Free access to measurement network

Mike Hammett nanog at
Mon Dec 18 19:20:24 CST 2017

The RLEC infrastructure doesn't include the ROW. That belongs to the municipality. 

You are largely correct that you don't have access to RLEC infrastructure. IANAL, so I don't know the precise limitations. Many have been made to port their numbers, but some are still protected. 

You won't see me defending USF-funded golden toilets. 

That said, RLECs are a fairly small amount of the problem and you can always do fixed wireless to overcome economics in their areas. 

The biggest thing stopping a CLEC from building in the ROW is economics? That's generally the biggest inhibitor to any infrastructure, but it's being overcome all of the time. I know a lot of guys have the cost per home for FTTH well under $1k/home. Depending on services sold, that's a reasonable 1 - 3 year ROI. 

You don't have to be cheaper, you just have to be better. One of my clients is still going doing CLEC DSL for about 13 years. 

They don't mess with their customer's traffic. They have good customer support. We all know you can't expect them to have a superior service and compete on price. If you want something not shit, buy it. Don't force someone to polish a turd. 

There are thousands of WISPs in the US. I know because I've been one for about 13 years, I go to the trade shows, and I have the largest WISP-focused podcast. I'll go tell them that they can't do what they're doing. Those urban guys are pretty new to the scene and represent probably less than 5% of the WISP industry. Some of the non-urban ones are delivering 100M+ services. Some of them are in the middle of nowhere, building their own infrastructure to deliver the only non-satellite service available. 

The biggest WISPs I know (100k+ customers) are all outside of urban areas. There are a ton that are 10k+. Most are probably 500 - 5k. Obviously nothing compared to the incumbents, but I'm not sure being like the incumbents is what anyone wants. 

I think the biggest thing this thread reveals is that just because someone operates a network doesn't mean they know how all types of networks operate (or are available). 

Mike Hammett 
Intelligent Computing Solutions 

Midwest Internet Exchange 

The Brothers WISP 

----- Original Message -----

From: "Steve Naslund" <SNaslund at> 
To: nanog at 
Sent: Monday, December 18, 2017 11:19:54 AM 
Subject: RE: Free access to measurement network 

That must be recent change then because last time I looked RLECs are pretty well protected from CLEC competition. That was the original telecom act difference between CLECs and RLECs. Their argument was that it was so hard to be economically viable in low density areas that they deserved to have exclusive access to their infrastructure. However the biggest thing stopping a CLEC from building in a ROW is economics. The RLEC wouldn't even be there without all of the government subsidies they got to build in the first place. 

I think the market has already spoken pretty resoundingly about building out infrastructure as a CLEC. You would have to step over all of the corpses on your way to doing so. In fact, I can’t off the top of my head think of a single CLEC that has widespread coverage over their own infrastructure. They almost universally use the ILEC infrastructure for last mile. Even the giants like Level 3 are pretty much unavailable unless you are in the heart of the NFL sized city. As far as rural wireless, we have found very few options in any of the markets we have looked into. The same density issues that prevent high quality cellular build outs also applies to WISPs. In the rural area the WISP still needs backhaul and antenna infrastructure. The lack of national scale WISPs tells me that model is not going to be viable at scale. Too much infrastructure for too few customers is the common killer of CLECs and WISPs. The biggest WISPs I know of are mostly urban as alternatives to the ILEC infrastructure not in rural areas and are used mostly as backup providers. 

Most facilities based DSL providers (i.e. equipment collocated with the ILECs) died quite some time ago. There were lots of them in the 1999 - 2005 timeframe and they are all dead now. You just can't compete with the ILEC cost model. 

I think the only model that would possibly bring out any viable competition in the last mile would be municipality owned infrastructure. The problem with that model is the municipalities love to offer exclusive contracts instead of an open infrastructure because they get the big payday. 

Steven Naslund 
Chicago IL 

>-----Original Message----- 
>From: NANOG [mailto:nanog-bounces at] On Behalf Of Mike Hammett 
>Sent: Monday, December 18, 2017 10:43 AM 
>Cc: nanog at 
>Subject: Re: Free access to measurement network 
>There's nothing stopping you from using CLEC status to build in the ROW of an RLEC area. 
>Fixed wireless is the most cost effective way to deploy in rural environments, other than at some point ultra rural, satellite takes over. That's kinda what WISPs have been doing for 20 years. 
>So don't own cable. Build fiber. There's nothing stopping you from doing that. 
>If you're going CLEC and using the ILEC's copper, go bigger. Most of the big ILECs are still rolling with sub 10 megabit speeds. I know some CLECs doing ADSL2+, VDSL, etc. Not as wide-reaching, no, but it's something and generates ?>revenue while you build your own plant. 
>Mike Hammett 
>Intelligent Computing Solutions 
>Midwest Internet Exchange 
>The Brothers WISP 

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