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Seattle Eyes $500 Million Fiber Network
City has never been happy with Qwest's broadband plans...
by Karl Bode 06:34PM Monday Mar 17 2008
The city of Seattle has for many years been unimpressed with Qwest's regional broadband offerings, and has been exploring the creation of a citywide fiber network for just as long. The city is once again feeling out private-sector interest in building and operating a $500 million fiber to the home network.
quote:
Officials plan to brief the City Council's energy and technology committee March 19 on their plans to put out a formal request for proposals in September, said city Chief Technology Officer Bill Schrier. A city-commissioned task force in 2005 identified extending fiber all the way to homes and businesses, known as fiber-to-the-premise, as the best way to provide Seattle's populace with high-bandwidth voice, video and data options.
In 2006 Qwest said they'd offer faster broadband when customers were ready, which was code for "we lack the resources or ambition." Qwest recently unveiled their plans to offer 20Mbps VDSL with Seattle as a launch market, but the entire multi-State investment effort clocks in at $300 total, $200 less than Seattle's hopes to spend on their own fiber network alone. Seattle's would be the more ambitious (and faster) of the two -- given Qwest's plan involves serving only the most profitable portions of Seattle.

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SunnyFL
Premium
join:2001-02-08

Fiber

Doesn't look like Seattle has wired there city yet though they have been talking about this for some time now.

Not an easy project.

FFH
Premium
join:2002-03-03
Tavistock NJ
kudos:5

1 edit

Re: Fiber

said by SunnyFL:

Doesn't look like Seattle has wired there city yet though they have been talking about this for some time now.

Not an easy project.
And, as usual, they want some private enterprise to take all the risks, while still maintaining governmental(& thereby political) oversight and control. Good luck on getting anyone to reply to the RFP. Maybe they hope Microsoft will bail them out by creating a broadband showcase at a loss to MS like Google did in Moutainview, CA.
--
My BLOG .. .. Internet News .. .. My Web Page

PhoenixDown
FIOS is Awesome
Premium
join:2003-06-08
Fresh Meadows, NY
kudos:1

Re: Fiber

If the deal was structured right, this could be extremely lucrative opportunity for a major telecom provider.

FFH
Premium
join:2002-03-03
Tavistock NJ
kudos:5

Re: Fiber

said by PhoenixDown:

If the deal was structured right, this could be extremely lucrative opportunity for a major telecom provider.
Politicians will be involved. What do you think the chances are it will be "structured right"?
--
My BLOG .. .. Internet News .. .. My Web Page

TScheisskopf
World News Trust

join:2005-02-13
Belvidere, NJ

Re: Fiber

I agree. I look at Wall Street and I get all warm and fuzzy, knowing that Big Business always knows and does The Correct Thing.

And they never, ever need politicians and government types to bail them out of trouble, either.

Healbot
Premium
join:2003-07-16
Vancouver, WA

Fios

They have verizon fios in the region already
lordofwhee

join:2007-10-21
Everett, WA

Re: Fios

If by "have in the region" you mean "get to look at the fiber lines that ALMOST reach their houses", then you are correct.

ahulett
Premium,VIP
join:2003-02-02
Kirkland, WA
kudos:2
Unfortunately not on the road I'm at. I keep checking though... hoping...
EPS4

join:2008-02-13
Hingham, MA
Is Seattle a Verizon or Qwest ILEC area, or is it mixed? The article seems to give the impression that the city itself is Qwest. Verizon tends not to place FiOS where they don't have ILEC status, since that would mean having to negotiate for the right-of-way.
pepperxn

join:2001-02-21

Re: Fios

said by EPS4:

Is Seattle a Verizon or Qwest ILEC area, or is it mixed? The article seems to give the impression that the city itself is Qwest. Verizon tends not to place FiOS where they don't have ILEC status, since that would mean having to negotiate for the right-of-way.
Qwest, but Verizon has spotty areas around the country outside their territory that was GTE.

MukMan

@verizon.com

Re: Fios

FiOS is already built out in the Verizon franchise landline area and more is coming. Those areas include Kirkland, Redmond and on north through Bothell and into Lynnwood, Edmonds and on up to Everett in Snohomish County.

Their contractors are already in my neighborhood off the Mukilteo Speedway putting the fiber-optics in underground before they eventually ask me if I want it - at that point they'll connect it to my house. Once they offer TV, they'll have scads of people abandoning Comcast or Comcast keeping them by meeting Verizon's price point in the market which is usually better than Big C's.

As to Seattle, it's not only that they want to 'monitor' private enterprise, they also want private enterprise to use its money, not the taxpayer money. . . We'll see how 'Northwest Nice' and 'the Seattle Way' play out in this vision of a fiber-to-the-home network.
MyDogHsFleas
Premium
join:2007-08-15
Austin, TX
kudos:5

Seattle Supersonics most likely leaving town...

because the city and/or state refuses to match a $150M offer from Steve Ballmer. Yet they'll spend $500M to implement broadband rather than letting private industry do it?
TheMayor

join:2002-05-09

Re: Seattle Supersonics most likely leaving town...

Unless I am wrong, I believe part of the deal was for someone to buy the team, which the current owners have said, its not for sale. Since day 1, I already knew that was the current owners plan & that they were probably hoping that we wouldn't give them what they want. Seattle has a better chance now at luring another team, then keeping the current team. I believe that owner of the New Orleans team wants out of N.O. maybe Seattle can make a deal with him.

said by MyDogHsFleas:

because the city and/or state refuses to match a $150M offer from Steve Ballmer. Yet they'll spend $500M to implement broadband rather than letting private industry do it?
MyDogHsFleas
Premium
join:2007-08-15
Austin, TX
kudos:5

Re: Seattle Supersonics most likely leaving town...

said by TheMayor:

I believe that owner of the New Orleans team wants out of N.O. maybe Seattle can make a deal with him.
The NBA will never let the New Orleans team leave. It would be a PR disaster.

toby
Troy Mcclure

join:2001-11-13
Portland, OR
said by MyDogHsFleas:

because the city and/or state refuses to match a $150M offer from Steve Ballmer. Yet they'll spend $500M to implement broadband rather than letting private industry do it?
I would rather tax money going to assist Home Depot or Best Buy, as these shops people actually goto.

No tax subsidies should be used for anything, ever.
tmc8080

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

needs a good name...

all you need to do is give it a DISTINGUISHED name...

Maybe something along the lines of "Bear Stearns"?
When the fiber project runs low on funds.. you have have a white knight in the white house call in that special favor and bail you out!

:-P

I say go for it.. Qwest will take another 10-20 years do anything that resembles residential broadband (that's if they still exist in 10-20 years).

dmconwa1

@qwest.net

Qwest FTTN deployment

Qwest has earmaked $300 million THIS YEAR to provide FTTN service to 1.5 million customers. This is the first launch. You're fooling yourself if you think that is all they will do.

If the service is succesful I'm sure they'll deploy more next year.

The Seattle plan is looking at $500 million to build. Assuming they stick to budget. That will never happen. How long do you think it would take to build it out?
Corydon
Cultivant son jardin
Premium
join:2008-02-18
Denver, CO

Re: Qwest FTTN deployment

Qwest simply doesn't have the money to aggressively roll out FTTN on a widespread basis.

Some financials:

2007 CAPEX for Qwest was $1.67B.

By comparison:

Verizon:  $17.54B
AT&T: $17.72B
Comcast: $6.56B
Charter: $1.24B

That last one should tell you a lot: Qwest and Charter are spending about the same amount on capital expenditures, while Qwest has obligations to cover a lot more territory that is harder to service than Charter does. Telcos have to spend a lot of money servicing all that copper in rural areas, and Qwest's territory is very sparsely populated and geographically interesting. MSOs, by contrast, tend to stick to cities.

This is why Verizon is trying to drop Maine and New Hampshire, btw. They'd rather concentrate on areas with denser population (and more money) like Boston, New York City, etc.

Unfortunately, we won't be seeing a lot of advanced new services popping up in Qwest's footprint (and seeing how I live in Denver, that hurts me too).

Seattle recognizes that Qwest is unlikely to roll out the kind of service they'd like to see, and the MSOs, knowing that Qwest is weak, will only invest just enough to keep ahead of Qwest. The result is that Seattle (and Denver and Phoenix) don't get the same kind of attention that cities like Boston and New York are getting, so they're trying to get the ball rolling in another way.

furlonium
Shut up baby, I know it

join:2002-05-08
Allentown, PA

Most profitable?

"...given Qwest's plan involves serving only the most profitable portions of Seattle."

Kind of like Verizon does with FiOS everywhere?

elios

join:2005-11-15
Springfield, MO

Its the only way...

Any one will see any REAL choice is to have a neutral network like UTOPIA
axus

join:2001-06-18
Washington, DC

Re: Its the only way...

They're doing it wrong, or I'm reading it wrong. They're not spending 500 million to own the network, they are saying "someone please spend 500 million dollars to wire our city kthx".