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100 Mbps Community Fiber Network: Howto 158

batro writes: "The main page says it all: 'Everything slower than 10 Mbps is just a toy!' This is a nice writeup (with pictures!) of how a 100 Mbps community fiber network in northern Sweden came into being." And if over a grand in connection fees doesn't suit your locale (this took nearly complete neighborhood participation), Nurotek writes: "Check out Proxim's latest press release. They claim that they can push 100Mpbs via the 5Ghz RF band. Wonder if this will work ..."
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100 Mbps Community Fiber Network: Howto

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  • I am waiting to try to get fiber done up in my apt. i am lookign at how to get the whole routing and switching done right. right now i just have a couple itty bitty cisco routers and switches sitting here. i have two machines using fiber between themselves now. and i am hounding the phone company to allow me to get a bare line for 2 Meg dsl ... just gotta keep working on them. if i can i might be able to tweak this set up a bit more
    • by Spootnik ( 518145 ) on Tuesday October 09, 2001 @04:07AM (#2405118)
      Will you be pulling the fiber at the same time as the copper? My suggestion is to investigate utilizing BICC Brand-Rex's Blo-Twist as one of your cable runs. The Blo-Twist cable has a small tube chamber attached that will allow up to 4 strands of fiber to be blown into place at any time. This allows you to install the copper and add fiber as it is needed.

      You are certainly correct in planning on fiber to the desktop, I personally think those that dismiss the technology as "too expensive" are short sighted in some ways. Currently I am recommending nothing less than Cat 5e (Enhanced) cable and components on all new installations and upgrades being done for my clients. Even though a lot of the new installations are being done in facilities they will occupy for a minimum of 10 years, they have resisted planning for any fiber excepting a riser backbone.
  • by PhantomHarlock ( 189617 ) on Tuesday October 09, 2001 @04:06AM (#2405117)
    "
    -What is a nice lawn worth compared to Internet access?
    -Nothing! :)
    "
  • by Acaila ( 259043 ) on Tuesday October 09, 2001 @04:15AM (#2405129) Homepage Journal
    I read in the Media Section of "the Australian" newspaper about a town in Western Australia that was built from the ground up with the main goal being to make it the most connected town in Australia.
    From memory (and I'm sure I'll be corrected) each house had a fibre optic connection.

    If I can find more info on it I'll follow this up.
    • This is an exsisting community.. it would be more difficult to get your neighbours along in this kind of adventure then it would be to inhabit the "special purpose" houses with people who would want this.

      Imagine.. they had to convince 60 people to invest in this project, get them to take extra mortgages on their houses etc.. what if indeed only 40% of their neighbours would have been interested? The costs would be far higher than those US$2000 max they had now.

  • Living in a rural area of Canada, I probably guess that we'll have honest polititians before we ever get any broadband out here from Bell Canada. (The prospects were good for Look TV [www.look.ca] but their financies are going down the tube.) If a lot of people around the world latch onto something like this, it could help kill diversified ISP markets - everyone would just be feeding off of super-fast connections from the phone companies.
    • Re:Look TV (Score:2, Funny)

      by shepd ( 155729 )
      Is it any wonder why Look TV is having difficulty with financial strategies like this [www.look.ca]:

      "Due to overwhelming demand, we are no longer taking orders for our High-Speed wireless Internet services"

      They are a product of the dot-bomb industry. Imagine if Dodge said "Due to overwhelming demand, we are no longer producing the Caravan". Uhhhhhh... Wow... To say the least.
    • I wouldn't be surprised if Cancom [www.cancom.ca] didn't have a high-speed two-way satellite broadband service and a signal spot that covers all of North America in the next 24 months... I'll just say that satellite connections are part of the Canadian cable industry's longer-term strategy to take on the telcos.
    • I too live in rural Canada, but am lucky enough not to have Bell as my telco. Because of this I can get DSL out in the middle of nowhere! It's no 100Mbps connection, I wish it were, but it sure beats dial-up!!!

      The problem with rural areas is that there aren't enough people around to setup a network like this. Unless you setup a 802.11a network with some good range you'll never get enough people to join your network. Of course the advantage in rural areas is that the space is wide open, and there are plenty of silos to put transmitters on. This reason alone might just make a rural network feasable.

      As for you, DirectPC from ExpressVU is avaliable. You still have to dial-up with this service though so you will only get increased download bandwidth. I'm pretty sure it's over-priced too, but still an option (albeit, not a good one).
  • by unitron ( 5733 ) on Tuesday October 09, 2001 @04:24AM (#2405143) Homepage Journal
    "All cables run in PVC-tubes about 50 cm below ground. A few main-tubes are absolutely full with cables, so unfortunately it isn't possible to install more cables in them..."

    The only thing better than having more than enough conduit installed before the area where you are installing the conduit is covered over and made next to impossible to get to is to have way, way more than enough conduit installed.

  • by forgoil ( 104808 ) on Tuesday October 09, 2001 @04:24AM (#2405144) Homepage
    In fact, many of you would cry if you came back after a semester with Sunet's backbone. Places like Ronneby, Stockholm, Linköping, and Lund are well connected, and I am sure that I have missed a whole bunch of them (fill me in fellow countrymen).

    In fact, I wouldn't be surprised if a few of you tech students "over there" will start thinking about a semester in Sweden. Well, you should ;)

    And for all others, check up what 100Mbit/s equipment costs, ask companies to sponsor you, ask your schools for feed, and you too can have a useful connection to the internet. No more modem, ISDN, cable, or whatever. Sweet sweet ethernet. Can't live without it, can't, ehm, well, you want to live with it;)
    • Sweden digging fiber (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Accumulator ( 9389 ) on Tuesday October 09, 2001 @04:39AM (#2405164) Homepage

      Sweden has actually a plan to give every home broadband access, just like telephone and electric power. Though I haven't seen much of it yet, but they are digging fiber all over the country.

      Myself, I live at a student-complex in Trondheim/Norway, and here 100MBs is included in the rent :) We've got 100MBs internally, connected to gigabit switches. We got 1 gigabit to the university, and 3,5 gigabit to Oslo (where the rest of the world is linked).

      Actually there is a total of 8.000-10.000 students living at such complexes here (of 20.000).

      The only problem is that the world is too slow :(

      • We have a lot for free because if there is a railway, there is also fibre. As I see it, the state should have the fibre for the backbone, and then whomever wants to use it should. Benefits us all.

        And it's cool to hear about Norway as well, I would imagine Finland has a cool net as well (funet is cool anyways), and I hope Denmark has one as well. In fact, Europe is doing very well as far as internet infrastructure goes. Something for you americans to aspire to;) This is what the world need, creative competition in civilian areas, not more terrorists, cold wars and bombs.

        • Yes, I aspire to it all the time, unfortunately I live out in the sticks where the best connection I can get is 48kbps. And that's on a raelly good day. Broadband service doesn't come withing 20 miles of my house, and DSL stops before it gets past the suburbs of the Twin Cities. It sucks.
          • You should move farther outstate. :) We have DSL available all the way up to the exchanges along the Canadian Border (Lancaster, Roseau area, etc.) and we're offering wireless in Warroad (which means you could at least theoretically get it out on Lake of the Woods) PLUS we have fiber to four islands out in the lake, which all now have DSL. So yes, there are islands in Lake of the Woods that have fiber to the CO and DSL to homes, and yet some people can't even get it in the city of Minneapolis. Weird.
        • Here is some information on FUNET with nice map of connections and speeds, http://www.csc.fi/suomi/funet/verkko.html.en [www.csc.fi]

        • Denmark SUCKS. Their infrastructure is nothing like what you can find in other Scandinavian countries. The problem is that TeleDanmark is a monopoly. The state has done nothing to open up competition. You pretty much have to sell your liver just to get ADSL. Even dialing with a modem will rake up such high telephone bills that the average person with a normal 68% tax rate cannot afford.
    • yes, i can verify.. while working at Högskolan i Gävle (around 200kms north of stockholm) i was able to burn a cd while downloading it from ftp.sunet.se :) 100Mb/sec? pfft. thats for babies.. the swedish university network has a nasty network connection, only for the better tho :) *g*.. now, lets not talk about some of the ATM networks available in sweden and finland.. put the usa networks to shame.
    • by Anonymous Coward
      Currently the Swedish Univeristy Network (SUNET) backbone is 622 Mbit/s, but they are uppgrading to 10 Gbit/s (should be completed Oct 2002). More info here [computersweden.idg.se] (sorry, in swedish only).
  • by Telek ( 410366 ) on Tuesday October 09, 2001 @04:31AM (#2405151) Homepage
    this would actually improve community interaction.

    Think about it. I know that it sounds silly, but if you have all of your neighbourhood on the same little network then it becomes much easier to do things like sharing files, playing games, and seeing when everyone's online, dropping notes to everyone to have that BBQ, etc, etc. I know that all of this can be done with the current internet, but having everyone on the same lan makes things a lot easier. I remember in University the dean of my residence was complaining that the networks that we set up were making us more antisocial, but the opposite was actually true. This was before we had internet in residence, and I set up an ICQ server on my machine and had a dedicated proxy out over my phone line and a 56k modem for email access (others allowed me to use their telephone lines and I had a cellphone anyways), and it was great to have everyone in the residence on ICQ at the same time, this was quite cool. We used to talk and use it to organize games and meetings and movies and the such all the time...

    Oh back to the good old days. =P
    • by Organic_Info ( 208739 ) on Tuesday October 09, 2001 @06:03AM (#2405268)
      The only problem I see (and in this case the were ok) is finding like minded people in your neighbourhood. The street I currently live in is generally populated with non-techies and old people (no ageism intended any silver(haired) surfers out there). In streets with like minded bandwidth lovers this would be great - I mean did you see the price $8/month.

      Makes you think though that if this really took off how the comms companies would try and legislate this away from the people - a kind of comms RIAA/DMCA etc.

      All I need to find now is a neighbourhood full of like minded bandwidth lovers : )

      • by Telek ( 410366 ) on Tuesday October 09, 2001 @08:50AM (#2405483) Homepage
        Actually this guy seems a little misinformed at times.

        $8/mo sure, but $2000 INSTALLATION FEE! Christ, that's insanely high.

        And you're telling me that 60 of 62 houses signed up to drop $1600+ just to get some fast internet? That's a little much to believe...

        He also seems to have a bit of a hard time distinguishing between MBps and Mbps...

        (because I soon found out that a normal harddisk isn't faster than about 30-40 Mbps, even though it is connected with U-DMA-66 etc. Try yourself to transfer files between two harddrives and divide the amount of data in megabits with the time in seconds!)

        connections and 25-40 Mbps is possible most of the time - that means it is their single harddisk limiting the speed!

        Umm, my hard drives here get 30MB/sec on the 5400rpm drives and 40MB/sec on the 7200rpm drives. Even my older 10gig 5400rpm drive can get 20MB/sec. That's 160Mbit/sec. He is also talking about using UDMA66 citing that as bits per second (it's BYTES folks), and talking about using a fasttrak66 controller with a new 7200rpm drive, you'll easily get at LEAST 20MB/sec off it, if not 30-35MB/sec. Strange that...

        I recently have done benchmarks on my drives here and got those numbers. Bandwidth off your drive of 40Mbit/sec (5MByte/sec??) hasn't been seen since the days of the pentium class computers.

        Also 1200MB/day?

        Damn, I do more than that on my cable line. I know that I'm not exactly your average user, but with 60 people online that's only 20MB/day, and that can run out pretty quickly with just some gaming and some web browsing. I was stuck with 25MB/day avg when I was in university for a term, and BOY did that suck. I can't see them doing less than 1200MB/day on average. I can easily see double that. Especially if they have on average more than 1 computer online per house, and considering how a tech savvy group would be required to do this in the first place, they'll easily clear 1200MB/day.

        Hey, I don't doubt that this happened, and damn that's a sweet sweet connection speed, getting 100mbit/sec to a large network of people... DAMN!! =)

        Just sounded fishy...

        Oh well.. Chances of that happening around where I live are.. oh... NIL! However it might not be impossible to set up a wireless network (on a street of 78 houses MAYBE I could find 10 that would pay more than $200 to set up cheaper faster internet access).

        Anyone else notice these problems? Strange...
        • Sean Graham wrote:

          Hey, sounds pretty damned cool about your network project there!!!

          Thanks!

          Except some things don't make any sense...I'm confused:

          All-rightie. I'll try to help you out!

          $8/mo sure, but $2000 INSTALLATION FEE!Christ, that's insanely high.
          Wow.How rich are your neighbours?? =)

          As I mentioned in the article, most of them extended their loans on their houses. The local banks had no problem accepting
          that, as far as I know.

          And you're saying that 60 of 62 houses signed up to drop $1600+ just
          to get some fast internet?Damn what neighbourhood do you live in?? =)
          Where do I sign up? =P

          Yep. My dad did an excellent job in convincing those who didn't accept it right away.

          I think that you may have confused a lot between MBps (bytes/sec) and
          Mbps (bits/sec)...

          Nope. Read it carefully, and you'll see I've tried my best to not confuse them; Mbps = megabit per second, MBps = megabyte
          per second.

          (because I soon found out that a normal harddisk isn't faster than
          about 30-40 Mbps, even though it is connected with U-DMA-66 etc. Try yourself to
          transfer files between two harddrives and divide the amount of data in megabits
          with the time in seconds!) ... connections and 25-40 Mbps is possible most of
          the time - that means it is their single harddisk limiting the speed!

          U-DMA-66 promises speeds of up to 66 MBps (or about 660 Mbps, if we simplify one byte to 10 bits... 528 Mbps@8
          bits/byte just for the sake of it). That can be acheived when the data resides in the cache-memory of the harddrive, but for
          sustained transfers of several hundred megabyte files (on a defragmented drive), that, in conjunction with shipping the data
          to/from the Ethernet controller, will severely limit the speed.

          The measurements were made on a dual Intel Celeron 366 MHz with NT 4 SP4 (or maybe 6, I can't remember). It may have
          been overclocked to 550 MHz, can't remember that either, which *may* have confused the IDE-controller, but since the
          system bus was running at 100 MHz (66x5.5 -> 100x5.5 on such a Celeron), the IDE-controller shouldn't have been
          overclocked at all.

          Since I build and sell computers (one or so per month) in my spare time, I test lots and lots of different hardware on different
          OS'es. I've heard friends claiming peaks of about 30-50 MBps, especially now with U-DMA-100-drives and so on (which
          were non-existent when I benchmarked the network), but during actual file-transfers I very rarely see figures (now) above 5-7
          MBps (~50-70 Mbps) (I don't waste my time with benchmark-programs, just actual filetransfers of for example
          MPEG-movies) since one drive has to write the data, and when I made the benchmarking, the general harddisks managed
          about 3-4 MBps (~30-40 Mbps) when one disk had to write the data.

          The numbers above are for a single IDE drive, connected to a motherboard IDE-controller, preferrably alone on the
          IDE-cable to not have to compete with another IDE-unit. Of course the drives were defragmented before testing!

          I'm fairly certain you're confused here.My hard drives here get 30MB/sec on
          the 5400rpm drives and 40MB/sec on the 7200rpm drives.Even my older 10gig
          5400rpm drive can get 15MB/sec.That's 120Mbit/sec.You were also
          talking about using UDMA66 citing that as bits per second (UDMA66 is BYTES per
          second), and talking about using a fasttrak66 controller with a new 7200rpm drive, you'll
          easily get at LEAST 20MB/sec off it, if not 30-35MB/sec.Is there something I'm
          not following here?

          Perhaps NT4 has lousy drivers for my FastTrak66, but now I have Windows 2000 Server on the box and it seems about as
          fast (slow?) as before, but I haven't wasted my time benchmarking it, more than to my appartment - yes I moved out in January
          2001 - where I also have a 100 Mbps connection and I'm getting about 4 MBps (~40 Mbps) on large file transfers between
          the appartment and back home where the server is. The physical distance is roughly 7 km (4.3 miles) but only two
          Ethernet-hops. ;)

          I recently have done benchmarks on my drives here (Western Digital 20GB 5400rpm
          and a 40GB IBM 7200rpm... Even on random file reads I could clear 10MB/sec almost
          always, and on non-fragmented files read rates were easily > 20MB/sec) and got those
          numbers.Bandwidth off of a hard drive of 40Mbit/sec (5MByte/sec?), I haven't
          seen that since the days of the pentium class computers.

          Sounds nice if you got those numbers on actual transfers and not on a silly benchmarking program.

          Also 1200MB/day?Damn, I do more than that on my cable line
          =).I know that I'm not exactly your average user, but with 60 people
          online that's only 20MB/day, and that can run out pretty quickly with just some
          gaming and some web browsing.I was stuck with 25MB/day avg when I
          was in university for a term, and BOY did that suck.I can't see them doing less
          than 1200MB/day on average.I can easily see double
          that.Especially if they have on average more than 1 computer online per
          house, and considering how a tech savvy group would be required to do this in the first
          place, they'll easily clear 1200MB/day.I can see double that, easy.Seems
          very small, no?

          The limit is only on traffic leaving our city to the rest of the Internet, almost all traffic within Sweden is not included in those 20
          MB per day. As long as no one is trading much files outside Sweden or forgets P2P-software running for days, we're doing
          fine.

          Since many doesn't use those 20 MB per house per day, a few of us can easily use 500 MB per day occasionally without any
          problem, but since "all" files are accessible within Sweden in one way or another, there is almost no need to access slow
          servers (1-100 kBps) outside Sweden...

          Hey, I don't doubt that this happened, and damn that's a
          sweet sweetSWEET connection speed, getting 100mbit/sec to a large
          network of people... DAMN!! =) I envy you! =)

          You don't need to doubt it either. It's for real. Check out http://www.norrnod.se for yourself to see the spec's for the ISP.

          Oh well.. Chances of that happening around where I live
          are..oh... NIL!However it might not be impossible to set up a
          wireless network (on a street of 78 houses MAYBE I could find 10 that would pay more
          than $200 to set up cheaper faster internet access).But then getting the ISP that
          would be cheaper than just simple cable would be very hard to find. You can get
          cable access here for $35USD/mo, so with 10 people at $50USD/mo is $500, which I
          suppose could grab a decent 2mbit connection for... But since cable can give up to
          300kbit/s download and most of the problem is on the other end being slow, there's little
          incentive to do so. =(

          It's a pity "they" don't realise that a big DMZ is a necessary thing to have in each city. It may be expensive to get it up and
          running, but... ,)

          We're lucky they dig central heating in the entire city here and have the common sense to put fibre cables when they are
          upgrading the pipes!

          Anyways, kudos to getting this done!

          Thanks, Mate!

          /Tomas
          • Sounds nice if you got those numbers on actual transfers and not on a silly benchmarking program.

            Well since you asked =)

            I just did this from 1 hard drive in my machine to another (40gb 7200rpm IBM drive to a 20gb 5400rpm WD):


            [d:\download]time /t & copy enterprise-pilot.wmv c:\ & time /t & del C:\enterprise-pilot.wmv
            17:58:17
            D:\Download\enterprise-pilot.wmv => C:\enterprise-pilot.wmv
            1 file copied
            17:58:39
            Deleting C:\enterprise-pilot.wmv
            1 file deleted 456,138,752 bytes freed


            456,138,752 / 23sec(rounding up) = 19.8MB/s read off one hard drive, write onto another. The "benchmark" that I ran the other day was really a raw read from one hard drive and writing to a file on another HD (the same 2 HDs actually but in reverse) and I got about 25MB/s sustained speed there. Notice that the .wmv file in question was fragmented too, but not too heavily.

            And I remember back on my P200 getting 15MB/sec off my hard disk, which is why I was surprised at your reports and they seemed to be an order of magnitude out of spec. Sorry if I seemed a little condisending or anything, I didn't mean too (I'm a little tired right now, on a 15 hour coding spree =((( )

            Anyways, kickass! I gotta come visit Sweeden sometime =)

            Damn, I didn't realize that that DMZ is that big. How many users would you assume are within your "local" area??

            Hey, didn't expect you to tie together my email with my slashdot post!! Now you've rouined my secret identity! I will have to flee now. Or wait a minute, perhaps that name is a cover too...
        • Umm, my hard drives here get 30MB/sec on the 5400rpm drives and 40MB/sec on the 7200rpm drives. Even my older 10gig 5400rpm drive can get 20MB/sec. That's 160Mbit/sec. He is also talking about using UDMA66 citing that as bits per second (it's BYTES folks), and talking about using a fasttrak66 controller with a new 7200rpm drive, you'll easily get at LEAST 20MB/sec off it, if not 30-35MB/sec. Strange that...

          I recently have done benchmarks on my drives here and got those numbers. Bandwidth off your drive of 40Mbit/sec (5MByte/sec??) hasn't been seen since the days of the pentium class computers.


          Hmm... What I don't understand is all the people who claim to get such great numbers with such low end hardware. I'm not saying anyone's fibbing, I'm just saying I haven't been blessed with that experience. I wish I knew what to do to get that kind of rates.

          For example, I had several IDE 5400 rpm drives (ranging from 4gb to 12gb) all of which were driven on Celeron 300a OC to 450 on a 100mhz fsb, attached to a UDMA33 controller. Not one of them would transfer sustained over 4MB/s. Not one. I even enabled DMA for the chipset and tried benchmarking all sorts of aspects of each drive. Even using some of my smaller, narrow SCSI-2 drives, I never got close to the 10MB/s speed my scsi cable could handle. No luck in meeting the "Pentium class" minimum.

          I recently put together a 240gb RAID 1 volume of four 60gb 5400rpm drives. With that configuration, attached to UDMA100 controllers, and on a different machine (dual 533mhz Celerons, but on a 66mhz fsb, won't OC dang it!), I can get up to 40MB/s read, and 25-30MB/s write. That's saturating my bus about 65% on best case scenarios, which is pretty good. 7200rpm drives would do better, of course, but I doubt substantially.

          Do hard drive manufacturers matter much when it comes to throughput? Does anyone have actual comparison data for that?

          • I recently put together a 240gb RAID 1 volume of four 60gb 5400rpm drives

            Well, for starters a 4 drive raid 1 is kinda pointless (raid 1 is mirror, I think that you meant raid 0 which is stripe ;P)

            Wow... I have a 2x30gb raid 0 from about 18 months ago that I can get 50-60MB/s read rate off of. a new 4x60GB drive should easily net you around 90-100MB/sec (since you have split across 2 channels, you can get 133MB/sec even on UDMA66). At UDMA100 with a dual 533 celeron you should EASILY be netting 100MB/sec. My friend just hooked up 2x75gb raid 0 (software raid too!) and gets 75MB/sec read rates.

            And the PCI bus saturates at 133MB/sec if you don't have it overclocked. So getting 100MB/sec isn't too hard to imagine, especially if you have 4 hard drives pumping out the juice =)

            7200rpm drives *DO* make a difference. A good 15% difference actually. Think of it, you're spinning 50% faster and thus 50% more data is passing under the read head =)

            If you want benchmarking information, check out any of the popular benchmark sites, they'll get you big numbers too.

            On my 7200rpm 40GB here I can get about 30-40MB/sec raw read off of it, and about 20-28MB/sec realistic read off of it. Here, I just did a test:

            I just did this from 1 hard drive in my machine to another (40gb 7200rpm IBM drive to a 20gb 5400rpm WD):


            [d:\download]time /t & copy enterprise-pilot.wmv c:\ & time /t & del C:\enterprise-pilot.wmv
            17:58:17
            D:\Download\enterprise-pilot.wmv => C:\enterprise-pilot.wmv
            1 file copied
            17:58:39
            Deleting C:\enterprise-pilot.wmv
            1 file deleted 456,138,752 bytes freed


            456,138,752 / 23sec(rounding up) = 19.8MB/s read off one hard drive, write onto another. The "benchmark" that I ran the other day was really a raw read from one hard drive and writing to a file on another HD (the same 2 HDs actually but in reverse) and I got about 25MB/s sustained speed there. Notice that the .wmv file in question was fragmented too, but not too heavily.
        • And you're telling me that 60 of 62 houses signed up to drop $1600+ just to get some fast internet? That's a little much to believe...

          Perhaps some of that was "new houseitis", you know, you buy a brand new house, and then want to fix it up REAL NICE. And $1600 compared to the cost of a typical house is peanuts.

          As for my recent home purchase: 3200 square feet near Dallas, TX. for MUCH LESS than the house half that size I sold near Chicago, IL. So, I had $$$ burning a hole in my pocket.

          After the new appliances (Maytag Neptune Washer/Dryer, Maytag side by side fridge $3700), and blinds ($3000, a drag to have to buy but new homes don't come with them), it was time for "fun stuff". Oh yeah, did I mention the $500 spent just on bathroom accessories? Like I said "new houseitis".

          Of course, the stupid builder was straight out of the stone age, so right away I planned a headend with 6 runs of dual Cat5e, and dual RG6. I decided to go for DirectTV (it was cheaper than cable anyway), and so planned for 2 5x8 multiswitches at the headend, but only ended up installing a single amplified 5x8 and the 4x4 that came with the dish. $1750, including cable (2000 ft Cat5e, 2000 ft RG6), connectors, headend boxes (2 Leviton 14" by 24"), punchdown blocks, structured wiring blocks, DSL bridge, firewall, multiswitches and splitters.

          So, $1k to $2k to provide a link to a local high speed neighborhood LAN, when afflicted with "new houseitis" isn't a lot.

          Oh yeah, my 10 year old TV died during all this, so I ended up getting a Sony HDTV-ready set and an HDTV DirecTV receiver, as well as a terrestrial DTV antenna.

  • 5GHz band (Score:3, Informative)

    by Mik!tAAt ( 217976 ) on Tuesday October 09, 2001 @04:32AM (#2405153) Homepage
    100Mbps over wireless network seems pretty cool, but the article doesn't mention anything about the range at which those cards can operate at 100Mbps. IIRC, even the traditional WLAN cards operating at 2.something GHz, were having some problems with thick concrete walls. Now if we double the operating frequency, even the cubicle walls might be enough to block the transmission, on full speed at least.
  • by GoRK ( 10018 )
    "Claim" is a bit of a weak description for a mature product. C'mon slashdot. Proxim's 100Mpbs products and technology are well over 1 year in the field. And BTW, not only can they do 100Mbps full duplex in the unlicensed 5.8GHz ISM band, they also run two wireless T1 interfaces on top of that -- between the same pair of radios. It is an absolutely wonderful solution for bringing branch offices up for voice and data. The interfaces fall back to 48Mbps and finally 12Mbps at the maximum range (~15mi with 30dBi antennas) but they always maintain full bandwidth on the T1's.

    ~GoRK
    • You're talking about the $20,000 Stratum fixed wireless system; the article is talking about the brand new Harmony 802.11a CardBus cards. These are totally different.
  • Flamebait? (Score:1, Offtopic)

    by robbyjo ( 315601 )

    Everything slower than 10 Mbps is just a toy!

    Is this post a flamebait? Sparking envy to those who live in an area where bandwidth is tight? In Indonesia, 28.8K is a very good connection. 56.6K is a bliss. ISDN is owned only by corporations.

    Please people... You can boast your new super duper whizbang 10E100 bits network or whatsnot, but don't taunt anyone... It can cut real deep at times... OK? Thanks for your understanding...

    • Everything slower than 10 Mbps is just a toy!

      You may notice that many people didn't feel insulted or taunted by this remark, especially western cultures, mainly because most westerners don't take these types of remarks serious for a number of different reasons.

      1. It is usually impolite to brag in Sweden, (people just call a an asshole in the US) thus a remark like this usually implies some irony.
      2. "Everything else is just a toy" is often a parody reference to a sales and advertising culture.
      3. Tech people are known for boasting the quality/benefits of a particular technology, whether or not they actually own it. (This is especially true of backbone technology. People will brag about technology it is impossible for them to own) This is also usually one of the most effective ways of advacating a technology when talking shop.

      I'm sure the last thing the guy wanted to do by putting up his website was to spark bandwidth envy, but rather inspire people to take on similar projects.

      Usually people who undertake projects like this often have utopian dreams and plans on how to wire the world, and I'm sure this guy was just making his point that people shouldn't settle for less than 10 Mps when the technology is clearly available.

  • by hhe_hee ( 470065 ) <prodigy@acc.umu.AUDENse minus poet> on Tuesday October 09, 2001 @04:39AM (#2405163) Homepage
    This kind of networks surely points at the need for faster hd's. It's your hd that limits the speed in cases like this. I tested using two computers (with 128 and 256 MB RAM) with 15 m cable between, both had a IBM 7200 rpm IDE-drive and a 100Mbps Fast Ethernet PCI-card. I reached a maximum of about 70 Mbps, sending a 15 MB file. But of course it will be lower of you send alot of small files. And notice that this test were made for a line without other packets running around in it. On a 100Mbps net you will get a much lower speed because of all the collissions that occur when several people sends stuff at the same time.

    --------
    All 100Mbps and no play makes the hd a dull boy
    • by Doc Hopper ( 59070 ) <slashdot@barnson.org> on Tuesday October 09, 2001 @08:32AM (#2405436) Homepage Journal
      A correction:

      "Collisions" are far less of a concern on a switched, full-duplex network such as this. If you have an intelligent switch, it will queue packets for an interface, and the back-end switched fabrics of these switches generally mean zero packet loss or collisions. Your full-duplex test of transfer rates very closely simulates the transfer rate you'd receive if you had those devices plugged into a very busy but high-quality switch.

      Collisions can, however, be a concern if for some reason the device at the end doesn't support full-duplex operation -- then it is possible for the switch and the device to collide with each other, but you still don't have nearly the same problems you have with traditional hubs. Additionally, it is possible that you can have line errors which force device negotiation at a lower speed, half-duplex, or simply cause random lost packets and noise on the line. This is far less likely with fiber to the home, but if the ends of the cable are not polished well you'll have lots of lost packets -- but still, generally no collisions because the switch and the end-device are not transmitting & receiving in full-duplex mode.

      However, I largely agree with your point. Hard drive transfer rates are often abominable. However, the latest drives can be faster than 100Mbps. The article mentioned copying files from one hard disk to another. Write speed on hard drives is generally a small fraction of the read speed; while you may read at 18 or 19 Mbytes/sec (easily saturating a 100Mbps link), writing often only happens at 4 to 5 MBytes/sec, and on many hard drives even slower than that (one here at my house consistently comes in at 780Kbytes/sec!). Once we get writes up in the 10Mbytes/sec range for run-of-the-mill consumer hard disks, even 100Mbps connections will begin to seem quite slow...
      I love switches!
      • Tangentially on topic (read: offtopic).

        I'm not sure what kind of hard drive you have, or what Operating system... So I'll start assuming things (in true slashdot style)... Assuming that you're running Linux and a newer IDE drive, you can increase your drive transfer rates (in my case, by nearly a factor of 2) using hdparm. It has a man page, and there is a good article on Oreillynet about it here [oreillynet.com]

        Andrew
      • You said a mouthfull. Think about this as well: if you're downloading web pages, mp3's etc, then you're writing to the hard disk. Not a lot of users "push" out information to the web (at least, not knowingly) but people sure do pull. :)
      • You... are an idiot. HD is _not_ a limiting factor in file transfer. I dunno what kind of HD you use, but my old 4GB 5400 RPM can write faster than anything that comes through 100Mbps (full duplex). HD's average around 33MB per sec. that's 264Mbps. Unless you have a gbps lan, HD is still very fast.
    • You aren't running into a limit of your HD, most 7200 RPM IDE drives can do around 30-40MB/sec so a single write would start to run into limitations on a 240-320mb (having concurrent actions on the drive moving the reader around is what kills the performance, along with fragmentation). On your 100mb line, you've got an additional 100mb of bandwidth before you overrun your drive (as long as you are performing 1 read or write on the drive)

      You are seeing what is about average for ethernet, nobody is able to push a full 10mb, normally they can get around 780kb/sec, 100mb is the same around 70-80mb, gig-e is really more dependandt upon your CPUs (give up a full CPU per gig ethernet card), on a smallish SMP system people normally push around 300-400mb if they've got a really beefy system they can push around 600-700+ on a single card.

      Collisions... it all depends upon your network topology, 100mb switched verses 100mb shared. You'll allways get collisions (even on a cross over cable), but the only ones to really care about are the collisions. A 100mb switched netowrk will get pretty close to the same performance as one with a cross over cable.
  • by ayjay29 ( 144994 ) on Tuesday October 09, 2001 @04:52AM (#2405187)
    I moved to Sweden three years ago, and the use of the Internet here has always been ahead of other countries. I live in an appartment run by a large communeral organisation and we have had a broadband network installed. Thay have wired up a 100 Meg network with a connection in every appartment, the installation was free and it's about $20 a month to get connected.

  • by _GNU_ ( 81313 ) on Tuesday October 09, 2001 @05:07AM (#2405202)
    We have a MAN (Metropolitan Area Network) Called Bitnet, Borlänge IT Network (http://www.bitnet.net/) comprised of about 70 kilometers of lit fiber, and 300 kilometers of empty tubing waiting for future fiber. Neighbourhoods are connected with either straight fiber into the homes, 100Mbit ethernet (copper), or 10Mbit ethernet. My house is connected with 2 fiber pairs to a switch in the basement, providing me with 10Mbit ethernet access (probably to be upgraded to 100Mbit within a year), I have, like those in Umeå, full bandwidth within the MAN and on SUNET (Swedish University Network), we have a gigabit uplink to the local univ, providing peering to SUNET..

    4-5ms ping reply and never below 1Mbyte/sec from ftp.sunet.se, probably the best mirror server in the world, 300 kilometers away.. =)

    Oh, well.. I'm heading to the office now, also connected to bitnet, but at 100Mbit full duplex, so I never have to write cd's or bring floppies, I just leave my servers on here and access them in any way I like from work, att full LAN speed.. Quite excellent.

    Thank you.

    // _GNU_
    // http://www.modem.nu/

    • ... live longer in Borlänge :P [swedish joke]
      • Not even a remotely funny one at that :P
        • Not even a remotely funny one at that :P

          heh.. yeah, swedish humor is more "abstract" :) one that took me a while to understand was:
          • "swede and a finn are talking in a bar.. finn interrupts swede and says

          • 'are we here to drink, or here to talk'".

          after living here for 3 years.. and, after many sweden to finland cruises... it makes sense.. :) i guess swedes spend more time surfing to worry about jokes :)
    • Whooow, 4-5 ms ping reply eh?
      In our LAN here at Umu (in Umea of course) we have about 1-2 ms for ping:

      10 packets transmitted, 10 packets received, 0% packet loss
      round-trip min/avg/max = 1.1/1.4/1.7 ms
      And ping statistics if you ping sunet (10 packets) is:
      round-trip min/avg/max = 11.6/12.5/13.7 ms
      and thats 850 km away (1360 miles) ;-)
      • Of course we only have ~1ms within bitnet.. what fiber network within swedish-city-size would go above that?

        1 korn1.bitnet.nu (217.31.168.1) 1.061 ms 0.836 ms 0.869 ms
        2 peer-gw-eth1.du.se (130.243.55.97) 1.235 ms 1.170 ms 1.279 ms

        1-1.5ms to du.se, then it's sunets fault if the milliseconds tick away ;)

        Hmm.. I hope them modemusers arent too offended by our discussion, sorry :P

        // _GNU_
        // http://www.modem.nu/

    • The distance between Uppsala (where ftp.sunet.se is located) and Ludvika (40 km south of Borlänge) is around 165 km, so I guess the distance between Borlänge and Uppsala is around 185-190 km.
      Many people believe ftp.sunet.se is located in Stockholm, which can explain some of the errors in calculating the distance between Borlänge and ftp.sunet.se

      Regards
      Mats (from Ludvika, now living in Umeå :) )
  • So they are some of the few lucky ones that not just have 2 inches of dirt before hitting solid rock. ;-)
  • There is a good thing about using fiber this way. With so many "home" computers, a lot of them are bound not to be properly grounded. And you could end up frying a lot of hardware. Using fiber is great in this way, then you are the only responsible one for shocking your pc. :-)
    This i why i hate cable tv. sigh. Have toasted the video out on my Gforce card.
  • One of my servers at home is a FreeBSD 4.1 running on a 166mhz Pentium. The harddrive are a 10GB 5400 speed Samsung(I think). The IDE controller does not support any fancy new IDE standards(and the BIOS didn't support a HD that size, but BSD just told me that my BIOS was fu..., and that I should use its parameters).
    Anyway, from this old machine I can keep a steady 5.4MB pr. second.
  • Slashdot effect (Score:2, Interesting)

    by AnimalSnf ( 149118 )
    I can't be sure this page will still be up in the afternoon (I'm writing this at 5:30 AM EDT), but do check the community fiber network. And while you're there, scroll all the way to the bottom and click on link that says Visitors [acc.umu.se] (or go directly from here) and check out the people from all over that followed the herd.
    • Isn't it nice!

      I had about 5500-6000 visitors before /. posted the story, mostly due to a posting about six months ago on [Canarie.ca] [canarie.ca] and links to my page from [Wkmn.com] [wkmn.com]

      I just saw the counter exceed 10 000 hits and our webserver ([ACC.umu.se] [acc.umu.se]) has served you guys with over 1 GB of data already.

      I actually received 15 requests for my resume during the storm that followed the posting on the Canarie mailing-list!

      One employer from San Francisco, California, actually e-mailed me one day (the first week on my first job) and said: "I'm in Stockholm now and I'm booked for a flight up to Umea (my city).". I was also in Stockholm, but to make a long story short, I chose to stay with my first employer, because it felt so wrong to abandon them after a single week...

      I hope he ever will forget me. ;)

      I quit that job six months later (june 2001) and now I'm taking a few courses at my old University and I'm thinking about a PhD or I-don't-know-what.

  • LOL - We do visit in vast numbers don't we ; )

    Check out the visitor log.

  • by term0r ( 471206 ) on Tuesday October 09, 2001 @06:29AM (#2405291)
    By the way... I'm looking for a job in the USA - maybe YOU know of a open position? Mail me!

    Now thats gotta be a lot better advertising that putting an ad in the situations wanted of the local paper (or a usa one). Imagine having your job request slashdotted!
  • This is amazing (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Ice Tiger ( 10883 )
    I think the amazing part is not the tech, but basically the vision and drive to see it through to completeion.

    Well done guys.
  • Mirror of Document (Score:2, Informative)

    by bruthasj ( 175228 )
    If the server is getting slashdotted, go here: Mirrored [geocities.com]
    Pretty nifty stuff.
    • Ehhh... Heard of Copyright before?

      /Tomas
      • Yeah, but since you have no clear license in connection with the document's copyright, I mirrored it as a service to the community. You made a quote at the beginning of your article:

        RIG SHIP FOR IMPACT!

        So, I thought I'd lend a hand by putting the text up temporarily on geocities. Since those servers are "rigged" for impact.

        But, obviously your implicit license means not to cache the document anywhere. Note I did not modify the document in anyway nor put my name on it. Also note that the counter still hits your site!

        Have you contacted google.com and made sure that your document won't be cached?

        Might I suggest a nocache pragma in your document and that you take out the description/keywords so that no crawlers or bots cache your document.

        After a implicit request by the author, the mirror/cache of the document no longer exists.
        Sorry for the heartache.
        • Okay, I didn't notice that the counter still worked - we're experimenting on how the webserver handles the load, that's what bothered me. Sorry about the stupid remark about (C) - you were obviously just trying to help and I appreciate it!

          We've had in the area of 1 hit per 3 seconds the last 24 hours and the webserver is running smoothly, AFAIK.

          Thanks and have a nice day!

          /Tomas
  • by Rackemup ( 160230 ) on Tuesday October 09, 2001 @08:36AM (#2405449) Homepage
    How's the weather in Sweden? I think this article was enough to make me want to move to your neighbourhood =)

    100Mb full-duplex connections to every home in the neighbourhood, $10/month for access (plus the initial set-up fees, which would really be worth it IMO) and connections to a gigabit ISP? That would be heaven compared to the paper or plastic (cable or DSL) choices in my area... neither is reliable, and connection speeds vary considerably.

    The hardest part about setting up something like this would be to get your neighbours involved. The people who are into computers would be easy to convince, it's the luddites with no future-vision that would hold up the project. I'm impressed, very nice job. I think you've also earned the right to taunt the cable and dsl users living one street over =)

    With all the stories of fiber-laying companies having hard-times ahead it's nice to know that there is at least one foreward-thinking ISP in the world (even if it's not in Canada).

    • MY thoughts exactly - I've been thinking of setting up some form of shared internet / local lan in my neighborhood - be it wireless, or wired. I live in a beach community in which our houses are VERY close (driveway width inbetween houses) so running cable could be very easy if i could get consecutive houses interested. But that is the big question - How to get them interested? I have cable, and I know the lady next door has DSL, but she only has it because she works for the phone company and they give it to her for free. Other than that I dont think anyone in the block even has any type of broadband - and with the price of cable and DSL being only around $40 per month, if people even had an inkling of interest they would have it. So i guess I'm SOL. Computer geeks: Move into my neighboorhood. It's nice here :)

  • Note to self: (Score:3, Insightful)

    by jhoffoss ( 73895 ) on Tuesday October 09, 2001 @08:49AM (#2405478) Journal
    Move to Sweden after college.
  • by mach-5 ( 73873 )
    We are constantly seeing stories of people who are pulling neighborhood resources together to get networks going. I think this is great, but I also think that these people are pretty lucky to live in such good neighborhoods as well. I could never have such a luxury because my neighborhood is really not well suited for the task. I live in a small neighborhood that is borderline suburbia, and is very close to a lower income neighborhood, I doubt it would be easy to pull resources in my situation. However, I guess that is the big trick, along with securing the high speed pipe. Also, this person is lucky to have a common community owned building to store the equipment which gives a sense of community ownership to the network.
  • By the way... I'm looking for a job in the USA - maybe YOU know of a open position? Mail me!

    Why would you ever want to leave your house man!!
  • I wonder if he had to get it ok'd by the city to run cables. Knowing the beuracracy(sp?) found in the US...the cost of installing this would skyrocket due to city permits and such. Did he have to cross any streets?
    • We crossed several streets, but did not dig across any of them.

      We dug a hole on each end of the street and on one side a machine was inserted which pressed a steel-rod of some kind under the pavement (some 60 cm or 2 feet). Very clever indeed!

      Total distance was in the area of 15 metres (45 feet), but those machines can do further distances than that easily.

      The machine was rented from some kind of specialist-company who does stuff like that for a living.

      /Tomas, author
  • Sigh. If somebody banged on my door and told me I could have 100mps access for $3K plus $10/month, I'd be very interested. But I doubt if anything like 95% of my neighbors would go along. Plus we have a homeowner's association that balks at things like bypass pipes, standard USPS mailbox pods, and of course, satellite dishes. Don't even suggest digging up the whole complex to install fibre!

    And I suspect most neighborhoods are like mine.

    What we need to do is educate housing developers. They do see that improved network access adds to the value of their product. But they usually think in terms of DSL or (if they're very bold) Ethernet. If more of them knew how easy it was to include fibre networking in a new housing development...

    • >and of course, satellite dishes By FCC law they cant restrict against that. I have a neighbor who gave the homeowner's association proof and they had to let him put up a dish. Patrick Cable II
    • > Sigh. If somebody banged on my door and told me I could have 100mps access for $3K plus $10/month, I'd be very interested.

      http://www.bredbandsbolaget.se sells 100 Mbit connections to apartments for $50 plus $20/month in Sweden. Quite good isnt it? :-)
      To bad that i cant have it where i live. Im stuck with 2 ADSL connections.

      Bonet ADSL: 2.5 Mbit down/760 Kbit up, static IP
      Telia ADSL: 512 Kbit down/700 Kbit up (yes, MORE upstream), DHCP (almost like a static IP)
  • Besides me, anyone else after reading these
    articles? I'm living in South San Jose, California, and I can't get cable modem, DSL, fixed wireless. Modem is at 28k, ISDN will cost $120/mo.


    BTW, I'm an excellent programmer, with experiences in C/C++, Java (EJB, Servlet, JMS, ...), CORBA, computer/network security, PKI, encryption technologies, etc. I'm willing to relocate to Sweden. Anyone has any opening now?

  • They should have bought a cabinet from CSTONE [cstone.com]

  • Down here in Italy a medieval village in Liguria region has been completely restorated to original form.

    In the process a full fiber local loop (plus other goodies such as CATV & cordless "walkaround" phone system) has been installed.

    Take a look here [colletta.it] and read the technical overview about infrastructure [colletta.it].

Comparing information and knowledge is like asking whether the fatness of a pig is more or less green than the designated hitter rule." -- David Guaspari

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