Muni Fiber and Politics

Alex Rubenstein alex at
Mon Jul 21 20:56:41 UTC 2014

What timing.

I live in 07874. Out here, only 50 miles from New York City, we have a problem.

Verizon's network in this area is older than most people who are subscribed to this list. The copper is literally falling off the telephone poles, and in conversations with linemen, they are instructed to effectuate repairs in the cheapest manner possible (band-aid). In fact, in many cases, they offer to customers to replace their service with wireless rather than fix the wireline.

Further, 07874 happens to be a region that never got FIOS prior to 2010, and there are no plans for it to come in the near future. So, we can always get 1.5 meg DSL which is as reliable, well, as reliable as it can be on a 75 year old copper plant.

So, our alternative is cable? Well, in 07874, we have a company called Service Electric Cable, and for $109/month, you get cable tv, 2/.256 mb/s (yes, 256 kb/s upload) internet and phone. Up it to $173 month (!!!) and you get 35/3 mb/s instead. Upload speed? Yes, really, 3 mb/s. Oh, and wait, it isn't unlimited; there is a bandwidth cap that if you exceed, they charge $1/GB.

So, if this is the case 50 miles from the largest city in the USA, I can't imagine what is happening elsewhere in more remote areas.

So, yes, I am a fan for Muni Fiber; really, I am a fan for any method possible for more competition to occur in the local markets. Perhaps, hopefully, we are on the cusp of another round of ISPs selling broadband to the local, secondary and tertiary market. I am certainly considering doing it in my local community.

> -----Original Message-----
> From: NANOG [mailto:nanog-bounces at] On Behalf Of Jay Ashworth
> Sent: Monday, July 21, 2014 10:21 AM
> Subject: Muni Fiber and Politics
> Over the last decade, 19 states have made it illegal for municipalities to own
> fiber networks -- encouraged largely, I am told, by Verizon and other cable
> companies/MSOs[1].
> Verizon, of course, isn't doing any new FiOS deployments, per a 2010 press
> release[2].
> FCC Chair Tom Wheeler has been making noises lately that he wants the FCC to
> preempt the field on this topic, making such deployments legal.
> Congressional Republicans think that's a bad idea:
> are-at-war-over-city-owned-internet
> [ and here's the backgrounder on the amendment:
> block-fcc-preemption/132468 ]
> While I generally try to avoid bringing up topics on NANOG that are political; this
> one seems to be directly in our wheelhouse, and unavoidably political.
> My apologies in advance; let's all try to be grownups, shall we?
> Cheers,
> -- jra
> [1]
> fiberbut-telecom-lobbying-keeps-it-unused
> [2]
> Expansion-is-Over-118949
> --
> Jay R. Ashworth                  Baylink                       jra at
> Designer                     The Things I Think                       RFC 2100
> Ashworth & Associates          2000 Land Rover DII
> St Petersburg FL USA      BCP38: Ask For It By Name!           +1 727 647 1274

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