FCCs RFC for the Definition of Broadband

Daniel Senie dts at senie.com
Fri Aug 28 09:17:55 CDT 2009

On Aug 28, 2009, at 9:47 AM, Jack Bates wrote:

> Robert E. Seastrom wrote:
>> The problem is that if you break down the costs, you'll find out that
>> it almost doesn't matter what you put in as a cost of the total  
>> build;
>> the big costs are the engineering and the labor to install, not the
>> "cost of the NID" or anything like that.  Nobody cares whether you
>> saved a million bucks on a 2 billion dollar project.
> Errr, I've yet to meet a rural ILEC that doesn't take the cost of  
> the NID splitter vs inline splitters into account. ILECs will argue  
> over a single $1/customer, and rightfully so. The cost of the FTTH  
> NID adds considerably to the price per customer. In addition, it  
> generates additional maintenance costs maintaining batteries. I've  
> yet to hear an ILEC suggest that they not have batteries in the NID  
> to support the voice in power outages. Batteries have shelf lives,  
> and maintaining one per household is definitely more costly than  
> maintaining the batteries to power the remotes.
> Getting rid of costs, FTTH uses more power, and most of the people  
> I've talked to said we can't feed it from the remotes even via  
> copper mixed with the fiber. This creates issues when we need to  
> provide service. Everyone always badmouth's the whole emergency  
> phone thing, but we take it seriously in the rural areas where power  
> outages are not uncommon, natural disasters are expected, and we are  
> the ONLY utility that continues to function.

Before you get too hung up on the emergency phone thing, take a hard  
look at the present day. The telcos pushed SLC gear out everywhere.  
Those have batteries, but at least in some areas, no maintenance was  
done, batteries died, and when the power went out, so did the phones.  
The SLCs had generator plug-in setups to be used in an emergency, but  
in any natural disaster, it's unlikely there'd be enough portables  
deployed and maintained by the telco to keep the multiplexors alive.  
For myself, I moved my phone service off Verizon to Comcast in part  
because Comcast service always works through power outages, where  
Verizon in the last 5 years has always failed. That just means in my  
neighborhood, Comcast's batteries haven't died yet.

If you want to make the emergency phone thing a part of the  
discussion, then regulations need to exist AND be enforced, and  
penalties assessed, for failure to provide such during power outages.  
It's not happening today, so don't expect it in the future either.

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