Ion Storm

Just after posting the below item on Cringely's column, word comes that Sprint is shutting down its Ion service. This service combined very high-speed ADSL (8 Mbps up/1 Mbps) with a block of long-distance and local service. Ostensibly, they had a box that they fed over a DSL-style connection that handled voice both at the customer premises and at the c.o. to split out into the PSTN (public switched telephone network) and Sprint's ATM network.
One poster on Slashdot commenting on this noted that voice long-distance was routed digitally over Sprint's ATM network, which means Sprint was pushing its ATM essentially out to customer equipment. Smart. But obviously not profitable.
Sprint has a much better idea in its Sprint Broadband service, which uses the 2.5 GHz licensed band to offer high-speed line-of-sight service. But when I just visited their page, this service is also suspending acquisition of new customers. S.BB was smarter because they could acquire exclusive licenses to frequencies in the 2.5 GHz band and broadcast at higher powers than are allowed in the 2.4 GHz unlicensed band that 802.11b works in.
The HomeRF Working Group has put out a line for quite a while that their competing 2.4 GHz wireless offering could work in a superior manner in the home to 802.11b because it had voice priority built into the basic protocol. That is, the protocol schedules slots for voice packets every X milliseconds to prevent voice breakup or delay. But HomeRF's real push was a feed from telcos like the Ion feed: integrated data and voice and other services that a box in the home with a HomeRF access point in it. Ah, well.