Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Fiber to the People: Lessig, IEEE & AFNs

Comments Filter:
  • by addikt10 (461932) on Sunday November 23, 2003 @04:34PM (#7543413)
    First thing I thought was Metamucil
  • Shame on the IEEE (Score:5, Interesting)

    by possible (123857) on Sunday November 23, 2003 @04:38PM (#7543429)
    Lately they've been acting like racists and moral cowards. They proactively withdrew [shameonieee.org] membership privileges and publishing rights for Iranian students and researchers. See also this article [cryptome.org] for an explanation.
    • Proactively because they do not want to have connections to a country that could be facing UN sanctioned trade embargos if they do not get their act straight on the issue of potentially producing vast quantities of weapons grade plutonium.
      • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday November 23, 2003 @04:58PM (#7543526)
        You don't get it. Often times, scientific and technical societies are one of the few ways that students in these countries can interact with the outside world. Students are usually in the vanguard of pro-democracy movements (as in China and in fact Iran too) and it's a *good* idea to keep communications open with them.
        • Yes, normally you'd be right, but Iran is getting awfully close to building nuclear bombs, so doing ANYTHING that could aid that effort is frowned upon. Sometimes you have to sacrifice long-term projects when the short-term can get people killed. Whether IEEE participation has any effect on the Iranian theocracy's nuclear program would be a much better question.

          China is already a nuclear power and moving in the right direction, plus with the possible exception of that one jet fighter pilot (whom the ChiCo
          • I'd rather they not get ahold of anything remotely related to NBC technology if at all possible.
            <Seinfeld>
            What's the deal with those American devils and their harlot women??
            </Seinfeld>
      • by bronaugh (726253) on Sunday November 23, 2003 @05:02PM (#7543541)

        It is not the role of a supposedly apolitical organization to get involved in politics. Traditionally, academia has crossed borders without restrictions; why should it be any different now?

        By accepting people who are from such countries as Iran, you're giving them a window on the outside world; at least then they can see that perhaps their own country isn't a perfect world, and that other countries (like the US) aren't necessarily evil either. Broadening minds is a very effective tool; it works much better than blocking countries off so that everyone inside is narrow-minded and follows the government's line.

        Hatred and isolation, on the other hand, are totally counterproductive.

        • Blockquoth the poster:

          Hatred and isolation, on the other hand, are totally counterproductive

          That depends on what you're trying to produce.
          • That depends on what you're trying to produce.

            Umm. What can I reply to this other than "duh".

            If you beat a dog and treat it badly, you will usually get a mean, ugly dog. If you mistreat people, you will usually get mean, ugly people. Is this a shocking revelation to you?

            If you want to produce mean, ugly people, hate them, ridicule them, and isolate them. If you want to produce citizens of the world rather than of any particular nation, treat people right and accept them.

        • Around the time of the Plague in Europe (after it, IIRC), I seem to recall reading that there were political barriers between England and France in the field of academia. I seem to recall the differences having been religious in origin. (Something to do with alchemy.)
      • by EinarH (583836) on Sunday November 23, 2003 @05:25PM (#7543633) Journal
        IEEE should not act proctively in a case like this. So far there are no UN sanctions against these countries regarding WMD.

        IEEE took action to fulfill the U.S. Treasury Department trade regulations administered by the Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC). This shows that:
        1.IEEE is a organization that to a large degree is influenced by US policy and interests.

        2. In this case the OFAC regulations could result in the opposite of the intended effect:
        Restricting the ability for researchers in these countries to communicate with western researchers will only make it more difficault for them to do their job and participating in legitimate research. That could make some of them less sympatethic to western ideas and harder to find legitimate jobs.
        And getting the information in these IEEE papers is not rocket science even in a banned country. I bet that Iranian researchers allready send money to Pakistan or Turkey so someone there can set up a false member account or copy the papers. And the OFAC regulations were constructed without Internet in mind...Today you can't expect published information to stay out of North Korea just becasue you no longer send it directly to them by mail.

        IEEE's policy in this case is stupid and short sighted. In a *worst case* scenario this could lead some engineers and researchers to the governmental WMD programs instead of other work.

    • by bronaugh (726253) on Sunday November 23, 2003 @04:56PM (#7543521)

      That's kind of shocking considering what the IEEE stands for. The points made on shameonieee.org are good points; they're going against their own regulations to cover their ass, in typical cowardly I'm-afraid-of-lawyers fashion.

      If you're so afraid of US law, why don't you relocate to, say, Germany or France or even Canada? If this is such a big issue, why don't you serve your members better by moving to the Free World...

      Reminds me of a line from an old song... "You are living in the free world, and in the free world you must stay"

      Dragging the nationality of their organization into the debate will not serve to promote their organization.

      • Reminds me of a line from an old song... "You are living in the free world, and in the free world you must stay"

        I didn't know Fidel Castro was a songwriter.
    • I'm presently considering sending this letter to the IEEE. Let me know what you think.

      --------
      What is happening between the United States government and the IEEE reminds me of the events that occurred when Phil Zimmermann released his cryptographic software Pretty Good Privacy (PGP) in 1991.

      Let me summarize the main events for those who did not follow this battle. The US law would consider cryptographic software as "munitions" and forbid its exportation out of the US or Canada. Similarly as the matter th
  • by Phoenixhunter (588958) on Sunday November 23, 2003 @04:42PM (#7543454)
    Last time I read up on bringing Fiber to the small business/consumer environment, one of the biggest problems was splicing the cable, as the tiny filiments could easily become embedded in the skin, and by accidentally or otherwise looking into the fiber you could damage your retina....have these fundamental problems been resolve?
    • by Anonymous Coward
      Resolution 1: Wear gloves and long sleeves. And pants. Or a suit of armor. Whatever it takes, just leave your flip flops and Ocean Pacific shorts at home.

      Resolution 2: It's kinda like looking directly at the sun. If you are going to do it, well, that's Darwinism in action, isn't it.
    • Problems? Splicing a Fiber cable a Problem? Its about as much of a problem as electricity.. They both have possible dangers but that didn't stop electricity from catching on... As far as looking into a lit fiber... Umm... Why would you do that... Only multi mode fiber uses a wavelength that is visible. But still who in their right mind would run the risk of permanently damaging their eye by looking into a fiber when you have tools made to do with out risk to your self. Thats like a electrician using his t
      • But still who in their right mind would run the risk of permanently damaging their eye by looking into a fiber when you have tools made to do with out risk to your self.

        Probably the same pepole that need a tag on their hair dryer to tell them not to use it in the bath/shower. The warnings you see on varied products telling you not to do things are ONLY there because some idiot has already done so.
    • by Anonymous Coward
      Last time I read up on bringing Fiber to the small business/consumer environment, one of the biggest problems was splicing the cable, as the tiny filiments could easily become embedded in the skin, and by accidentally or otherwise looking into the fiber you could damage your retina....have these fundamental problems been resolve?

      Splicing cable can be harmful, but with proper training & equipment it's very safe. When I worked at JDS Uniphase, (when they had 12,000 people in Ottawa) fiber injuries were
    • "Consumer" fiber optic systems are required to maintain eye safety. Usually, this just means low enough power so that if you do point a fiber at your retina, there is no dammage. That's that gigabit ethernet does. Around the time that 10Gb Ethernet was being developed, there were some proposals to have the system detect a fiber cut and shut down the laser. I don't know if this has been implimented.
  • Google Cache (Score:2, Informative)

    by Pingular (670773)
    Larry Lessig [216.239.59.104] articulates [216.239.59.104] some infrastructure observations based on work by the IEEE [ieeeusa.org] & Cornell AFN Institute [216.239.59.104] regarding 'end-user-as owner' (EUO) advanced fibre networks.
  • by coolmacdude (640605) on Sunday November 23, 2003 @04:46PM (#7543472) Homepage Journal
    Just because you decided to annoy the hell out of me by bitching about piracy during my legally paid viewings of the last 2 movies I went to see, I am going to download your next movie 5 times one I get my fiber connection set up.
    • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday November 23, 2003 @05:12PM (#7543587)
      It's especially annoying when you work in the industry, and know that the jobs for stuntmen, wardrobe, camera, carpentry, etc. are going away, not due to piracy, but because the producers are cutting costs and taking foreign incentives to shoot outside the US.

      If they're going to blame job loss on something, blame it on the execs (who would have shot for cheaper elsewhere anyways.) Illegal copies are just a red herring - if copies ate into the profits of good movies, how did Finding Nemo set new records for the box office?

      Personally, I think the industry should get a clue - if people are willing to spend an hour of computer time, and an hour of their own time, watching some crappy Kaaza version of a film that they weren't going to go to theatres to watch anyways, doesn't that point to a potential market for them to exploit? The next time a big movie comes out, USE Kaaza to sell a screener version of the movie, formatted for 4:3 at 320x480, for like $3.50 per download, starting the first Monday after the opening weekend. Consider any losses due to people seeing it as part of the marketing budget...
    • by fermion (181285)
      The Matrix was the first popular film I have seen in quite a while. I paid my full entry to the movie. And then I had to sit there an hear some loser stunt man whine about hard he works and how dangerous the job is.

      All I could think is 'you sir are a moron'. All jobs are hard and dangerous. Has he really ever been at work at three in the morning working hard to fix some problem to meet an immovable launch deadline, and i don't mean the whiny ass hollywood kind? Has he really ever been in front of a h

  • It can be done (Score:4, Insightful)

    by duvel (173522) on Sunday November 23, 2003 @04:54PM (#7543510) Homepage
    I would welcome fiber to my home. It's not like it's technologically or economically impossible.

    NTT and other companies [japantoday.com] have already been offering 100Mbs fiberoptic lines to homes in Japan for quite awhile now.

    The best part is it's cheap, They usually cost a little more than $40 a month.

    Of course, it's still twice the price of 12Mbs ADSL lines in Japan like Yahoo BB [wired.com] who offers 12Mbs speed for $21/month. Not that most people would know what to do with 100Mbs anyways (except for some stuff that RIAA doesn't really approve of).

    • Coincidentally, I am working day in and out these days in finalizing a conference called Digital Reykjavik [digitalreykjavik.com]. There we will have several influential people speaking about the business of fiber to the home, who should run the networks the technology behind it and the effects it will have on society.

      We will keep our site updated after the event with key points from the conference, hopefully something juicy.

    • The sound studio I work at would love cheap fiber. DSL is not avaliable, the cable company wants 3000 to run cable, and fractional T1 is expensive. Perhaps if fiber becomes arrives, it would be a viable alternative to courior services.
    • Re:It can be done (Score:4, Interesting)

      by SuperBanana (662181) on Sunday November 23, 2003 @05:30PM (#7543653)
      would welcome fiber to my home. It's not like it's technologically or economically impossible. NTT and other companies have already been offering 100Mbs fiberoptic lines to homes in Japan for quite awhile now.

      Siiiiigh...when are you people going to realize it's about POPULATION DENSITY? When you have 50 customers in one building- it's rather practical to run a T3 to them. If you have 5- no way.

      Case and point- when I worked in south boston, we had a 256kbit T1 installed because it was the only option- no cable, no DSL because the phone company apparently ripped out all the copper in the area. Mind you- this is a 5 minute walk from DOWNTOWN FINANCIAL CENTER in Boston. Not the boondocks.

      The Verizon engineer was beside himself over what it was going to cost them- they had to have 3 crew spend a week running fiber to us, installed $100k worth of equipment...and "even if everyone in your building bought two full T1's, we would never break even on this over the next 20 years". We were a 6-floor building, and one of two companies that could afford to have such a line- the rest were artists who hated our guts(incidentally, the only other guy was a high-on-himself content producer [bigbad.com] who tried to blackmail us into sharing our line by making a fuss when Verizon wanted to run the fiber cable across the ceiling of his loft space. Verizon told him to go fuck himself(and threatened to press legal action for violating state law), and he shut up and left us alone.

      Right now, I live out in the burbs near boston. 30 minutes away. I have ONE choice in internet access save dialup. That would be the cable company. Our CO has been wired for DSL for many many years- at least 4- but you can't get DSL, because Verizon won't do it. If I were ONE town over, I'd have 10 DSL companies to choose from.

      Even if Verizon did decide to flip on DSL in our town, we'd get about 1mbit down, 96kbit up- yes, you read that right- 96kbit up. Not much better that dialup, now is it?

      As is right now, our cable company has in their AUP that we are "consumers" of an "entertainment service". We're prohibited from hosting ANY kind of server, but in particular any IRC, news server, or webboard. Yet they happily advertise work-at-home, kids-doing-homework-research type crap. One or the other please...

      • Re:It can be done (Score:5, Insightful)

        by Anonymous Coward on Sunday November 23, 2003 @07:26PM (#7544192)
        Siiiiigh...when are you people going to realize it's about POPULATION DENSITY? When you have 50 customers in one building- it's rather practical to run a T3 to them. If you have 5- no way.

        Case and point- when I worked in south boston, we had a 256kbit T1 installed because it was the only option- no cable, no DSL because the phone company apparently ripped out all the copper in the area. Mind you- this is a 5 minute walk from DOWNTOWN FINANCIAL CENTER in Boston. Not the boondocks.


        It's not about density - Boston (like most US cities) is already very dense. It's about poor planning and monopoly extortion. Why did the phone company rip out all the copper? Did they leave empty conduits behind?
        • Copper goes for a pretty good price at the recyclers. If the phone company hadn't ripped it, and had just abandoned it, I'm sure some homeless folks would have helped themselves.
          • by Atragon (711454)
            How would said homeless people remove copper wire that's presumably affixed at both ends, runs through small underground conduits, and at the junction points is presumably secured with locks?
      • Re:It can be done (Score:3, Informative)

        by Minna Kirai (624281)
        Mind you- this is a 5 minute walk from DOWNTOWN FINANCIAL CENTER in Boston. Not the boondocks.

        That actually makes it MORE expensive. In the heart of an old, dense, poorly-planned city, the effort required to install any new cable is orders of magnitude bigger than just ripping through an empty field in a backhoe. And being in the financial district meant that all the other people inconvenienced by the work are high-wage broker-types whose time is expensive to waste. (Meaning the city will soak you on a
      • Siiiiigh...when are you people going to realize it's about POPULATION DENSITY?

        Would you mind explaining to me then why it is that in my mother's home town of 350 people in the boondocks of Rural Missouri, where the biggest town in 60 miles is less than 10,000 people, she can get 3 Mbit SDSL for half the price I can get ADSL in Austin, Texas (a supposed technology center)? Population density is not an issue at all. Thank your local ILEC monopoly for their laziness in upgrading their network, and inabili
    • Re:It can be done (Score:5, Insightful)

      by KrispyKringle (672903) on Sunday November 23, 2003 @05:37PM (#7543679)
      This is just a tad offtopic. Read the article.

      Lessig's point, as tends to be the case with him, is not that fiber is good because its fast. He's not a technologist first and foremost (thankfully). His point is that shared-ownership is far better than corporate competition or limited monopolies (as is the current state in telecom).

      He argues that the reasons to support limited monopolies (which clearly defeat straight competition) are limited, because they still result in monopolistic pricing, but that shared ownership by the consumer gives all the benefits of competition without all the reasons it's unfeasable for telecom.

      RTFA.

    • Re:It can be done (Score:2, Insightful)

      by BuckaBooBob (635108)
      Well.. You seem to forget about population density... In the US on avg 1 square Kilomotere only has about 50 people... in Japan thats 1500.. So cost of infastructure is really easy to recoup where the US isn't as dense.
      • Re:It can be done (Score:2, Interesting)

        by tzanger (1575)
        Perhaps, but I'd certainly settle for state-run cable/DSL with that same fibre running to every major subdivision instead of every house.
        • With high speed Internet cable in the area it should be somewhat near that all ready.. In Canada cities that have high speed Internet over cable have 1 fiber per 1500 homes or less on average where penetration is decent 25%+ of homes. What would make the most sense is to see State/Cities install fiber networks throughout the city and rent off fiber space to promote competition in the last mile for services. Right now Infrastructures are owned by companies that have interest in staving off competition... O
      • Re:It can be done (Score:1, Insightful)

        by Anonymous Coward
        Well.. You seem to forget about population density... In the US on avg 1 square Kilomotere only has about 50 people... in Japan thats 1500.. So cost of infastructure is really easy to recoup where the US isn't as dense.

        Yes, population density in the ENTIRE US is less than Japan. But population density in the 10 largest cities (NY, LA, Boston, Chicago, etc) is VERY high, high enough to cancel any population density excuses.
    • I think you are confusing advertising with reality.

      There are quite a few outfits that offer 100Mbs here in Japan, _IF_ you live in the right area. I am 20 minutes out of Shunjuku - in Kawasaki city, 300 meteres out of Tokyo proper - and I can only get 1.5/.5 MBS ADSL. Mind you, at US$35.00 or so uncapped I am not complaining to much. (Yes I know I could get a better deal through YahooBB, but I would have to get a "telephone line" and I swore I would neve do that. Yes I am that pigheaded.)

    • I hate comparison's to fiber or wireless deployments in Asia. The average Japanese family lives in an apartment of something like 650 sq ft. With density like that there are a lot of service business models that work that _absolutely_ won't work in the US.

      • With density like that there are a lot of service business models that work that _absolutely_ won't work in the US.

        I'm sure there are some business models that will work in Japan that won't work in the US. However, Fiber to the home isn't one of them. There are a number of PUCs that have run fiber to the home here in the US and are paying off the costs of laying the fiber early.

        Population density might make it more expensive, but doesn't make it a poor business model.
  • Whenever the topic of municipal fiber to the home comes up, people start complaining that the city is wasting money on something that few people want. So let's make the network customer-owned; the people who want fiber will pay the $2,000 to get hooked up and everyone else won't pay anything. But if only 10% (or less) of people sign up, will the price per customer skyrocket?
    • You will need mass scale to help pay for the equipment that is needed to connect to and the infastructure to get it to that last mile...

      Customer owned fiber would still need to terminate On his property and in a fixed manner that would reduce/eliminate the possibility for that fiber to be damaged.

      So fiber will still need to be run past customer premise for connection.. so there could still be 1+ miles of infastructure that needs to be rolled out still.
    • by bussdriver (620565) on Sunday November 23, 2003 @05:59PM (#7543786)
      My city does the roads, and lets the car makers compete on them.
      We don't have GM make the road than then insist you to only drive GM cars on it.

      Cities should do the networks like they do the roads. Usage taxes help maintain the 'information superhighway'. Let the free market build the cars, gas stations, AAA, onstar, etc..

      I do not need an ISP. I MUST pay them and I don't even like them. Our city would have saved more money in the long run doing it themselves than all that regulation waste. (including lawsuits, regulation boards, etc.)
      • On the surface that sounds like a good idea, and is rather tempting. But answer me this, do you want the same people that brought us the DMV and IRS to have control of you internet access?
        • But answer me this, do you want the same people that brought us the DMV and IRS to have control of you internet access?

          The people that brought me the DMV and IRS, also brought me the Interstate and Intrastate highway systems. While driving the gauntlet of orange barrels can be annoying, that's more an issue of past funding and future growth than any reflection of competence.

          I don't believe the government protected monopoly and guaranteed profit that the telcos had for more than half a century spurred m

      • Does your city own the electric infrastructure, the phone network, and the cable TV network too?

        I'm asking. If not, why not, and how does that bode for the future of public internet?
      • Cities should do the networks like they do the roads.

        Everybody uses the roads. In fact, before roads were maintained, people wore paths where the roads were later established.

        Everybody doesn't use the Internet. Many people don't have that much interest in it.

        'The Net is inevitable and is taking over everything' is just oh-so 1998.
        • Everybody uses the roads. In fact, before roads were maintained, people wore paths where the roads were later established.

          Everybody doesn't use the Internet. Many people don't have that much interest in it.


          While not everyone uses the internet, everyone I know has a TV and a phone. Both of these services can be provided for over a fiber connection better than they can be over copper.

          The argument that not everyone uses the net isn't a good reason to not lay fiber. Let's look at it this way, I no longer


      • We don't have GM make the road...then insist you ...only drive GM cars on it.

        If you really are a bus driver, you might be interested in this. Most cities used to have a privately-owned trolley system that was an excellent means of transportation for the people (I live in quite a small city and it did). GM (along with Standard Oil and Firestone) didn't really care for people to have access to quality mass transportation so they formed a holding company called National City Lines to buy up the trolley com
  • Ah fiber. (Score:5, Funny)

    by psifishdot (699920) on Sunday November 23, 2003 @05:45PM (#7543725) Homepage
    Fiber keeps my downloads regular...
  • I'm still waiting for UTOPIA [slashdot.org] which hopes to provide a wholesale network [utopianet.org] that provide FTTH services without using TAX money!!! [utopianet.org].
  • I don't see a whole lot point to running fiber to the home until backhaul costs come down.

    The speed of most consumer broadband services is limited by the cost of the backhaul, not the performance of the local loop. If my area, 6Mbps DSL is available for those who can afford it. It's the same wire and the same hardware at both ends. Most people stick with 1.5Mbps becuase that is all they can afford.
    • That's great. In my area, 1.5Mbps ADSL is as fast as it goes, cable is also available, either 1.5 or 3.0 down. Upstream is the same as with DSL.

      I would love even symmetrical 1.5, or better, 3/1. But in my area, there's no real incentive for ISPs to offer such packages in any form other than T-1s and above.

      If I a) had finished my education, b) spoke japanese, and c) had the money to do so, I'd be bloody tempted to move there. Highspeed internet up here in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada (the nation's capital) is

Every successful person has had failures but repeated failure is no guarantee of eventual success.

Working...