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C&W Bails Out

michael posted more than 11 years ago | from the last-one-out-turn-off-the-lights dept.

The Internet 220

norskode writes "Not much to go on yet, but it seems that Cable & Wireless is bailing out of their US operations. This is a big provider of IP pipes, and they run the data centers they bought from the failed Exodus folks. There are a LOT of sites that live in their data centers, but no word yet on the disposition of those facilities."

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THE EDITORS FUCKED UP AGAIN! (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6124010)

It's in red! Fix your shit, Taco!

wtf. (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6124011)

I SEE RED! pls 2 fix teh bugz! kthx

new /. feature! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6124014)

red bars on the new articles! wheeee! Subscription not necessary!!

OOPS... (2, Informative)

xanadu-xtroot.com (450073) | more than 11 years ago | (#6124015)

Another glitch in /. This is a subcriber posting...

Re:OOPS... (-1, Offtopic)

paul_cairney (209501) | more than 11 years ago | (#6124032)

oh well, i saw it just after i metamoderated and thought it was some kinda reward to tempt people into subscribing.

Re:OOPS... (-1, Offtopic)

Mullen (14656) | more than 11 years ago | (#6124062)

So that would explain the red bar instead of the usual Slashdot green?

Re:OOPS... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6124245)

So that would explain the red bar instead of the usual Slashdot green?

Yup. The subscriber only postings have the red bar. Also, they have that "See any problems with this story" thing so subscribers can proof-read the posting before the rest of the planet sees it. I thought that was the job of the editors, but...

Aside, yes, that was a glitch.


- Xanadu

Re:OOPS... (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6124066)

(Score:-1, No Shit)

Re:OOPS... (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6124219)

How does the parent post get modded "Offtopic" while it's parent gets modded "Informative"?? Both posts have nothing to do with the story...at least the parent was on the topic of the original post.

Re:OOPS... (-1, Offtopic)

Fnkmaster (89084) | more than 11 years ago | (#6124085)

Neo: I just thought I saw a posting with an orange bar.


Trinity: Was it an orange bar or did it only look orange?


Neo: I don't know.


Trinity: An orange bar is a glitch in the Slashcode. It happens when the machines change things.

Re:OOPS... (-1, Offtopic)

blaine (16929) | more than 11 years ago | (#6124093)

Yeah, something weird is going on today. I have topic logos turned off, but about half of them are showing up anyways. Hasn't been a problem before, I don't think.

Re:OOPS... (0, Offtopic)

Mark Round (211258) | more than 11 years ago | (#6124099)

Yup, and I can see the red bar as well. Not a subscriber, either. "Problems with this story?" guff appearing as well.

Ho hum.

Re:OOPS... (1)

bluelip (123578) | more than 11 years ago | (#6124154)

Glad I wasn't the only one that saw this. Was that supposed to be for subscribers only?

Re:OOPS... (0)

pclminion (145572) | more than 11 years ago | (#6124402)

I'm glad we're all getting moderated to -1 for asking perfectly legitimate questions.

No.. (-1, Offtopic)

pclminion (145572) | more than 11 years ago | (#6124020)

I think you're seeing one of the stories from "the future"... Fucked up.

It's a deja vu (-1, Offtopic)

iamacat (583406) | more than 11 years ago | (#6124070)

You see a story and then you see again. This happens when THEY make changes to the program.

Preview for everyone? (-1, Offtopic)

Drakonian (518722) | more than 11 years ago | (#6124021)

Do you think this means that everyone gets to preview, not just subscribers? Or did someone accidentally release the wrong Slashcode?

Re:Preview for everyone? (-1, Offtopic)

jermomma (657469) | more than 11 years ago | (#6124056)

I'm NOT a subscriber and saw the "red" titlebar...so yeah.

Re:Preview for everyone? (-1, Offtopic)

Justin205 (662116) | more than 11 years ago | (#6124059)

Shhhhh... We don't want them to know. Who doesn't want free subscriber powers/abilities.

Would you turn down a free magazine, that normally costs $30 a year?

Re:Preview for everyone? (-1, Offtopic)

cdrudge (68377) | more than 11 years ago | (#6124096)

Hm...if everyone gets to "preview" it, I guess it really isn't a preview then.

fp! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6124022)

first post that mentions fp :P

YOU FAIL IT (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6124344)

YOU FAIL IT

Not a whole lot left... (5, Interesting)

chrisbw (609350) | more than 11 years ago | (#6124026)

C&W pulling out, UUNet/WorldCom not doing real well, BBN getting sucked up by GTE... not much of the original backbones left it seems. Wonder how long until the US Internet is just an interconnection of all the telcos?

this is news? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6124028)

Gosh, they called my office about two months ago and said they were pulling our T1s and IPs. Maybe we just thought we heard them...?

Frosty Piss (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6124031)

First Past

Red?? (-1, Offtopic)

alta (1263) | more than 11 years ago | (#6124034)

What's going on here?!?!

damn (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6124039)

slashdot seems to be buggier than microsoft...

right off the top of my list... (5, Informative)

redlum (27851) | more than 11 years ago | (#6124041)

A traceroute to google shows it's using cw.net and exodus.net

This could be bad...

Re:right off the top of my list... (3, Interesting)

rmadmin (532701) | more than 11 years ago | (#6124174)

Yes, it "COULD" be... but I don't think it will. C&W isn't just hitting the power switch. They'll migrate stuff. We were on C&W last year (ISP T1) and last year they sold ALL of their ISP accounts to New Edge Networks, (Which I must say is over priced, and the quality of service sucks bad!). Anyways, they are good about switching things over seamlessly, they just pick back places to sell your account to ;-(.

Mirrors (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6124469)

Google has something like 10 US mirror/datacenters. www-cw is one, but there's also www-va, www-sj, www-fi, etc. Sometimes you can get different results from them.

Re:right off the top of my list... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6124471)

I wouldn't think google would rent space at a data center with the number of the machines they need to host.

A traceroute from San Antonio shows the last links as:
14 csr11-ve241.Sterling2dc3.cw.net (216.109.66.90) 44.665 ms 44.320 ms 44.459 ms
15 218-google-exodusdc.exodus.net
Which shows its near Washington DC.

However a traceroute from Oz shows:
9 i-9-2.sjc-core01.net.reach.com (202.84.143.13) 206.581 ms 206.707 ms 216.386 ms
10 i-13-0.paix-core01.net.reach.com (202.84.143.249) 202.578 ms 200.712 ms 200.693 ms
11 google.paix-core01.net.reach.com (134.159.63.70) 200.818 ms 199.856 ms 200.835 ms
Thats close to San Jose.
From a server in San Jose...
8 ge-1-1.a01.snjsca04.us.ra.verio.net (129.250.31.68) 23.095 ms 21.444 ms 20.880 ms
It looks like to me that they have data centers on both coats or they run their on very high speed network. Years ago it looked like they had their own conection to a peering point in San Jose. If you were them, would you pay for bandwidth or just run a big pipe to the exchange point?

Red Bars (-1, Offtopic)

Gildenstern (62439) | more than 11 years ago | (#6124044)

I seem to get the red bars when I also get moderation points. Maybe a connection

Re:Red Bars (-1, Offtopic)

triskell (324989) | more than 11 years ago | (#6124088)

Me too. Maybe moderators get to see 'stories from the future', along with subscribers?

Re:Red Bars (-1, Offtopic)

BenTheDewpendent (180527) | more than 11 years ago | (#6124106)

I've never gotten that. And I get mod points once every week or so

Re:Red Bars (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6124236)

I have 'Allow Mod' turned off and I saw red...

Infrastructure (5, Insightful)

First_In_Hell (549585) | more than 11 years ago | (#6124046)

Those data centers have nothing to worry about. Some company is going to buy all of that infrastructure & equipment for pennies on the dollar. It makes sense for them to leave it as is and transfer the existing customer base. Why would they reinvent the wheel if everything is already in place? No need to panic.

Re:Infrastructure (1)

WC as Kato (675505) | more than 11 years ago | (#6124223)

That would be great if it happened seamlessly. But what happens if the buyers figure they get a cheaper price the closer C&W get to pulling out? Big companies and other users can have a huge loss of connectivity if this doesn't work out right. It's pretty scary if your business survival depends on being connected.

As a general rule of thumb, I find that ... (5, Funny)

burgburgburg (574866) | more than 11 years ago | (#6124227)

whenever anyone counsels us not to panic, panic is in fact the best course of action. If you'll excuse me now, I'm going to run around the room, flailing my arms about and screaming at the top of my lungs. Well, more then I usually do.

Nothing to see here. Just move along. Ignore the smell of burning monkeys. Flood? What flood? Keep moving, you looky-loos.

Re:Infrastructure (5, Interesting)

Phroggy (441) | more than 11 years ago | (#6124351)

Those data centers have nothing to worry about. Some company is going to buy all of that infrastructure & equipment for pennies on the dollar. It makes sense for them to leave it as is and transfer the existing customer base. Why would they reinvent the wheel if everything is already in place? No need to panic.

That's what I thought when my last place of empoyment went out of business - somebody would buy us and merge our network with theirs, or they'd just buy our 160,000 residential broadband customers, transition them to their network, and then dump us. Neither happened; the customers got screwed.

Re:Infrastructure (1)

gbjbaanb (229885) | more than 11 years ago | (#6124372)

perhaps I am being very naive in terms of corporate accounting, but they are pulling out because they can't afford to continue running it all. Suppose they sell it all off to whoever happens to have cash these days (hmm. MS? err. is there anyone else?), do you suppose the new owner will keep the service levels going, or will they start to dump off the unprofitable bits (if they're not written off entirely), raise prices and sack more staff?

C&W were losing $1m a day running those networks... the article also said that the US market was unsustainable (compared to the UK, Japan). I'd like to know exactly what they meant there as it may be a sign for future trouble in other US telcos.

Re:Infrastructure (1)

smart2000 (28662) | more than 11 years ago | (#6124475)

There is no need to reinvent the wheel. There is way too much telecom infrastructure at this point. So the few players left will just pick off the customers. If you are in an Exodus data center, run now.

So who is it all being sold to? (1)

SkArcher (676201) | more than 11 years ago | (#6124049)

I distinctly hope it doesn't end up in the AOL/TW camp, after the media deregulation in the states that effectively lets them control the news.

Please be precise: the correct name is (2, Funny)

burgburgburg (574866) | more than 11 years ago | (#6124268)

Microsoft/AOL/TW/Fox/MPAA/RIAA

And news reports show that media deregulation is nothing to be feared.

Re:Please be precise: the correct name is (4, Funny)

Surak (18578) | more than 11 years ago | (#6124443)

You left some out: GE/Viacom/Disney/Microsoft/AOL/TW/Fox/MPAA/RIAA

non-subscriber - offtopic (-1, Offtopic)

harryk (17509) | more than 11 years ago | (#6124050)

I don't subscribe, although i am a member, and I saw the article, it was displayed in a red title bar. neat. Harryk

Don't look up now... (1)

Chris_Stankowitz (612232) | more than 11 years ago | (#6124052)

but here come the VCs. Vulture Capitalists that is.

Re:Don't look up now... (2, Funny)

Methlin (604355) | more than 11 years ago | (#6124158)

You mean The Register [theregister.co.uk] is going to buy them up?

This really doesn't make sense.... (5, Interesting)

Desmoden (221564) | more than 11 years ago | (#6124055)


The reason Ellen and her gang couldn't keep this running seemed to be they kept building new data centers. Capital costs were HUGE.

But C&W bought exodus. After the fallout. For very very cheap.

How could they not make a profit off this? Is maintaince costs still so high even with no expansion? They were CLOSING data centers not buiding them.

This worries me, because if after the initial build up is done, you still can't make money off a colo then that means prices are WAY too low and for the 2 or 3 colo's left, we are going to see prices sky-rocket to come up to meet expenses.

Sad day.

From the article... (2, Insightful)

AltGrendel (175092) | more than 11 years ago | (#6124234)

"C&W was never able to really challenge the big U.S. players, such as WorldCom and AT&T and was losing a lot of money in this market, but it's still sad to see another competitor disappear."

They are competing against a big company that is already bankrupt and in protection in court.

Re:This really doesn't make sense.... (1)

u-235-sentinel (594077) | more than 11 years ago | (#6124296)

I used to work for these guys in their Lindon site. Ellen and the gang were soo up beat and ready to conquer the world. That was 10 months before they went bankrupt. I'm still unsure why they were so up beat. They must have had a clue there were problems.

Think about it. They had billions in the bank. This was in 2000 when the internet bubble had burst and they were doing very well (according to them at least). Makes me wonder if Exodus is another Enron.

No I'm not trolling... I really was an employee and all the above is true as far as I know. After all this time I am curious.

Cost of leases (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6124347)

I stole this paragraph wholesale from a Yahoo finance post, so don't think I'm intelligent - thus the AC post. Basically it comes down to Exodus not planning to have a future by putting as many monkeys on its back as would fit.

-------
The webhosting/colo businesses - C&W bought Digital Island and then Exodus Communications. Exodus at that time was market leader in colo, hosting a lot of very large operations such as Yahoo. But EXDS and Digital Island had each spent a fortune on equipping their data centres, and had committed to heavy exposure on building leases. This lease problem is the biggest headache for C&W - some estimates talk of a cost of $700 million to terminate. This is compounded by a haemorrhaging of customers.

...
As someone else has pointed out, the only likely way C&W could "sell" their US operation is to pay someone to take it off their hands. Given the scale of the Exodus lease problems, C&W would probably have to pay several hundred $M. Those massive colo sites have little alternative use - they are not like office blocks that can find new tenants. Many of them were taken in ultra-expensive sites like Santa Clara at the height of the dotcom/property bubble.
---------

Re:This really doesn't make sense.... (5, Interesting)

Artifex (18308) | more than 11 years ago | (#6124385)

How could they not make a profit off this? Is maintaince costs still so high even with no expansion? They were CLOSING data centers not buiding them.


When they bought the data centers, they also bought all the contracts for leasing, etc., which probably run for several more years.

Ask companies like Verio about the bloodbath when they shut most of their new data centers down, but were left with 5 or 10 year contracts for those spaces, sometimes in extremely expensive locations. A lot of the equipment, like the big chillers and the fire suppression systems, probably still hasn't been paid for, either.

C&W is looking at with its data centers, I'm sure. Not to mention that they probably have a lot of fiber sitting dark (unused) right now, and lots more under contracts for less than the fixed costs. The salesmen for most of these carriers, by 1999, 2000 and 2001, undercut each other to the point where they were writing money-losing contracts, just to meet their quotas and get their commissions. And quite often, the contracts went to companies that then cancelled or went out of business when the bubble burst.

Re:This really doesn't make sense.... (2, Interesting)

MrLint (519792) | more than 11 years ago | (#6124407)

PSI had a similar problem. As I understand from a former employee they had soem gung ho iguana VP that bought up everythign in sight, fired all the local staff and then none of their imported people could run anything. And as you see they died an undignified death. Both PSI C&W were in the 'expand at all costs' mode of the 90's well after that wasnt gong to work.

*foom*

They've been working on this for a while now (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6124063)

Back at the end of last year, we were alerted that C&W was selling their customers to New Edge Networks. Not happy.

No! (4, Funny)

mao che minh (611166) | more than 11 years ago | (#6124065)

My god, will someone please think about the porn!?!

(all the porn that will be lost in those defunct datacenters)

We must establish a plan of action, and organize to save the porn.

Re:No! [joking!] (1)

Telastyn (206146) | more than 11 years ago | (#6124390)

At least that would be one case where people aren't crying 'save the children'!

Re:No! (2, Funny)

TomSawyer (100674) | more than 11 years ago | (#6124446)

Look on the bright side! What's bad for porn is bad for spam?

Re:No! (1)

anthony_dipierro (543308) | more than 11 years ago | (#6124465)

My god, will someone please think about the porn!?!

Someone already did [sourceforge.net] .

Don't you get it? (2, Funny)

DrLudicrous (607375) | more than 11 years ago | (#6124067)

C&W is in the red, so to speak, hence the red bars!

Re:Don't you get it? (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6124098)

haha mod parent up!

That red banner (-1, Offtopic)

kipsate (314423) | more than 11 years ago | (#6124075)

Ok, now I get it. We're supposed to give feedback (is it a duplicate, are there errors in the story, does the story make sense etc.)

On the basis of the feedback, what will Slashdot do? Will they go as far as to retract stories that turn out to be "problematic"?

Quick... (5, Funny)

PS-SCUD (601089) | more than 11 years ago | (#6124077)

Someone get a list of sites on their servers, so we can Slashdot them as a fairwell gift ;-)

Okay... (5, Funny)

SiMac (409541) | more than 11 years ago | (#6124122)

Here's one... [slashdot.org]

C&W (5, Insightful)

Stormcrow309 (590240) | more than 11 years ago | (#6124080)

It is an interesting problem that faces IT. The hospital I work at uses a mainframe on another site. We are planning to return it to on-site because we had downtime because the company moved their mainframe 'just because' from one side of Atlanta to another.

There is also the fun of who really owns your data? If the site just gets shutdown, how will you get data? (I know they should give it to you in tapes, but then you must find something they will work on.)

Re:C&W (3, Interesting)

El Pollo Loco (562236) | more than 11 years ago | (#6124116)

That is true. I work for the government. There are policys in place which require a investigation into where the data is being stored. As in, there has to be a really good reason why any data is stored offsite, and not just because it's easier.

Something wrong with the numbers (2, Insightful)

cgenman (325138) | more than 11 years ago | (#6124082)

According to the article, C&W posted a net loss of 6.4 billion pounds on revenues of 4.4 million.

Either there is something wrong with those numbers, or the happy days of the internet boom are back!

Re:Something wrong with the numbers (4, Informative)

Tim C (15259) | more than 11 years ago | (#6124103)

The £6bn loss includes write-downs on the values of some of their purchases; they haven't actually lost that much cash.

This could get ugly (4, Interesting)

saintjab (668572) | more than 11 years ago | (#6124086)

I know C&W controls a lot of connectivity throughout the US so this could be huge for a lot of corporations. It says they will honor their SLAs until they decide upon further action, but how well will they uphold the SLA? And more importantly does this come with a huge reduction in staff, as I would assume it will, and how can they uphold SLAs that are already being strained. Hopefully this will not result in any major down times. The beauty of the internet is its ability to adjust routes and optimize connections but loosing a big backbone provider could result is some serious revenue loss for some businesses.

Re:This could get ugly (1)

mr_z_beeblebrox (591077) | more than 11 years ago | (#6124339)

It says they will honor their SLAs until they decide upon further action, but how well will they uphold the SLA?

This should not impact their service level in any way. I have 2 C & W T1s. In the last 7 months I have experienced 9 outages 2 were planned and 7 (over four months) were attributed to a guy in Ok with a back hoe. Additionally when C&W put in those T1s it took them 8 months to get the service up and running. SLAs are just a means to trap their victims it does not impact what they need to do. They told us we could not sue over SLA because they did not bill us for bad service (but they would not release us).
I am glad that this worthless corporation has failed and glad that they are going. I hope that they are sold quickly though and their departure does not seriously impair the lives of their employees.

Re:This could get ugly (1)

saintjab (668572) | more than 11 years ago | (#6124397)

Don't get me wrong, I'm not claiming this is a bad thing in the long run. I'm more worried about having their staff reduced to a shell (in the interest of saving money until they restructure) and the cable in OK gets chopped by a back-hoe. Will they be able to restore service in a timely fashion? In the end this will all probably mean slightly better service and worse rates for consumers; but until then how well will C&W service its customers. Thats why I'm concerned that the SLAs will not be met.

Another Blow to Internet Stocks (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6124100)


How large U.S. Internet customers with international operations, such as Yahoo and eBay, will respond to the shutdown remains to be seen, said Sandra O'Boyle, an analyst at the Amsterdam, Netherlands, office of Current Analysis. "There are still enough service providers in the U.S., although the number of international providers is dwindling," she said. "C&W was never able to really challenge the big U.S. players, such as WorldCom and AT&T and was losing a lot of money in this market, but it's still sad to see another competitor disappear."


As competition continues to slim down, I am afraid that it is greatly going to increase the baseline costs of these large internet companies. Of course, this will eventually make its way down to us.

Competition is good. Although I would hate for the government to regulate the internet, grants and loans for improvement of its foundation
would help keep the current system strong and affordable.

Davak

C&W disappears? (5, Funny)

UnknowingFool (672806) | more than 11 years ago | (#6124114)

What's next rap? Heavy metal? Opera . . . well, it was never that popular.

Pulling out completely? (4, Informative)

Phroggy (441) | more than 11 years ago | (#6124128)

C&W does a wide range of things in the US, including operating colocation facilities, providing connectivity to businesses, operating dialup POPs, and running a major backbone. As a whole, these operations are losing $1 million a day (according to the article), but is it possible that one or two of them might actually be profitable? Will C&W completely pull out of the US, or will they keep a much more limited presense?

Another thing: will some operations be sold to other companies (and their customers transferred without loss of service), or will everything be turned off and each piece of equipment sold to the highest bidder?

I doubt anyone has the answers, but these are my questions. :-)

Do I remember that Slashdot is/was hosted by Exodus? I'm too lazy to investigate.

Re:Pulling out completely? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6124217)

Yes. And poorly. Who needs capable employees when you can give some baboons pagers and call it a hosting company?

why C&W is leaveing the states (1)

trinity93 (215227) | more than 11 years ago | (#6124171)

C&W tried to charge as much for a conection as they did in euroupe. who wants to pay 75 grand a month for a t-3 when everyone else is charegeing 3 to 8 grand. they tried to justify the costs to a prospective customer by claiming we have mci's back bone. when asked if they have upgraded it they say no. They are loosing money for one simple reason... POOR MANAGEMENT AND BULLHEADEDNESS

Re:why C&W is leaveing the states (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6124264)

We have subsituted the coffie slashdot.org normaly drinks with "Sandoz Crystials", Lets see if they notice the diferance

What the hell are you trying to say?

Re:why C&W is leaveing the states (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6124359)

Sandoz Labs was the company that held the patents on LSD, and for the longest time, the only place makeing pharmicuticle grade LSD

Re:why C&W is leaveing the states (1)

Phroggy (441) | more than 11 years ago | (#6124401)

They are loosing money for one simple reason... POOR MANAGEMENT AND BULLHEADEDNESS

Funny, that was half the reason my last employer went out of business too.

(For the other half, I blame the FCC and the economy.)

Looks like Slashdot will be moving... (5, Informative)

MrBadbar (168841) | more than 11 years ago | (#6124180)

According to Netcraft [netcraft.com] , slashdot.org itself is using IPs owned by C&W.

Netcraft Confirms: Slashdot is Moving! (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6124272)

Sorry, someone had to say it.

Open Relays (1)

ipour (177686) | more than 11 years ago | (#6124194)

Between the porn sites, open relays and unresponsiveness re spam/TOS, I'm not surprised these folks are getting out of the business. Hopefully whoever buys the pieces knows what to do with them.

Re:Open Relays (1)

Phroggy (441) | more than 11 years ago | (#6124280)

Between the porn sites, open relays and unresponsiveness re spam/TOS, I'm not surprised these folks are getting out of the business. Hopefully whoever buys the pieces knows what to do with them.

Are you kidding? You actually think they're significantly worse than their competition? Policing abuse is expensive, and for a large company strictly enforcing their policies doesn't result in a signficant measurable increase in revenues or decrease in costs. Sure, if everybody did it, everybody's bandwidth costs would go down, but bandwidth is probably cheaper than manpower anyway.

I can't wait for the day (1)

reverendG (602408) | more than 11 years ago | (#6124198)

I can't wait for the day that I can lose almost $10 billion (that's 9 frickin zero's) two years in a row, and still be capable of 'restructuring'.

On a similar note, a Trivial Pursuit question the other night said that some crown prince of Brunei spent $16 billion in one year. Had to get a gold plated toilet brush, among other things.

Which is a better waste of money? Just curious.

Re:I can't wait for the day (1)

Lawrence_Bird (67278) | more than 11 years ago | (#6124253)

most of that was a write down of good will. They basically bought things with their stock and it goes on the books as if it were like a cash purchase (over simplification). Now that the 'value' of those assets are seen to be, well, little, they have to take a non-cash charge - the assets are written down, and at the same time so is stock holders equity (or lack thereof!).

Mae-East (5, Interesting)

skyryder12 (677216) | more than 11 years ago | (#6124267)

Isn't Mae-East located in one of the C&W buildings in the Tysons Corner, Viriginia, USA area? I thought that was where the NSA had installed all of their Echelon sniffers. I bet there is some real back room skullduggery going on if this is true.....

Re:Mae-East (1)

confused one (671304) | more than 11 years ago | (#6124420)

And it will no doubt be protected, if true. They will see to it.

Re:Mae-East (4, Informative)

TheSync (5291) | more than 11 years ago | (#6124448)

MAE EAST isn't really just a "place" any more, it is more of a concept, and exists in several places. MAE EAST is operated now by MCI.

I remember seeing it when it was a small room in an underground parking garage. Net techs left their cans of Mountain Dew in the corner.

Today MAE EAST ATM service is avalable in Vienna, Reston, and Ashburn. It has ceased to really be one room, one floor, or even just in one building.

Near the original MAE EAST is also a major AboveNet (now MFN) collocation facility. That is where Geeks in Space: Slashdot Radio [thesync.com] used to be served from.

Growing broke (3, Insightful)

zptdooda (28851) | more than 11 years ago | (#6124271)

"And we need to concentrate on those markets that are sustainable ... "

Sustainable here means that you're collecting enough revenue (cash is good) to pay for all the inventory you're building. The first sign of trouble is a cashflow shortage.

Unmanaged growth is a temptation that's caught so many telecoms. Maybe they were thinking of achieving economies of scale or putting too much weight in the "grow or die" paradigm. Or maybe their CEO's were making pride-based decisions.

It's human to be overly optimistic about a venture that you're starting. Business plans quite often anticipate large profits in the future to pay for current excess spending and growth.

There's a Burmese saying "Big tiger, big paws", the analogy being that a large entity needs a lot to keep it upright - has big expenses and maintenance needs. This is even more significant when it's growing.

One step closer... (1)

NeB_Zero (645301) | more than 11 years ago | (#6124292)

Looks as if this brings us one step closer to a few companies controlling the entire internet space. Just like public utilities. Next thing you know, there will be more gov't control and regulation on the 'net slashdot will be a felony.

c & w balls out (1)

machine of god (569301) | more than 11 years ago | (#6124299)

What? Did anyone else read that too? Then I hear they're throwing in the towel. That's not balls out. Lightweights.

Re:c & w balls out (1)

NeB_Zero (645301) | more than 11 years ago | (#6124408)

they are bailing out of the US... or did you not visit their website?

my impression (5, Insightful)

awb131 (159522) | more than 11 years ago | (#6124324)

Is that Exodus and other hosting centers are having trouble because they're players in a shrinking middle market for the business of hosters that are:

  • Too big to use a dedicated host at a place like dreamhost or rackspace
  • Not big enough to host their own data center, as most major corporations are starting to do

The price/capability ratio of dedicated hosts (probably Linux/BSD on x86 hardware with really fat pipes) is falling. The difference in total cost between hosting something at Exodus and just building a good server room somewhere on a corporate campus or two is falling. (Initial build-out is expensive, but property is a pretty safe place to sink money these days, plus you can expense it and keep expensing the depreciation.)

I'm not saying there's nobody that needs Exodus-type services, but it's mostly folks that don't fit into one of these other (growing) categories.

Re:my impression (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6124389)

For smaller businesses, the build out cost is negligable. Especially for a B2B type site such as ours. Our webserver is a hand-me-down p3 500 on a T1. It's no big deal, since we get on the order of a dozen hits a month, if that.

may all marketing burn in hell! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6124365)

YEAH YEAH! it worked it worked. it's true!
there are ONLY geek, nerds,etc on the internet.
our collective PSI-waves we actually burst out 10 years ago
made those companies spend HUGE amounts of dollar
for more bandwidth ...
too bad we didn't think ahead ... now they're going to shut
everything down except for the newspapers (pay-for-read:
soon to be addressed), playboy, the IRC, the email....
*sniff*

anyways how is SPRINT-net doing?

no, serious: it's does marketing guys again.
the in-house technician, the guy who actually runs the whole show
(THE original geek) still gets laught at at those big
BACKBONE companies. AND he is not allowed in the
marketing caffetaria lounge ... *sniff*.
may ALL marketing "HEINIS" burn in hell!

{why improve a service/company if we can just merge,
pass GO! and collect 2000 dollars? i need a new porsch anyway ...}

WHAT?!?! A&W leaving the US?!?! (1)

Howard Beale (92386) | more than 11 years ago | (#6124399)

Oh my god, no more ROOT BEER!!!!!!

cw.net was last updated in the 70th... (4, Funny)

CodeMaster (28069) | more than 11 years ago | (#6124404)

Check out their corporate site cw.net [cw.net] .
The footer at the bottom says:

© Cable & Wireless, 2003
Updated January 1, 1970 GMT
IE Webmaster: webmaster@cw.net

Talk about staying on top of things...

Clueless (3, Interesting)

eludom (83727) | more than 11 years ago | (#6124437)

The article in todays' WSJ (sorry, no link,
I read the dead-tree version) cited the
basic problem in the telco industry as being
overcapacity, but then goes on to quote
the C&W prez as saying that they're going
to try to resell excess capacity to make
up losses.

The're also going to try to "hang on to
existing revenue streams" while exiting
the US Market (so, exactly what valuable
assets are you selling, and who, exactly
is buying ?)

Also says that the blulk of their revenue
comes from web hosting...there's a winning
1998 market (I just left a large recently
renamed telco doing securtiy for web hosting).

It's corporate "leadership" without a clue.

---eludom

Good riddance, Clueless & Witless... (3, Insightful)

Pig Hogger (10379) | more than 11 years ago | (#6124454)

Good riddance. Clueless and Witless has been one of the worst spam supporters [google.com] that ever been.

no surprise (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6124455)

I once worked for a company that used Digital Island (and then Exodus) for a lot of our media streaming needs. You could see the breakdown several months before C&W came in. Even after terminating our account (we owed them several hundred thousand through no fault of our own) and weeks of nasty phone calls, we were still able to walk into the data center where we were co-located and pick up about 10K worth of hardware.

They even had boxed it all up nicely for us. You'd think they would want to hold onto this for a bit. By the looks of the center, they certainly weren't hurting for free rack space.

I still get messages about maintenance and routes going down, almost daily. *sigh*

No Suprise Here (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6124463)

As a current C&W employee..

I have to say there really isn't any suprise to this. While its hard for any business to make a profit off of low-margin web-hosting, C&W was an ill-suited company to try and do so.

During the past ~2 years since it acquired both Digital Island and Exodus, C&W business model has been to lay-off people who knew what they were doing, and promote those who didn't (usually to the VP level).

The whole business is run by a very top-heavy management structure who have no interest whatsoever in doing what is good for the company. Instead upper management have only been concerned with building their own empires, even if duplicate functions existed elsewhere in the company.

There is only so long a company can exist with such an attitude, and C&W has hit the end of the road.
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