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Gas, Electricity, Broadband
NYC still discussing best broadband path
by Karl Bode 06:17PM Tuesday Jun 26 2007
New York City's Broadband Advisory Committee, seemingly in a perpetual state of discussion since creation, continues their debate over whether broadband should be considered a utility and doled out to all city residents, possibly for free. The longstanding semantic argument over whether broadband is a luxury or utility stems from the debate on whether deployment should be subsidized -- particularly to low income citizens.

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Noah Vail
Son made my Avatar
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join:2004-12-10
Lorton, VA
kudos:3

Um.

Is Gas Broadband not Vaporware?

NV
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MrMoody
Free range slave
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join:2002-09-03
Smithfield, NC

Re: Um.

Ha, next they'll have BGL - Broadband over Gas Line

Karl Bode
News Guy
join:2000-03-02
kudos:39

Re: Um.

They already have, though they've been pretty quiet so far this year after all of those ridiculous promises in 2006:

»Broadband in Gas Lines

MrMoody
Free range slave
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join:2002-09-03
Smithfield, NC

Re: Um.

Well, prop my mouf open an' use me for a waveguide. I missed that.

tshirt
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join:2004-07-11
Snohomish, WA
kudos:4
Reviews:
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1 recommendation

It actually could work.... as a last mile OPTION, or let's say a last half mile option, it avoids tearing up the streets (and other utilities) to get from an ISP/backbone provider to the building, from there it's ( or should be) up to the building owner to wire from the meter to the point( or points in multi user dwelling/businesses) of use.
while BBoG deployment would be subsidized by the gas company (by eliminating meter reader positions )
there is no reason for the public to finace/subsidize the provider (gas company and partners) or subsidize the building owners retrofit.
What governemnt can do is set current and long term/long term planning standards for regulation of BB providers (irregardless of delivery method) and for building owners to allow reasonably return on their investment, if they provide reasonable service, at a reasonable price. (you sign a 20 year lease and then landlord mentions the $$$$ "Fee" increase for getting the advertised "broadband availablity" from the ground to your 5th floor apt/business )
Time4aNAP
Premium
join:2007-04-09
Des Plaines, IL

Re: Um.

said by tshirt:

It actually could work...
Of course it can work! Any utility with established rights-of-way has hegemony in the real estate necessary to deploy any new to-the-home technology. That alone is 90% of the entire package.

Let's be realistic about this. The current utility infrastructure was made possible by the Industrial Revolution, FDR's work programs that got us out of the Great Depression, and postwar domestic growth after the two world wars. By 1970 there wasn't the will or the wealth in America to make way for new rights-of-way.

What we do have is an archeologist's treasure trove of abandoned vaults, conduits, pipelines and other buried structures that have been long-forgotten. Some day these will be the pilot guides for new excavation techniques that can reclaim these abandoned spaces. Meanwhile, natural gas companies are constantly replacing old, leaky pipelines with new ones. So as not to disrupt service for long periods of time, the new lines are often laid down right next to the old ones. And to save money, the old lines are left where they are, rather than go to the expense of removing them.

Here's the cool part: the pipes that are no longer suitable for carrying flammable gas under pressure are often still serviceable as conduit for fiberoptic cable. Since they're no longer going to be carrying a potentially dangerous gas, any leaks can be made watertight cheaply. The result, an instant fiber backbone at a minimal cost.

The last mile is the most realistic application for BiG, since it's unlikely that every street will have a suitable conduit, and it's doubtful that simply energizing a large metropolitan area with uncontrollable UWB would really work. As for reading meters, an RF system has been in use for a long time in many places. I don't see utilities, gas or others, scrapping working systems and installing new ones "to save money". Similarly, those places that still have people going to each meter will have to pay for the new meters themselves, at the same time that they're making the other major capital investment. Between that and the workers' unions, "eliminating meter reader positions" would have a high initial cost at the worst possible time, speaking financially. So no, the gas companies would be in no position to offer subsidies to anyone.

I really doubt that the gas companies are going to attempt to bring BiG to multi-tenant buildings until the technology has proven itself, and has all of the kinks and bugs worked out in single family home neighborhoods. It's important that the initial rollout is a success. Suburban subdivisions that were built all at once, with every street and house having the same physical (and therefore, hopefully the same electrical) characteristics are the obvious places to start because they face the fewest unknown variables. I also doubt that the meter, which is usually located outside for safety reasons, would be the most suitable place to put the CPE for broadband.

ARGONAUT
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1 edit
It's all "bla bla" until it happens.
Kearnstd
Space Elf
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however using the utility and services tunnels and vaults the city owns to run the said fiber is a good deal. however gas would be con-ed owned and not NYC.
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ninjatutle
Premium

join:2006-01-02
San Ramon, CA

Worry about broadband later, fix smell and rats 1st

If they had a need to be online, they're already online.
bmn
? ? ?
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join:2001-03-15
hiatus

Broadband still a luxury...

It is WAY to early in the game to be classifying it a utility. In ten or twenty years, yeah, it probably will need to be a utility since the world is becoming more connected.

Right now though, no.
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jersey7

join:2007-05-14

1 recommendation

Re: Broadband still a luxury...

I disagree. Broadband is becoming a much needed utility right now. At least it should be in the wealthiest nation in the world...

keyboard5684
Sam

join:2001-08-01
Pittsburgh, PA

1 recommendation

Re: Broadband still a luxury...

China? They already have it.

FFH
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Tavistock NJ
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1 recommendation

BB not a utility ....

debate over whether broadband should be considered a utility and doled out to all city residents, possibly for free.
.... but even if it could be considered a utility, why should it be free. Electricity and water isn't free.
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Mactron
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CM94sv

Re: BB not a utility ....

said by FFH:

... but even if it could be considered a utility, why should it be free. Electricity and water isn't free.
Electricity from Atomic Energy was suppose to be un-metered & free...
Oh, that's right, that didn't work out so well either.
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Kearnstd
Space Elf
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1 recommendation

Re: BB not a utility ....

not to mention here in the US we will never see any more atomic energy since its taboo due to tinfoil hat types.
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ARGONAUT
Have a nice day.
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New Albany, IN
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Re: BB not a utility ....

Yucca Mountain can only hold so much.

Plus that would make a great target for "the black hats" wouldn't it?

MuniNYCFbr

@rcn.com

Re: BB not a utility ....

A proposal for Municipal fiber optics for NYC (dont know what extent yet) for $59 for 100/100 speeds is being proposed.

jslik
That just happened
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join:2006-03-17
said by FFH:

debate over whether broadband should be considered a utility and doled out to all city residents, possibly for free.
.... but even if it could be considered a utility, why should it be free. Electricity and water isn't free.
I do agree there. Costs have to be picked up by somebody, and I don't think folks are going to sign up for some ad-filled access scheme or higher rates for other utilities to float free broadband. Plus the incumbents would pitch holy heck.
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jbskaggs

join:2004-10-15
Hickory, NC
I disagree and agree. While broadband is a utility, it does not need to be given free.. It should be made at a price that people can afford.

La Luna
RIP Lisa
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Warwick, NY
kudos:3
said by FFH:

debate over whether broadband should be considered a utility and doled out to all city residents, possibly for free.
.... but even if it could be considered a utility, why should it be free. Electricity and water isn't free.
Ahh, but it won't be "free" for everyone, only for some. The rest of us will subsidize it, through rate hikes on OUR broadband bills or tax rate hikes, just like we do for everything else that some people get for "free".
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Fox McCloud
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join:2006-07-23
said by FFH:

debate over whether broadband should be considered a utility and doled out to all city residents, possibly for free.
.... but even if it could be considered a utility, why should it be free. Electricity and water isn't free.
I agree with you, TCH; I think that the only reason it should be classified as a utility is so that it forces the broadband companies (minus satellite) to offer everyone in the US some form of broadband Internet access....

However, making it free? Pshh, no.

no, in relation to NYC and only NYC? Same argument.
raye
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join:2000-08-14
Orange, CA

Perpetual state of uncontrollable flatulence

Are these folks actually on the city payroll?
robertfl
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join:2005-10-10
Mary Esther, FL

Rural Areas first

Let's get this in rural areas first. NYC has broadband already. I know people who live in VA who can't get it from Verizon.

We need to make TRUE broadband available to all where it will be profitable and affordiable.

-Rob

fcisler
Premium
join:2004-06-14
Riverhead, NY

run the MEDIUM

Government subsidized fiber to everyone....

"Pick your provider" for the customer - with NO government "associated" providers. Flat rate "line charge" for the medium, and then - at the provider - their charge. Kind of like a local loop....but (and i love/hate the word) "regulated".

Lets see if that won't bring some competition....

Oh...one can dream...there's also so many flaws in that plan...but it's a general idea which keeps rolling around in my head....if everyones wired (and not wired to a company) and can chose WHICH provider they want....

59126125
Premium
join:2006-01-21

Re: run the MEDIUM

I'm too lazy to look it up right now, but pretty sure that is what Utah is doing with the UTOPIA program.
Draganta

join:2004-12-16
Oakland Gardens, NY

1 edit

A Company Offering This Service

One company will be offering this service. I better clean up before the installer comes by.

»www.google.com/tisp/

fixthetrains

@verizon.net

priorities..

nyc should fix overcrowding on it's subways, and other stuff first.. and if some company wants to offer free wifi to the masses and absorb the cost.. that's okay too, but taxpayer money should go to improving quality of life issues first (affordable housing comes to mind), THEN look to enhance tourism, education, high tech industry growth in nyc.