The UK-based SiFi Networks builds FTTH networks based on its Fiber Optic Cable Ubiquitous Solution (FOCUS) to create a “FiberCity.” The approach leverages the company’s patented Wastewater Fiber Technology (WFT), in which fiber-optic cable is deployed in sanitary and storm wastewater conduit.
Another job for consultants without any appreciable results all at taxpayer expense. If the community feels a need for better broadband services, then they probably do need better broadband services. The consultants will spend the money to produce a nice report without any increase in broadband penetration. Data are readily available for a county staff person to draft a high-level report outlining the issues and challenges then they could draft and RFI and provide it to several communications suppliers so they can provide their input as to how to improve broadband services in the county. A wise commission would proceed down this path and save the money. $6 million could serve approximately 10,000 homes which could easily eliminate a percent of those homes not currently served by any broadband access. Municipalities and counties need to be wise on how they spend their money.
Surprising as it might seem, there are areas of Shawnee County that don’t have adequate access to the Internet.
“We have students, families and patrons of 372 who are currently underserved or unable to access quality and affordable broadband,” said Tim Hallacy, superintendent of Silver Lake Unified School District 372. This, he said, at a time when teaching and learning — not to mention business interests — rely heavily on quality Internet access.
AT&T isn’t letting Google Fiber’s expansion plans go unanswered. The telecom giant hasannounced that it’s looking at bringing its GigaPower internet service to as many as 21 additional big cities and their nearby municipalities. There’s some potential for direct competition with Google, as both companies are looking into gigabit access for key urban areas like Atlanta, San Antonio and San Jose. However, it’s clear that AT&T is taking some initiative here — it’s also exploring rollouts in Chicago, Los Angeles and other hubs that aren’t currently on its rival’s roadmap.
/ APRIL 18, 2014
The battle between local governments and telecommunications providers over the right to establish community broadband networks heated up over the last several months, as a number of bills were introduced that could have significant impact on municipalities in five states.
Kansas, Minnesota, New Hampshire, Utah and Tennessee were all in the spotlight earlier this year regarding everything from de-facto bans on community networks to funding and development issues. Some of the bills were pulled off the table, while others have continued through their respective states’ legislative processes.
Lauren K. Ohnesorge
Staff Writer-Triangle Business Journal
The City of Raleigh officially put its stamp of approval on AT&T’s (NYSE: T) plan to bring its “GigaPower” fiber-based internet service here.
Gail Roper, Raleigh’s chief information officer, says the timing is still up in the air. “That would be dependent upon when we finish out all the legal negotiations,” she says, adding that the hope is that things get rolling before the end of the year.
And no, this will have no impact on the city’s ongoing plan to entice Google and its Google Fiber service.
Google is reportedly considering running its own wireless network. Sources tell The Information that company executives have been discussing a plan to offer wireless service in areas where it’s already installed Google Fiber high-speed internet. Details are vague, but there are hints that it’s interested in becoming a mobile virtual network operator or MVNO, buying access to a larger network at wholesale rates and reselling it to customers. Sources say that Google spoke to Verizon about the possibility in early 2014, and that it talked to Sprint about a similar possibility in early 2013, before the company was officially acquired by Softbank.
Editorial: I should write a new blog based on all of the recent activities around Netflix. I applaud Reed Hastings for bringing this issue back to the forefront of policy discussion. The access providers or ISP are providing Internet access based on certain speeds that are generally much higher than a typical HD video stream, but subscribers received a reduced quality of experience (QoE) at peak periods of the day. If the ISP is a cable company their video streams are not impacted because they are delivered outside the ISP pipe. There is a bit of conflict of interest here. Setting that aside for a moment.
The ISP provide a best-effort service so if they can prove that they are providing the advertised bandwidth and not directly blocking any site, then they have met their terms of service. The problem is that customers are not being served because they cannot fully enjoy the services that they purchase from other service providers. In a competitive market, consumers would purchase Internet access from a competing provider that could deliver over-the-top (OTT) services properly, but we are stuck with a duopoly in most markets in the United States.
The congestion happens at peering points when one provider interconnects with another provider. Increasing bandwidth at peering points costs real money, but it is a cost borne by both the ISP and interconnection company. The interconnection company builds that cost into their costs to their customers like Netflix. This sharing of the burden is one of the major principles of the Internet. The ISP benefits from providing a better quality service, but that argument works best in a competitive environment. In our duopoly, the ISP act like cartels and band together to reduce their costs and protect their competing services. Customers can’t walk because the other provider is no better than their current provider.
True last-mile competition is the ultimate answer, but that is the long-term solution. In the meantime the Thomas Wheeler and the FCC Commissioners have to wrestle with this issue while being heavily influenced by lobbyists. I like Reed Hastings’ proposal and do not feel that it is an undue burden on the ISP because the cost per bit is continually rapidly decreasing. As a way to recoup some of these charges ISP should be allowed to sell managed services (i.e. QoS) to OTT providers like Netflix. As I said at the beginning of this article, I should really write out the full proposal with cost-based arguments.
AT&T’s swinging back at Netflix CEO Reed Hastings’ recent assertion that ISPs (internet service providers) should shoulder the cost of increased bandwidth demands. In a post on AT&T’s Public Policy Blog, Senior EVP Jim Cicconi denounced Hastings’ desire for a “cost-free delivery” agreement with ISPs, saying that it unfairly shifts the burden of infrastructure cost to AT&T and its subscribers rather than to Netflix’s own customer base. As Cicconi views it, that subscriber base is the very one responsible for the increased traffic demands and resulting need to build out additional facilities, and should therefore bear the brunt of a fee hike.