Locations with no good Internet (was ISP in Johannesburg)

James Jones james at freedomnet.co.nz
Fri Feb 26 22:05:45 UTC 2010

I am in planning states for a new metro ethernet service here in the 
springfield area. that will slowly extend to the town as I can get there.

On 2/26/10 4:45 PM, Daniel Senie wrote:
>  From what I've read, they may well get higher bandwidth out to the town centers on fiber. There has been little discussion of how to distribute from there. I suppose Verizon, the only company offering anything out there, will take advantage and use the fiber to improve speeds in the centers of towns. But there's no CATV in most of the hill towns, and unless MBI intends to stretch fiber out to the neighborhoods, I remain skeptical.
> Today, most of the town halls have public access wifi, and people drive up and sit in their cars and get their email that way. This isn't a solution.
> On Feb 26, 2010, at 4:40 PM, James Jones wrote:
>> The Massachusetts Broadband Institute is currently working a middle mile solution to help with some of the issues in western ma. Thing do sound promising.
>> On 2/26/10 4:34 PM, Michael Sokolov wrote:
>>> Daniel Senie<dts at senie.com>   wrote:
>>>> Better than western Massachusetts, where there's just no connectivity at =
>>>> all. Even dialup fails to function over crappy lines.
>>> Hmm.  Although I've never been to Western MA and hence have no idea what
>>> the telecom situation is like over there, I'm certainly aware of quite a
>>> few places in "first world USA" where DSL is still a fantasy, let alone
>>> fiber.
>>> As a local example, I have a friend in a rural area of Southern
>>> California who can't get any kind of "high-speed Internet".  I've run a
>>> prequal on her address and it tells me she is 31 kft from the CO.  The
>>> CO in question has a Covad DSLAM in it, but at 31 kft those rural
>>> residents' options are limited to either IDSL at 144 kbps (not much
>>> point in that) or a T1 starting at ~$700/month.  The latter figure is
>>> typically well out of range for the kind of people who live in such
>>> places.
>>> That got me thinking: ISDN/IDSL and T1 can be extended infinitely far
>>> into the boondocks because those signal formats support repeaters.  What
>>> I'm wondering is how can we do the same thing with SDSL - and I mean
>>> politically rather than technically.  The technical part is easy: some
>>> COs already have CLECs in them that serve G.shdsl (I've been told that
>>> NEN does that) and for G.shdsl repeaters are part of the standard
>>> (searching around shows a few vendors making them); in the case of
>>> SDSL/2B1Q (Covad and DSL.net) there is no official support for repeaters
>>> and hence no major vendors making such, but I can build such a repeater
>>> unofficially.
>>> The difficulty is with the political part, and that's where I'm seeking
>>> the wisdom of this list.  How would one go about sticking a mid-span
>>> repeater into an ILEC-owned 31 kft rural loop?  From what I understand
>>> (someone please correct me if I'm wrong!), when a CLEC orders a loop
>>> from an ILEC, if it's for a T1 or IDSL, the CLEC actually orders a T1 or
>>> ISDN BRI transport from the ILEC rather than a dry pair, and any
>>> mid-span repeaters or HDSLx converters or the like become the
>>> responsibility of the ILEC rather than the CLEC, right?
>>> So how could one extend this model to provide, say, repeatered G.shdsl
>>> service to far-outlying rural subscribers?  Is there some political
>>> process (PUC/FCC/etc) by which an ILEC could be forced to allow a third
>>> party to stick a repeater in the middle of their loop?  Or would it have
>>> to work by way of the ILEC providing a G.shdsl transport service to
>>> CLECs, with the ILEC being responsible for the selection, procurement
>>> and deployment of repeater hardware?  And what if the ILEC is not
>>> interested in providing such a service - any PUC/FCC/etc political
>>> process via which they could be forced to cooperate?
>>> Things get even more complicated in those locations where the CO has a
>>> Covad DSLAM in it serving out SDSL/2B1Q, but no other CLEC serving
>>> G.shdsl.  Even if the ILEC were to provide a G.shdsl transport service
>>> with repeaters, it wouldn't help with SDSL/2B1Q.  My idea involves
>>> building a gadget in the form factor of a standard mid-span repeater
>>> that would function as a converter from SDSL/2B1Q to G.shdsl: if the
>>> loop calls for one mid-span repeater, stick this gadget in as if it
>>> were that repeater; if the loop calls for 2 or more repeaters, use my
>>> gadget as the first "repeater" and then standard G.shdsl repeaters
>>> after it.  But of course this idea is totally dependent on the ability
>>> of a third party to stick these devices in the middle of long rural
>>> loops, perhaps in the place of loading coils which are likely present
>>> on such loops.
>>> Any ideas?
>>> MS

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