group of telcos, the ALECs, has entered the market with a decidedly pro-competitive, anti-monopoly corporate culture and price competitive attitude. Most of the 425 ALECs in Florida [FPSC, August 9, 2000] primarily serve business customers, typically businesses needing 23 or 24 ALEs (the voice capacity of a T-1).

Table A2-3: Twenty leading Florida ALECs, ranked by ALE and NPX assignment weights
Rank Firm (recent mergers and acquisitions) ALE weighting, (FPSC certificate codes) Comments
1 AT&T Local (TGC, TCI, MediaOne) 157 (AAV, FB) AT&T owns a variety of cable TV and wireless access providers
2 Intermedia (Digex) 93 (AAV, FB, STS) MCI Worldcom has just purchased this firm along with its Internet subsidiary Digex.
3 U.S. LEC 88 ( reseller) Aggressive pricing.
4 MCI WorldCom (MCI Metro) 85 (AAV, ALEC, FB, STS) Major national player.
5 ITC Deltacom 62 (reseller ) In all Florida LATAs.
6 E.spire (Cybergate) 51 (reseller) Cybergate, a Florida ISP was purchased by E-spire.
7 Time Warner (AOL) 44 (AAV, STS, SR) Cable provider.
8 XO (Concentric, Nextlink) 40 (reseller) Wireless provider merged with NSP-ALEC.
9 Cable & Wireless 35 (AAV, FB, reseller) Former British Telecom.
10 mpower (MGC) 33 (FB) SDSL converged provider.
11 Global Crossing 30 (FB, SR) Recently took over Frontier Communications.
12 Elantic (Florida Digital Network) 29 (FB) Merger of three firms.
13 Alltel 27 (SR) ILEC in NE Florida, ALEC and wireless carrier elsewhere
14 Winstar 24(AAV, MLDA) Fixed wireless provider.
15 Hyperion (Adelphia) 24 (AAV, FB, SR) Cable TV and NSP.
16 Verizon 20 (FB, SR, reseller) Merger of GTE and BellAtlantic, provides ALEC services outside its ILEC territory.
17 Level 3 19 (FB, reseller) National Internet NSP.
18 2nd Century 17 (FB, reseller) Converged provider.
19 PAETEC 15 (reseller) Orlando and Southeast LATAs only.
20 Sprint 13 (FB) ILEC in certain areas, ALEC in others.

ALECs (also called CLECs nationally, for Competitive Local Exchange Carriers) are often accused of "skimming" the best customers from the monopoly ILEC in a particular area, leaving the ILEC (a COLR) forced to serve high-cost and rural customers. Some ALECs specialize in serving the requirements of particular industries or certain geographic areas. Table A2-3 lists twenty of the largest ALECs in Florida, ranked by a combination of ALE weighting and NNX assignments. The subjective ranking is based on FCC and FPSC data, and sketchy proprietary market share data.

Under Florida law, ALECs fall into several classes depending on the FPSC certificates they hold. FPSC certificates include AAVs (Alternative Access Vendors), STS (Shared Tenant Service), FBs (Facilities Based carriers), MLDAs (Multi-Location Discount Aggregators), resellers, and SR (Switchless Rebillers). Since each ALEC is free to choose its markets, there is no guarantee that ALECs listed will be able to serve a particular agribusiness' location. Table A2-4 shows what services can be provided according to the FPSC certificate type.

Table A2-4: Services permitted according to FPSC certificate type
Type Local switched Local private line Inter-LATA private line Intra-LATA private line Intra-LATA switched toll Inter-LATA switched toll EAS & ECS switched EAS & ECS private line
ILEC Yes Yes No Yes Yes No Yes Yes
ALEC Yes Yes No Yes Yes No Yes Yes
STS Yes No No No No No Yes No
AAV No Yes Yes Yes No No No Yes
IXC No No Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes

FBs are carriers that own (or expect to own) and operate switches and transport facilities in Florida. Facilities based carriers may have their own exclusive POPs (switches) and their own transport networks or they may share an interest in such facilities with other entities. However, most wireline ALECs resell local loop capacity of ILECs and do not bypass the local loop. MLDAs contract special multi-location volume discounts on circuits with unaffiliated carriers that the MLDA then resells to its customers. Resellers have switching facilities in Florida, but lease transport and access facilities from other carriers and resell them as lines or trunks to their own customers. SBs are firms that have no switches or facilities in Florida but are able to aggregate traffic to obtain discounts from carriers. A SB bills its customers a rate above its discount, but below the rate a customer would pay without the SB.

The first two categories in Table A2-4 (AAVs and STSs) can apply to ALECs and/or IXCs. The distinction is based on the combination of special FPSC certificates held by the carrier. As Table A2-3 showed, some ALECs hold several certificates, while others are ALECs only. ALECs, like ILECs, are allowed to provide local switched and private line, intra-LATA private line and switched, and EAS-ECS switched and private line telephony and enhanced telecommunications. AAVs may not provide local switched services such as basic telephony or ISDN-BRI, but are able to essentially duplicate local service by offering local private line service to an unaffiliated entity, which then offers switched POTS. A telecommunications provider who enters an agreement (often exclusive) with a landlord to provide common switching or billing arrangement to all tenants provides STS (Shared Tenant Services) to tenants of office buildings, office parks, or apartment buildings.

Recent FCC data suggest that ALECs have yet to gain significant market share in Florida. At the end of 1999, ALECs served fewer than 6 percent of end-user lines in Florida, meaning that ILECs commanded a 94 percent market share [FCC, CCB, Trends in Telephone Service, March 2000, Table 4]. Those totals represent a dramatic increase from a year before when less than two percent of ILEC lines were provided to ALECs for resale. The increase was made possible by an increase in the number of ILEC lines with ALEC collocation agreements. In June 1999, 80 percent of BellSouth lines, 21 percent of Verizon (GTE-BellAtlantic) lines, and 27 percent of Sprint lines could interconnect to ALECs. Thus, the number of lines over which competitors could offer service had doubled in one year [FCC, CCB, Local Telephone Competition Report, August 31, 2000]

Table A2-5 lists the top five IXCs in Florida by market share of the residential market in Florida. Since the breakup of AT&T, long-distance calls (which include intra-LATA long distance calls, inter-LATA long distance calls, and international calls) are carried by IXCs (Inter Exchange Carriers). Increasingly, many IXCs have diversified into local telephony, cable TV and Internet, wireless access, mobile wireless, and other lines of business.

Table A2-5: Top five Florida IXCs
Rank Firm Market share, residential toll (percent) 1999 revenues
1 AT&T 63.1 $62.4 billion
2 MCI Worldcom 18.1 $37.1 billion
3 Sprint 5.9 $19.9 billion
4 TeleGlobe (Excel) 3.3
5 Others 9.6

Sources: FCC, CCB, Local Telephone Competition Report, August 31, 2000.

For every agribusiness location, telephone and enhanced telecommunication services can be purchased from the ILEC that serves that area or from ALECs and IXCs. Most telcos offer data networking and Internet service as well. However, the telcos are not the only wireline choice for hypercommunication services available.

A2.3 Cablecos and Electricos: Cable TV and Electric Utility Suppliers

Cable television providers in Florida have an alternative wireline access infrastructure to that offered by the wireline telcos. The cable infrastructure can be more inexpensively upgraded to fiber access to provide high-speed hypercommunication services and technologies as was discussed in Technical Appendix 4. However, some question whether cable-based data services and Internet have the privacy and reliability to be business-class providers. Nonetheless, most Florida cable providers are busy rolling out an infrastructure capable of offering converged services. Some electric utilities and even the Florida East Coast Railroad also offer communications wireline access and other hypercommunication services.

Table A2-6 shows the largest Florida cablecos of 280 total providers, their estimated pass rate (maximum number of homes that could be served), and total subscribers. In S. Miami-Dade, Adelphia provides cable-based Internet and telephony services to residences and Adelphia Business Services provides similar services to businesses.

Table A2-6: Florida cablecos with cable modem deployments
Firm (mergers) Florida basic cable TV subscribers National cable TV subscribers (Internet) Areas served (cable modem deployment in bold)
Statewide 4,737,987
Time Warner (AOL) 1,349,000 13,000,000 UI Brevard, Calhoun Cty, Citrus Cty, UI Columbia, Lee, Hernando, Pinellas, Orange, Pasco, Osceola, Sumter, Seminole, Volusia, Citrus, Tampa (Roadrunner)
AT&T Cable (MediaOne, TCI) 665,000 11,400,000
Baker Cty, Broward sub, Collier Cty, Miami-Dade sub, Duval, Ft. Myers (Roadrunner)
Adelphia (Hyperion) 266,000 5,500,000 Florida City, UI Dade, UI Palm Beach, Homestead, West Palm Beach, St. Lucie Cty
Comcast (Storer, Jones) NA 5,670,000
Ft. Lauderdale, UI Broward, Charlotte Cty, Tallahassee, Panama City, Lake Cty, Sarasota, Celebration, Hardee Cty, Polk, Highlands, UI Bay, UI Osceola
Coxcom 246,000 5,752,000
Gainesville, Okaloosa Cty., Walton Cty (Excite @Home)

Sources: CATV.org (2000); Cablevision, Database, January 20, 2000.

June 2000, cable high-speed Internet subscribers in Florida among eight active providers stood at 127,000 households and small businesses. Where available, the table provides information about national and Florida subscribers to basic cable to give an idea of the size of the firm. When available, the number of Internet subscribers nationally is found in parentheses after the national basic TV subscriber figure. Agribusinesses will have to contact their local cable company directly to find out what services (Internet, telephone, data networking) are available in their area and if businesses can even get service.

Locations depend on the franchising authority so that cities, counties (abbreviated as Cty.), and un-incorporated areas (abbreviated as UI) are listed. Importantly, cable services may be offered over a geographically limited area within the areas served. Many of the firms listed also offer telephone and private data networking services. These carriers include Time Warner, AT&T Cable, Adelphia, and Cox. Not all firms offer services to businesses.

Dark fiber providers such as electric utilities and pipeline firms also offer communications services in some areas. FPL (Entergy) provides high-speed fiber-based services from DS-3 to OC-192 to parts of Miami-Dade County as was discussed in Section 3 (Figure 3-10). Cableco and electricos often serve different ends of the market. Many cablecos offer services aimed primarily at residential customers though some offer small business services. However, they are often unavailable in rural or sparsely settled areas. Electric companies are able to offer high-capacity "dark fiber" connections to businesses located in metro areas. The Florida East Coast Railroad's EPIK Communications uses fiber paths on railroad routes, while two natural gas pipeline firms (Enron and Williams) offer fiber routes corresponding to pipeline routes. However, such fiber providers mainly offer wholesale services for hypercommunication carriers alone, rather than retail service to smaller businesses.

A2.4 Internet Providers: NSPs, ISPs, and OSPs

Recall from Services Appendix 4 (Figure SA4-2) that there are two stages needed to connect an agribusiness to the Internet. In the first stage (access stage), a connection is established from the agribusiness to an Internet provider's POP. A telco circuit (such as a fractional T-1) is leased by the agribusiness for that purpose. In the next stage (transport stage), a backbone connection from the POP to the Internet backbone is required. The ISP charge for "Internet access" covers this second stage, which is really a transport connection. With most forms of wireline Internet, the agribusiness pays two bills. The agribusiness pays one bill (for the special line from the agribusiness to an Internet company's POP) to an ILEC or ALEC to cover the access stage. A second bill is paid to an Internet provider to cover the transport stage. Wireless ISP customers (along with AAV and bypass wireline customers) avoid the telco access circuit charge.

Since many Internet providers are not Tier 1 providers (NSPs, Network Service Providers), a third, intermediate stage occurs for smaller ISPs who hand off traffic to an NSP with a backbone connection. Internet Service Providers (ISPs) and their cousins Online Service Providers (OSPs) connect to the Internet backbone through circuits connecting their local POPs and the Internet. Some ISPs and all NSPs sell such wholesale connections to smaller ISPs as well as to retail customers. ISPs, in turn, divide capacity among Internet and private data networking (VPN, frame relay, and other) customers. OSPs divide their capacity among consumer and small business customers. Finally, NSPs divide their capacity among ISPs, OSPs, and large business clients.

Table A2-7 demonstrates the concentration of ISPs by area code in Florida.

Table A2-7: ISPs serving at least part of Florida area codes, 2000
Area Code Main City or County National ISPs Regional ISPs Local ISPs
305 Miami 1256 141 44
321 Melbourne, Orlando overlay 254 0 0
352 Gainesville-Ocala 831 109 30
407 Orlando 1177 146 43
561 West Palm Beach 857 112 15
727 Pasco 646 88 25
786 Miami-Dade overlay 440 55 0
813 Tampa 687 95 12
850 Panhandle 734 81 25
863 Polk, Highlands, S. central Florida 254 0 0
904 Jacksonville-Daytona 758 91 19
941 Ft. Myers-Sarasota 596 99 26
954 Broward 745 104 18

Source: Boardwatch Magazine, Directory of Internet Service Providers, 2000].

The Florida ISP market, like the national one, is in transition. In addition to consolidation among large national and international providers, there are many new small national and regional players than there were a year ago [Boardwatch Magazine, Directory of Internet Service Providers, 2000]. However, while most ISPs serving Florida were based in Florida in 1995, by 2000, due to mergers and consolidation that was no longer the case. Because of deregulation and interconnection, an ISP located in anywhere could sell local dial-up access in Miami, Florida. Increasingly, independent small, local ISPs are subject to takeovers and mergers. There has been, however, a jump in national and regional ISPs due to consolidation.

There are so many ISPs it is hard to identify the best in an area. Table A2-8 gives a few of Florida's largest ISPs, or agribusinesses may want to consult the Boardwatch site, IspWorld.com.

Table A2-8: Top ISPs in Florida, 2000
ISP National subscribers Backbone
AT&T WorldNet 2,200,000 att.net
IBM Net, IBM Net Access 800 NA prserv.net, att.net
Bellsouth.net 788,000 alter.net (UUnet), cw.net
Concentric (XO) 250,000 concentric.net
Earthlink-Mindspring (Sprint) 4,300,000 att.net, Sprint, Level3
CyberGate (E.spire) NA Sprintlink, bctel.net
MSN 3,500,000 msft.net
Gateway.net 1,000,000 alter.net (UUnet)
UUnet (MCI, Digex) 360,000 alter.net, (UUnet) ans.net(digex.net)
FreeInternet.com 1,500,000 bbnplanet.net (Genuity)
PSI.net NA psi.net
Net Zero 3,800,000 bbnplanet.net (Genuity)
GTE.net (Verizon, Genuity) 756,000 bbnplanet.net (Genuity)
Global Crossing (Frontier) NA glbx.net
Atlantic.net NA Sprintlink
FDT (Florida Digital Turnpike) NA Sprintlink, gru.net
Verio NA verio.net
MediaOne (RoadRunner; AT&T) 1,000,000 att.net
Level 3 NA level3.net
Exodus NA exodus.net

Source: Fusco, 2000; Bawany, 2000, Boardwatch ISP Directory, 2000.

Online Service Providers (OSPs) are responsible for most residential and some small business narrowband modem traffic across the PSTN. America Online (AOL), Prodigy, and CompuServe are the big three, but new launches into the category include Juno and WebTV. The main OSPs in Florida are shown in Table A2-9.

Table A2-9: OSPs in Florida
Firm National subscribers Main backbone provider(s)
AOL (America Online) 20,300,000 atdn.net
Prodigy 2,200,000 Sprintlink
CompuServe (now part of AOL) 1,500,000 alter.net, wcom.net
Juno 3,700,000 exodus.net
WebTV 1,100,000 Sprintlink

Source: Fusco, 2000.

Table A2-10 lists Tier 1 Internet carriers (NSPs) along with their major Florida hubs and maximum capacities. Many NSPs are also ALECs who offer a full range of voice and data services. Some NSPs sell only wholesale connections to other ISPs and NSPs, while others offer a full-range of Internet connectivity down to small business dial-up. Many NSPs offer converged communication products such as telephony and enhanced telecommunications in addition to data networking and Internet.

For example, voice over IP services may be offered over an NSP backbone at low rates. However, since such calls are packetized, digital transmissions they sound worse than PSTN calls under current technology. The issue of voice over IP is covered in more detail in Services Appendix 4. Such backbone providers tend to be located in urban parts of Florida.

Table A2-10: NSPs (backbone providers) with major Florida hubs
NSP Florida hubs (connection)
AT&T Orlando, Tampa, Miami (OC-48); Ft. Lauderdale, Ojus (N. Miami); W. Palm Beach, Jacksonville (OC-3)
Broadwing (Gemini2000.net) Miami (OC-12)
Cable & Wireless Miami (OC-48)
CAIS Miami, Tampa, Orlando, Jacksonville (all OC-3)
Concentric (XO) Orlando (T-3)
Epoch.net Miami, Orlando, Tampa (all T-3)
E.spire Miami, Ft. Lauderdale, Tampa, Orlando, Jacksonville (all OC-3)
Excite@home Miami, Tampa, Jacksonville (all OC-48)
Genuity (GTE-Verizon, bbnplanet.net) Miami and Tampa (OC-12); Jacksonville, Orlando (OC-3)
Global Center (Frontier) Tampa, Miami, Jacksonville (OC-48)
ICG Miami (T-3)
Infonet Ft. Lauderdale, Jacksonville, Orlando, West Palm Beach, Miami, Tampa (all OC-3)
Intermedia (Digex) Tampa, Orlando, Miami (all OC-3)
Multacom (NetSol, multa.net) Miami, Tampa (OC-3)
NetRail Miami and Jacksonville (OC-12); Orlando and Tampa (OC-3)
PSINet Tampa, Orlando, Miami (OC-96)
Qwest Pensacola, Lake City, Tallahassee, Jacksonville, Gainesville, Ft. Lauderdale, Miami, Daytona Beach (all OC-192)
Saavis Tampa, Orlando, Jacksonville, Miami (all OC-3)
ServInt Miami (OC-48)
Splitrock/McLeod Miami, Tampa, Orlando (all OC-3)
Sprint Orlando (OC-3)
Teleglobe Orlando and Miami (OC-3)
Telia (AGIS) Miami, Fort Lauderdale, West Palm Beach, Tampa, Tallahassee, Orlando, Jacksonville, Ocala (all OC-3)
UUnet (MCI WorldCom) Jacksonville, Orlando, Tampa, Miami (all OC-12)
Verio Miami, Tampa, Orlando (all OC-3); Boca Raton (T-3)
Vnet Miami (T-3)
Williams Ft. Myers, Miami, West Palm Beach, Melbourne, Daytona, Jacksonville, Tampa, Tallahassee (all OC-192)
Winstar Tampa (OC-12); Jacksonville, Orlando, Miami, (OC-3)

Source: Directory of Internet Service Providers, Boardwatch Magazine, 2000.

A2.5 Mobile Terrestrial Wireless Providers

Wireless communication does not require a wireline infrastructure and, therefore, offers flexibility to agribusinesses seeking to communicate from mobile or fixed locations. The FCC estimates that in 1999 at least two wireless providers covered 66 of Florida's 67 counties. Also in 1999, with the exception of a few interior counties (such as Okeechobee and Highlands) along with the panhandle other counties had at least six providers [FCC 00-289, 2000, p.8]

As Technical Appendix 5 showed, most mobile terrestrial wireless technologies offer lower data rates than wireline dial-up connections to agribusinesses interested in mobile Internet or data networking. With the advent of new 3G (Third Generation) mobile wireless technologies (such as GSM 1900, W-CDMA, CDMA, and E-TDMA shown in Figure TA5-2), the flexibility and capacity of mobile communications are expected to grow. However, most areas of Florida do not have access to 3G mobile services although providers are racing to deploy 3G towers.

Table A2-11 lists terrestrial mobile wireless providers for Florida. According to the FCC, over 5.1 millions mobile telephone subscribers (0.34 subscribers per capita) existed in Florida at the end of 1999 [FCC, IAB, CCB, March 2000, Table 5]. Specialized websites (such aswww.wirelessadvisor.com) exist to automate price comparisons and provide agribusinesses with more detail than Table A2-11 does about mobile terrestrial wireless providers.

Mobile terrestrial wireless services also include paging providers (now called wireless messaging firms such as Arch (formerly Mobilecom). Two-way wireless messaging providers are not covered in Table A2-11. However, as reported in Services Appendix 2, some systems are far more sophisticated than the beeper of yesteryear. The most sophisticated wireless messaging devices can send, receive, and store two-way text and voice messages. These units will be more useful in the near future if the two-way wireless messaging coverage areas (shown in Figure 3-3) become deployed before those of the 3G mobile telephone providers. Already many 2G PCS telephone providers offer text, e-mail, and wireless Internet capabilities in addition to telephony.

Table A2-11: Leading mobile terrestrial wireless carriers in Florida
Carrier Technology MSA/RSA
Cellular (digital and analog)
Alltel PCS available Tampa-St. Petersburg, Lakeland-Winter Haven, Melbourne-Titusville-Palm Bay, Daytona Beach, Ft. Myers, Sarasota, Pensacola, Tallahassee, Gainesville, Bradenton, Ocala, Fort Walton Beach, Panama City, Counties: Collier, Glades, Hardee, Citrus, Putnam, Dixie, Hamilton, Jefferson, Calhoun, Walton, Monroe
AT&T Wireless 70% digital, PCS available Miami-Ft. Lauderdale-Hollywood, Tampa-St. Petersburg, Jacksonville, Orlando, West Palm Beach-Boca Raton, Lakeland-Winter Haven, Melbourne-Titusville-Palm Bay, Daytona Beach, Sarasota, Ft. Pierce, Bradenton, Ocala, Counties: Glades, Citrus, Putnam
SBC-BellSouth (Cingular) Some PCS (GSM, TDMA) Miami-Ft. Lauderdale-Hollywood, Jacksonville, Orlando, West Palm Beach-Boca Raton, Melbourne-Titusville-Palm Bay, Daytona Beach, Counties: Collier, Glades, Citrus, Putnam, Monroe
Price No PCS Panama City
US Cellular No PCS Tallahassee, Gainesville, Ft. Pierce, Counties: Putnam, Dixie, Jefferson, Calhoun, Walton
Broadband PCS
Powertel PCS Tallahassee, Jacksonville, Gainesville
Verizon Varies by area Statewide. Merger of GTE Mobile, Vodafone, AirTouch, PrimeCo, and Bell Atlantic Wireless
Sprint PCS GSM Ft. Myers, Miami, West Palm, Broward, Tallahassee, Gainesville, Tampa, Daytona Beach, Lakeland, Sarasota, Brevard
Voicestream GSM Daytona Beach, Tampa, Orlando, Miami, West Palm, Ft. Lauderdale, Brevard, Sarasota
Nextel iDEN Statewide, except panhandle

Sources: FCC 00-289, 2000, pp. G-1-G-25; www.wirelessadvisor.com.

Most systems available in Florida have transitioned from 1G analog AMPS to 2G systems. However, deployment of 3G systems by SBC-BellSouth Mobility is underway in South Florida. It is unknown how long it will take for mobile 3G to become more commonly offered, but Sprint PCS, Voicestream, Nextel, and Verizon are known to be preparing service introductions as soon as mid-2001 in Florida.

A2.6 Terrestrial Fixed Wireless Providers

Terrestrial fixed wireless services are generally not available in S. Miami-Dade. However, Table A2-12 lists major fixed wireless carriers in Florida offering upperband service. Eventually, many of the providers in Table A2-12 and Table A2-13 may offer fixed wireless services to S. Miami-Dade. If located in a coverage area, agribusinesses can bypass the wireline local loop to obtain a variety of communication services, typically at a low rate, from these carriers.

Table A2-12: Leading upperband terrestrial fixed wireless carriers in Florida, licensed spectrum
Carrier Technology Area or counties
MCI Wireless One Investments CAI MMDS, 26 GHz Not rolled out in Florida.
Sprint Broadband Direct MMDS, 26 GHz Not rolled out in Florida.
XO (Nextlink) LMDS, 28 GHz Status unknown after XO merger.
Winstar WLL, 39 GHz Jacksonville, Orlando, Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater, Miami-Ft. Lauderdale, Ft. Myers-Cape Coral, Sarasota-Bradenton
Broadstream (Advanced Radio, ART) 39 GHz Licensed over most of Florida, rollout upcoming.
Hyperion (Adelphia) LMDS, 39 GHz Jacksonville
AT&T Wireless (Project Angel) 39 GHz Patented technology with partner Motorola. Licensed to cover 60% of Florida land area, first service in FL in 2002.
Airwire.net WLL, 39 GHz Orlando, Brevard
Teligent DEMS, 24 GHz Miami-Dade, West Palm Beach, Orange, Osceola, Hillsborough, Pinellas, Jacksonville

Source: FCC 00-289, company websites.

The providers mentioned in Table A2-12 will be (or are) able to offer up to T-3 wireless capacity at attractive prices, comparable to pricing for wireline T-1s, offering thirty times greater capacity. However, current technology and deployment is limited to STS and center city applications since high frequencies have shorter ranges. Eventually, a cell architecture and improved CPE will extend ranges and reduce interference. Providers listed in Table A2-12 offer voice, data, and Internet services.

More common now in Florida and more useful to agribusiness are lowerband services sharing unlicensed spectrum. Table A2-13 lists fixed wireless providers who operate using spread spectrum technology in the 2.4 GHz or 5.8 GHz (U-NII, Unlicensed National Information Infrastructure) bands. Coverage areas typically range from 20-40 miles from each tower site. Therefore, the areas served shown in the table vary depending on how many towers a provider constructs.

Table A2-13: Fixed high-speed wireless providers (unlicensed spectrum)
Carrier Area of Florida served by wireless Wireless services URL
National or Regional Providers
PSINet InterSky Ft. Myers, Naples, Tampa, Miami Internet, data networking www.psi.net
Fuzion Delray Beach, Boca Raton, Miami, West Palm, Broward, Tampa area Internet, data networking www.gofuzion.com
Airdata WIMAN Tampa, Naples, other areas All www.wiman.net
Metricom Ricochet Miami Internet www.metricom.com
Circle.net Jacksonville, Miami, Tampa All www.rocketlauncher.net
Local Providers
Absolute Networks Vero Beach area Internet www.absolutenet.com
AirLink Ft. Myers Internet, data, mobile data www.goairlink.com
American WirelessWeb South Florida Internet www.directnet1.net
ClearAccess Communications 9 counties from St. Petersburg to Naples, expanding to cover 50% of state All www.clearaccess.net
Terranova.net Upper Keys Internet www.terranova.net
Interatworld Miami-Dade Internet www.interatworld.com
IPQuest (Quest Net) Sebastian to Key West Internet www.ipquest.com
Network Telephone Internet Palm Beach Cty., Gainesville, Orlando area All (currently offers wireline VoDSL) www.networktelephone.net
Motient (ARDIS) Miami Narrrowband mobile & fixed Internet, data www.motient.net
XSspeed! West Palm, Melbourne, Ft. Pierce Internet www.xsspeed.net

Sources: FCC 00-289, 2000, www.wirelesstcp.net, 2000.

A2.7 Satellite Providers

However, terrestrial fixed and mobile providers are not the only wireless choices agribusinesses have or will have. Table A2-14 lists satellite hypercommunications that serve Florida. Satellite technology was covered in Technical Appendix 5, where the types of satellites (such as GEOs, MEOs, and LEOs) were discussed along with technical details.

Table A2-14: Leading satellite carriers serving (or expected to serve) Florida
Provider Type (coverage) Services Deployment
AstroLink GEO (Ka-band, worldwide) All 2003
DirecPC GEO (N. America & Europe) Cable TV, Internet (400 kbps, downlink only) Now
ESat (Intersputnik) GEO (worldwide) Internet, redundant network access Unknown for Florida
GE*Star Americom GEO (C-band, Ku-band, N. America & Europe) Internet, data networking Now
Intelsat GEO All (Broadband VSAT) Now
Loral SkyNet GEO (N. & S. America) Backup data networking Now
Spaceway (Galaxy-Hughes) GEO (Ka-band, worldwide) Internet, data networking 2002
Panamsat VSAT (Hughes Network Services) GEO (worldwide) Voice, data, and Internet for large firms such as Wal-Mart and Walgreen's. Now
Tachyon GEO (worldwide) Internet to 2 Mbps Now
Wild Blue (iSKY, KaStar) GEO (Ka-band, U.S.) Internet 2002
New ICO (Teledesic, McCaw) MEO (S-band, C-band, worldwide) 3G MSS 2003
OrbLink (Orbital) MEO Unknown broadband services 2002
OrbComm (Orbital-Teleglobe) LEO (worldwide) Two-way paging, tracking Now
GlobalStar LEO (C-band, L-band) Mobile and fixed telephony Now
StarBand (MSN, Echostar, Gilat) DBS (Southern sky) Internet (500 kbps, down; 50-150 kbps up) Now
Leo One LEO (Worldwide) MSS: paging, tracking 2003
SkyBridge LEO (Ku-band, worldwide) All 2002
Teledesic LEO (Ka-band, worldwide) All 2004-2005

Sources: www.iSky.org, individual websites.

Many satellite carriers face substantial delay in entering the market due to the formidable technical process required to establish a working network. Therefore, for systems not yet operational, a deployment date was taken from each firm's website. Additionally, there is a great diversity in services among satellite carriers. Satellite CPE is often expensive and airtime may be subject to a MOU (Minutes of Use) or kbps transmitted charge regardless of the service. While most satellite carriers may not have converged services within the reach of most agribusiness budgets, this is expected to change. However, technology is developing quickly, as is competition so prices are likely to fall while choices and capacity rise.