[NANOG] Roport on internet business

David Barak thegameiam at yahoo.com
Wed Dec 23 20:46:46 CST 2009

>----- Original Message ----
>From: Jared Mauch <jared at puck.nether.net>

>I know, watching my local incumbent they are not replacing damaged copper with fiber.  I think they must have warehouses of it someplace.  I can't imagine that it is good to replace buried copper w/copper during the wintertime.  If you're out doing it, might as well *actually* install fiber in the conduit.

>(Unless it's about unions/job protection for the copper guys).

>- Jared (not saying unions are bad, but when you operate two assets and have a different union for each, it can limit your potential significantly).

One of the very hard things about running a large, geographically distributed layer 0/1 organization is managing the various and sundry physical cables from point to point.  Replacing one bad span with a good span which is qualitatively different introduces a level of version control and management headache, and if done in a haphazard fashion can reduce the overall availability of the network.  I don't know who your incumbent is, but it's reasonable to assume that they have some strategy for cable plant management which includes overall technology refresh at some point, with like-for-like replacement until then.

Also, last I checked, the specs on "how to build a good layer 0/1 fiber infrastructure" were different than those for copper - because the capabilities are different, the network architecture has different optimizations available.

This doesn't mean that the provider shouldn't be moving toward a large-scale fiber rollout - far from it!  I just wanted to provide a reason why they might not want to do said rollout in a piecemeal fashion.

David Barak
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