Will wholesale-only muni actually bring the boys to your yard?

Art Plato aplato at coldwater.org
Wed Jan 30 18:18:40 UTC 2013

I guess I should have clarified. We are looking at an FTTP overbuild. Eventually eliminating the HFC. FTTP makes more sense long term. We are also the local electric utility. 

----- Original Message -----

From: "Scott Helms" <khelms at zcorum.com> 
To: "Art Plato" <aplato at coldwater.org> 
Cc: "Peter Kristolaitis" <alter3d at alter3d.ca>, nanog at nanog.org 
Sent: Wednesday, January 30, 2013 1:15:40 PM 
Subject: Re: Will wholesale-only muni actually bring the boys to your yard? 

I've set up several open access systems, usually in muni scenarios, and its non-trivial outside of PPPoE based systems (which had the several operator concept baked in) because the network manufacturers and protocol groups don't consider it important/viable. 

Trying to do open access on a DOCSIS network is very very difficult, though not impossible, because of how provisioning works. Making it work in many of the FTTx deployments would be worse because they generally have a single NMS/EMS panel that's not a multi-tenant system. 

On Wed, Jan 30, 2013 at 1:03 PM, Art Plato < aplato at coldwater.org > wrote: 

That is actually one of the big picture scenarios we are reviewing, with the ISP component being the last to go if there is a fair and competitive market the arises for our constituents. We won't allow the return of the old monopoly play that existed back then. This is too vital for the growth of our business community. We also view it as a quality of life issue for our citizens. 

----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Peter Kristolaitis" < alter3d at alter3d.ca > 
To: nanog at nanog.org 
Sent: Wednesday, January 30, 2013 12:53:51 PM 
Subject: Re: Will wholesale-only muni actually bring the boys to your yard? 

There isn't any reason that you couldn't offer ALL of those services. 
Spin off the layer 1 & 2 services as a separate entity as far as finance 
& legal is concerned, then treat the muni ISP as just another customer 
of that entity, with the same pricing and service that's offered to 
everyone else. If there is enough competition with the layer 1 & 2 
services, the muni ISP may or may not have that many customers, but 
it'll still be there as an "ISP of last resort", to borrow a concept 
from the financial system, ensuring competitive and fair pricing is 

- Pete 

On 01/30/2013 09:37 AM, Art Plato wrote: 
> I am the administrator of a Municipally held ISP that has been providing services to our constituents for 15 years in a competitive environment with Charter. We aren't here to eliminate them, only to offer an alternative. When the Internet craze began back in the late 1990's they made it clear that they would never upgrade the plant to support Internet data in a town this size, until we started the discussion of Bonds. We provide a service that is reasonably priced with local support that is exceptional. We don't play big brother. Both myself and my Director honor peoples privacy. No information without a properly executed search warrant. Having said all that. We are pursuing the feasibility of the model you are discussing. My director believes that we would better serve our community by being the layer 1 or 2 provider rather than the service provider. While I agree in principle. The reality is, from my perspective is that the entities providing the services will fall back to the original position that prompted us to build in the first place. Provide a minimal service for the maximum price. There is currently no other provider in position in our area to provide a competitive service to Charter. Loosely translated, our constituents would lose. IMHO. 
> ----- Original Message ----- 
> From: "William Herrin" < bill at herrin.us > 
> To: "Jay Ashworth" < jra at baylink.com > 
> Cc: "NANOG" < nanog at nanog.org > 
> Sent: Wednesday, January 30, 2013 9:24:04 AM 
> Subject: Re: Will wholesale-only muni actually bring the boys to your yard? 
> On Tue, Jan 29, 2013 at 7:39 PM, Jay Ashworth < jra at baylink.com > wrote: 
>> ----- Original Message ----- 
>>> From: "Jean-Francois Mezei" < jfmezei_nanog at vaxination.ca > 
>>> It is in fact important for a government (municipal, state/privince or 
>>> federal) to stay at a last mile layer 2 service with no retail 
>>> offering. Wholesale only. 
>>> Not only is the last mile competitively neutral because it is not 
>>> involved in retail, but it them invites competition by allowing many 
>>> service providers to provide retail services over the last mile 
>>> network. 
> As long as they support open peering they can probably operate at 
> layer 3 without harm. Tough to pitch a muni on spending tax revenue 
> for something that's not a complete product usable directly by the 
> taxpayers. 
>> It rings true to me, in general, and I would go that way... but there is 
>> a sting in that tail: Can I reasonably expect that Road Runner will in fact 
>> be technically equipped and inclined to meet me to get my residents as 
>> subscribers? Especially if they're already built HFC in much to all of 
>> my municipality? 
> Not Road Runner, no. What you've done, if you've done it right, is 
> returned being an ISP to an ease-of-entry business like it was back in 
> the dialup days. That's where *small* business plays, offering 
> customized services where small amounts of high-margin money can be 
> had meeting needs that a high-volume commodity player can't handle. 
> Regards, 
> Bill Herrin 


Scott Helms 
Vice President of Technology 
(678) 507-5000 

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