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

Leo Bicknell bicknell at ufp.org
Thu Jan 31 03:01:37 UTC 2013

In a message written on Wed, Jan 30, 2013 at 09:37:24AM -0500, Art Plato wrote:
> 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.

I'm not sure what your particular situation is, but I urge you to
look at the hurdles faced by a small business trying to use your

Back in the day there were a ton of dial up ISP's.  Why?  Well, all
they had to do was order an IP circuit from someone, a bank of phone
lines from another person, and a few thousand dollars worth of
equipment and boom, instant ISP.

Exclude your muni-fiber for the moment, and consider someone who wants
to compete with Charter.  They have to get permits to dig up streets,
place their own cable to each house, be registered with the state PUC as
a result, respond to cable locates, obtain land and build pedistals with
power and network to them, etc; all before they can think about turning
up a customer.  The barrier to entry is way too high.

Muni-fiber shold be able to move things much closer to the glory
days of dial up, rather than the high barrier to entry the incumbant
telcos and cablecos enjoy.  Look at your deployment, what are the
up front costs to use it?  Do you require people to have a minimum
number of customers, or a high level of equipment just to connect?
What's the level of licensing and taxation imposed by your state?

Many of the muni-fiber plants I've read about aren't much better.  They
are often GPON solutions, and require a minimum number of customers to
turn up, purchase of a particular amount of colo space to connect, and
so on.  Just to turn up the first customer is often in the tens of
hundreds of thousands of dollars; and if that is the case the incombants
will in.

Some of this is beyond the reach of muni-fiber.  State PUC's need to
have updated rules to encourage these small players in many cases.  I
think the CALEA requirements need a bit of an overhaul.  If the
providers want to offer voice or video services there's an entirely
different level of red tape.  All of these things need to be moderized
with muni-fiber deployments, and sadly in many cases the incumbants are
using their muscle to make these ancillary problems worse just to keep
out new entrants...

       Leo Bicknell - bicknell at ufp.org - CCIE 3440
        PGP keys at http://www.ufp.org/~bicknell/
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