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Comments on news posted 2014-08-22 14:50:23: Way back in 2005 we profiled the Massachusetts towns of Shutesbury and Leverett, two shining examples of the kinds of U.S. towns that exist in broadband connectivity black holes courtesy of limited competition. ..

page: 1 · 2 · 3 · 4 · next


RWSI

join:2012-11-27
Albuquerque, NM

1 edit

Quid pro quo

If the area builds their own fiber project, the residents should have a reduction costing less for access.

davidhoffman
Premium
join:2009-11-19
Warner Robins, GA
kudos:3

8 recommendations

Western Massachusetts municipal FTTH.

Good for them. We will need more municipal FTTH projects and Google Fiber projects to get the incumbent wired ISPs to get more serious about upgrading networks and providing service.


Flyonthewall

@206.248.154.x

Do It Yourself

Always cheaper than paying someone else. Especially when they can't be arsed to do it, no matter what the cost.

This is what I don't get. They are perfectly fine leaving people dangling in the wind, but only those areas they don't feel are 'profitable'. Not 'not serviceable', just not profitable.

Makes me wonder why they would care who does what they want anywhere. If they don't care about state rights or government competition in this area, they shouldn't care about it anywhere.

silbaco
Premium
join:2009-08-03
USA

2 edits

2 recommendations

Muni

I think people underestimate the costs of munis. Sure, they will usually offer great customer service. The connections are usually unthrottled, unlimited, uncongested (peering points). The fiber ones usually offer speeds way beyond that of the incumbents. But do they actually save people money?

A quick look at the websites of some cable munis seems to say no. In fact the price per Mbps is often times way above what most people here complain about from incumbents. That doesn't include the cost of building and maintaining the network they have paid and may continue to pay through taxes. And many are clearly out of date, some maxing out at 15 Mbps. Fiber munis are still young. Some offer great speeds for the money. But it seems many are priced similarly to incumbents just to get the service, again excluding the money people have to pay through taxes and other means.

You don't just build a network and then never pay a dime from there on out. That network has to be maintained and upgraded. There are employees to pay to handle all aspects of the muni. Equipment to purchased and maintained. Etc. It should be no surprise that some of the most commonly known success stories and competitive munis cover populations of 100k+ and have access to serious cash.

dplantz

join:2000-08-02
Roslindale, MA

7 recommendations

reply to Flyonthewall

Re: Do It Yourself

I wish a law was passed that said if you refuse to serve an area than you have no legal right to try to stop or complain when the community does it themselves. I am tired of the cable co's and phone companies wasting money fighting gov broadband projects and not fully deploying within there service areas


novaflare
The Dragon Was Here
Premium
join:2002-01-24
Barberton, OH

3 recommendations

reply to silbaco

Re: Muni

You are forgetting that fiber to the home also means fiber to the store front. Fibered up cities are very attractive to many different types of shops. Internet cafes being one of them. Mid range hotels for another. Any person who travels allot for work may have their company bypass a city with only cable and dsl providers in-favor of one where the hotel has fiber based internet. So now you get business men coming to your town to stay at hotels in your town. This means while they stay they will buy food and hard goods in your town as well. Some may also move to your town at some point. Also computer shops that do repairs and things like virus and spyware clean up will also find your town attractive. Meaning more tax money comes in to your town.

At least that is the hope they have. Will it pay off every time not hardly. But they also know that when it does pay off it can pay off in big ways. So the risk to a town vs payoff is low. They can always scrap it if it starts bleeding money and it becomes a failed experiment. The customers will have enjoyed it while it lasted and the infrastructure is already there (if possibly poorly maintained) for a regular isp to simply repair and upgrade vs having to do new runs they can just reuse and or repair what is there.


v6movement

@135.23.225.x

4 recommendations

reply to silbaco
said by silbaco:

I think people underestimate the costs of munis. Sure, they will usually offer great customer service. The connections are usually unthrottled, unlimited, uncongested (peering points). The fiber ones usually offer speeds way beyond that of the incumbents. But do they actually save people money?

If I was stuck in area like these people are with no (even remotely decent) options for Internet access I couldn't care less if I was saving any money or not. I applaud these people for providing for themselves when stuck in a "have not" zone for Internet access.

elefante72

join:2010-12-03
East Amherst, NY

1 recommendation

reply to silbaco
+1 I agree, I believe there is a threshold of POPs needed to scale properly to be able to be priced competitively.

They could use metro-e to keep costs low and provide "future proofing".

I think that co-ops should be formed to reach enough scale regionally so that these can be successful sort of like how they wired America for power when early on the electrical companies "surprise" thought is was too much to wire those homes.

What is crappy, is that incumbents block or attempt to block these over "risk" or capital reasons. Hey running a business is risky and when you don't compete, you should lose. I get it (enjoy a monopoly), but there comes a point when the community has rights to self-determination also.

elray

join:2000-12-16
Santa Monica, CA
Reviews:
·Time Warner Cable
·EarthLink

1 recommendation

reply to silbaco
said by silbaco:
I think people underestimate the costs of munis. Sure, they will usually offer great customer service. The connections are usually unthrottled, unlimited, uncongested (peering points). The fiber ones usually offer speeds way beyond that of the incumbents. But do they actually save people money?

Great customer service?

I've been trying to reach customer service for one of our local municipal operations for over a week.

Do they save money?
Sure, when the capital costs are assigned to the homeowners via property tax, and the muni can subsidize the monthly cost by overcharging electric ratepayers, end-users will claim they save money.

said by silbaco:
A quick look at the websites of some cable munis seems to say no. In fact the price per Mbps is often times way above what most people here complain about from incumbents. That doesn't include the cost of building and maintaining the network they have paid and may continue to pay through taxes. And many are clearly out of date, some maxing out at 15 Mbps. Fiber munis are still young. Some offer great speeds for the money. But it seems many are priced similarly to incumbents just to get the service, again excluding the money people have to pay through taxes and other means.

Indeed, if you browse muni rate sheets, you'll see that they don't offer better rates over cable-tv, and typically, they aren't offering entry-level internet rates on par with commercial operators, all the while, operating at public subsidy.

said by silbaco:
You don't just build a network and then never pay a dime from there on out. That network has to be maintained and upgraded. There are employees to pay to handle all aspects of the muni. Equipment to purchased and maintained. Etc. It should be no surprise that some of the most commonly known success stories and competitive munis cover populations of 100k+ and have access to serious cash.

And those employees are murkily cross-subsidized by water and power ratepayers.

Imagine, in Los Angeles, the DWP operating a muni fiber network. Sure, we'd have free "LifeLine" service for the 80% on school lunch programs, while the rest of us would be surcharged, and it would be maintained like the water main that flooded UCLA two weeks hence. The pay-tv network would be bundled, and we'd be forced pay for foreign-language channels.

Nonetheless, it would be championed by the MSM and the government-dependent class as a "success" story, while property owners will have the double insult of not wanting the service, not having the service, but being taxed twice to pay for it.

en103

join:2011-05-02
reply to Flyonthewall

Re: Do It Yourself

Its not that they're not profitable... they're just not profitable enough.

tmc8080

join:2004-04-24
Brooklyn, NY
Reviews:
·ooma
·Optimum Online
·Verizon FiOS

stop talking about it and do it..

the world will not create an atmosphere of the early 2000s again where technology, the marketplace and regulation was open to revolutionary ideas in telecom. telecom is all about the profits and could care less about what individual communities want. if enough communities end up doing this.. there will be a tipping point where tier-1 providers will get into the game and either buy or build networks that serve customers directly too.
another remote possibility is telecom will build fiber again-- but don't count on it without the loss of money as motivation.

davidhoffman
Premium
join:2009-11-19
Warner Robins, GA
kudos:3
reply to silbaco

Re: Muni

Those maxed out 15Mbps deployments lead me to think in a different way. A GPON 1.2 Gbps link connected to a 80 port splitter? 15Mbps symmetrical for all subscribers may be the only service offered.
I read about a town that used a 128? split on GPON to offer 10Mbps symmetrical. That was the only offering, no other tiers available. So, you get less of the "up to" 200Mbps offerings that could not be supported if 100 customers had that tier and used it simultaneously.


Goliath2k
Premium
join:2013-12-28
united state

1 recommendation

reply to silbaco
said by silbaco:

And many are clearly out of date, some maxing out at 15 Mbps.

15 Mbps is infinitely greater than the 0 Mbps that the incumbents won't offer.

asdfdfdfdfdf
Premium
join:2012-05-09
kudos:3
Reviews:
·Verizon Wireless..

1 recommendation

Maybe republicans will get this outlawed at the state level...

as a great patriotic blow for states rights. You know, they are such believers in devolving control locally.

Until they get a federal law passed outlawing any municipal operation which will be a great blow for individual liberty in the face of communist infiltration.

See:
»www.infoworld.com/t/net-neutrali···-248943?

for their latest noble defense of liberty. We wouldn't want the federal government empowering local governments to make these decisions for themselves. Only communists believe municipalities should be controlling their own destinies.
Defending the states from both big government and small government simultaneously. Aint no job for pansies.


ArrayList
netbus developer
Premium
join:2005-03-19
Brighton, MA

I'm moving to boston

and I'm glad that I at least have the option to not go with Comcast since Verizon won't build FiOS here. Yay RCN!
--
A sane approach to our federal budget: Ignore the tea party


Flyonthewall

@206.248.154.x
reply to Goliath2k

Re: Muni

Or the 1-3 mbps that they do.


n2jtx

join:2001-01-13
Glen Head, NY
reply to asdfdfdfdfdf

Re: Maybe republicans will get this outlawed at the state level...

Republican's in Massachusetts?!?! I didn't think there were any left there. Heck when I lived in Springfield 30 years ago the state was already deep blue.
--
I support the right to keep and arm bears.

ncbill
Premium
join:2007-01-23
Winston Salem, NC

1 recommendation

reply to asdfdfdfdfdf
What is 'outlawed' is cross-subsidy.

So here a muni can build out a fiber network, but they can't subsidize the buildout or operation by charging more for other utilities, or by raising property taxes.


tshirt
Premium
join:2004-07-11
Snohomish, WA
kudos:5
Reviews:
·Comcast
reply to silbaco

Re: Muni

said by silbaco:

populations of 100k+ and have access to serious DEBT

$300x20= $6kx 100k homes/taxpayers = 600 million US$
and that's their first, highly optimistic, geustimate of your tax payment. the really costs are higher as using part of bonding authority, Other lending, like schools and utilities and other Necssary borrowing may end up costing more to fund due the % of debt.
and if you intend to build NOW, you and the rest of the taxpayer are actually taking out a loan for 600 million US$ at whatever the bond floats at.

DeLiver
Premium
join:2004-09-01
Earlville, NY
Reviews:
·Frontier Communi..

4 recommendations

reply to elray
I thought we were talking about Leverett, Massachusetts not LA. Look at a map. No municipal sewer, water, or electric. Neither Comcast or Verizon (from the linked article) is providing their customers needs. The voters have spoken and think $25/mo is worth it to overbuild the incumbents. They'll be paying it - not you.

I applaud these communities for the courage to take on these projects.


Dontbarkatme

@173.76.52.x
reply to ArrayList

Re: I'm moving to boston

Depends on the part of boston. Lots of parts are only vz or comcast. Some are rcn Comcast but not many are rcn vz and comcast. I think my city is one of 6 that have all 3 available.


tigerpaw509

join:2011-01-19

Really

So the town pays for the fiber build but pays a monthly profit to the building company?


cybah

join:2000-03-09
Chelsea, MA
reply to ArrayList

Re: I'm moving to boston

I hate to break it to you.. you can't FIOS in most of boston. Only certain high rises, a TINY section of Dorchester (near the Milton line), and Brighton (near Watertown) can get FIOS. I wouldn't expect to get it at all, its literally down to the street level if you can get it or not. You can thank the former Mayor for blocking FIOS from coming everywhere (since he wanted Verizon not to cherry pick neighborhoods).

Same with RCN.. Brighton, Parts of Dorchester, and private condo/high rises can only get RCN.

You will pretty much be stuck with Comcast.


fg8578

join:2009-04-26
Salem, OR

1 recommendation

reply to dplantz

Re: Do It Yourself

said by dplantz:

I wish a law was passed that said if you refuse to serve an area than you have no legal right to try to stop or complain when the community does it themselves. I am tired of the cable co's and phone companies wasting money fighting gov broadband projects and not fully deploying within there service areas

That is actually a great idea.

You should recommend that your state rep and state senator work on passing such a law.

I wish every state had such a law.

asdfdfdfdfdf
Premium
join:2012-05-09
kudos:3
Reviews:
·Verizon Wireless..

1 recommendation

reply to ncbill

Re: Maybe republicans will get this outlawed at the state level...

Which still begs the question of why the state government should be able to subvert the clear intentions of the local government and the citizens of that community. Why shouldn't the city government be free to decide what services they require and how they want to fund them?

These companies, and the politicians protecting their interests, don't care about states rights. Whatever level of government can get them what they want will be the level of government they support, whether city, state or federal. If the federal government can get them what they want tomorrow they will be anti states rights tomorrow.


KrK
Heavy Artillery For The Little Guy
Premium
join:2000-01-17
Tulsa, OK

That's illegal!

We can't have citizens paying taxes to build networks that could compete with private industries profits! That's COMMUNIST and CRIMINAL!

This is 'MURICA!

/troll mode off
--
"Fascism should more properly be called corporatism because it is the merger of state and corporate power." -- Benito Mussolini


KrK
Heavy Artillery For The Little Guy
Premium
join:2000-01-17
Tulsa, OK
reply to silbaco

Re: Muni

Still would be nice to have it when it doesn't exist now.


KrK
Heavy Artillery For The Little Guy
Premium
join:2000-01-17
Tulsa, OK

1 recommendation

reply to DeLiver
You have to excuse elray. He has a list of talking points.

Gain of salt, as they say.


IowaCowboy
Iowa native
Premium
join:2010-10-16
Springfield, MA
kudos:1
Reviews:
·Verizon Broadban..
·Comcast

Even Springfield could benefit from muni broadband

Comcast is the lowest of the low when it comes to broadband operators that I personally would like to see the city of Springfield find a reason to yank the franchise from Comcast.

It would be nice to see Springfield build a municipal broadband network, especially in a city where the residents cannot afford Comcast's exhorbinant rates.
--
Stop the Comcast-Time Warner merger, I'd rather Time Warner buy out Comcast.


KrK
Heavy Artillery For The Little Guy
Premium
join:2000-01-17
Tulsa, OK
reply to ncbill

Re: Maybe republicans will get this outlawed at the state level...

Which still means it's a Feds running over local Government rule. Something Republicans profess to hate.... UNLESS of course, it's for big profit., then States rights be damned. All depends on the issue.
--
"Fascism should more properly be called corporatism because it is the merger of state and corporate power." -- Benito Mussolini