Muni Fiber and Politics

Leo Bicknell bicknell at
Sat Aug 2 21:15:28 UTC 2014

There are plenty of cities with zero ISP's interested in serving them today, I can't argue
that point.  However I believe the single largest reason why that is true is that the ISP
today has to bear the capital cost of building out the physical plant to serve the customers.
15-20 year ROI's don't work for small businesses or wall street.

But if those cities were to build a municipal fiber network like we've described, and pay
for it with 15-20 year municipal bonds the ISP's wouldn't have to bear those costs.  They
could come in drop one box in a central location and start offering service.

Which is why I said, if municipalities did this, I am very skeptical there would be more than
a handful without a L3 operator.  You can imagine a city of 50 people in North Dakota
or the Northern Territories might have this issue because the long haul cost to reach the
town is so high, but it's going to be a rare case.  I firmly believe the municipal fiber networks
presence would bring L3 operators to 90-95% of cities.

On Aug 2, 2014, at 2:04 PM, Scott Helms <khelms at> wrote:

> Happens all the time, which is why I asked Leo about that scenario.  There are large swarths of the US and even more in Canada where that's the norm.
> On Aug 2, 2014 1:29 PM, "Owen DeLong" <owen at> wrote:
> Such a case is unlikely. 
> On Aug 1, 2014, at 13:32, Scott Helms <khelms at> wrote:
>> I can never see a case where letting them play at Layer 3 or above helps.
>> That’s bad news, stay away.  But I think some well crafted L2 services
>> could actually _expand_ consumer choice.  I mean running a dark fiber
>> GigE to supply voice only makes no sense, but a 10M channel on a GPON
>> serving a VoIP box may…
>> Even in those cases where there isn't a layer 3 operator nor a chance for a viable resale of layer 1/2 services.

       Leo Bicknell - bicknell at - CCIE 3440
        PGP keys at

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