Muni fiber: L1 or L2?

Leo Bicknell bicknell at
Thu Jan 31 14:10:21 UTC 2013

In a message written on Wed, Jan 30, 2013 at 09:30:31PM -0800, Owen DeLong wrote:
> > I would like to build an infrastrucutre that could last 50-100 years,
> > like the telephone twisted pair of the last century.  The only tech I
> > can see that can do that is home run single mode fiber to the home.
> > Anything with electronics has no chance of that lifespan.  Anything with
> > splitters and such will be problematic down the road.  Simpler is
> > better.
> An interesting claim given that the Telco twisted pair you are holding up
> as a shining example did involve electronics, splitters (known as bridge
> taps) etc.

Actually, you're making my point for me.  Telcos have spent billions
removing the electronics, splitters, and bridge taps so they can
have unadulterated copper for higher speed DSL.  To make the new
tech work all of the old tech had to be removed from the plant.

Those things may have seemed cheaper/better at the time, but in the
end I don't think their lifecycle cost was lower.  Private industry
is capital sensitive to a higher degree than government; if a telco
could save $1 of capital cost with a bridge tap, use it for 30
years, and then spend $500 to remove the bridge tap that looked
"better" in their captial model.  I'm suggesting it's better to
spend the $1 up front, and never pay the $500 down the road.

The real win isn't the $500 savings, it's the _opportunity_.
Customers in some parts of the US have waited _years_ for high speed
DSL because of the time it takes to remove bridge taps and otherwise
groom the copper plant.  That's years they are behind other citizens
who aren't on plants with that problem.  Had that junk never been
there in the first place they could have received upgrades much faster.

       Leo Bicknell - bicknell at - CCIE 3440
        PGP keys at
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