Follow Slashdot blog updates by subscribing to our blog RSS feed

 



Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
Check out the new SourceForge HTML5 internet speed test! No Flash necessary and runs on all devices. ×
The Internet

Last-Mile Fiber Optic 240

Johnny Mnemonic writes "The newsletter "The Town Paper" tracks the development of "traditional" new developments--developments with integrated shopping, parks, and that are pedestrian friendly. Their recent issue has an article that describes a new community in Issaquah WA that has, among it's interesting features: a wired LAN in every home, free community Intranet, and a choice for a fiber optic connection. It is probably no coincidence that Microsoft is planning on building 3 million square feet of office space there. How much is a pre-wired house worth to you? What will this do for community building?"
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Last-Mile Fiber Optic

Comments Filter:
  • While it would be cool to have fiber to every house, I hope that free Intranet(cough, taxes) has alot of good porn and mp3's. I doubt that the CO is going to have a few OC12's, so what good all that speed for the next ??? years(besides 1MS ping neighbourhood deathmatches)?
  • Good thinking (Score:4, Interesting)

    by cubal ( 601223 ) <matt@nOsPAM.problemattic.net> on Sunday March 30, 2003 @10:06PM (#5629030) Homepage
    This is a pretty good plan--the "last mile" has always been the slow point in internet connections.

    This will also do wonders for the local economy; having built-in fiber will be a massive attraction to tech businesses. I daresay we'll be seeing a lot more of this sort of thing from now on.
    • Re:Good thinking (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Michael Hunt ( 585391 ) on Sunday March 30, 2003 @10:48PM (#5629218) Homepage
      The problem with having incredibly fast last mile is that you need incredibly, incredibly fast upstream connectivity. For a stub system (i.e. a system which won't allow transit across itself,) the usual figures quoted are 16:1 contention; that is, sum(CPE bandwidth)/16.

      For a transit system (a system which provides connectivity between other systems/networks,) peering bandwidth should not exceed intra-system bandwidth, but also needs to be great enough that systems who use you as a transit network actually do wind up getting the fastest path, as BGP has no concept of 'speed' as a metric.

      Given that this idea is proposing to deploy fibre at (i would assume) at least 10Mb to the home, the upstream bandwidth will almost certainly need to be in the gigabits for this to be useful. Transit infrastructure will likely also need to be upgraded if too many smaller ISPs start rolling this out.

      I don't think the networking infrastructure we have necessarily has the capacity right now. Perhaps when DWDM becomes more commonplace, with each run of Single mode carrying 100s of gigabits, but for now I think it's really only a pipe dream.

      Another idea worth considering is the 'script kiddie terrorist' argument. If you give uncapped 10Mb access to every script kiddie on your block, you'll need to make sure that everything else scales proportionally, or script kiddie targets will suffer an exponentially worse fate.
      • Re:Good thinking (Score:5, Insightful)

        by madfgurtbn ( 321041 ) on Monday March 31, 2003 @12:18AM (#5629554)
        The problem with having incredibly fast last mile is that you need incredibly, incredibly fast upstream connectivity

        Uh, yeah, isn't that the point?

        Not to be glib, but the network doens't grow symmetrically. There are always going to be bottlenecks, but there are always going to be improvements. When you build a new apartment complex, it makes sense to assume that the permanent network infrastructure in the building should, where economically feasible, be overbuilt as much as possible.

        It will be a while, if ever, before they can use all of their bandwidth, but when the time comes they are ready, eh.
        • Re:Good thinking (Score:2, Insightful)

          by SN74S181 ( 581549 )
          When you build a new apartment complex, it makes sense to design in proper conduit channels so whatever is needed in the future can be easily pulled into each unit. That does not necessarily translate into pulling whatever expensive cabling happens to be 'bleeding edge' at the time.
  • Imagine... (Score:3, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday March 30, 2003 @10:07PM (#5629034)
    Not only will I be able to hear my neighbors through the walls; this means increased fps on the hidden X-10 camera!
  • Interesting... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Gortbusters.org ( 637314 ) on Sunday March 30, 2003 @10:08PM (#5629044) Homepage Journal
    I always wondered why urban comunities didn't have all the wiring and fiber available to the residents. Large apartment buildings next to eachother would probably find it cheaper to have one large connection into the complexes and hire a network technican, than to have separate service providers (DSL, cable, etc) for each resident..
    • Re:Interesting... (Score:3, Insightful)

      by neurostar ( 578917 )

      IIRC there was an article about this in one of the linux magazines a couple years ago. It discussed an apartment building that got a single DSL line for the whole building. The guy set up a linux server or two for gateway/email servers and wired most of the aparments with ethernet cable. The cost of the dsl was split between the people who opted in on it.

      Unfortunately, I couldn't find a link to an online version of the article.

      neurostar
    • Re:Interesting... (Score:5, Interesting)

      by guacamolefoo ( 577448 ) on Sunday March 30, 2003 @10:36PM (#5629169) Homepage Journal
      I always wondered why urban comunities didn't have all the wiring and fiber available to the residents

      1. Retrofitting the buildings is expensive - it is not just a matter of running fiber to buildings -- ethernet jacks need to be put into rooms in apartments and cabling needs to be arranged. Who will manage the wire closet, etc.

      2. Not everyone wants/uses the service, so landlords are not necessarily going to spring for the cost

      3. Residential services are not where the money is

      Large apartment buildings next to eachother would probably find it cheaper to have one large connection into the complexes and hire a network technican

      You don't know many apartment operators, obviously. Even the large companies (mostly REITs) are extraordinarily conservative operators who do not change their ways of doing business easily. Especially post-bubble, most are likely to look at other amenities first, such as security, fitness centers, etc. Putting in technology infrastructure, which will likely involve additional costs, is not going to be an easy sell.

      I think some bigger aparment REITs may have been doing deals with some of the CLECs in the 90's, but I just don't see a tremendous desire by internet companies to chase the consumer in this manner. They just don't pay enough, and fiber infrastructure isn't exactly cheap.

      I can see this model working in some local environments, but as a business model, I can say pretty comfortably that there just is not much money there to be chased when you are talking about mega bandwidth to residences. Some people would pay big bucks, but most folks would say fuck it and go with the ILEC's $45 DSL or the cable company's $30 plan. Nobody will make money (today) selling fiber connections for $30 or selling $300 fiber connections to residences.

      Remember -- it's all about the "Profit!!"

      GF.

      • I think what made it cost effective in this particular instance was the deal with MSFT for the office space--I can certainly imagine that MSFT either made it a condition of their locating there, or chose to locate there because of the geek-friendliness of the residences. I would certainly be surprised if less that 25% of the homes went to MSFT employees just due to promimity to their work--so they demanded a MSFT-employee-friendly infrastructure.
      • You don't know many apartment operators, obviously. Even the large companies (mostly REITs) are extraordinarily conservative operators who do not change their ways of doing business easily. Especially post-bubble, most are likely to look at other amenities first, such as security, fitness centers, etc. Putting in technology infrastructure, which will likely involve additional costs, is not going to be an easy sell.

        I do know apartment operators, and unfortunately you are correct. It doesn't help that prop
    • Re:Interesting... (Score:5, Interesting)

      by doktor-hladnjak ( 650513 ) on Sunday March 30, 2003 @10:40PM (#5629186)
      I used to live in a large student co-op [usca.org] and this was something pretty much every house (as far as I know) did. At some point, our ISP went bankrupt and whoever bought it at that point decided not to continue their DSL services. As a "temporary" solution we ended up on a standard SBC residential DSL line. Divided 37 or so ways it was quite cheap, but there were some issues:

      - when somebody switched on Kazaa, everyone's connection came almost to a standstill
      - we had to wire the house ourselves to make it cost efficient
      - somebody had to maintain everything

      To me it seems like the biggest problem in an apartment complex or neighborhood would be the last issue. Who maintains it? For us, it was essentially somebody's job to tend to it (just like it was somebody's job to wash dishes on Sunday morning). Anybody know how this happens in these cases we're talking about? Is there a benevolent net admin (dictator) or do people pay a fee to some 3rd party?

    • Bell Canada did this 5-6 years ago. If I remember the specs, each building was connected up to a full OC3, with a router somewhere in the building, and each apartment was hooked up via ethernet (and each apt having it's own static IP address to boot). It never left the testing phase however (it was in full blown production for those apartment buildings, but it never was released to market). This is just an assumption, but DSL was just around the corner at the time, so they probably assumed that DSL was a ch
    • Look at offices!

      Do you see people in the same building pooling internet connections as the norm? While saving money is nice, there is a bigger desire to maintain accountability. Having your in-house maintenance guy troubleshooting the network isn't an efficient use of resources.

      Any potential savings go away when someone needs a service that isn't currently on the network, so they contract their own connection.

      The same problem has existed for years with other building-level infrastructure... phone switc
  • If the Microsoft involvement means MSN has to be my ISP, I'd pass.
    • I read somewhere, I can't find the damn link right now, that MSN was thinking of giving up the ISP reigns and going with just producing it software. It will be pretty much offering it as the default software for broadband and what not but dial-up will be history.
  • Since I have wired every dwelling I have occupied with cat5 and a patch panel since 1986, this doesn't seem so much forward looking to me as finally catching up. I wonder how the community Intranet will be administered, if it is anything like the "community parks" these developments usually include to sell the units, then chances are it is going to be left to virtually grow over with weeds (unpatched servers, slow hubs/switches) after the units have been purchased. Of course, since Microsoft is moving in, it might become yet another way to promote MSN.

    Of course, it seems more cost-effective to just blanket the area with Wi-Fi...
    • Missing the point... (Score:5, Interesting)

      by SonicBurst ( 546373 ) on Sunday March 30, 2003 @10:15PM (#5629072) Homepage
      Of course, it seems more cost-effective to just blanket the area with Wi-Fi...

      Blanketing the area with Wi-Fi misses the point behind this....ie:easily upgradeable last mile delivery. Current Wi-Fi speeds are great for small areas, but shared 11Mbit (or 54 or whatever) will only last so long. Fiber, however, has nearly unlimited capacity, for all intents and purposes.

      Put Wi-Fi in, and you'll be replacing it in 5 or 6 years due to larger bandwidth needs. Use fiber, and in 5-6 years you'll STILL be thinking how to saturate that link. Oh, and BTW, Cat 5 hasn't been around since '86 :) Just picking! I know what you meant!
  • New? Not really... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by httpamphibio.us ( 579491 ) on Sunday March 30, 2003 @10:09PM (#5629050)
    This is a very common thing in Washington, especially in Issaquah. I'm not sure if I've visted this location, but I went to one like it in the same area... they had a little courtyard type deal with a little cafe, a couple restaurants, a grocery store, and a video rental place. There is also complete excersize and sports facilites, a community garden, a large playground, etc. The tie-in with Microsoft only makes sense... nearly everyone that lives there is somehow involved with them.
  • Not much (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Apreche ( 239272 ) on Sunday March 30, 2003 @10:11PM (#5629055) Homepage Journal
    A pre-wired house isn't worth much, to a geek like me. To someone else it's probably worth a lot.

    The reason? Well, being a geek I would want my wires in a very specific configuration just for me. I would be pissed off about having the jack in the wrong part of the wall. I wouldn't like having to modify my computing to match the house. I want the house to match the way I like to do things. Ideally I would have one room of the house with many computers in it and many cables. I would have an office with one computer in it, wired. Every other room in the house woul be accomodated by a single WAP.

    If it's expensive fiber or a configuration I have to adapt to, rather than one that adapts to me I wont like it.

    Non geek people would love it though, if they can get it to work.
    • I would be pissed off about having the jack in the wrong part of the wall. I wouldn't like having to modify my computing to match the house. I want the house to match the way I like to do things. Ideally I would have one room of the house with many computers in it and many cables. I would have an office with one computer in it, wired. Every other room in the house woul be accomodated by a single WAP.


      You get pissed off about having a jack in the wrong part of the wall? Does that seem a little bit thumb
      • a room with many comps and many cables... why dont you put all your pop hardware and cabling into a closet... uhmm i think it's called a wiring closet.. I'm sure if they put fibre into a home, there will be a wiring closet, it wouldn't make sense without it
      • I know where he's coming from.

        In my "office" I have my workstation, my media server and internet servers. In the cupboard in the same room I have most of my networking equipment - routers/switches/cable modem/dsl modem - and two links downstairs to the rest of the house (one of them is redundant - overkill for a house?!)

        I also have a couple of switches downstairs for the likes of my parents' and brothers' computers, the PS2, and the home entertainment center. There is also an airport floating about for the

    • That is why when you have your conference with your builder, you tell them were to place all of the jacks (except electrical, that is by code).
  • For some reason people always mistake the word "fibre" for nirvana, computing paradise, the valhalla of networking. Fact is I've got cable internet and it can handle up to 10Mbps, far more than they actually give me. I'd kill for a 10Mbit link, let alone 100Mbit. The thing that kills you isn't the physical layer, it's the routing and throttling your ISP does -- fibre in itself changes nothing. Give me cable internet with fast routing and no bandwidth caps over fibre any day...
    • Yeah, but last mile wiring is what makes all that stuff capped where it is. Remember, a network connection is on as fast as its slowest part.
      I'm pretty sure their fiber is faster that my telephone wire or your coax. A neighborhood LAN would be pretty nice, too. Administrating it would be a pain, though.

      Just my $.02.

      -Yoweigh
    • Just to clarify, from what I understand, cable internet can handle up to 10Mbps on the upstream and up to 38Mbps on the downstream.
    • Fact is I've got cable internet and it can handle up to 10Mbps

      Well, fact is some of "us" like to run a web server from home, or other services. Unless you're lucky, most cable providers block port 80, and some go further.

      I've had cable, and I dropped "back" to ADSL. Sure, I missed the extra download speed, but the bullshit I had to deal with the provider just wasn't worth it. Port 80 is not blocked. Plus, with cable I indeed saw transfer rates decline in the evening when the average user came home and l

      • As a current (relativly) happy TimeWarner RoadRunner user, I'd like to add to this.
        Currently theyre only blocking the ports that are used by windows file sharing, But most of the people I know with roadrunner have had their port80 blocked. It sucks, but so does the dsl around here.

        From what I've read, SpeakEasy looks like the best choice for broadband isps, THey offer static ips, no blocked ports, they let you use the bandwidth they allocate to you, you can share it with anyone in your house, and all that
    • I'd kill for a 10Mbit link, let alone 100Mbit

      Another thing people miss is the fact that just because you have 100Mbit link to your computer doesn't mean you are going to get 100Mbit/sec xfer rates. put two ( and only two ) normal everyday PC's on a 100Mbit switched LAN and ftp a file between them, if you get above 60Mbit/sec I'd be surprised.

      • Agreed. The fact of the matter is that most NICs don't have chipsets efficient enough to fill a network cable, I read a benchmark (granted it was a few years ago) where the best of the best managed around 80Mbit/s with most averaging around 20Mbit/s. Not very efficient for a 100meg NIC. On top of that if you have multiple PCs on your segment you'll find Ethernet's CDMA algorithm causes performance to decrease exponentially with traffic, at 80% utilization most ethernets become basically useless. Not an
  • Security...? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by MrNemesis ( 587188 ) on Sunday March 30, 2003 @10:17PM (#5629085) Homepage Journal
    A pre-wired house, yes I'd love it.

    But a whole intranet community? I don't like the idea of being LANned up with the whole estate. Surely there'll be plenty of people who have no idea how to secure their boxes and suchlike...? Could easily be a black hats heaven, especially in a corporate environment.

    Mind you, it'd give the opportunity for the biggest beowulf-cluster-of-LAN-parties ever.
  • by miketang16 ( 585602 ) on Sunday March 30, 2003 @10:19PM (#5629090) Journal
    That would be quite interesting. I'd have to say gaming would rock, but I sure hope all the Joe Windows users know how to use Windows Update...
    • I wonder how the intranet will be managed. Will whoever is running it monitor it for copyrighted material? Or could someone setup a video service that competed with the local cable company?
  • MS campus Vaporware. (Score:3, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday March 30, 2003 @10:25PM (#5629119)
    Working in the IT dept for the city of Isssaquah I have seen the MS campus scaled back and/or put on hold enough times to invite Duke Nukem Forever comparisons. I cant wait to see these million dollar homes go on the market without any real incentive for power geeks to move there.
  • by guacamolefoo ( 577448 ) on Sunday March 30, 2003 @10:25PM (#5629120) Homepage Journal
    The idea of building fiber to the home in new developments is not a bad idea in some locations. In others, it makes no sense at all. The issue for builders is going to be whether the item is a value-add for their buyers. Right now, there is just no compelling reason to have fiber to newly developed houses in most places. WiFi or cable or DSl are quite simply enough. In certain areas that are R&D hotbeds or technology havens, perhaps. In most of the rest of the US it just makes no sense.

    A new 2000-2500 square foot house on a half acre costs about 150-200k here. Tack on a grand or even $500 for just 10 base T wiring, which is a feature that most people will not use, really eats into your margins as a builder. Why do it?

    As I mentioned above, you have to look at your area and your demographics if you are a contractor/developer. There may be niches for this, but I just do not see it being standard for all new development.

    FWIW, any house I build or do any significant renovations to will have more network ports than phone jacks. If I were building houses for others, there's no way I'd sink the money into it.

    GF.

    • I had a new house built about a year ago. The builder charged me $30 a drop, but that was only for the cabling. I had to bring my own switch and jacks, and wire the jacks myself.

      No biggie, but even with the jacks and switch, I think you're closer, if not under, the $500 then the $1K. And yes, I put a jack in every room in the house, and two in some.
    • Most new housing in NC above $150k comes with CAT5 wiring standard. Of course, here $100/sqft is for pricier houses.
    • A new 2000-2500 square foot house on a half acre costs about 150-200k here. Tack on a grand or even $500 for just 10 base T wiring, which is a feature that most people will not use, really eats into your margins as a builder. Why do it?

      In many sub-urban areas (Especially here in North NJ), there is a large demand for the ultimate community home with all the ammenities. Despite the recession, there are still a lot of people who are willing to pay premium money to live in a community with everything.

      In ot
      • I didn't read your entire post that closely. You made it clear you understood my points, before I even made them. I really hate to be condescending/patronizing, and it wasn't warrented here.


    • I did the contracting for my own house and did one thing that I thought would be invaluable.

      When I put in the underground utilities (phone, power) I made sure to bury an empty conduit with a string inside so I'd be ready when the time came.

      It didn't cost much at all, and I know most contractors and builders will cut this tiny corner, but it will make a big difference to me.

  • Samples of Linux? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Speare ( 84249 ) on Sunday March 30, 2003 @10:30PM (#5629137) Homepage Journal

    On the first month of home sales, Red Hat should offer fresh boxed copies of Linux (yes, with the usual support) to each new resident. Just drop off the promotional crate with the sales agent; it's just like some laundry detergent, barbecue briquette or furniture coupons that other subdivisions offer their new home-owning residents.

    • by glitch! ( 57276 ) on Sunday March 30, 2003 @11:08PM (#5629292)
      On the first month of home sales, Red Hat should offer fresh boxed copies of Linux (yes, with the usual support) to each new resident. Just drop off the promotional crate with the sales agent; it's just like some laundry detergent, barbecue briquette or furniture coupons that other subdivisions offer their new home-owning residents.

      How about Linux missionaries riding their bicycles through the neighorhoods?

      (The doorbell rings, two young men dressed in simple black and white clothes waiting.)

      homeowner: Yes?
      missionary: Hello, sir. Have you ever tried Linux?
      homeowner: Isn't that a laundry detergent?
      missionary: Only in Germany, sir. Would you be interested to know that you don't have to buy Windows every two years?
      homeowner: I think you're an encyclopedia salesman! And I like Windows.
      missionary: Why not give Linux a try? Here, I'll install it for you. (pushes door open and runs for computer room)
      homeowner: Hey, get out of here! I'll call the police!
      (2 hours later...)
      homeowner: (robot voice) I like Linux. I hate Windows. RMS is a god. I must tell my friends.
      missionary: Very good sir! See you at the next LUG meeting, then!
    • Yeah, nice thought. But I think that you missed the "3 million square feet" that MSFT is building up the street. This will be a MSFT enclave, and Red Hat would be a tough sell there. Would make the Intranet an interesting place, though...
    • "Hi! I'm Patty, I'm the neighbourhood welcome wagon! Here's a free copy of linux!"

      "WOW GREAT! And I just ran out of toilet paper!"

  • I've died? Gone to Heaven? Wow. Free Fibre. That's better than free soup from the Soup Nazi! I hope more towns do this, near my house in Kingston, ON. :)
  • no more than an unwired house.

    It took me all of a saturday to run cat5 to four bedrooms, my wife and I's offices, the rec room (xbox/ps2/divx box), the living room (another xbox), the other living room, and the 'arcade' room thats just sort of an extra room in this fucked up house.

    Short of that, there are 'power plug' networks, phone line networks, and wireless, all of which I've used successfully (and transparently). But 100mbit on my local lan (with gigabit in the future) is great.

    A community intranet
  • in the home page for Issaquah Highland.

    "We met at a Starbucks. She was in one that was across the street from the one I was in"

    "We both feel so lucky to be living in a time of such wonderful catalogs."

  • Make mine coax.... (Score:5, Informative)

    by mr. methane ( 593577 ) on Sunday March 30, 2003 @10:44PM (#5629200) Journal
    10 yeara ago, fiber was the obvious best choice for high-bandwidth connections. Nowadays, though, a good chunk of coaxial cable seems to be a more practical choice.

    A cable modem capable of communicating at 20+mbps goes for about $80. 100 of them can coexist politely on the same broadcast domain.

    On the other hand, an optical transceiver costs about 10x as much, is very picky about how the connection is terminated, and doesn't compensate automatically for differing power levels (anybody who carries a bag of attenuators around a colo knows allllll about that:)

    For linking cabinet c19.33 to the meet-me room at 1 Wilshire? Gimme fiber. Linking two POP's together across town? Single-mode fiber!

    Connecting my house to the internet? Gimme copper. Preferably coax.

    Fiber, implemented at the carrier level, is an incredibly efficient transmission medium; I lease OC48 wavelengths in the same physical fiber as half a dozen other companies, and I get a lot of bandwidth for a (comparatively) smaller price. But I don't use fiber in the office, or at home.
    • Sounds good!

      Explain to me, again, though, why I need to replace the last segments of coax cable and hub to get 100 Mb ethernet on my home network?

      I mean, if coax is so much better than (say) UTP, I have to replace the coax with UTP to get 100 Mb?

      -Ben
      • Groan.... Never said you should. Twisted-pair works perfactly fine for carrying a baseband signal. Like 100baseT. Or DS-1. Or POTS. (it does not do as well, as anyone using DSL has noted, at carrying anything resembling a broadband signal)

        My point is that copper is a more appropriate technology *for* *the* *average* *consumer* than fiber-optic is.. and if someone's telling you differently, you would do well to question exactly what it is that they're selling you.
        • Yeah, but you've missed my point.

          Why are "new" 100/1000 Mb networks setup with UTP cables, instead of Coax?

          I understand quite well that Coax has a much "cleaner" signal than UTP, if only for the simple fact that it's shielded.

          So why has UTP "won" over coax, and why is it you don't find 100 Mb NICs that use coax?

          Is it price alone?
    • It really depends on your planning timescale. For the next few years, you are correct. However, in the future you will see the price of really high-rate connectivity drop, and then fiber will come into its own. At that point, your "chunk of coax" will have to be replaced.

      But, you may ask, is now the right time to install that fiber leading into your home?

      If you believe (as many do) that a financially viable FTTH system is impossible at this time, check out
      Fastweb [fastweb.it], a FTTH provider in Italy. They are c
  • ...is because of the excellent connection I get from my college dorm room. Reading this article reminds me of why I haven't opted to get an appartment in the city surrounding my University; I'd have to go through the hassle of getting myself a cable modem or other sort of broadband connection, or send myself back to the "Dark Ages" ;) by putting up with a phone line connection. I see myself considering a house's connection as a definite bonus in the future. Admittedly, it isn't that hard to wire a home,
  • by Adrian Lopez ( 2615 ) on Sunday March 30, 2003 @11:00PM (#5629259) Homepage
    While a community intranet seems like a nice idea, I'm afraid it will likely be strangled by the unforgiving leash of community policy that's become so popular in modern neighborhood developments. As a form of legislation by contract, not usually subject to constitutional protections, neighborhoods could easily prohibit any but the most inoffensive content being hosted by servers connected to the intranet.

    An anarchist intranet, on the other hand, would be a joy to see.
  • by Graymalkin ( 13732 ) on Sunday March 30, 2003 @11:11PM (#5629301)
    I think municipal fiber or any other high capacity medium is a project everyone ought to be pressuring their city or town counsils for. There's currently two groups laying network cabling down, telephone companies and cable companies. Being commercial interest these groups will always do what is better or more beneficial to them than what is more beneficial or better for the communities they serve.

    Being as their commercial interest is rarely in line with what is good for the people it should be the people putting up the lines and selling that space to people providing them service. I see it like this, if a town lays down some fiber they can put it just about anywhere without worrying about right of way issues or zoning restrictions. They are also laying out an infrastructure they are able to rent out to companies to offer services on. Renting out the infrastructure means they can issue bonds to pay for the line installation with a nice return. The line installation itself can be piggybacked on top of routine road, sewer, or power maintenance to keep man hour prices down.

    Once the lines are in place and going out to homes it would be up to providers to rent space on the lines in a non-exclusive manner to sell services on. Without the overhead of upkeep a service provider can offer cheaper service than a provider paying the whole bill from head end to household. The rent goes to pay back the issued bond measures and commercial property and operating taxes go back into the municipal coffers.

    By having really high bandwidth lines like fiber or high grade copper the municipality can offer bandwidth on a channel by channel basis. Want to offer internet access to the city? Rent out a couple data channels on the fiber lines and connect your head end to a top tier carrier. Want to have a public access television channel? Invest in some video equipment and rent a channel. All municipal services could have their own cheap and easy network access via such a set-up as well. Public and private schools could have dirt cheap network connectivity as could libraries and social services.

    I think a lot of good could come from projects like this and with it being a local municipal issue a couple people writing letters and making phone calls might actually DO something other than give paper shredders a workout.
  • wireless?

    The biggest issue with wireless is 'bandwirdth' leeches, but if everybody has one, I don't see that this would be a problem.
  • Well, we were just looking at a new development here in Orange County [ca.gov]. There are quite a few houses, and they go from the 300's up through the 600's (decent homes for those prices in this area). The development looks just like most others in the county, and is near to a new shopping center (that we now frequent).

    All the homes feature Fiber-to-the-Home (FTTH). Basic "free" service looks to be 3,000 Kbps, with "Expanded Service" upwards of 31,000 Kbps. The service is being provided by Greenfield Communicat [slashdot.org]

    • provided by Greenfield Communications

      Oops. I made a broken link. But that's probably ok, since the website of the provider does not look to be there.

      :-O

      The brochure says "... or log on to egreenfield.com." I guess if people want they could just try the 800 number, but it doesn't give one a warm fuzzy feeling when the ISP's website is still a squatter's page. Eeek! and a scary subject at that. (Man am I glad I didn't link it right)

  • What will this do for community building?


    Provide the infrastructure to create a top notch filesharing community! They could call it warez kiddie village.

  • I don't see how having a fibre-optic network is supposed to help a community. We can make stereotyped jokes about how it will just enable people to be even more comfortabl living in their basement, shut off from the outside physical world. Community P2P (ignoring the legal issues) will be just one more excuse not to go out of the house and see people at the video rental store.

    Sure, you may be able to hold your virtual LAN party with V(oice/ideo)oIP at any time of the day or night, but unless the population

  • Did I really hear you say wired???

    Fiber is a bit too late...by the time they shovel dirt into the trenches, 802.x will be the ticket, and all that work will be old news before you can say how much is that access point in the window...
    • Re:Wired? (Score:2, Insightful)

      by oldwolf13 ( 321189 )
      all this wireless talk.

      Sure, wireless is a great system for some things, but it nowhere near approaches the speed of fibre. This kind of shortsightedness in the past has cost us, why let it again?

      (640k anyone? 32MB harddrive? those are just a couple that came to mind right away)

      With a wireless solution, you're looking at buying it, and implementing it, then upgrading every couple/few years if you want to keep the bandwidth up to what other areas will (probably) be using. With fibre, lay it, and maint
      • You can't always get what you want....but you can always get what you need, and where a fat pipe is a thing to desire, some people....many people...will take any pipe, and that means wireless.

        I have VDSL at home, as well as 802.b, as well as wireless from the computer to the home theater, and while I'm always lusting for more speed, it's all 'round, not just for iso's. When it comes to communities, wireless will quickly surface as the public transportation equivalent.

        Someone will always want to get t
  • I can count several developers where I live that offer prewired houses for new construction. Pulte Homes [pulte.com] is one I have most experience with. They put in 10 or so network jacks all around the house, run two sets of ethernet cable from the closet to each jack (incase one fails or whatever). So you just stick your CM in there (there are cable and phone line jacks in the closet as well), buy a 8 port broadband router and now most of the jacks in the house are wired for internet. Its really easy for the technolo
  • Utopia?? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by bigbadunix ( 662724 )
    Ok, regardless of the technical details regarding this "village", what about the social aspects? Do people really want to live in a "utopian society" such as this?
    After looking at the brochures, I am startlingly reminded of scary sci-fi movies of years past, where the village residents all have the same prozac-happy, blank smiles, all work together for the same corporation, and all barbeque together on the weekends.
    Again, maybe it's just me , but a place like this (whether wired or wireless or whatever
  • Port Blakely Communities is also drawing the high-tech work force by requiring that every home - from the upper-$100,000s carriage houses to the $1,000,000 single-family homes - be wired to accommodate their needs. Buyers get an in-home LAN, data outlets throughout the home, a fiber optic connection to a data panel inside the home, 100 Mbps network speed, free community Intranet connection, and the choice of DSL, cable, or even fiber optics for high-speed internet access.

    This is all well and good. More
    • Required? I don't know about that. I love networked computing as much as the next guy, but I don't want anyone telling me what I have to put into my home - aside from smoke detectors, proper electrical wiring, and other safety related things that could impact my neighbors if not properly installed. In-home LANs are neither necessary nor always wanted. We should not force them on anyone, however benign the technology is.
  • So... What kind of fiber connection would these houses get me? Ethernet? PoSONET ?
    OC-3?OC-12?OC-48? Single Mode Fiber? MultiMode Fiber? How about Two tin cans and fiber inbetween? or is the fiber just to power my phone line so I can dialup to the internet.
  • by swinerd ( 175180 ) on Monday March 31, 2003 @06:05AM (#5630430) Homepage
    A company called Fastweb [fastweb.it] wired most of Milan with fiber optic. I have a 10 Mb/sec connection at home, with unlimited calls to phone in Italy (no cell phones) at 85 euro/month. Without unlimited calls (just connection) it's 67 euro/month.
    I also have it in my office too, though it costs more.
    These are very competitive prices in Italy, but other companies offer just at most a 640K/sec ADSL.
    And it's fast: it's full 10 Mb/sec in the MAN, and there is a p2p network with 1000s of hosts in which a full movie is downloaded in about 15-20 minutes.
    In the rest of the Internet the connection is very fast, even if much less than the MAN. I generally download at 200K/sec from a decent server.
    Almost everybody I know who uses Internet and can (some areas are not wired) has Fastweb.
    There are some drawbacks: some problems with mail servers, no public nor static ip and other things. But you forget anything when you look at the speed of the connection :)
  • Her in the UK, there are housing developments that were connected up with optical fibre for the phone service, and it all sounded terrific at the time.

    Now the residents are up in arms because BT cannot/will not provide them with a broadband service over the fibre. ADSL is pretty much all they have to offer, and it has to run over a copper pair.
  • This is becoming more and more frequent in new master-planned developments. The "FTTH Council" currenty lists 78 communities and municipalities that are already providing FTTH service. You can grab the list from the FTTH Council here. [ftthcouncil.org]There are many other communities that are not on this list yet because service hasn't actually been turned on.

    Having Cat5 home run from several rooms to a central panel has slowly become the standard for new homes in many areas. I began forcing this on our builders about

  • Most geeks seem to forget that there are these rules known as "building codes" that regulate how houses are built and just what type of material is required.

    Good luck getting THAT requirement inserted into local building codes. Most of these codes derive from what is known as the International Building Code (IBC). The electricity and wiring usually derives (in America) from the National Electric Code (NEC)... ...but not always... and municipalities love to change their codes on a yearly basis. Moral: l
  • Fiber channel? Waaay too expensive. But I got a nice coax cable, up to 1 gigabit if they want to deliver that. What is the max? 180m cable or so without repeater? Should be quite enough for a reasonably sized apartment block. Kinda like all the student condos here are usually wired with, 10/100Mbit internally

    Kjella
  • I just bought a new house in a new community and was so excited because the whole thing is wired for network, cable, satellite, and phone. The bad news is there was no broadband Internet available. I had a great in-home network that didn't go anywhere.

    Just in the last month, we finally were able to get DSL service. Before that, the only option was to get microwave service from a local wireless provider with $500 in up-front equipment charges and about $60/Month for use.

    I really wish all new developments w

Real Programmers think better when playing Adventure or Rogue.

Working...