The growth of municipal broadband networks

Martin Millnert millnert at
Fri Mar 25 21:13:17 CDT 2011


On Fri, Mar 25, 2011 at 9:46 PM, Jay Ashworth <jra at> wrote:
> ----- Original Message -----
>> From: "Leo Bicknell" <bicknell at>
>> Having looked around the world I personally believe most communities
>> would be best served if the government provided layer-1 distribution,
>> possibly with some layer 2 switching, but then allowed any commercial
>> entity to come in and offer layer 3 services.
> +5

I've seen several cases of these types of networks rolling out the
MPLS cloud, oversubscribing ad infinitum, with lots of active network
equipment, which all in all in the end doesn't add *anything* more to
the end-user than hundredths or thousandths or even less of their
end-to-end link capacity, between them and the service-offering ISPs.

I'm very wary of doing more L2 than essentially required, and believe
it is much more sane to invest a bit extra in the L1, and skip
investments at this level in L2 entirely.  Handing of L1 to providers
works perfectly fine, and adds no over-subscription.  The only issue
with what I describe above is that it complicates the
multiple-vendors-over-the-same-pipe a little bit. Voice and video
works pretty fine over IP, though, last I checked.  With a few new L1
network devices, the above should become even more feasible.
Convincing people they can build a network infrastructure without
switches is nearly fated for complete doom, though... (Perhaps giving
them some LED panels with high-power fans will satisfy their need for


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