FCCs RFC for the Definition of Broadband

Jack Bates jbates at brightok.net
Wed Aug 26 22:40:38 CDT 2009

Sean Donelan wrote:
> Stimulus money per rural housing unit = $277.58 one-time
> What definition of "broadband" can you achieve for that amount of money 
> in a rural build-out?
> How much will fiber to the home cost in a rural area?

For 1-2k customers in small rural towns I've been hearing numbers in the 
millions of dollars without FTTH. FTTH projects exceeded all DSL in 
price and had higher cost NIDs. There are also more engineering details 
that must be considered in FTTH (and standard telco engineering firms 
sometimes screw up on it; running the bill up more) to cover voice concerns.

And while everyone is arguing about this, I'll let you know right now it 
is much MUCH harder to get money when putting copper in than fiber; 
including many of the different types of loans. I've seen people screwed 
over because of the push to fiber which has often made it cost 
prohibitive for them to get service and strained the telco finances 
reducing their overall ability to support service.

So, yeah. I'd be happy if everyone would back down and quit pushing FTTH 
so hard and support sound, reliable, inexpensive FTTC technologies. They 
both have their place. Just for the record, I still have over 50% of my 
customer base in dialup. Of course, 98% of those dialups are in AT&T 
territory. My ILEC/CLEC customers have done well in providing DSL to a 
majority of their customers. They have even increased bandwidth where 
they can and tariffs allow. I hope to see AT&T expand further out than 3 
miles from the CO, upgrading some of their double ended carrier and 
putting in DSL capable remotes. Given they probably can't recover costs 
on some of the existing plant, it is doubtful they'll put in more fiber 
than necessary.


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