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The Internet

100mbps Fiber Service To Your Door 398

BitHive writes "With all the talk on /. about the last mile, it looks like people in Mason County, WA may get what I've wanted for years--a 100mbps fiber connection straight to their home. The ISP, DONOBi claims the personal account is 'unlimited,' but since they don't allow servers, and have a business account which is capped at 5Gb/month ($3/Gb addtl), I think we can guess at what their idea of 'unlimited' is. Their service offerings can be found here. Is anyone on this service or knows something they can report?"
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100mbps Fiber Service To Your Door

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  • by davinciII ( 469750 ) on Wednesday March 12, 2003 @04:17PM (#5496588)
    Since I doubt the actual internet connection speed will be 100mbps, this seems like an amazing option for businesses with multiple locations in the city.

    Imagine a 100MBit connection between your offices for only $100 a month?

    • Did you see the 5GB cap?

      We suck 10GB a month down our cable modem, I'd hate to see what we do between offices.

      Can this new service carry voice+data?

      • by Bonker ( 243350 ) on Wednesday March 12, 2003 @04:38PM (#5496844)
        Uhm, yeah, but $3 a GB overrun isn't exactly a lot.

        Think about it. If you have a gigabyte of traffic *every* day, every month, you're out about $100-$120 including the regular fee every month... not that bad for the kind of service these guys are offering.

        Frankly, I'd be a lot more concerned about the 'no servers' rule than the cost.
  • Well... (Score:4, Funny)

    by SpanishInquisition ( 127269 ) on Wednesday March 12, 2003 @04:18PM (#5496593) Homepage Journal
    The mail system was the best way to deliver high quality porn to your house, but now with this..
    • Re:Well... (Score:3, Insightful)

      by kesuki ( 321456 )
      The post office still is.
      Where else can you sent 4.7 GB of porn for the cost of a stamp? that's 37.6 Gbit per 37 cents. $3 for 1 gigabit is not nearly as cost effective. Over 300 times more expensive than the post office, True, you can send a CD-rom in a minute with 100mbit/second and the post office has a latency issue of usually 2-3 days.
      I really wonder if broadband technology can ever get to a point where it's cheaper than post for sending porn/warez/etc...

      BTW, yes, you can send a DVD-r for the one ounce postage rate, as long as it complies with postal regulations when it's shipped. the weight of a single optical disk in a basic optical disc mailer is exactly one ounce, and complies with postal regulations. Of course it's not as well protetected, and could become fragmented or delaminated in shipping...

      I'm willing to bet they force any high bandwith users over to the capped limit, because really how do they prove that you are or aren't running a server? or what a server is? Isn't gnutella really based on a http server? does that mean you'll get switched over to capped bandwith if you go on gnutella and they detect a lot of http traffic?

      and the 5 gbit cap isn't very much at all.. that's only a single 650 MBbyte CD-rom. $18 a minute for internet access... 50 seconds a month provided and we call that cheap.. (it is 100mbit internet access afterall.)

      Now the point to point link deal is really good, because you just pay the flat $100 a month, no per bandwith charges, because you're running over a dedicated private link and the data isn't going over the internet.
      Speaking as an experienced cable mode user, 8 gb per month is nothing at all to utilize... that's without even trying. and under a restrictive under 1 megabit downstream cap.
      At $112 per DVD I don't think the fact that you can get one in under 7 minutes makes up for it.
      hmm... 37 cents? or $112? nope, the post office STILL wins hands down.
  • Hurrah! (Score:5, Funny)

    by JanusFury ( 452699 ) <kevin@gadd.gmail@com> on Wednesday March 12, 2003 @04:18PM (#5496595) Homepage Journal
    Getting fiber to my door is cool, but when will they get it to my living room? I don't have a plug for my computer at the door :(
  • fiber? (Score:5, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday March 12, 2003 @04:19PM (#5496602)
    i get enough fiber as it i...excuse me i have to go to the bathroom.
  • Servers (Score:5, Insightful)

    by nightsweat ( 604367 ) on Wednesday March 12, 2003 @04:19PM (#5496606)
    How many popular sites have servers that could handle the load from a decent sized community of 100Mbps?

    Not complaining, just pointing out that YMMV.

    • Re:Servers (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Pxtl ( 151020 ) on Wednesday March 12, 2003 @04:28PM (#5496722) Homepage
      Thats what I was thinking. Really, the best use of this technology would be a medium-low end private server.

      I am perpetually frustrated by the consumer ISP's industry's belief that all their little users must be good little consumers and not actually use their service for anything but browsing the web and e-mail. I find that most ISP's don't even have functioning DNS servers, which means that most IRC servers (and similar old systems) will reject you from logging on.

      What bothers me most is the "no servers" policy. I am paying for the bandwidth - why cant I use it as I choose. Also, what if I want to be more of a server then a user? Why can't I get a better system for uppipe and trade-off my download amount? All the standard gear (DSL, Cable) gets several megabits per second but peaks at 200kb/s. Why is it if I just want to run a medium-sized UT server I have to fork over for a "business" account? Your average leech will have about the same strain on their servers, and yet those of us who actually want to contribute to the internet have very few options as consumers, besides paying for corporate-level accounts that we dont want.
      • "ISP's industry's belief that all their little users must be good little consumers and not actually use their service for anything but browsing the web and e-mail."

        Hmmm, kind of interesting that isp's also are in the webserving bussiness. Whats that Pxtl? You want your own server? Sure, for an extra $30 a month we can give you a website with 30 megs of disk space.

      • Re:Servers (Score:4, Insightful)

        by Shishak ( 12540 ) on Wednesday March 12, 2003 @04:45PM (#5496931) Homepage
        "I am paying for the bandwidth - why cant I use it as I choose"

        You honestly think that $39.95/month 'pays' for a 100mbps Internet feed? The current going rate for el cheapo national ISPs is about $75/meg in 100 meg chunks so you are talking about $7500/month. Decent backbones (i.e. WCOM, Sprint, ATT ...) charge $200+/meg/month.

        This cost per meg doesn't even cover the loop to get the bandwidth to the ISP router. Forget about the cost of delivering the 100 meg to your house. Now assuming your ISP buys the cheap stuff ($75/meg) and is selling you 100 megs for $39.95/month they are overcommitting about 200:1. If you did use your full bandwidth you would piss off 199 other customers. At 200:1 they STILL aren't making a profit.

        If you actually paid for what you used I'm sure the providers would have no problem allowing you to use it.

        Get real people, the Internet is EXPENSIVE to operate and maintain. throw all the spammers in jail and the price would drop some I'm sure.
        • Re:Servers (Score:2, Informative)

          by Xerithane ( 13482 )
          You honestly think that $39.95/month 'pays' for a 100mbps Internet feed? The current going rate for el cheapo national ISPs is about $75/meg in 100 meg chunks so you are talking about $7500/month. Decent backbones (i.e. WCOM, Sprint, ATT ...) charge $200+/meg/month.

          You are officially outdated here. This is not 1992. Bandwidth is plentiful, and cheap. The pipes are bigger, maintenance costs are the same. I have personally priced out getting my own trunk and I can gaurantee you that it isn't that much through Sprint. Try about $350 for a dedicated T1 (not counting telco charges) with no bandwidth cap. In case you failed to noticed, backbones transfer huge amounts of data, and are no where near capacity.

          I can get 300GB of bandwidth at a datacenter for $100/mo.

          Now, assuming the fiber to the home is similar to Ashland, Oregons product it's a large ethernet network over the city. It has several ISPs that relay the traffic to the fiber backbone.

          Get real people, the Internet is EXPENSIVE to operate and maintain. throw all the spammers in jail and the price would drop some I'm sure.

          Wow. Could you please just disconnect yourself, now. You are about as clueless as they come. You are the same type of people who were ranting about the Skyline being brought to the US market and costing over $60K because that's what it costs to buy one in Japan, ship it over, switch the steering wheel to the left side, pay taxes on it, and perform the rest of the street legal modifications.
          • Try about $350 for a dedicated T1 (not counting telco charges) with no bandwidth cap.
            I don't really understand what point you're trying to make here. A T1 is 1.5 mpbs. The article and the post you're replying to are talking about 100 mpbs. $350 * 100 mpbs / 1.5 mpbs = $23k/month, which is significantly more than the $7500/month that was quoted in the post you're replying to.
            I can get 300GB of bandwidth at a datacenter for $100/mo.
            This is where I realize that this post is a troll, and feel silly responding to it...
        • Re:Servers (Score:3, Insightful)

          by Algan ( 20532 )
          You know what? I would gladly pay $100 for a decent, reliable 1 meg up/down connection that won't restrict my usage in any way... problem is I don't know where to get it.
        • Re:Servers (Score:5, Insightful)

          by Shagg ( 99693 ) on Wednesday March 12, 2003 @05:02PM (#5497198)
          "I am paying for the bandwidth - why cant I use it as I choose"

          You honestly think that $39.95/month 'pays' for a 100mbps Internet feed? The current going rate for el cheapo national ISPs is about $75/meg in 100 meg chunks so you are talking about $7500/month. Decent backbones (i.e. WCOM, Sprint, ATT ...) charge $200+/meg/month.

          This cost per meg doesn't even cover the loop to get the bandwidth to the ISP router. Forget about the cost of delivering the 100 meg to your house. Now assuming your ISP buys the cheap stuff ($75/meg) and is selling you 100 megs for $39.95/month they are overcommitting about 200:1. If you did use your full bandwidth you would piss off 199 other customers. At 200:1 they STILL aren't making a profit.

          All of the above is absolutely true, but it has nothing to do with not allowing users to run their own servers. If a user is hogging a significant amount of bandwidth and causing degredations in service to others, then I agree that the ISP should charge them more or cap their usage. But again, that has nothing to do with running servers. You can just as easily hog the bandwidth downloading data as you can serving data.

          What you decide to do with your share of the bandwidth feed should be entirely up to you. Do they really believe that running your own secure mail server with 5 email addresses, or running a web server so that Grandma can see pictures of her grandkids online, is going to use more bandwidth than users who download ISOs and/or porn all day long? The policy and reasons for that policy as stated make no sense.
          • by unicorn ( 8060 ) on Wednesday March 12, 2003 @07:09PM (#5498841)
            They have an obvious, absolute rule to no servers. They do want to drive customers to the "business" accounts. BUT If you actually look at their page, the business accounts are the same price as the residential ones. The difference being that business accounts have a bandwidth cap.

            So you can choose what service best suits your needs. Unlimited bandwidth, geared at downstream only. Or be able to run servers as well, but be limited in the amount of "free" bandwidth you get.
        • Actualy the cheap stuff is 30 a month for a 100 meg commit and good bandwidth is under a hundred and if anybody quotes you over 200 for IP bandiwth not delivered in the US on a 200 Meg commitiment laugh at them as even Sprint, AT&T and UUNet can get down to that level (traditionaly the highest priced providers) Now if your an ISP that in a lit city say any of the top 13 NFL cites (Dont ask me why but thats where providers nearly allways are but I dont watch football anyway) Even here is Connecticut you can get most providers from Stamford or Hartford and backhaul yourself.

      • Re:Servers (Score:4, Informative)

        by mdielmann ( 514750 ) on Wednesday March 12, 2003 @04:50PM (#5496985) Homepage Journal
        Note that forking over for a business account here will cost you...exactly the same as the personal account.

        Translation: 'For $40/mo, you can have all the surfing, etc. you can handle, OR you can have all the servers and crap you want with a 5 GB/mo cap. If you choose option 2, we'll be happy to sell you more throughput at $3/GB.'

        So, I think they agree with you. IF you pay for your bandwidth, THEN you can use all you want. Otherwise, you're stuck with surfing really* fast.

        * Depending on site/route conditions, etc.
      • Re:Servers (Score:4, Interesting)

        by spicyjeff ( 6305 ) on Wednesday March 12, 2003 @04:59PM (#5497131) Homepage
        Shrewsbury, Massachusetts, USA laid fiber to the curb a few years back and provides reasonable transfer rates and pricing including some "allowing" servers. Check out some of the details here [shrewsbury-ma.gov].

        At the time it was first being rolled out I was working for a small business in the town and oversaw the our connection, which was fiber to the door. Speeds on the town network were up to 100Mbps while anything outside the network was capped at 1.5Mbps for $50 a month.
      • Re:Servers (Score:2, Interesting)

        by leviramsey ( 248057 )

        I've posted this before. If I were to start a DSL ISP, here's the pricing structure I'd use, for both residential and business use (extra support and bandwidth guarantees would cost extra, and most certainly be purchased by businesses). No restrictions (beyond banning DoS attacks (including being a bot), spam, open relaying, and such; if you are disconnected for those activities, you owe $250) and no ports are blocked. We'll even adjust reverse DNS if you ask, at no charge.

        • Tier One: 192kbps down, 48kbps up; unlimited downloads, 50MB/month uploads (uploads to hosts not going through our border routers are unlimited). Base price: $29/month. Extra uploads: $10/50MB or portion thereof. 192kbps SDSL for $39/month. Priority routing for an extra $10/month.
        • Tier Two: 768kbps down, 256kbps up; 500MB/month uploads. Base price: $49/month. Extra uploads: $15/500MB or portion thereof. 768kbps SDSL for $65/month. Priority routing: $10/month.
        • Tier Three: 1536kbps down, 768kbps up; 2GB/month uploads. Base price: $89/month. Extra uploads: $15/GB or portion thereof. 1536kbps SDSL for $115/month. Priority routing: $15/month.
        • Tier Four: 3072kbps down, 2048kbps up; 5GB/month uploads. Base prices: $169/month. Extra uploads: $10/GB or portion thereof. 3072kbps SDSL for $225/month. Priority routing: $30/month.
        • Please start your ISP so that I can sign up for the Tier 3 service. It's much cheaper than the $225/month my company is paying to covad for the 384KB SDSL connection at my house.
      • I am paying for the bandwidth

        Kinda, but you're prolly paying more like 1/8 of the bandwidth in reality. If 8 random people rent a basketball court together, what happens when one of them wants to lay down basketball court sized paper and paint basketball court sized murals? Shouldn't he have to get his own court instead?
    • Everyone on 100mbps. All connections get served within fractions of a second. All that will happen will be that for your connection to start getting served you might have to wait a wee while for the connection to be initiated but once its there it'll be delivered instantaneously.
    • no longer would it be a slashdotting - it would end up being an Elm Streeting...

      Or if some script kiddie lived in the 'hood - a billying...
  • First (?) (Score:4, Insightful)

    by neuro.slug ( 628600 ) <neuro__@@@hotmail...com> on Wednesday March 12, 2003 @04:20PM (#5496622)
    5Gb per month? If they really are talking about gigabits and not gigabytes, then that is somewhat ridiculous. Oh boy, I can download one CD image (of a piece of software I already have, of course) per month. What a great service. --n
    • Re:First (?) (Score:2, Insightful)

      by IAR80 ( 598046 )
      Even if this are Gigabytes it is still very litlle! Actually on a true 100Mbps connection you can teoretically dowload 5GB in less than 7 minutes.
    • Is that an upstream and downstream combined total? Also, the installation costs seems really fishy ... what's with this:

      4 Port Router: $150.00 / Mo
    • by jaavaaguru ( 261551 ) on Wednesday March 12, 2003 @04:33PM (#5496789) Homepage
      5Gb per month? If they really are talking about gigabits and not gigabytes, then that is somewhat ridiculous. Oh boy, I can download one CD image (of a piece of software I already have, of course) per month. What a great service.

      Why do that when you can download one that you don't already have?
  • Read the fine print (Score:5, Informative)

    by HotNeedleOfInquiry ( 598897 ) on Wednesday March 12, 2003 @04:20PM (#5496633)
    They show the service as $39.95 per month, but the 4-port router is $150.00 per month.
  • by nenolod ( 546272 ) <nenolodNO@SPAMgmail.com> on Wednesday March 12, 2003 @04:20PM (#5496634) Homepage
    Cable providers also do not allow servers, unless you have a pro or business account. Cable is also capped. This is the same situation, with more bandwidth, which is still ridiculous. Also, the max bandwidth is way more restrictive.
  • by GreenJeepMan ( 398443 ) <josowski@@@tybio...com> on Wednesday March 12, 2003 @04:20PM (#5496637) Homepage Journal
    "Is anyone on this service or knows something they can report?"

    Probably not since we just saturated their network.
  • the bandwidth of a station wagon full of 100mb fiber.
  • yes, it's nice... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Unominous Coward ( 651680 ) on Wednesday March 12, 2003 @04:21PM (#5496654)
    ... but let's be realistic here. There will be precious few websites that will be able to deliver this kind of bandwidth to a single user.

    High speed internet will be most beneficial when a large number of people have it. (A variation on Metcalfe's law?)

    Think of what happened with regular internet and how useful it became when your friends got it. Same thing applies to other technologies like mobile phones.
  • who do they (the isp itself) rent their own pipes from?
    • Re:umm... (Score:2, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward
      The PUD, Public Utility Distict as it is known out here.

      This is being done so that the power companies don't have to send a crew out to each household to check up on the power metes, they can just click and check the meter.

      They then decided to let internet access go through as well, if you have the fiber there why not give them hyper internet access?

      In Wenatchee, WA where I live which is the same area from Mason County, WA. We will be getting digital TV with a few hundred channels, three telephone lines and 10/MBs internet access for about $50 a month within the next year or so.
  • by iowagary ( 233693 ) on Wednesday March 12, 2003 @04:23PM (#5496670)
    I work in western washington and I just had a cisco rep in here talking about something vaguely related but he told us the only reason they can afford this in Mason County is because they own 3 hydro dams and have no idea what to do with all the money they are making, so they decided to pull fiber to every house. They really don't expect to ever recover the investment. Almost makes you want to move though...
    • Uh..maybe if I lived in Ogdenville, North Haverbrook or Brockway. We in civilized parts of the country have had broadband connections for quite some time. I pay $50 a month for 3mb/down, 256k up, 24/7 support, and if there's a bandwidth cap, I've never reached it. The uptime has also been REALLY good for the last year or so.
    • by Diskord ( 658620 ) on Wednesday March 12, 2003 @04:43PM (#5496907)
      This is dead wrong. Mason County does not have any Hydro generation at all. The Cisco rep may have been thinking of Grant County in Washington, which has 3 Hydroelectric dams. They are also doing a fiber to the home project as well.
    • The Mason County PUD started laying a fiber backbone in 1998 to enhance control of their power distribution grid and then to aid in meter reading. The fiber-to-your-door is only available in the most populous areas of Mason county, that is, the cities of Shelton, Allyn, Belfair, and Lake Limerick. Most of Mason county does not have access to fiber.

      My grandfather was a commisioner for PUD3 for almost 20 years, and your cisco rep is wrong about Mason county's hydro dams. Mason county has no dams and buys most of its power from the Bonneville Power Administration. It has one generating plant of its own, and I believe that runs on natural gas.
  • by Brento ( 26177 ) <`moc.razotnerb' `ta' `otnerb'> on Wednesday March 12, 2003 @04:24PM (#5496682) Homepage
    Somehow I've gotta wonder when their DSL prices [donobi.com] are more expensive than their fiber prices. Something's gotta be amiss.
    • I pay about $20 per month for having a 10-megabit jack in my wall enabled, that's about par for fibered cities in Sweden. DSL in general is a notch more expensive and a lot lower on the bandwidth ladder, it's about $25 per month for something like 2048/512 ADSL.

      I guess it has to do with cost of equipment and return on investment in densely populated areas (I live in a high-riser, so suburban villas may be different and more of a DSL place).
    • by programR ( 61440 ) on Wednesday March 12, 2003 @07:27PM (#5498987) Homepage
      Our DSL prices are higher than our Fiber prices because the phone company makes those charges higher....

      We provide the best prices we can on all of the different media available. DSL is more expensive to us, but Fiber is only available in certain areas... There are petitions for customers to sign to try and help get Fiber into more areas, but it really comes down to what the Public Utility District for that county is willing to foot the bill for.

      We are providing IP service over the PUD network of Fiber optics. Customers also have the ability to have On-Demand video provided over the pipe & other services like telephony. Those are currently outside the realm of what DONOBi offers, but we are working with the different PUDs in the areas we can to provide all of those services to our customers.
  • Minor Info (Score:5, Informative)

    by Sedennial ( 182739 ) on Wednesday March 12, 2003 @04:24PM (#5496687)
    This has actually been in place for some time and there are a couple of other ISP's in Mason offering fibre connectivity via the open access network, but full scale rollout has been slowed down for a number of reasons. Some political and some financial. Currently they are reviewing a wireless solution for lastmile due to unexpectedly high costs for lastmile fiber solution. Last commisioners meeting I went to had some interesting discussion taking place regarding alternative solutions for last-mile.

    Real per customer business costs far exceed various estimates due to the fact that to sign up customer X at the end of the street you have to essentially lay out fiber for EVERY home between your splice point and customer X. And unless every one of those customers signs up, you may have just expended $15k or more (since they Mason is doing an underground install not poletop) for one customer.
  • I'm sure their backbone isn't 100Mpbs, but the rates are very competitive, and the restrictions are no worse than most cable or DSL plans. This would be more than worth making an ISP switch if I can play quake with my friends across town on a 100Mps connection. $3.00 per extra gig seems a tad pricey though...
    • Re:Sweet deal... (Score:2, Informative)

      by stratjakt ( 596332 )
      You dont need 100Mbps to play quake (or anything else) with your friends across town. That's all about lag times, not bandwidth.
      • And with UDP, lag is almost purely a function of bandwidth
        • 1) calculate transmission time for a 64 byte frame at 56k, 1Mbit, and 100Mbit

          2) calculate transmission time for a 1518 byte frame at 56k, 1Mbit, and 100Mbit.

          3) compare each of those times to the transmission time of light from Los Angeles to New York.

          4) do the same for a TCP SYN/ACK sequence.

          5) discuss the correlation of bandwith/distance/UDP/TCP vs end to end latency.
    • Actually their backbone is much larger than that. They essentially ride the NOANET [noanet.net] SONET loop around the Pacific Northwest, and given proper configuration could drop off 100 MB ethernet at any node on the ring, offering full scale ISP services around the entire northwest. If they desired to do so.
  • by Elwood P Dowd ( 16933 ) <judgmentalist@gmail.com> on Wednesday March 12, 2003 @04:25PM (#5496692) Journal
    Sure, they also offer a business account that has limited bandwidth and allows servers, but that account costs the same amount as the personal account.

    So, I think they're being trustworthy. They're just saying, if you want to run servers, you have to pay for bandwidth. If you want to download pr0n, gobble away. It's a stupid model, but it doesn't seem duplicitous.
    • no...its duplicitous in that they claim to be an internet service providor. Internet Service is defined as TCP/IP networking with server capability. internet ACCESS is being able to download from servers to view web pages etc.
      • Internet Service is defined as TCP/IP networking with server capability. internet ACCESS is being able to download from servers to view web pages etc.

        Internet Service is defined that way... by you. They're being perfectly clear about what your money buys you.
  • by Billly Gates ( 198444 ) on Wednesday March 12, 2003 @04:25PM (#5496695) Journal
    I thought only the baby bells had rights to lay out lines? At least thats what I hear from slashdotters who bicker about what de-regulation would do to the isp industry. Southern bell for example says if the isp's do not like it tough, they can lay out there own lines. Interestingly the government has specific contracts to the baby bells from the old bell laboratories to only use them and no one else when digging up public property like roads and open land.

    My guess is they will try to stop this isp or actually bill them through the roof since they do not want anyone else to play ball. I find it unlikely for the second to be true since more supply = less demand for their bussiness dsl and T1 service.

    • The link mentions something about a PUD, which in Washington means a public utility district. They are able to run any service they want because they own the right of way. In Eastern Washington there is at least one other fiber pipe that is serviced by a PUD.

      This probably does make the baby bells unhappy, but I guess that is too bad.
    • Actually, more than the baby bells can lay. Independant telcos can lay lines too. We have three Independant telco's on each side of our city, and both of them have a LOAD of fiber in the ground.
  • with 1 Gb = 1000 Mb, if you max out the connection at the theoretical 100Mbps you'd hit the monthly 5Gb cap in 50 seconds. Of course, at actually achieveable rates, it would probably take a few minutes.

    And after that, you could be paying $3 every few minutes. That sounds kind of pricey to me...
    • Still, even changing it to that effect means you could use your entire 5G in about 7 minutes.

      Then again I have a 1.544 to the house (cablemodem) and my real life speeds run between 300kbit/s and 1Mbit/s (37KBytes/s to 125KBytes/sec) - so generally speaking we are still going to be limited by the bandwidth on the server side.

      If we can /. a server with what we have now (client side) just envision what we could do with a bunch of 100Mb/s connections - just a thought.
  • Last mile (Score:4, Interesting)

    by fishybell ( 516991 ) <fishybell.hotmail@com> on Wednesday March 12, 2003 @04:29PM (#5496736) Homepage Journal
    As far as being a good last mile solution, it fares well, mainly because of symmetric speeds. Of course the last mile is not where you're going to see the speed bottleneck, it's at both the ISP and the webserver/etc that you're connecting to.

    What this will be exceptional for is people who have computers at various points in the Donobi network. Here are the people who will gain the most: company with multiple office locations, people who's company let's them work from home (VPN, VNC, etc), and of course, gamers. Gaming within the network will be supreme.

    I currently have Comcast. The connection can be flaky at times (supposedly because I am doing it wrong), but the speeds are incredible. I love having a 25-50 ping on the games I play, but when one of my room mates is uploading files (I'm talking to you Kai) on WinMx my ping goes down the tube fast (400 anyone?). I would love my 2.5 mbps down just as much as the next guy, but I would trade my soul just to get a synchronous speed even as low as 768 kbps (256 now). Now 100 mbps? that's fast, no matter what the other problems (pay for downloads beyond 5gb, etc).

  • by SirLantos ( 559182 )
    High speed internet access will not truly be cheap until it is considered a utility instead of a commodity. Until then, people will be making wads of cash selling it to people, and that is the way it should be. Once it turns into a utility, you will see a lot more gov control over it.

    So, you have to ask yourself: Would you rather have cheap Internet service or an uncontrolled Internet?

    Something we all have to learn is that you cannot eat your cake and have it too.

    Thats just my humble opinion,
  • Fraud? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by NineNine ( 235196 ) on Wednesday March 12, 2003 @04:32PM (#5496784)
    Call me nuts, but isn't advertising something as "unlimited" when it's not, generally considered fraud? I don't care if it's really x amount of bandwidth + no servers, blah, blah, blah, but the company can't really advertise "unlimited" if it's not. A real "unlimited" pipe to the Net at xxGig/S is called a T-1, or greater. Those are generally $1500/month.
    • Re:Fraud? (Score:2, Interesting)

      by heff ( 24452 )
      i had this dispute with burlee.com, they offer unlimited space and bandwith and then bill you a "non-disputable service charge" of $250 to $500 for each "infraction". Before i knew it, my $120/yr hosting was now $600+ . I reported them to the bbb along with at least 10 other people. Some guys were charged over $1000 and then took burlee to court...i felt sorry for them.
    • Just as bad as an ISP around here who 'sold' dialup accounds at $9.95 . It was unlimited access, but the secertary said they DID NOT WANT people to be online all the time. They allow unlimited time, but they said they'd harass you (Calls) if you exceeded a 'limit'.

      The company's name is REMC (in Indiana).
    • I dunno. My T1 only costs me $560/mo, all local loop & taxes included.

      ANd I can do whatever the hell I want with it. wh00t. :-)
  • 100Mbs along with both a bandwidth cap and restrictions on servers? Not for nothin, but what's the point? If you couldn't run a server of your own (negating the usefulness of outbound 100Mb) and could exceed your monthly cap in like an hour if you maxed out your download bandwidth, why even have this? Oh, and you get to pay out the nose for the router? I'd rather keep my cable, thanks.
  • by NerveGas ( 168686 ) on Wednesday March 12, 2003 @04:34PM (#5496800)
    There are a couple of fundamental problems with 100 mbit fiber to the door. First, the cost. With real, gauranteed bandwidth costing anywhere from up to $1,000 per megabit (depending on the quality of the provider), that means that they are going to have to oversell their bandwidth like *crazy* to try and make any profit. With a 100 mbit connection, it only takes a very small number of kiddies with P2P clients to use enough bandwidth to make the entire project unprofitable. Five people using an average of 50 mbits/second each could potentially cost the company over a hundred thousand dollars per month. That means that they'd need a minimum of 2,500 customers just to break even.

    The second problem is the routing/switching. Let's say that they signed up those 2,500 people on the service. If even one tenth of them actually tried to use even half of their bandwidth at the same time, you're looking at 12 gigabits per second, which is more than an OC192 can handle.

    Yep, there are some serious problems here. The kind of problems that they will only overcome by one or more of the following:

    • capping bandwidth
    • overselling like mad, effectively capping bandwidth
    • charging a lot

    It looks like it will still be as good (or better) than DSL, but don't cling to the hopes of actually using 100 mbits.

    On the other hand, I *have* been in places where one person could actually use 100 mbits. I watched a single download from Microsoft coming along at 11 megabytes/second - 88 megabits/second. Of course, the place had a barely-used OC3.

    • If you look at the numbers they are really familiar, they're pretty similar to the deal you'd get with a colocation account in a carrier hotel. Their local network might be 100mbps but your connection to the outside world is going to be limited by whatever connection the head end has. Cable and DSL providers do this as well, they sell you a 512kbps or whatever line but that speed is really just dependent on how saturated their head end line is. I think more important than the internet speed is the fact this is fiber to the door and not merely fiber to a DLC.
    • Our Fiber connection comes from NoaNet (www.noanet.com) and uses the existing BPA (Bonneville Power Administration) infrastructure. The pricing we recieve is based on 95th percentile billing, so you aren't charged on what your actual use is, but on what your average use is.

      Most end customers use very little bandwidth, but then burst when they are downloading a large file, demo, etc...

      Currently we have no plans to clamp or cap as you refer to it bandwidth. We do charge more as your usage increases, but at under $2 a GB, it is fairly reasonable.
  • by Diskord ( 658620 ) on Wednesday March 12, 2003 @04:35PM (#5496812)
    For more information you can visit our the Mason County Website at http://www.masonpud3.org/Telecom Actually this will be a full 100 Mbps connect to your house, we plan on offering more than just IP over the fiber. We hope to in the near future to offer both phone service and video service (ala digital cable) as well. We are actually the second PUD in the state of Washington to offer Fiber to your door, Grant County in Eastern Washington is also offering a similar type service. And no, we don't own any dams, in fact the only electrical generation we own is a 3MW substation, this is being funded by the ratepayers of Mason County PUD3 over a 20 year loan.
  • Easy (Score:4, Informative)

    by jaavaaguru ( 261551 ) on Wednesday March 12, 2003 @04:39PM (#5496863) Homepage
    That would be excellent for me. My Internet habits entirely consist of...

    * Checking Slashdot and a few other discussion boards
    * Checking my e-mail
    * Chatting on Jabber, AIM and MSN
    * Updating my website
    * Occasionally downloading Redhat's software updates
    * Sometimes playing streaming music (but not very often)

    That could easily be les than 5Gb/month.
  • by sconeu ( 64226 ) on Wednesday March 12, 2003 @04:40PM (#5496872) Homepage Journal
    100mbps? Wow! 100mbps is 1 bit every 10 seconds! I can talk faster than that!

    Now, a 100Mbps connection, that I could get excited about!
  • by Diskord ( 658620 ) on Wednesday March 12, 2003 @04:40PM (#5496878)
    Juyst to clarify, Donobi is just one of many ISP's on our fiber network. The Fiber itself is being laid by Mason County PUD3.

    The PUD website is http://www.masonpud3.org

    There you can find a complete list of retailers, and more information on the Fiber project.
  • From The TOS (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Nick Harkin ( 589728 ) <slashdot AT cast-computers DOT co DOT uk> on Wednesday March 12, 2003 @04:43PM (#5496913)
    "In any case, you will be disconnected after approximately 8 hours of continuous connect time"

    This isn't something i expect/want from a fibre optic line, neither is:

    We expect that you will promptly disconnect your modem from our dialup facility when you are not actively using the connection. If we discover that your system is connected to DONOBi but idle (not sending or receiving data) we may disconnect you.
  • Yeah, great... (Score:4, Interesting)

    by hafree ( 307412 ) on Wednesday March 12, 2003 @04:46PM (#5496943) Homepage
    The first thing I do when I turn on my computer is tune into internet radio, usually a 128kbps mp3 stream for around 4 hours a day. At that rate, I'd use up my 3GB quota before the month was half over, and that doesn't even include browsing the web, sending and receiving e-mail, or downloading files. I'll stick with cable until they can figure out a better definition for "unlimited".
    • Re:Yeah, great... (Score:5, Informative)

      by matastas ( 547484 ) on Wednesday March 12, 2003 @05:52PM (#5498021)
      Read. The damned. Web site.

      If you don't want the business account, you don't have to worry about that. You sacrifice the ability to use server. This is what we in the Real World call 'give and take.' And it comes with the territory of paying a lower price for a service.
  • Terms of service... (Score:2, Informative)

    by Destoo ( 530123 )
    I really hate those dispositions...

    Many Internet service providers block all email from sites that are primary by senders of unsolicited email. In addition, you agree to pay the following in the event you are responsible for, generating or cause any unsolicited commercial e-mail to emanate or appear to emanate from DONOBi. $500 per event plus $1.00 per message sent, plus $50 per complaint received by DONOBi, plus any damages or loss of service(s) to DONOBi, as a result of any spamming or other violation of these policies. These damages include, but are not limited to system shut downs, retaliatory attacks or data flooding.

    Translation into abuse:
    Spam with reply-to address <user>@donobi.com

    Replace <user> with name of loved one.

    Is that disposition really necessary?
    Unlimited access accounts are for intermittent usage/connection to our system as long as you are physically in front of your computer and actively using the connection.

  • by CrystalFalcon ( 233559 ) on Wednesday March 12, 2003 @04:49PM (#5496973) Homepage
    I usually leech on the order of fifteen to twenty gigs a DAY. These guys have not done their homework on how the customer uses the product...

    ...either that, or they are trying to present a politically correct image of how the product will be used, in case they will go the way of the other dot-bombs. In any case, they have shown to be pulling numbers out of thin air. My guess is that the executives' secretaries print their e-mail for them.
  • I can fill in a few of the details people seem to be debating. Our company currently subscribes via Hood Canal Communications [hctc.com]. We have a block of 16 static IPs and the fiber connection comes to our business at 100mb, though we typically see about 5mb/s to the internet. Keep in mind that I don't know that our connection is the limiting factor in that.

    While I agree that the bandwidth cap might discourage home users, it still makes great sense for business users. The cap is set at 5GB (that's gigabytes, no matter what the website says) and our service is not affected if we go over the limit--our checkbooks, however, are. We pay a rate of $2.20 for each GB after the 5 GB limit. Consider the amount of data we can send for the same price as our (now backup) T1:

    $900 for the old connection - $40 for the first 5GB = $860
    $860 / $2.20 per GB = 390GB
    390GB Extra + 5GB Included = 395GB monthly

    We can deal nearly 400GB monthly for the same price as our old connection. If I recall correctly, we paid the PUD $200 to bring the fiber from the road to our building and we pay something like $5 monthly for each of our IPs (except one, which obviously is included with the base price).

    We're extremely happy with the service and frankly I'm amazed that a county as rural as Mason has such great internet access. It's far better than is available just 30 minutes away in Olympia, WA.

  • Astound Cable, a seren communications company, but like many people pointed out who has 100 mb/gigabit gateways or modems ? The fiber runs to a box on my garage and is then split to coax or rj-45, or phone line depending on the usage.
    Their thru-put is great :)
  • by PineHall ( 206441 ) on Wednesday March 12, 2003 @05:28PM (#5497673)
    From the colocation page ( http://www.masonpud3.org/Telecom/Colocation/ [masonpud3.org]): Featuring a Gigabit (1,024 megabit/second) Backbone through the entire county!
  • Banned Fiber (Score:2, Informative)

    In our silly midwestern town it was not too long ago (two weeks or so) that our city council finally made it legal. But, now we have to wait for our state public service commision to allow this service to be instated. Which means more time before our market can reach a higher level of parity between cable/DSL/fiber. Supposedly our electric company has run the cable throughout the city, but not to the houses because it has been (and still is technically) illegal to do this. Its all the government's fault that we consumers cannot pay a nominale amount for our internet. I say this because of the mandates essentially making public services monopolies in each town. For example, I believe only fifty miles away people have a choice of Cox or Qwest high speed access. Of which Qwest I believe is comparatively cheaper than Alltel which we are forced to use. Just my two cents.
  • 100mbps ?!? (Score:3, Informative)

    by sbaker ( 47485 ) on Wednesday March 12, 2003 @06:58PM (#5498750) Homepage
    100mbps ... 100 millibits per second? Wow! That's 1/10th baud. You'd better
    type R-e-a-l-l-y s-l-o-w-ly!

    Maybe they should consider shooting for 100Mbps?
  • by hippoart ( 189976 ) on Wednesday March 12, 2003 @07:20PM (#5498937)
    I used to live in Mason County in Allyn. The 100mb fiber was the only option for Internet Connection other than dial-up. I could get digital cable but not cable modem for some dumb reason. So I paid PUD $250 to install the line from pole on street to side of my house. Donobi wanted an additional $150 or so for setup as well - I told them I could do it myself for free. After much wrangling I got out of that charge. I was only charged $39.99 a month but the problem was that the performance was extremely poor. I lived there about 6 months - had 3 service outages, and consistently low performance. The line ranked below a 256K DSL line on most tests. Donobi technically support was completely useless. I think we were only 1 of 3 or 4 customers that had this due to the high install fee. So the technical support staff was very unfamiliar with the fact that Donobi even offered fiber, much less how to troubleshoot any problems. The downloads were unlimited but again with crappy performance who cares. I have since moved into Seattle and am much happier with my DSL from Speakeasy.net

e-credibility: the non-guaranteeable likelihood that the electronic data you're seeing is genuine rather than somebody's made-up crap. - Karl Lehenbauer