FCCs RFC for the Definition of Broadband

Marshall Eubanks tme at americafree.tv
Thu Aug 27 09:27:52 CDT 2009

On Aug 27, 2009, at 10:04 AM, Leo Bicknell wrote:

> In a message written on Thu, Aug 27, 2009 at 09:58:22AM +0100,  
> Alexander Harrowell wrote:
>> An interesting question: as the population gets sparser, the  
>> average trench
>> mileage per subscriber increases. At some point this renders fibre  
>> deployment
>> uneconomic. Now, this point can change:
> This statement makes no sense to me.
> The cost to dig a trench is cheaper in rural areas than it is in
> urban areas.  A lot cheaper.  Rather than closing a road, cutting
> a trench, avoiding 900 other obsticals, repaving, etc they can often
> trench or go aerial down the side of a road for miles with no
> obsticals and nothing but grass to put back.
> So while mileage per subscriber increases, cost per mile dramatically
> increases.

I think you meant, "decreases", here.


>  The only advantage in an urban enviornment is that one
> trench may serve 200 families in a building, where as a rural trench
> may serve 20 familes.
> But more puzzling to me is the idea that fiber becomes uneconomic.
> This may have once been true, but right now you can buy 10km or
> even 40km lasers quite cheaply.  Compare with copper which for even
> modest speeds requires a repeater every 2-4km.
> If you have to reach someone 20km from the CO, the cost of running
> the ditch-wich down the road in a rural area is not the dominate
> cost over the next 20 years.  It's equipment.  If the copper plant
> takes 4 repeaters to do the job, that's 4 bits of equipment that
> can fail, and will need to be upgraded at some point.  Running
> something as simple as point to point fiber they can be provided
> with GigE speeds today with no intermediate equipment; the cost of
> a 20km GBIC is far less than the cost of installing 4 repeaters.
> The problem with all of these is ROI, not cost.  Somewhere along the
> line we've decided very short ROI's are required.  Do you work at a
> company where an ROI of over a year is laughed at?  When the original
> rural telephone network was pushed ROI's of 50 years were talked  
> about.
> There's plenty of infrastructure built every day with ROI's of 20  
> years.
> So it would cost $2000 per home to put in fiber.  The margin on the
> service is $5 per month.  It's a 33 year ROI.  That's ok with me, it's
> infrastructure, like a road, or a bridge.  We're still using copper in
> the ground put in during the 60's, 70's, and 80's.
> -- 
>       Leo Bicknell - bicknell at ufp.org - CCIE 3440
>        PGP keys at http://www.ufp.org/~bicknell/

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