Muni Fiber and Politics

Constantine A. Murenin mureninc at
Mon Jul 21 22:20:16 UTC 2014

On 21 July 2014 13:56, Alex Rubenstein <alex at> wrote:
> 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.

I've lived in midtown San Jose, CA 95126 circa 2010/2012, in a
2010-completed condo-style 5-story 243-unit apartment complex, which
had AT&T FTTU, with Alcatel HONT-C (4 POTS, 1 Ethernet; "155.52 Mbps
upstream and 622.08 Mbps downstream", according to Alcatel; shared
with at most 32 users).

I've had the fibre terminated in my bedroom closet with ONT.  At that
time, AT&T would advertise 24/3 U-verse, since the day I've signed up
in mid-2010.  Yet they repeatedly (and on distinct occasions, well
into 2012) have failed and/or refused to provision my line to anything
above 18/1.5.  So, I did have under 3ms pings to some local CDNs, but
only 1.5Mbps of upstream, on a line that could easily handle 100Mbps.
Apparently, they've reserved 24/3 for single-pair copper customers,
with bonded pair and FTTU being artificially limited to 18/1.5.

Keep in mind -- that's a greenfield development in San Jose, CA -- the
biggest city in NorCal, and 10th biggest city in the US.

Strangely enough, it seems like if you actually want faster internet,
you have to move away from the big metro areas.  Kansas City, MO/KS,
Chattanooga, TN, Burlington, VT, Wilson, NC, Lafayette, LA, all have
much faster internet than most of the SF Bay Area.  I've actually even
started making a list at, together with the pricing;
it has all the links, and I haven't updated the prices in a while; if
you visit the providers, you can see how the prices for 100/100 are
now the same as they were for 40/40 a year ago, and 1000/1000 is the
same price as 80/80 was; and you can basically get 1000/1000 for
between 70 and 150 USD from the vast majority of the providers on the
list now.  Whereas at&t U-verse is still doing the same single-digit
Mbps on the upload side, even if they already have the technology in
place for doing 100Mbps.


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