FCCs RFC for the Definition of Broadband

Alexander Harrowell a.harrowell at gmail.com
Thu Aug 27 10:22:18 CDT 2009


On Thursday 27 August 2009 15:04:59 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.  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.
>

True. But there is - there has to be - a limit, when the 70% or so civil works 
cost eats everything else. The limit may be more or less restrictive, but 
limit there is.
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