Free access to measurement network

Naslund, Steve SNaslund at
Mon Dec 18 17:40:38 CST 2017

It absolutely is the same issue.  Rural electrification and rural telecommunications are the same model, neither one happened without govt subsidies because the economics don't work any other way.  Same kind of engineering challenges when you build a large expensive distribution system for a very inexpensive product (kilowatts or megabits don't matter much).  The ROI is really difficult unless you have a captive audience.  That is why you don't see big CLEC build outs.  Why pay to put in a fiber cable with a 100 year lifecycle to a customer that might move and/or dump you in the next six months?  The churn will kill you.  You cannot amortize the cost of the infrastructure within any reasonable time frame.  Go ahead and tell a VC that your infrastructure has a 10 - 20 year ROI (if you are lucky) and see if you get laughed out of the room.  The WISPs and satellite guys are just like putting in windmills and solar panels to avoid the power company.  Some will do it but most don't like the inconvenience or complexity of it.  A fringe group at best.  Telecom is even worse that power because there is a very good chance that your infrastructure will be obsolete or devalued before it pays for itself.  Look at how DWDM technologies murdered the dark fiber markets and oceanic fiber links.  Global Crossing ring a bell anyone?

In some municipalities the city owns the infrastructure now but they want that big payday from the award of the exclusive contract so there really is not much competition there.  In the "open" power market most cities find out that the most viable option turns out to be the incumbent power company that originally built out the infrastructure in the first place.  Chicago was a major failure of the open power market when all of the "competitors" had huge price swings and everyone went back to the incumbent Commonwealth Edison.  The real motivator was that the city really just wanted a way to get in between the customers and power company, they just could not resist the revenue.  Same thing in cable service where the city gets their share of the money for essentially locking out the competition.

Steven Naslund
Chicago IL

>-----Original Message-----
>From: UpTide . [mailto:UpTide at] 
>Sent: Monday, December 18, 2017 10:55 AM
>To: Naslund, Steve
>Subject: Re: Free access to measurement network
>Sounds like the history of the electric companies.

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