• United States
by Staff

In brief: Number portability in question?

Nov 24, 20034 mins

Plus: Sun might offer open-source app and Web servers; Novell says SCO wrong about non-compete clause; U.S companies need to do more about cybersecurity; Polycom to buy Voyant.

As Network World went to press late last week, the long-awaited advent of wireless number and wireline-to-wireless portability was still on track to begin today, despite last-minute attempts to halt the process.

Last Thursday the FCC rejected a request filed two days earlier by the United States Telecom Association to delay wireline-to-wireless portability. The association also filed a petition with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit to review the FCC’s order. The industry group says the FCC’s rules are unfair and that the commission does not have the consumer’s best interest in mind. The filing also criticized the FCC for mandating wireline-to-wireless number portability, which will allow users to port their landline numbers to their wireless phones. That ruling came on Nov. 10, two weeks before the FCC’s Nov. 24 deadline.

Sun is developing a plan to offer versions of its application server and Web server under an open source license, Jonathan Schwartz, the company’s executive vice president for software, said last week. The move could help proliferate the use of Sun’s Java server software by making it more attractive to developers, some of whom like the freedom to view and modify software code that an open source license provides. Sun isn’t disclosing a timetable for its plan, but it’s exploring what type of open source license would be the most suitable to offer, Schwartz said.

Sun last week also announced it is acquiring management software vendor Waveset Technologies for an undisclosed price. Sun says Waveset’s Lighthouse suite of products has capabilities, such as user provisioning, not found in Sun’s identity management software. Sun says it intends to integrate some portion of Waveset’s software suite into its portal server and identity management products.

SCO Group CEO Darl McBride is incorrect in his contention that his company has a non-compete agreement with Novell that would be violated if Novell completes a planned acquisition of SuSe Linux, Novell said last week. “Mr. McBride’s characterization of the agreements between Novell and SCO is inaccurate,” Novell said in a statement. “There is no non-compete provision in those contracts, and the pending acquisition of SuSe Linux does not violate any agreement between Novell and SCO.”

McBride said in an interview this week that the $210 million SuSe Linux acquisition would infringe on an agreement Novell signed with The Santa Cruz Operation (now SCO) when Novell sold the rights to its Unix System V software in 1995. SCO bought The Santa Cruz Operation’s Unix business in 2000, acquiring with the technology the non-compete agreement, McBride said. He said SCO won’t pursue action against Novell until Novell closes the SuSe deal.

U.S. companies need to work together to improve their cybersecurity before a major cyberattack prompts Congress to pass hasty legislation, the chairman of a cybersecurity-focused U.S. House subcommittee told IT industry leaders last week.

Rep. Adam Putnam, chairman of the House Committee on Government Reform’s Subcommittee on Technology, Information Policy Intergovernmental Relations and the Census, decided this month not to introduce a bill that would require public companies to report their cybersecurity initiatives to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. “A hell of a lot of negative feedback” over the proposed bill forced Putnam (R-Fla.) to reconsider the legislation, he said. IT security experts objected to the proposal during a discussion on government’s role in cybersecurity sponsored by the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington, D.C.

However, Putnam warned IT company leaders that any private sector efforts to build consensus on cybersecurity best practices might be washed aside by Congress if there is a major cyberattack on U.S. infrastructure.

Conferencing provider Polycom has agreed to pay about $100 million for Voyant Technologies,a privately held company that develops voice communications products and services.Polycom says the deal will enable it to strengthen the voice offerings of Polycom Office, which provides companies integrated voice, video, data and Web communications.

Furthermore, Polycom says it plans to bank on Voyant’s relationships with service providers such as Verizon and WebEx to gain better partnerships with the companies. Polycom has a history of strengthening itself through acquisitions, such as when it purchased rival PictureTel in 2001 and network equipment maker Accord Networks in 2000 to fill gaps in its voice, data and video collaboration products.