Level 3 blames Internet slowdowns on Technica

Jared Mauch jared at puck.nether.net
Fri Mar 21 18:21:09 UTC 2014

On Mar 21, 2014, at 2:08 PM, Keegan Holley <no.spam at comcast.net> wrote:

> How come no one ever asks if competition is required?

I think the issue here is there is competition, but those you are seen as competing with are in a different strata providing the same service.

eg: Cellular data competes with DSL/DOCSIS/FTT*

Now, due to speed, caps, etc.. it may not be a "fair" comparison, but this isn't about fair, it's about "is there competition in the market".  I know many folks that live outside the wired high-speed boundaries and things are not getting any better there.  Most use some hotspot or similar for their home connectivity.

Is there a market for high speed there?  certainly, but it's being filled by other technology.  

There are many folks that work around these issues with other solutions, including satellite, fixed wireless and/or microwave or even localized fiber build-outs.  Look at the RUS/NTIA/BTOP focus, it was on getting the anchor institutions well connected to provide a sense of community.  The challenge is not everyone is equally equipped.  Merit (in my area) has fiber close to me, but they don't offer services to anyone but existing members and have no consumer offerings.

Market segmentation happens for a variety of reasons, sometimes economic, sometimes complete differences in ROI models.

Nobody can afford to run universal fiber everywhere as a greenfield build, but there are localized markets where it can make sense.  Certainly it can make sense to connect some islands to each other via some other technology.  Taking list prices from providers webpages, what cogent used to list $4/meg, so that means (assuming everything is perfect) offering 10Mb/s service at a home could possibly cost $40/mo for a provider, not counting capital costs and other elements (support, customer acquisition costs, bad debt, etc).

I'm sure folks can build networks for low cost, you can get a 1G active-ethernet NID for sub-$150 with optics, but you still need to aggregate and account for it somewhere.

- Jared

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