FCC proposes higher speed goals (100/20 Mbps) for USF providers

Jared Mauch jared at puck.nether.net
Sun May 29 15:31:49 UTC 2022

> On May 26, 2022, at 9:31 AM, Livingood, Jason via NANOG <nanog at nanog.org> wrote:
>> Latency is a limitation for things that are generally relatively low bandwidth (interactive audio, zoom, etc.).
>> Higher bandwidth won’t solve the latency problem
> +1
> IMO as we enter the 'post-gigabit era', an extra 1 Gbps to the home will matter less than 100 ms or 500 ms lower working latency (optimally sub-50 ms, if not sub-25 ms). The past is exclusively speed-focused -- the future will be speed + working latency + reliability/resiliency + consistency of QoE + security/protection + WiFi LAN quality.

This is always cute when posted from the haves vs the have-nots.  I’m watching a lot of people who don’t want to take government money, or play along flail at all of this.  They see the internet as for e-mail vs some futuristic use-case.

A few realities:

1) material cost is overall small for a fiber network (Even with the 250% price increase in the past ~24 months in materials)
2) Labor is the killer (this also has inputs of diesel fuel costs as the trucks that move the stuff are all diesel) reflecting 80%+ of the direct hard costs
3) There’s a lot of variable soft costs in permitting, engineering (Drawings) and network design inputs.
4) Many electric utilities have poor quality poles and want to charge tenants to upgrade them when they’ve ignored them for decades
5) Several companies have zero incentive to improve the QOE of the end-user service

Of course speed, latency, reliability matter.

It’s possible to hit people with varying technologies, and when you stick to one, be it PON, HFC, xDSL + FTTx, the other inputs come into play, be it the spectrum reserved for RF overlay on PON and HFC or otherwise.

You’re also seeing carriers walk away from new developments if they can’t be the monopoly option there, so it’s quite interesting watching what happens with my FTTH hat on.

I would say, if you’re looking to build or expand your networks, focus on how you can get the fiber out there, there’s a lot of money available if you’re willing to take it.  It might mean taking the USF money and the obligations that go with that in reporting, compliance, etc.. but those costs don’t have to be onerous if you are mindful of how the programs work and have the right integration/reporting.

- Jared

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