Muni network ownership and the Fourth

Leo Bicknell bicknell at
Wed Jan 30 03:03:19 UTC 2013

In a message written on Tue, Jan 29, 2013 at 02:14:46PM -0800, Owen DeLong wrote:
> The MMR should, IMHO be a colo facility where service providers can
> lease racks if they choose. The colo should also be operated on a cost
> recovery basis and should only be open to installation of equipment
> directly related to providing service to customers reached via the MMR.

I'm not sure I agree with your point.

The _muni_ should not run any equipment colo of any kind.  The muni
MMR should be fiber only, and not even require so much as a generator
to work.  It should not need to be staffed 24x7, have anything that
requires PM, etc.

I fully support the muni MMR being inside of a colocation facility
run by some other company (Equinix/DLR/CoreSite, whatever) so folks
can colo "on site".  I think it is also important someone be able
to set up a colo down the street and just drop in a 1000 strand
fiber cable to the actual MMR.

Why is this important?  Well, look at one of the failure modes of
the CO system.  When DSL was in its hayday, CO's would become full,
and no new DSL providers would be able to get colo space.  Plus the
CO's could use space/power/hands time/etc as profit centers.
Muni-fiber should stay as far away from these problems as possible.

I think it's also important to consider the spectrum of deployments
here.  A small town of 1000 homes may have MuniMMRREIT come in and
build a 5,000 sq foot building with 1,000 of that leased to the
muni for fiber patch panels, and the other 4,000 sold to ISP's by
the rack to provide service.  On the other side consider a space
like New York City, where MuniFiberCo builds out 50,000 square feet
for fiber racks somewhere, and ISP #1 drops in 10,000 strands from
111 8th Ave, and ISP #2 drops in 10,000 strands from 25 Broadway,
and so on.  In the middle may be a mid-sized town, where the build the
MMR in a business park, and 3 ISP's erect their own colos, and a colo
provider builds the fourth a houses a dozen smaller players.

In the small town case, MuniMMRREIT may agree to a regulated price
structure for colo space.  In the New York City case, it would make
no sense for one colo to try and house all the equipment now and
forever, and there would actually (on a per strand basis) be very
minimal cost to pull 10,000 strands down the street.  I'll argue
that running 10,000 strands (which is as few as 12 860 strand fiber
cables) a block or two down the street is far less cost than trying
to shoehorn more colo into an existing building where it is hard
to add generators/chillers/etc.

Basically, running fiber a block or two down the street opens up a
host of cheaper realestate/colo opportunities, and it doesn't cost
significanly more than running the fiber from one end of a colo to
another relative to all the other costs.

       Leo Bicknell - bicknell at - CCIE 3440
        PGP keys at
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