Muni Fiber and Politics

Leo Bicknell bicknell at
Wed Aug 6 15:23:55 UTC 2014

On Aug 4, 2014, at 11:13 AM, William Herrin <bill at> wrote:

> 1. Enthusiasm (hence funding) for public works projects waxes and
> wanes. Generally it waxes long enough to get some portion of the
> original works project built, then it wanes until the project is in
> major disrepair, then it waxes again long enough to more or less fix
> it up.

Others have hit on the major points, but just to summarize.

The big one is the provider is going to charge an O&M fee for the services,
be it the dark fiber or a L2 lit service.  Fiber cuts will happen, connectors
will be broken, and gear will die.  One would hope this continuous funding
source could even out some of the municipal funding hurdles, if done ideally
the network would be built in tax dollars, but then be fully self-sustaining
moving forward.

The second one is, if you require both L1 dark fiber, and allow L2 lit
services, this problem "self solves".  If the L2 is capped at a 1G, and
the world has moved to 10G, the people who need it will just move to 
the L1/dark offering and away from the L2 offering.  That is, they have
an option, and that's what this is all about, options.  Unlike telecoms
that might choose not to sell the dark fiber to force you into a lit service,
such a muni-network should be required to sell the dark to all providers
all the time.

By drawing an (admittedly somewhat arbitrary) boundary between L1/L2 and L3-L7,
I think a situation can be created where there is maximum flexibility on both
sides of that boundary, and the least chance of "stupidity" from players on
either side.

       Leo Bicknell - bicknell at - CCIE 3440
        PGP keys at

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