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Community Sets Up Their Own DSL 261

Thrazzle Throne writes "The folks in rural Ruby Ranch got tired of lame dial-up server. They fought the phone company for use of their un-used lines and installed their own Dsl service. Very cool read."
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Community Sets Up Their Own DSL

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  • Old news (Score:2, Informative)

    by brsmith4 ( 567390 )
    This is a VERY old story. Nonetheless, it is still quite amazing that a small town banded together to set up their own dsl server, DSLAM, servers, routers and all. I only wish that my neighborhood had done that. Of course, I am too lazy to organize.
  • Reminds me of (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Strog ( 129969 ) on Thursday June 06, 2002 @12:17PM (#3652964) Homepage Journal
    There was a small town out in the panhandle of Nebraska that decided they needed good internet to keep all the young people from moving away. They setup DSLAMs out in the country to within a couple miles of every house in the county. They didn't have to fight phone company but they did have to run a lot of fiber.
  • by Hatter ( 3985 ) on Thursday June 06, 2002 @12:19PM (#3652979)

    Here's the google cache: linky linky []

    • by American AC in Paris ( 230456 ) on Thursday June 06, 2002 @12:50PM (#3653179) Homepage
      Wow. A small group of dedicated individuals fights the Telcoms, wins, and gets their own homebrew DSP ISP up and running.

      Slashdot comes along, posts the story, and within seconds they're /.ed into oblivion.

      Now isn't that just the nicest way to start off your small CO-OP ISP--a deluge of traffic from marginally interested geeks who'll forget all about you in 48 hours.

      Editors et al, are you even considering the impact you have on these sites? You'll forgive me for being cynical, but the reasons [] you give for not caching smacks of "don't want to deal with it" rather than "genuinely concerned about the effect we have". (Wait six hours for breaking news []? Heaven forfend...)

      Slashdot, you're like a bad concert. You come into town unannounced, make downtown completely inaccessible for a day, and leave the next morning without so much as packing out your mess. Take some responsability for the social impact of the Slashdot Effect. Pursue a solution. It is important.

      • Actually, they're not /.ed. It looks like they just blocked all requests refered by slashdot in order to avoid getting /.ed. If you type their URL manually you can still get in.
      • by sehryan ( 412731 ) on Thursday June 06, 2002 @02:07PM (#3653627)
        I definitely agree with your post. What I find ammusing is this little line from /. reply about why they don't cache...

        I could try asking permission, but do you want to wait 6 hours for a cool breaking story while we wait for permission to link someone?

        Let me see...wait 6 hours for a "breaking" story, or wait 6 hours (or more) while the server in question gets back on its feet, having to rely on nothing but the article summary on /. which we all know is usually completely blown out of proportion or just plain wrong. Yeah, you're right CmdrTaco, not caching links is better!
    • Maybe someone should videotape and mirror the meltdown of the webserver!
    • by Wraithlyn ( 133796 ) on Thursday June 06, 2002 @01:39PM (#3653491)
      Zeke: Durnit! All of a sudden, the DSL got reeeaal slow, then it stopped altogether!

      Ezekiel: Hmmm, my 28.8 connection seems to be connecting fine... let's just surf on over to Slashdot... OH MY DEAR GOD
  • Why this is cool ... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by pgrote ( 68235 ) on Thursday June 06, 2002 @12:19PM (#3652980) Homepage
    This *is* cool because it's geeky, but what makes it even cooler is that the people behind the scenes walk you through what they did to make it happen.

    In their working against Qwest they had to settle a couple of issues. The include the forms and paperwork they used to make it happen and these can be used as a template.

    What pushes this over the cool mode into the must read are the accompanying technical documents. They have network diagrams, monitoring statuses and more. It's amazing.

    The best part of their site is a list of other communities have done the same thing.

    The site is dynamite and is full of information! One of the best articles I have seen on Slashdot in a long time.
  • ...that gets together and shows that they have a commercial or non-commercial project that is viable by the sheer weight of their numbers will win.
  • I read somewhere that people were ordering cheap burgler alarm circuits to run their own DSL on. Anyone have stories about doing this?

    • You might be thinking of the Cringley column on "Roll Your Own DSL". Sorry I am not posting a proper link, but it can be found on under Cringly's "old hat" link.
    • Only works for sites at the same CO, as its basically a dry copper pair between sites, and AFAIK no dry pairs exist in urban areas between COs.

      IIRC the original slashdot story about this was some guy in some small town using DSL as a transport mode between sites; since the whole town was on one CO this wasn't a problem.
    • Re:BAPA circuits (Score:2, Informative)

      by AIXman ( 134709 )
      Phone companies such as Qwest usually try to de-tariff (make it so you can't purchase) the use of dry copper pairs in their infrastructure and run your own network on them.

      They would rather sell you value added ($$$) digital data services (56K, ISDN, T-1) and DSL (in high population density areas close to a central office) which are much more profitable for them.

      So if you try to buy such a circuit from your phone company, don't be suprised if they won't sell it to you. I know Qwest won't.
  • by BurpingWeezer ( 199436 ) on Thursday June 06, 2002 @12:27PM (#3653027)
    Ruby Ranch sets up the DSL, Slashdot effect takes it down...
  • by Hornsby ( 63501 ) on Thursday June 06, 2002 @12:29PM (#3653039) Homepage
    Better pen up the cattle boys, I can see a slashdot brewin' up on the horizon.

    I suddenly find myself wondering if this is the first barn slashdot has ever taken down...
  • by Chagatai ( 524580 ) on Thursday June 06, 2002 @12:30PM (#3653046) Homepage
    Being a Coloradoan who lives out in the farms, I can totally appreciate what my fellow statesmen did in the mountains. Without a doubt, Qwest is the worst phone company out here, even worse than its predecessor, US West. People out here call it Qworst as they have no continuity or set goals for DSL. Some of my friends in more urban areas complain about DSL being available four blocks north and south of their street, but nothing in their region. I cheer about this development and will try to implement one, pending I get a tornado-proof shed in my backyard.

    And for one last dig on Qwest, here's an often-heard Coloradoan joke: What's the difference between Qwest and Enron? About six more months.

    • by Mr. Sketch ( 111112 ) <mister.sketch@gm[ ].com ['ail' in gap]> on Thursday June 06, 2002 @01:02PM (#3653252)
      There actually is something people can do when they don't get DSL, but it's available so close, like a few block away: it's called 802.11b. I was unable to get DSL, but my neighbor who is right across the street was able to get it, so I setup two LinkSys wireless access points (WAP11) at USD$150 a piece, and they paid the upfront costs of the DSL modem and installation (which came out to about the same as the two APs) and we're splitting the monthly costs. Qwest could be making twice as much in this case, but they don't, and they have no plans to offer DSL service to my house anytime soon, so oh well. There are others in the neighborhood who can't get it, so I'm thinking of potentially offering the service to them, for a small monthly fee (maybe $20) because we'd probably have to increase the bandwidth for our service, otherwise I'd probably do it for free.

      The moral is that even if YOU can't get DSL, but if someone CLOSE to you can, that's good enough and with a little talking to your neighbors you can be online at high speeds too.
    • I had to file multiple complaints with my state just to get Qwest to install a simple phone line in my new home. I gave them three months notice; they claimed it would take them 6 to 8 months. Even after 20 some homes were built in the neighborhood (with a total of 600 going in), they were still claiming 3 to 5 months for service for any of us.

      So, getting nowhere with the morons at Qwest, my neighbors and I filed more complaints. Lo and behold, a week later, a Qwest employee shows up and hooks up my phone service. Funny how that works.
      • You realise, of course, that you just blew the chance to start your own phone company, and cable company, and ISP? You could have cited the lack of service and bribed enough local politicians to get an exclusive on right-of-way to those 600 housholds.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday June 06, 2002 @12:32PM (#3653064)
    Do-it-yourself DSL is no pipe dream uz z.html
  • It's even better than DSL on DL speeds. Though maybe more expensive in total for all the houses. But to say they had no choice other than 28.8 is probably a bit of hyperbole...
    • most vpn solutions don't work over satelite (2 ip's one for upload one for download) and alternative os's are often out. There are many reasons why splitting a couple T-1's via dsl drops is a good solution. Plus this way you have presumably more controll over your internet experience, eg need more bandwidth, call a motion and if people are willing to pay you get more. Code red got you down, block incoming request on the appropriate ports etc. Plus almost anything interactive sucks arse over satelite. Oh yeah and there is that monthly bandwidth cap and random slow as 56k speed caps etc.
    • But to say they had no choice other than 28.8 is probably a bit of hyperbole...

      In most discussions of this sort the term "cost effective" or "acceptable" is implied, i.e. "they had no other cost effective (or acceptable) choice other than 28.8" is probably not hyperbole. Remember, satelites work for download, upload is still limited to what the phone line can carry, ie. 28.8kb, so satelite wasn't really a choice that would have addressed the problem of speed to their satisfaction (read their website for specifics of why when they systematically investigated the satelite option they rejected it).
    • to say they had no choice other than 28.8 is probably a bit of hyperbole...

      I very much doubt that. I've lived in a rural area most of my life. Even though I was only about 8 miles from the CO, and on a fairly new all copper loop(1), with 56k capabilities on both ends of my connection, I was lucky to get more than 19.6k and never got more than 28.8k. PacBell is the high end for line quality around here, too, being the major carrier. There are a few parts of the county that are served by GTE, and they are much worse.

      I'm guessing that you have never lived in a rural area. You wouldn't believe how bad phone service can be in areas where you can't open your window and spit on your neighbor. Universal Access is satisfied by only the most basic telephone capability on nasty, noisy lines, and the phone company only guarantees 4800 baud. My complaints about line quality were met with "you can get ISDN". I've since moved somewhere I can get DSL, but my mom still lives in the house I grew up in, and the situation hasn't changed a bit.

      No, saying that they were limited to 28.8k is probably not an exageration, and is in fact probably a quite generous depiction of the service they were actually getting. It's quite possible ISDN isn't available to them, or if it is it's unreasonably expensive for the bandwidth it provides. If they're in a mountainous area there could easily be line-of-site issues that would prevent them from using one of the satalite based services. Line-of-site is also a problem for radio and microwave (despite what folks would like you to believe about cell phones, they do have LoS issues).

      The MSNBC article says these questions are answered on the rric web site, but it seems to be barely limping along at this point.

      (1) The new copper loop was paid for by 5 families (including mine) when our self-installed farm lines started getting sketchy about 7 or 8 years ago. It cost us $10k per family for 2 miles of line extension, plus a 3 year service contract with PacBell. PacBell made it a loop a few years later of their own volition.

  • by bahtama ( 252146 ) on Thursday June 06, 2002 @12:33PM (#3653074) Homepage
    I also remember reading about these folks [] who made their own neighborhood 100 Mbps fiber network. The screenshot of the FTP download speed is just plain silly. The creator of the page even mentions "and 25-40 Mbps is possible most of the time - that means it is their single hard disk limiting the speed!". :)
    • And as you can see by this diagram, when attempting to talk to the outside world through our respective cable modems, we encounter a phenomenom known locally as "The bottle neck of no hope". And while getting 45Mbps locally is all fine and dandy, you must understand we were able to share everything we have with every one of our neighbors in roughly 15 minutes.

      I really hope those guys are gamers, otherwise that network is just massive overkill.
    • Their neighbors got a 1 MBps cable service instead...

      Seriously, even for DSL the phone company owns the copper here (often over 30 years old), and takes about the same fee for just keeping them connected as the network above. I guess they will still be satisfied in 30 years.
  • Hrm... (Score:2, Funny)

    by anderiv ( 176875 )
    Funny how this server doesn't seem to have held up as well as the iPAQ :-)
  • Old news or no, I'm still glad that someone stuck it to Qwest. I live in CO to and I don't know how well their service is in other states under their tyranny, but where I live 10 Miles outside of Colorado Springs you can't get anything from anyone outside of satellite. No isdn, no sat., no cable (*they* can barely deliver a clear picture) no nothing for any price. Qwest hasn't really expanded their DSL network much in about 3-4 years. I think I read somewhere that Qwest was considered the worst local telco in USA... =(
  • by UU7 ( 103653 )
    This'll be quite the barn burning ..
  • by t0qer ( 230538 ) on Thursday June 06, 2002 @12:42PM (#3653121) Homepage Journal

    I've said this many times before, why are people in this kind of situation rolling out DSL? Why not just lay down new copper in the form of CAT5?

    It's dirt cheap. I've done it. Just look at these pics [] of my neighborhood area network. Currently 10 neighbors share the cost of an internet connection. We also share stuff we've grabbed from kazza, we have a intranet that announces the happenings and events on our street. Very cool stuff. Basically each house has a switch, and we daisy chain houses so we don't run into the 600' Ethernet limit.

    I can give a rat's ass about the AUP of my ISP because the question of packet ownership has to be asked. At what point do I own that packet? When I request a document from the web? When it hits my router? When it is on my copper?

    People can do this themselves, it's not hard. In a rural area you just replace the AC transformer brick on the switch with a battery/solar panel combo every 600', or you could something that has a bit more distance to it like token ring. Yeah maybe this all sounds silly, but we're doing it out here in silicon valley and it's been working for the last year.


    • Yes, I agree. However, they do not live in an suburban area. The community is quite spread out and would make regular old CAT5 pointless because of the distance limitations. In rural areas other houses are most likely beyond 600' so even if daisy chained it would not work.

    • You may want to invest in a bit of conduit. The insulation on that CAT 5 ain't gonna last forever. Also squirrels, mice, etc.
    • by Target Drone ( 546651 ) on Thursday June 06, 2002 @12:58PM (#3653236)
      I've said this many times before, why are people in this kind of situation rolling out DSL? Why not just lay down new copper in the form of CAT5?
      Here's the answerfrom their FAQ [].

      Why not simply bury your own cable? In our neighborhood, the ground is full of rocks. This means that many ways of burying cable, such as a vibrating plow blade or a Ditch Witch, are unworkable. Pretty much the only way to bury things is with a backhoe. Backhoe work is expensive. Our neighborhood has many miles of roads, and we would likely have to spend well over a hundred thousand dollars if we were to try to bury new cable in the neighborhood.

      Burying new copper under our roads is particularly frustrating to think about, given that the existing phone cables buried by Qwest were overbuilt by a factor of three or more. In other words, some two-thirds of the pairs in the cables are spares right now, spares that would never get used by Qwest for revenue service. Qwest ought to be delighted at the chance of collecting monthly revenue from us for some of these pairs.

    • Why not just lay down new copper in the form of CAT5? It's dirt cheap. I've done it. Just look at these pics [] of my neighborhood area network
      Just be sure to think through the lightning protection aspect. Nothing like routing 10,000,000 volts right into your house. Gives a new meaning to high-powered router!


      • Whatever you do, don't ground it in more than one place. About 15 years ago, I saw a case with some thick ethernet run between two buildings underground that was grounded in each place. I'm no EE, but the way it was described to me was that the ground floated or something, and basically any difference between ground in the two buildings anywhere, even in their electrical equipment, would often cause ground to route to the other building via the ethernet and in the process run through a lot of equipment. A lot of transceivers, NIC cards, and some mobos were blown over those few months before it was fixed...

        Maybe someone with some real education in this area can explain it better. Still, point is, you're probably best off running fiber between buildings to be safe.

        • The voltage difference between buildings over the same wires appear to be caused by the electrical load in one building being greater than the other at any time. The electrical resistance from the mains generates a voltage drop. Also, when dealing with the higher voltages, the current leakage due to capacitance and corona discharge add up greatly. It happens with 120 volts and becomes very pronounced with 480 volts. With 14400 volts from substations, this becomes a significant portion.

          Its best to use fiber optic cable over large distances, unless you like to isolate the circuits and treat the chassis as possible live conductors. The voltage differences across one building can reach several volts. Over different buildings, I'd hate to touch the wires if the worst happened. I have seen 277 volts (one phase of the 480) make it through the ground reference before. If its copper from another building, beware! Don't touch!
    • by catfood ( 40112 ) on Thursday June 06, 2002 @01:05PM (#3653269) Homepage
      I've said this many times before, why are people in this kind of situation rolling out DSL? Why not just lay down new copper in the form of CAT5?

      One word: right of way.

      Oh, that's three words.

      But the simple reason you don't just run CAT5 all over town is that the state won't allow it. You could theoretically get permission from the owner of every property the wire crosses, but even then you'd need an easement from the city or township for every crossing of a public street.

      This is one of the more important reasons why one has some recourse when the ILEC won't provide a needed service. They've been given unique privileges by the state, and in return have a well-recognized legal obligation to act in the public interest.

      • by t0qer ( 230538 ) on Thursday June 06, 2002 @01:16PM (#3653337) Homepage Journal
        You could theoretically get permission from the owner of every property the wire crosses

        Yup, that's what we did...
        Sorta funny how it started out. I originally just shared with 1 neighbor, but then a guy on our street (who's also a pushy saleman) wanted to get on our network. Problem was he was 10 doors down from us. So he went door to door and asked all the neighbors in between if they wanted to participate.

    • Maybe they wanted a professional solution that doesn't run the possibility of breaking any service agreements and doesn't devalue the homes. Man, if I was looking at a place to buy and I saw a simple hole in an exterior wall with a cat5 cable running into it (did you even bother to caulk the holes because it sure doesn't look like it). Heck, I could burn your house down just by setting your cat5 on fire. Plus was that just two patch cables spliced together in one of the pictures.

      There are those who wish to do it right (and yes, pay the price) and those who just want it to work, regardless of legality or asthetics.

      P.S. If you had read the article you'd understand why they didn't go this route.
    • Doing it the way you did it is cheap, doing it propely is quite a bit more expensive.

      Will your method work? Yes, sort-of, for a while. I have done it "properly" and all those little costs really add up.

      You have a limit of four repeaters (hubs, switches) TOTAL on a point-to-point ethernet connection, so you would need routers or bridges every 184m. I assume you are breaking that rule which, again, will work for a while.

      DSL is a very good solution for their community. Another would have been to run two pairs to each home and run a T1 connection. That's what I would have wanted. And I already have two spare CSU/DSUs....
  • Why not Wireless? (Score:2, Interesting)

    by azaroth42 ( 458293 )
    And why couldn't they do a wireless network? It didn't seem like the houses were too far apart that they couldn't have a directional antenna to beam from one place to the next. Sounds a lot cheaper than the trouble they had to go through.


  • Site contents (Score:5, Informative)

    by afidel ( 530433 ) on Thursday June 06, 2002 @12:43PM (#3653127)
    About the Coop

    The Coop offers DSL service to all homes in the Ruby Ranch neighborhood in Summit County, Colorado.

    The Coop was founded in 2001 because no one offered DSL or cable modem Internet access in our neighborhood, and because the voice telephone service to the neighborhood is of such poor quality that it is not possible to get modem connections faster than about 26K bits per second. The Coop is a Colorado nonprofit corporation and is federally tax-exempt under 501(c)(12).
    The Coop's History

    The Coop has launched service.

    By far the biggest challenge faced by the Coop, a challenge that dwarfed any of the Coop's technical and financial challenges, was gaining access to subloops from Qwest under the Telecommunications Act of 1996. (The subloops are needed to connect the DSLAM to the subscriber homes. The buried telephone cable in our neighborhood has some three times as many subloops as are actually needed for voice service, and the subloops we wish to rent are among the hundreds of spare subloops which otherwise would generate no revenue for Qwest.) The course of negotiations was such that the Coop found it necessary to file an informal complaint with the Federal Communications Commission and subsequently found it necessary to pursue arbitration before the Colorado Public Service Commission ("CoPUC"). In the arbitration, the CoPUC found that "all of [the Coop's] proposed equipment is compatible with the Qwest network," and that "Qwest is technically able to accommodate [the Coop's] proposal." The CoPUC found that the Coop is entitled to pay "wholesale" rates for the subloops rather than much higher retail rates. Finally, the CoPUC found that because the Coop will be providing only data services (not voice services) and because the Coop will be offering its services to everyone in its service area, the Coop does not need to be a CoPUC-licensed telephone company. (This is very good news, since being a licensed telephone company would impose prohibitive accounting and record-keeping burdens.) After the CoPUC's arbitration decision there were further negotiations with Qwest, and a signed Interconnect Agreement between the Coop and Qwest has been approved by the CoPUC.
  • by tenchiken ( 22661 ) on Thursday June 06, 2002 @12:44PM (#3653130)
    Of cheap internet access. A while ago parts of the community came together to form The colorado internet co-op []. In fact, if you look at the network diagram of this group, they use nettrack, which also has a connection to the co-op.

    Some of the more prominant Unixers on the co-op board are Trent Hein, and Evi Nemeth (two of the authors of the USAH) was also involved. The CO-OP has played a nice part in keeping colorado up and wired.
  • by datastew ( 529152 ) on Thursday June 06, 2002 @12:46PM (#3653153)
    From the faq What are you recurring costs? []
    The Coop pays for its data traffic on the T1 data line. This cost could be anywhere from $75 per month to about $450 per month, depending on traffic levels. After some months in service we will have a better sense of what this cost is turning out to be.

    Does anyone know whether that "about $450 per month" is the maximum charge? I guess they are about to find out. Sometimes I feel sorry for the slashdotted victims.

  • Hmm, he must be a Qwest rep to post this story with a link to the cooperative's site. Easiest and fastest way to get back at those pesky consumers: Slashdot their new service!

  • If it is, 12 poor DSL subscribers have likely lost their connection for a few hours... I wonder if they even know that they are victims of the Slashdot Effect?
  • The department I work in is trying to put a bunch of "local level" government offices on the Internet. We need broadband speed connections from their offices to our data center. Getting some type of broadband installed in many of these places is absolutely horrible.

    In many of these places, there is just no way to send a 50MB file once a day in a cost effective manor. We just had Iowa telecom decide not to offer flat rate ISDN to us because it would be to expensive for them. This was when we called them a week after the promised install date to see why it wasn't installed! It took us MONTHS to get to this point. Would have been nice if they had a couple months ago (before quoting us a price and delivery time) told us they wouldn't do it. We have promised our customer a price and delivery date (which is now well passed.) Iowa Telecom (or whatever their name is) has now offered us a price for ISDN which is more than our promised total price to the customer.

    It is hard to believe phone companies can get away with this type of service, or lack thereof. We have now starting selling the service with a bring your own internet access spin. We have missed deadline after deadline due to the fact we cannot get tcp/ip access to these offices at reasonable prices, at the delivery time we are told. We are a "full service" provider, but there is no way we can deal with this crap. I'm sure we are not alone.

  • This is wonderful! (Score:4, Interesting)

    by uncoveror ( 570620 ) on Thursday June 06, 2002 @12:58PM (#3653233) Homepage
    A co-op for DSL! I love it. This reminds me of the Community Antenna Television co-ops that created cable TV. Too bad corporations turned that into a money grab scam. I used to get my electricity from a co-op before I moved, and service was cheaper and more reliable than from those crooks at Cinergy. If the co-op turned a profit, I got a profit sharing check at the end of the year. Someone has proven that neccesity is the mother of invention, not just the potential to get filthy rich. I wish all utilities were available from co-ops and not corporate robber barons who gouge me.
  • I guess the server is on their DSL line as well beacuse its been a Slashdotted.

  • by snicker ( 7648 ) on Thursday June 06, 2002 @01:07PM (#3653281) Homepage Journal
    Could someone explain to me what this quote means?
    If you throw a dart at a map of the United States, much of the nation can't access broadband even if they wanted to.
    I was following the story pretty well up until that point.
    • by digitalsushi ( 137809 ) <> on Thursday June 06, 2002 @01:13PM (#3653321) Journal
      Could someone explain to me what this quote means?

      If you throw a dart at a map of the United States, much of the nation can't access broadband even if they wanted to.

      I was following the story pretty well up until that point.

      If you're going to ask questions like that on Slashdot, until the farmer realized all the cows were already home!

    • Looks like the writer got distracted half way through the sentence. I think the point he was trying to make was that if you throw a dart at a map of the US, chances are whever it hits will have no available broadband choices outside of satellite. Basically: Broadband is restricted to metropolitan areas for the most part, and most of the US is still rural.
    • by Rayonic ( 462789 ) on Thursday June 06, 2002 @01:41PM (#3653495) Homepage Journal
      Cause - You throw a dart at a map of the United States.

      Effect - Much of the nation can't access broadband if they wanted to.

      Solution - For the love of God, DON'T THROW THAT DART!
      • by BlowCat ( 216402 ) on Thursday June 06, 2002 @01:58PM (#3653576)
        Cause - You throw a dart at a map of the United States.
        Effect - Much of the nation can't access broadband if they wanted to.
        Solution - For the love of God, DON'T THROW THAT DART!
        Wrong. The right solution - ban darts. And maps.
      • Here [] is a pretty map of the US. The dots are phone company offices (CO's), green ones with DSL equiment and red ones without DSL equipment.

        The dots are 1 pixel, and the map is 1000 pixels wide. The US is about 3000 miles wide; therefore the dots are about 3 miles, which is coincidentally the same as the region of service for DSL around the dot.

        • So in order to get DSL -- now or sometime in the future -- you have to actually live on one of the colored dots on the map.
        • If you live on a green dot, you can get DSL.
        • If you live on a red dot, you can't get DSL today, but could if they installed the equipment.
        • If you don't live on one of the dots, you cannot get DSL ever, unless the phone company builds a new building or puts in a repeater.

        Here [] is DSL Reports (scant) commentary on the image.

    • Help, Yoda can:

      If at a map of the United States a dart you throw, access broadband even if they wanted to much of the nation can't.

      Better now?

  • by aridg ( 441976 )
    Gee, didn't I see this story somewhere before []?

    (BTW, check out Carl Oppedahl's comments to that story...)
  • [...] anyone who has used a fast connection knows it changes the online experience forever from one of frustration and drudge to zippiness and fun.

    Aha! I've been happy with my cable service. I just didn't know I could be that happy!

  • I worked on a project as a consultant a number of years ago... a town decided to wire itself. It was city government sponsored, and they had their own T-1, and were wiring homes with ethernet. Since then it appears that they've really expanded! I wish I could live there. :)Check it out!

    I guess I'm a knucklehead, the html formatting doesn't seem to be working when I preview. Ah well, you get the link anyway.
  • Bureaucracy (Score:3, Insightful)

    by m_evanchik ( 398143 ) <> on Thursday June 06, 2002 @01:41PM (#3653497) Homepage
    From their FAQ, it really sounds like the biggest obstacle was the lack of cooperation from Qwest.

    The Phone companies forget that they are public utilities. They are given certain privileges, not least of which is monopoly power, not so that they can turn a profit, but so that their service can do good for the community. The profit motive is just an incidental factor to encourage them to invest in providing that service.

    Hats off to Ruby Ranch for having the moxie to get the thing done. I wish I could get 1.5Mbit SDSL for $60/month.
  • That's just funky, to think that the source of one's DSL service comes from a barn. But hey, if it works...
  • by jimmu ( 227057 ) on Thursday June 06, 2002 @01:46PM (#3653521) Homepage
    Is Lariat [].

    Its basically a co-op out in rural wyoming that provides internet access, support, and other stuff to members of the community. Pretty interesting, really. Check out their FAQ [], or their Clone Us page [] which has information on how to create your own local community network.
  • NT/WINDOWS 98 is their main server o/s!
    check netcraft...
  • If you look at their bandwidth stats [],
    who's gonna pay the bill?
    According to, the subscribers pay for usage; slashdot users should be billed to suck up that much bandwidth, eh!
  • I, Cringely article (Score:2, Informative)

    by pknut ( 571294 )
    There was an "I, Cringely" article [] about this last year. Nonetheless, it's still pretty damn cool.
  • by DarkHelmet ( 120004 ) <`ten.elcychtneves' `ta' `kram'> on Thursday June 06, 2002 @03:11PM (#3654009) Homepage
    I wonder how the people in South Park are taking the slashdotting:

    Stan: Why's this damn thing taking so long?
    Kyle: Stupid slashdot crashed our DSL.
    Stan: Yeah, this movie of Cartman's mom's taking forever to download.
    Cartman: That's it! Screw you guys, I'm going home!

  • Way to go! (Score:4, Funny)

    by cr@ckwhore ( 165454 ) on Thursday June 06, 2002 @03:11PM (#3654018) Homepage
    As if slashdotting some poor guy's PDA earlier today wasn't enough, the hounds behind slashdot, the worlds #1 DOS trigger, had to go take out an entire community.

    Way to go guys!
  • See this article [] from April 9th.
  • Rolling out a community network is a great idea and probably any network geek's dream. But DSL, oh my! Many [] wireless [] community [] networks [] have proved 802.11b is the perfect technology for this. These guys in Seattle [] are trying to cover the whole city and IMHO they're very likely to succeed.

    So you want to roll out a network in a small city ? UseNoCat Auth [] for authentication, connect everything to the net, and already you'll be able to read slashdot while sitting in the middle of the street.

An elephant is a mouse with an operating system.