Muni Fiber (was: Re: last mile, regulatory incentives, etc)

William Herrin bill at
Mon Mar 26 19:45:24 CDT 2012

On Mon, Mar 26, 2012 at 8:04 PM, Jacob Broussard
<shadowedstrangerlists at> wrote:
> Who knows what technology will be like in 5-10 years?  That's the whole
> point of what he was trying to say.  Maybe wireless carriers will use
> visible wavelength lasers to recievers on top of customer's houses for all
> we know.  10 years is a LONG time for tech, and anything can happen.

Hi Jacob,

The scientists doing the basic research now know. It's referred to as
the "technology pipeline." When someone says, "that's in the pipeline"
they mean that the basic science has been discovered to make something
possible and now engineers are in the process of figuring out how to
make it _viable_. The pipeline tends to be 5 to 10 years long, so
basic science researchers are making the discoveries *now* which will
be reflected in deployed technologies 10 years from now.

There is *nothing* promising in the pipeline for wireless tech that
has any real chance of leading to a wide scale replacement for fiber
optic cable. *Nothing.* Which means that in 10 years, wireless will be
better, faster and cheaper but it won't have made significant inroads
replacing fiber to the home and business.

20 years is a long time. 10 years, not so much. Even for the long
times, we can find the future by examining the past. The duration of
use of the predecessor technology (twisted pair) was about 50 years
ubiquitously deployed to homes. From that we can make an educated
guess about the current one (fiber). Fiber to the home started about
10 years ago leaving about 40 more before something better might
replace it.

Bill Herrin

William D. Herrin ................ herrin at  bill at
3005 Crane Dr. ...................... Web: <>
Falls Church, VA 22042-3004

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