Muni Fiber and Politics

Scott Helms khelms at
Wed Jul 23 13:15:14 UTC 2014


Its an interesting idea and I'd like to see some communities try it here.
 Having said that, I anticipate that B4RN style networks will run into some
substantial maintenance and reliability issues over time.  I love the quote
in the economist from the farmer's wife who learned (assuming automated)
fusion splicing, "It’s only like knitting,” but that doesn't make me
confident about the quality of the splices nor the cabling in general.

They are also running into serious problems trying to scale and while
getting 400 homes wired up is laudable, having it take more than two years
is not impressive at all.

"B4RN is a case in point. In two years its volunteers have laid 200km of
cable, and wired up around 400 homes, without any taxpayer money."

Scott Helms
Vice President of Technology
(678) 507-5000

On Wed, Jul 23, 2014 at 8:58 AM, Mikael Abrahamsson <swmike at>

> On Wed, 23 Jul 2014, Scott Helms wrote:
>  for a more open approach.  The people involved in the bond arrangements
>> almost invariably see having the city the layer 3 provider as more
>> reliable
>> path to getting repaid than an open system.
> Another model is the one described for instance in
> . This has worked
> successfully in Sweden as well, people getting together and putting in
> ducts or fiber themselves.
> In the countryside, people (at least in Sweden) people are used to
> cooperating in maintenance of roads and other things, one neighbor has a
> backhoe, second one has a snowplow attachment and everybody helps out. It's
> a lot easier to accept digging on your property when it's your neighborhood
> people getting together in doing something, instead of $BIGTELCO that has
> screwed you before and will screw you again, wanting to do the same thing.
> Also, after putting it in, you own the infrastructure, so it might actually
> be a good investment and raise your property value.
> --
> Mikael Abrahamsson    email: swmike at

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