Muni Fiber and Politics

Steven Saner ssaner at
Wed Jul 23 14:55:39 UTC 2014

On 07/23/2014 07:58 AM, Mikael Abrahamsson wrote:
> 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.

In the US, in midwest rural areas at least, you see do quite a few
cooperatives in the realm of things like power distribution. It isn't
quite the same as neighbors getting together to build a network, but it
has some of the same elements. I live outside of the city and I am a
member of a rural electric cooperative. Compared to when I was in the
city on the local regulated monopoly grid, my rates are lower, the
number of outages are fewer and the overall quality of service is
better. I don't know if that is necessarily a common experience, but it
is mine. It seems to me that in rural areas a cooperative framework
could be ideal for networks as well.

Now, it is tempting to suggest that the electric cooperative should take
on the project. After all they have a network of electric poles, it
doesn't seem that it would be that hard to hang fiber on them. However,
I fear that it would be enough outside of the management's wheelhouse
that it could end badly. Would probably need a completely separate
management team to do it right.


Steven Saner <ssaner at>                      Voice:  316-858-3000
Director of Network Operations                          Fax:  316-858-3001
Hubris Communications                      

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