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CenturyLink Gets Seattle to Nix VRAD Homeowner Notification Rule
by Karl Bode 06:31PM Monday Mar 31 2014
For many years now the installation of fiber to the node and VDSL services have caused friction with communities that don't like having giant VRAD cabinets plunked down on their lawns. Most notable in these disputes has been AT&T's U-Verse service; AT&T having to go so far in some areas as to shell out an additional $1,500 to $2,000 per cabinet for landscaping to make the cabinets less of an eyesore. U-Verse deployment in San Francisco has been held up for years because locals didn't like how the cabinets looked.

Now Seattle's new Mayor Ed Murray may be courting controversy with the news he's eliminating a Seattle law that requires phone companies (in Seattle's case, CenturyLink) contact homeowners before they install the cabinets on public easements:
quote:
Murray told me last week during a chat about his technology plans that he’s dropping the rule. He plans to submit a new rule to the City Council by the end of June. In the first year after it’s finalized, an estimated 349 cabinets will be installed....CenturyLink has been a major Murray supporter. The company and its lobbyist gave his mayoral campaign the maximum possible donations. He also received a $5,000 donation from the state broadband-providers association.
While bureaucracy can stifle deployment, CenturyLink's lack of next-gen upgrades likely have as much if not more to do with the general lack of competition in Seattle. Murray's campaign finance contributions were a topic of some conversation during his recent election campaign, given both companies want Seattle to drop the city's long-standing attempt to explore running its own fiber to the home network. Murray denies the campaign contributions influence his policy positions, and says the city is still considering building and/or co-operating a new citywide fiber network.

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political_i

join:2013-11-12
Reviews:
·Comcast
·Charter

Seattle

Given how the City has its own electric utility, the only issue that stands in the way is state law that prohibits the direct sale of telecommunications services by public utility districts.

It makes me wonder, is it cheaper to install VRADs versus FTTH?

tshirt
Premium,MVM
join:2004-07-11
Snohomish, WA
kudos:4
Reviews:
·Comcast

Re: Seattle

said by political_i:

It makes me wonder, is it cheaper to install VRADs versus FTTH?

much much cheaper
not having to dig in conduit to each house vs a VRAD conveniently located next to existing Telco boxes.
The seattle problem above is fairly narrow parking strips/street side ROW in many neighborhoods with many residents feeling they OWN that skinny patch of grass next to the street.
rradina

join:2000-08-08
Chesterfield, MO

Re: Seattle

Well, they might but ownership comes with easement rights. Still, I can understand why they don't want a big box where none exists today.

tshirt
Premium,MVM
join:2004-07-11
Snohomish, WA
kudos:4
Reviews:
·Comcast

Re: Seattle

said by rradina:

Still, I can understand why they don't want a big box where none exists today.

So can I, but there is a difference between notice and having the RIGHT to block a public utility from lawfully using the RoW as intended.
This is as much about the differences between the former mayor (who would have liked to ban cars, tear up streets and have everyone ride bikes everywhere) and the new Mayor who wants to be a little more practical and get stuff done, but may bulldoze a few citizens rights in the process of showing himself to be different.

The generic problem is many seattle neighborhoods built out in the 30's'-40's when car ownership was rarer and 1 per household unusual with many using public transport all the time.
this left narrow streets with 1 side parking (more than enough then) and small houses now with families/room mates now having 2-3-4 vehicles per house and on street parking (both sides) to be way over crowded and the RoW jammed with street trees and all the utilities jammed together.

IowaCowboy
Iowa native
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join:2010-10-16
Springfield, MA
kudos:1
Reviews:
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I don't care one way or another

Verizon can install a VRAD on my lawn, I'd welcome some real competition to Comcast.

Maybe Verizon might give up on FiOS and may focus future upgrades on VDSL in the future since they can use the existing copper in the last mile. They seem to be running into difficulty shutting down their copper network so VDSL may be the upgrade path to squeeze more money out of it without too much upgrade investment.

The sight of a VRAD is the sight of the future.
--
I've experienced ImOn (when they were McLeod USA), Mediacom, Comcast, and Time Warner and I currently have DirecTV. They are much better than broadcast TV.

I have not and will not cut the cord.

tshirt
Premium,MVM
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Snohomish, WA
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Re: I don't care one way or another


said by IowaCowboy:

The sight of a VRAD is the sight of the future

But might not be if it blocked one of the easily accessible (as in ADA-like, even if not specifically marked) parking spots in front of your home.

goalieskates
Premium
join:2004-09-12
land of big

1 edit
said by IowaCowboy:

The sight of a VRAD is the sight of the future.

People used to say that about telephone/electrical lines too. Have you seen the old photos? And then cities had to go back and move that mess underground at great taxpayer expense.

Funny how some people are so focused on what they want, they don't care what anyone else thinks. So try the reverse: If it was my yard they wanted to put it in, I wouldn't be at all sympathetic to your need for the future. You could do without. heh

Not trying to be mean, just showing you the same consideration you're showing for others.

Zenit

join:2012-05-07
N. VA, USA
Reviews:
·Comcast
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·Verizon Online DSL
Keep dreaming! VZ will not spend a single dime on the Bell era copper network. Just take a look at it, its probably fallen apart to the point that it would be unusable for VDSL.

Look at the trash bags covering leaking aerial splice cases, or peds missing covers, that stay in place for years. Cables start to get water in them.

The Copper network VZ has is totaled. Its possible some segments of the network are salvageable (like what Frontier has done with the VZ Copper areas it inherited) but it would cost as much as starting from scratch. I think NY's PUC released a report that VZ POTS had the lowest reliability ever recorded (2013). Lightning hit a cable killing POTS for a town, VZ took half a year to replace it. Cables everywhere shorting out, leaking. Old WECO 5ESS switches dying with no replacement.

VZ just replaces POTS with VoiceLink. DSL with LTE. This is their true master plan.

IowaCowboy
Iowa native
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Springfield, MA
kudos:1
Reviews:
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Re: I don't care one way or another

Not in this state of Massachusetts, if they didn't meet certain reliability standards they'd face fines that wouldn't be worth it.

A few years ago they entered into a settlement with the Attorney General of Massachusetts that resulted in an agreement that they'd make repairs and meet reliability standards. You DO see Verizon trucks here making repairs and cables getting replaced.

Massachusetts is a business unfriendly state. I'm surprised they didn't upgrade the rest of the state to FiOS to get the regulators off their backs.

Massachusetts is a state I would not start a business in.

Edit: Did you hear about North Adams, MA; a single cell tower blew down in a storm and it knocked out cell service to the whole town on three carriers (AT&T, Verizon, and Sprint) and even with the portable tower it's still not up to full service yet. Those that had landlines did not lose service. That tower going down knocked all the other towers offline in town.
--
I've experienced ImOn (when they were McLeod USA), Mediacom, Comcast, and Time Warner and I currently have DirecTV. They are much better than broadcast TV.

I have not and will not cut the cord.
jjeffeory

join:2002-12-04
USA

Re: I don't care one way or another

Massachusetts is unfriendly to businesses, customers, and residents. It pretty much equal opportunity.
I would not choose to live there because of that fact, even though it is a pretty place. You should hear what your neighbors to the North call residents of the state because of their attitude and conduct in other states!

IowaCowboy
Iowa native
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Springfield, MA
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Re: I don't care one way or another

I am dreaming of the day I can move back to Iowa, it's just that I'm not able to right now.

Massachusetts is big government in every way with car inspections (safety and smog), building permits needed for every building modification (I'm surprised they don't require a building permit to change a light bulb or prune your shrubs), and they'll even haul you off to jail for not renewing a dog license on time (actually happened in Holyoke, wasn't actually over the dog license but for failure to appear).
--
I've experienced ImOn (when they were McLeod USA), Mediacom, Comcast, and Time Warner and I currently have DirecTV. They are much better than broadcast TV.

I have not and will not cut the cord.
TBBroadband

join:2012-10-26
Fremont, OH

Re: I don't care one way or another

Many cities have dog license renew laws. Fines, jail time and other items. Including losing the dog. It's just not there.
clone

join:2000-12-11
Portage, IN

Re: I don't care one way or another

That doesn't make it right. I'm so glad I don't live in an over-regulated liberal cesspit like the Northeast where you get a fine for sneezing incorrectly or not mowing your grass for 3 days.

IowaCowboy
Iowa native
Premium
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Springfield, MA
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Reviews:
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Re: I don't care one way or another

My grandma is angry because I registered her dog in my name when she came to our house. I told her this area is capable of carting an 82 (she just turned 82 last week) year old bedridden elderly person off to jail over a dog license. At least I could fight off bubba.

KrK
Heavy Artillery For The Little Guy
Premium
join:2000-01-17
Tulsa, OK
Move here, you'd love it. Unless of course you got sick, injured or ripped off of all your money. It's as red as you get, and consistently on the bottom of all the lists that matter.
--
"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
Sounds just like Oklahoma, except here it IS a business friendly state which means you get all of that plus no protections for workers, consumers or anything else. Business gets all the rights, you get none, except the right to pay.
--
"Fascism should more properly be called corporatism because it is the merger of state and corporate power." -- Benito Mussolini

IowaCowboy
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Springfield, MA
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Re: I don't care one way or another

said by KrK:

Sounds just like Oklahoma, except here it IS a business friendly state which means you get all of that plus no protections for workers, consumers or anything else. Business gets all the rights, you get none, except the right to pay.

Which explains why Massachusetts has a higher than the national average unemployment rate (here in Springfield the unemployment rate is 15 percent). No businesses want to setup shop here. Even big corporations won't locate here unless it's a retail outlet or restaurant. There are virtually no call centers here or distribution centers. Cedar Rapids, IA (more business friendly) had a lot of telemarketing call centers in the heyday of telemarketing and my former neighbor was a telemarketer, it's a high stress low paying job. You take A LOT of abuse from the person on the other end.

I'm sure in Oklahoma your landlord can lock you out of your apartment or shut off your utilities to collect past due rent or resolve landlord-tenant disputes without going to court. Here in Mass that is highly illegal.
--
I've experienced ImOn (when they were McLeod USA), Mediacom, Comcast, and Time Warner and I currently have DirecTV. They are much better than broadcast TV.

I have not and will not cut the cord.

TAZ

join:2014-01-03
Tucson, AZ
kudos:3

VRAD?

Could we please stop using this term? It's BS marketing from AT&T for a remotely-hosted DSLAM with multicast support.

This is Seattle so it's going to be the standard Qwest CoolPed deployment. See »prodnet.www.neca.org/publication···12cl.pdf for a picture of an open cabinet. They're small, placed next to existing cross boxes, are generally smaller than those cross boxes and really are not bothersome. I've also seen AT&T's VDSL cabinets (sorry, I refuse to call them "VRAD") and those are much, much larger. Basically, if AT&T's are fridges, these may as well be toasters (not quite the exact scale but the closest similar object I can think of). The only downside is no battery backup, which would be nice (my own UPS keeps my equipment up) but since they don't sell VoIP like AT&T, it's seen as unnecessary.

fg8578

join:2009-04-26
Salem, OR

Re: VRAD?

@TAZ: thanx for the link. So you're saying that what CenturyLink is installing is the smaller devices on the left of PDF page 6, not the big broadband DSLAM cabinet on the right of PDF page 6? If that is true, I don't get all the fuss. I could see people getting upset about the DSLAMs but those things have to go somewhere, or you don't get broadband from the telco.

TAZ

join:2014-01-03
Tucson, AZ
kudos:3

Re: VRAD?

The pictures on the left are of the TA1148V DSLAMs. The cabinet on the right houses those DSLAMs, so yes, they are installing those cabinets. They really aren't large though (they are at pretty much every cross box in my area).

Technically, they can also attach these DSLAMs to the outside of another cabinet (they are water and environmental-proof), but that doesn't seem to be a normal deployment practice for them. I'm not sure why, because it would save them on cabinet costs. The best reason I can think of is security, but out here a lot of the cross boxes are up against a brick wall anyway, so they could just attach it to the back (where it couldn't be seen).

fg8578

join:2009-04-26
Salem, OR

Re: VRAD?

Yes I would guess security is the reason. That's probably why they want to mount them inside a cabinet, but I'm no outside plant expert and that's just pure speculation on my part.

TAZ

join:2014-01-03
Tucson, AZ
kudos:3

Re: VRAD?

At some point though, if someone really wants the things they're not hard to get. With how small they are, you could back a car into the cabinet and just take it (then deal with cutting any locks later). So if anything, attaching to the back of a cross box, if it's facing a wall, is probably safer as it's not seen.
coryw

join:2013-12-22
Flagstaff, AZ
Reviews:
·CenturyLink
My DSLAM is what I'm pretty sure is a CooledPed, but I have seen much larger ones. CL does really install a variety, and it also depends on the age of your remote terminal. I've seen a few that are larger than the CooledPed. Some really are as big as AT&T's boxes, and a few are much taller, although the one I'm thinking of in particular isn't very deep, so it would fit well on a thin utility right-of-way, it could completely block somebody's view.

Here in my town, which has hecka NIMBYs, CL tries to put the RTs/DSLAMs either between properties (so as to minimize the reduction of the view of the road you have) or tucked out of the way somewhere. The one serving my house is on a stub road that never got connected to anything, and another in town is behind the mailboxes for the apartment/condo community it serves.

One thing that will be interesting is if in the future they feed FTTH out of the RT locations or if they will rip them out as part of the vestigial copper infrastructure and do GPON from the central offices.

TAZ

join:2014-01-03
Tucson, AZ
kudos:3

Re: VRAD?

said by coryw:

My DSLAM is what I'm pretty sure is a CooledPed, but I have seen much larger ones.

For the most part, the larger ones are old equipment (like Stingers) still in service. They've been using the 1124 and 1148 since 2003/2004. It makes no sense to deploy anything else in locations where POTS is already available.

The TA5000 and probably C7 (in non-Qwest areas) are used for BBDLC applications. Those cabinets are as large as AT&T's, but again, this is relatively rare.

said by coryw:

Here in my town, which has hecka NIMBYs, CL tries to put the RTs/DSLAMs either between properties (so as to minimize the reduction of the view of the road you have) or tucked out of the way somewhere. The one serving my house is on a stub road that never got connected to anything, and another in town is behind the mailboxes for the apartment/condo community it serves.

I'm glad you managed to find yours. They make no attempt to hide them here.

bmccoy

join:2013-03-18
Port Orchard, WA
Reviews:
·CenturyLink
·Wave Broadband

Wow...

Should we expect CenturyStink to maintain/upgrade their existing infrastructure, even though they "donated" a ton of money to Ed Murray and now they can do whatever the heck they want?
I don't think so. They'll find another way to raise their rates. Look around in CenturyStink's service areas, just take a look at a splice case/pedestal and you're likely to find trash bags as the only thing keeping water from getting into their wiring. Their infrastructure IS trash, and they need to acknowledge and either fix it or scrap it and start from scratch. Otherwise they'll just keep losing customers to cable companies. In my town, we're still using Bell System's infrastructure from the 1970's. The fastest speed we can get around here is 7Mbps, right next door to the CO, and if you're lucky, maybe 12Mbps in the town next to mine.
rebus9

join:2002-03-26
Tampa Bay

Nothing is sweeter than

Nothing is sweeter than having your own politician, bought and paid for. It's like having your own personal genie.