Muni Fiber and Politics

Jay Ashworth jra at
Tue Jul 22 19:08:11 UTC 2014

----- Original Message -----
> From: "Mikael Abrahamsson" <swmike at>

> On Tue, 22 Jul 2014, Scott Helms wrote:
> > One of the main problems with trying to draw the line at layer 1 is
> > that
> > its extremely inefficient in terms of the gear. Now, this is in
> > large
> > part a function of how gear is built and if a significant number of
> > locales went in this direction we _might_ see changes, but today
> > each
> > ISP would have to purchase their own OLTs and that leads to many
> > more
> > shelves than the total number of line cards would otherwise dictate.
> > There are certainly many other issues, some of which have been
> > discussed
> > on this list before, but I've done open access networks for several
> > cities and _today_ the cleanest situations by far (that I've seen)
> > had
> > the city handling layer 1 and 2 with the layer 2 hand off being
> > Ethernet
> > regardless of the access technology used.
> Stop doing PON then. Use point to point fiber, you get 40-48 active
> customers per 1U. I'd imagine there might be newer platforms with even
> higher densities.
> Yes, there are many examples of L2 being used but in order to deliver
> triple play the L2 network won't be purely L2, also BCP38 needs it to
> start doing L2.5+ functions, meaning it's harder to deploy new servies
> such as IPv6 because now the local network needs to support it.
> It's cleaner just to do L1 and aggregate thousands or tens of
> thousands of residential properties in the same place.

I believe you've misunderstood Scott's point.

The goal of layer-restriction is to encourage competition.

The underlying goal is "reducing the barrier to entry of a new ISP".

The less equipment such a new ISP has to provision, the lower that
barrier is.  If all you have to provision is a couple GE/10GE ports
on your core switch, that's an order of magnitude easier than any 
type of optical termination equipment, for you as a potential ISP 

To make this work, the fiber operator *has to make it easy for ISPs
to become their clients* as well...

-- jra
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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