Customers owning their own fiber?




  • Last month, construction was completed on a pilot project that ran fiber optic cables to 400 homes in Ottawa. Stringing fiber optic cables isn't a big deal by itself—Verizon has been running fiber to millions of homes in the US—but the Ottawa project comes with a twist: rather than providing Internet access for a monthly fee, the company plans to sell the fiber strands outright to individual homeowners.

    Ars Technica writes about an interesting idea: running fiber to the home and having homeowners own it. Personally, I think it's a great idea that will lessen the pain of those stuck with the Comcasts of the world, but we still have a long way to go until it's feasible.



  • I don't see how that really helps anyone at all.  A physical connection is useless without bandwidth and a network infrastructure and those are the things ISPs provide you.  It's not like most people who have trouble with their ISPs are having problems with the physical connection anyway. 



  • @morbiuswilters said:

    I don't see how that really helps anyone at all.  A physical connection is useless without bandwidth and a network infrastructure and those are the things ISPs provide you.  It's not like most people who have trouble with their ISPs are having problems with the physical connection anyway. 

     

    Indeed, I don't think the OP here has any clue what the hell he is talking about.

    This sounds like a way for the ISP to hand off responsibility to the customer, leaving the customer no benefit.



  • The idea is that the customers own the fiber, not the telcos, and then the ISPs compete to sell you internet access over fiber that YOU own not fiber they own.



  • @redct said:

    The idea is that the customers own the fiber, not the telcos, and then the ISPs compete to sell you internet access over fiber that YOU own not fiber they own.
     

    That is stupid. Why not let them own the fiber? Who the hell would want to own (be responsible for)  the fiber?

    You act as if most people don't have a choice of ISPs right now... You don't own the cable from the line to your house either, but you can still switch ISPs all you want...



  • If you owned the fiber, you have to fix any problems in your connection, you will possibly have to go through a costly upgrade a few years down the line. If a neighbour damages the line and you can't afford to fix it, what are you going to do, sue them? You will be months waiting for the money and still have to pay for internet access you effectively will be using even though you can't.

    If your neighbourhood owns the fiber, you all could be locked into a single contract / forced to go to the same provider even if half of the neighbourhood want's to go to with another provider.

    If someone damages the fiber and the internet access for the entire neighbourhood goes down, who pays for the repairs, the neighbourhood? the person who caused the damage? (again waiting to sue that one person if they decide not to pay comes to mind).

    I can think of more simple scenarios that can easily cause plenty of hastle. 

     

     

    There are only two ways that you should ever go about this, EVERYTHING right to your door is covered by your provider. Or you lease a fiber connection to a MAN run by a company (not by you) and get a provider connected then thru them.

    The first method is how I have it at home, it's releiabe, and theres one number to call if theres a problem.

    The second is how we have it at work, if the internet provider goes down I can still communicate with other businesses connected to that MAN ( a good few of which we do most of our business with ), if the MAN goes down, they are, by contract, obliged to pay the cost of the internet provider during that period as well as cover our lease on the MAN for a minimum of a month. Luckily the MAN has yet to go down, but our ISP have on the odd ocasion, but we still managed to get some business done.



  • @MasterPlanSoftware said:

    @redct said:

    The idea is that the customers own the fiber, not the telcos, and then the ISPs compete to sell you internet access over fiber that YOU own not fiber they own.
     

    That is stupid. Why not let them own the fiber? Who the hell would want to own (be responsible for)  the fiber?

    You act as if most people don't have a choice of ISPs right now... You don't own the cable from the line to your house either, but you can still switch ISPs all you want...

    I think it is the misplaced concept that by owning the fiber, you magically can plug in (insert ISP here) on the other end. However, where would this fiber line terminate? If its a local cabinet, you're basically in the same case you are with traditional DSL's, except now you own the fiber; you're still using the clogged-up local loop. If it goes all the way to a MAN, that might make some sense, but then you're responsible for that line, which you will have to fix when broken.

    About ISP choice, broadband actually thinned down the ISP pool, and if I remember well there are many places in the US where Comcast and/or AOL are the only broadband provider. And over here in Mexico, its either Prodigy/Telmex or "that bloodsucking cable company" who gives 10.0.0.0/8 IP addresses. Ok, some of the large cities have non-Telmex DSL companies, but even those are scarce.

    But owning a fiber line? No thanks, I'd rather have a telco work that out.



  • @danixdefcon5 said:

    About ISP choice, broadband actually thinned down the ISP pool...

    I think this is a common misconception.  Oh, I remember the days when every kid who could set up DUN had his own dial-up ISP, but those ISPs/kids all got their T1s from the telco so essentially there was no price competition.  Nowadays there are many backbone providers and most places in the US have at least 1 cable and 1 DSL option.  Many also have a few fixed-wireless options, maybe a fiber option or two.  There are two cable providers in my area and my options are quite broad.  I use Comcast and have had nothing but a wonderful experience with them.  I've never noticed bittorrent throttling and can frequently top 12mbps down.  Perhaps it's just my area where Comcast is so good, I have no idea.

     

    @danixdefcon5 said:

    ...and if I remember well there are many places in the US where Comcast and/or AOL are the only broadband provider.

    AOL is still around?  Seriously, AOL doesn't provide broadband anywhere that I know of.  Usually your choices are the cable company and the local baby bell.  Verizon doesn't have the best DSL but I've never talked to someone who had FiOS who wouldn't be willing to part with firstborn before their fiber connection. 

     



  • @morbiuswilters said:

    most places in the US have at least 1 cable and 1 DSL option

    Not true I'm afraid. In fact, there are far more areas that have neither DSL nor cable nor FiOS, than there are areas which have one or more of those as an option. Pretty much any location more than a few miles outside of a city is going to be in the former category.

    @morbiuswilters said:

    I've never talked to someone who had FiOS who wouldn't be willing to part with firstborn before their fiber connection.

    And people who cannot get it probably would make the same sacrifice to be able to have it. Not just techies, but lots of regular people as well.

    But Verizon will never bring it here, ever. That is outrageous, but we've accepted it. More outrageous is that Verizon blocks any group who attempts to build and sell such infrastructure. So if we're willing to pay for it ourselves, we certainly should be allowed to do so.

    Sadly, I expect Verizon will block this as they've blocked all other attempts at community broadband.



  • @VGR said:

    Not true I'm afraid. In fact, there are far more areas that have neither DSL nor cable nor FiOS, than there are areas which have one or more of those as an option. Pretty much any location more than a few miles outside of a city is going to be in the former category.

    I was talking about population, not uninhabited land, obviously.  Even way out you can still get EVDO or the like from cell providers, which is pretty reasonable.  The majority of Americans live within an area that has at least 1 cable and 1 DSL provider.  If you choose to live in the middle of nowhere you have to accept that nobody is going to want to waste the money providing you with Internet.  It's not a charity, after all.

     

    @VGR said:

    But Verizon will never bring it here, ever. That is outrageous, but we've accepted it.

    How is that outrageous?  If they don't want to bring FiOS to you it's because it is not worth the effort.  Seems very reasonable to me. 



  • @Hitsuji said:

    I can think of more simple scenarios that can easily cause plenty of hastle. 
     

     Agree, in fact this was my first thought.  In some ways it would be like owning the power line that comes off the pole to your house.  

    Also, as is often the case, they'd sell you the fiber give you a SLIGHT discount at installation and then charge you the same monthly fee.  Why?  Because they're not looking to help you out but looking to maximize their profit.  No doubt saying things like "We can charge the same amount because that's what they're used to, even though we don't have to maintain the cable anymore."

     One more thing to consider is, if some contractor is digging a ditch for your company and hits the cable, it gets fixed quickly because there is a large corporation pushing on them to get it fixed.  By that, I mean, if you hit AT&T's fiber, they have enough muscle to get it fixed right away.  If some schmoe cuts my cable, I'm just an average home owner, I have no muscle to flex here so I might be out days, or weeks (like when my AC went out the same day as everyone else in Omaha and I had to wait 10 days for a stupid estimate, and another 7 to get the part replaced.)

    So recap, less service, more cost for the end user (because every time the fiber gets damaged it comes out of your pocket, all for the hopes of saving less than $5 in monthly internet cost.



  • @morbiuswilters said:

    Even way out you can still get EVDO or the like from cell providers, which is pretty reasonable.

    No, you really can't. Cell phone coverage is slightly better than broadband coverage, but there are huge expanses of land with no cell phone coverage. You may need to do more traveling. Most areas are not nearly as densely populated as the east coast.

    Even though those areas are less densely populated, they still contain millions of people with no broadband options.

    @morbiuswilters said:

    The majority of Americans live within an area that has at least 1 cable and 1 DSL provider.

    I don't usually like to use this as a comeback, but: citation needed.

    Go around the country some more. Cable and DSL is common within cities and uncommon outside of cities.

    @morbiuswilters said:

    If you choose to live in the middle of nowhere you have to accept that nobody is going to want to waste the money providing you with Internet.  It's not a charity, after all.

    Um ... duh? Did you pay attention to what started this thread?

    The whole point is that people outside of cities have accepted that Verizon won't build the infrastructure and we're willing to pay for its construction and support ourselves.

    @morbiuswilters said:

    @VGR said:

    But Verizon will never bring it here, ever. That is outrageous, but we've accepted it.

    How is that outrageous?  If they don't want to bring FiOS to you it's because it is not worth the effort.  Seems very reasonable to me. 

    Because they're not a private enterprise. They're the phone company. Just because everyone likes profit doesn't mean everyone has a right to it. If they want to become a true private enterprise and put up their own brand new communications network, that's fine. But this is something put up by the government as a national infrastructure, for the specific purpose of bringing the nation forward technologically.

    And, oh yeah, Verizon was given 200 billion dollars to bring broadband to outlying areas.

    @morbiuswilters said:

    Filed under: Quit your whining.

    Aren't you clever. I took a gamble that you might have grown up and might be able to hold a conversation without being an insulting prick; looks like I lost. Nevertheless, I bet if your broadband was terminated and someone told you that if you want broadband, you should move, you'd be the whiniest bitch history has ever seen.



  • @VGR said:

    No, you really can't. Cell phone coverage is slightly better than broadband coverage, but there are huge expanses of land with no cell phone coverage.

    Huge expanses of land, not large numbers of people.  I could really give a shit if 10,000 square miles of desert and the one acid casualty hippie that lives there can't get broadband.  You're seriously now whining about cell coverage in the US?  That affects, like, 0.01% of the population.  Fuck those people.

     

    @VGR said:

    I don't usually like to use this as a comeback, but: citation needed.

    Well, the majority of Americans have broadband and that's not even counting people who have access but don't opt for it.  I've been to many small towns and quite a few have DSL, cable and fixed-point wireless, as well as 3G cellular.

     

    @VGR said:

    The whole point is that people outside of cities have accepted that Verizon won't build the infrastructure and we're willing to pay for its construction and support ourselves.

    Except that there's nowhere for you to hook your connection.  Besides, you're the one complaining about Verizon not running fiber to your home.  I'm telling you it's stupid to complain.

     

    @VGR said:

    Because they're not a private enterprise. They're the phone company.

    Which is a private enterprise.  Where the hell did you get the idea that the phone companies owe you free service?

     

    @VGR said:

    Just because everyone likes profit doesn't mean everyone has a right to it.

    Sure they do, you fucking Communist.  They aren't guaranteed it, but they do have a right to earn it.

     

    @VGR said:

    If they want to become a true private enterprise and put up their own brand new communications network, that's fine. But this is something put up by the government as a national infrastructure, for the specific purpose of bringing the nation forward technologically.

    Really?  The cable TV, FiOS and national fiber backbone was put in by the federal government?  HA HA HA, you are a dipshit.

     

    @VGR said:

    And, oh yeah, Verizon was given 200 billion dollars to bring broadband to outlying areas.

    Oh, not this bullshit again.  Seriously, go back to Slashdot, drink the Kool-Aid and let the cyanide take effect.  Heck, even that site that wants you to buy their shitty book doesn't say Verizon was given $200B, but that Verizon was one of many companies that was given money.  Additionally, that's a really credible-looking source, isn't it?

     

    @VGR said:

    Nevertheless, I bet if your broadband was terminated and someone told you that if you want broadband, you should move, you'd be the whiniest bitch history has ever seen.

    Considering I've investigated broadband options before moving in to my last 4 apartments, I'd say you don't know a goddamn thing about me. 



  • @morbiuswilters said:

    @VGR said:

    The whole point is that people outside of cities have accepted that Verizon won't build the infrastructure and we're willing to pay for its construction and support ourselves.

    Except that there's nowhere for you to hook your connection.  Besides, you're the one complaining about Verizon not running fiber to your home.  I'm telling you it's stupid to complain.

     

    I would like to hear from one customer who is actually willing to pay for all the infrastructure to bring them broadband.

    If VGR is talking about each customer paying a small part to have the ISP bring it to them, then what does he think everyone does now??

    What a dipshit.

    @morbiuswilters said:

    @VGR said:

    Because they're not a private enterprise. They're the phone company.

    Which is a private enterprise.  Where the hell did you get the idea that the phone companies owe you free service?

     

    @VGR said:

    Just because everyone likes profit doesn't mean everyone has a right to it.

    Sure they do, you fucking Communist.  They aren't guaranteed it, but they do have a right to earn it.

    Where the hell are we getting these people from lately who don't have any kind of common sense or real world experience?

    Where have they been hiding all this time?

    @morbiuswilters said:

    Additionally, that's a really credible-looking source, isn't it?

    About as credible as the normal retard conspiracy theory sites like this one: http://www.tax-freedom.com/



  • @morbiuswilters said:

    @VGR said:
    Nevertheless, I bet if your broadband was terminated and someone told you that if you want broadband, you should move, you'd be the whiniest bitch history has ever seen.

    Considering I've investigated broadband options before moving in to my last 4 apartments, I'd say you don't know a goddamn thing about me. 

    Well, according to your location, it seems you live in the BosWash area. I'd be surprised if you didn't find broadband in that area. VGR is probably talking about those small cities/towns that are spread throughout all that mass of land between "east coast" and "west coast". Low-density populated areas are not deemed "profitable" by the telco's, so they just don't give 'em broadband. This is precisely what keeps AOL alive; its dialup business still lives on in those broadband-starved areas.

    Of course, this is definitely turning into one of those threads where the main argument is going to be that its more cost-effective to run 1 fiber to feed 400 apartments in a densely-populated city block than running 300 fiber lines to feed 500 sparsely distributed households. The real reasoning behind those decisions is that low-density areas will have a lower contention ratio than the cities. They would profit anyway, its just that their profit margin would be lesser than that of the cities.

    Conspiracy theories aside, I do remember some scheme used to encourage services like this, something like a "controlled monopoly". Say, you offer AT&T exclusive rights for, say, DSL service at Somewhere, USA. They will get those rights if they actually offer the service in the town. The "monopoly" is ensured for a fixed time length, kind of like patents; so the telco gets its ROI, and the town gets its broadband.



  • @danixdefcon5 said:

    Well, according to your location, it seems you live in the BosWash area.

    PROTIP:  I haven't always lived here.  Additionally, the majority of Americans live in well-populated areas.  I mean, that should be obvious just by definition.  So complaining because you're one of the 5-10% that will never get broadband because it is not worth it is silly.

     

    @danixdefcon5 said:

    VGR is probably talking about those small cities/towns that are spread throughout all that mass of land between "east coast" and "west coast". Low-density populated areas are not deemed "profitable" by the telco's, so they just don't give 'em broadband.

    My mother lives in a town with a population of 400 in one of the most rural and impoverished parts of the United States.  Yet, she still has EVDO available through Verizon.  And if she moved to one of the local "cities" with a population ~5000 she would have cable, DSL and fixed-wireless options.  Believe me, I know the broadband situation when it comes to remote, poor rural areas.  However one of my main criteria when searching for apartments has always been access to broadband.  It's cool if people don't want to take that into account, but it's not that fucking difficult to get broadband in the US.  I'm betting VGR is the kind of person who wants to live away from everyone but still have the conveniences of living in a city.  That kind of attitude is ridiculously immature.



  •  What a fscked up thread. Some people really need to get a life. I wish I would have moderated this thread earlier, but my new toy kept me busy. Thread closed, for fscks sake.


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