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100 Mbit/s on Fibre to the home 96

KeefR writes "According to ct (a german computer magazin), BellSouth is going to provide internet access in Atlanta based on a Passive Optic Network (PON) with a speed of 100 Mbit/s and more. The Network is based on ATM and you get a Fast-Ethernet Port (using some kind of hardware). It's limited to 400 users in the first phase. The first users'll get a 100Mbit/s internet connection, 120 digital and 70 analog video channels and 31 digital audio channels. The cost is about 60 US-$. The article is in german, translation at babelfish "
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100 Mbit/s on Fibre to the home

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  • by Anonymous Coward
    From what I was told its not 100mb for data, however because they just strung the line in front of my house friday I can't be sure.

    As far as Linux support, who needs support? Its a network device much like a cable modem of ISDN router. It does not use any custom log in program, so Linux it is
  • Funny, it's down for me.. Do you guys read German? (;
  • As cable modems and other fat pipes reach every household, you can count on one thing. Plain Old Telephone Service is on its last legs.

    What is that stupid wall mount phone doing for me? I'll give it one more month to prove its usefulness, and then out it goes!
  • I don't know what Mobilfunk is, but I want some of it!


  • My question is what can Windows possibly do with a 100mb/s pipe?

    Hmm, I probably shouldn't feed the troll, but I'm bored, so what the heck.

    I can think of tons of things to do. Downloading mp3s at that speed would be nice, and I'm sure those who run ftp servers to distribute mp3s would find it useful. Not to mention quick downloads of those 100 MB+ full-screen movie trailers.
  • Posted by CableModemHelp:

    Nice. A 100 MBit/sec home connection. And how long will it take until they figure out that they can't support it upstream and cut it down to 128 kBit/sec like @home did?
  • I'm an admin for a cable modem service and I'm by myself with a customer base of over 10,000 , I don't need the friggin subscribers calling be the ignoramous phone reps asking stupid support questions because we ALLOW SERVERS as part of the service and having every single call transferred to me... it's a simple support and network responsability issue... GET A CLUE
  • by AcMe ( 715 )
    =P u not always right...
  • AFN DATA "a high speed data service which is currently available to businesses and institutions that require a large amount of bandwidth." It looks as if the "AFN INTERNET" service uses ..... ehm... lets see.... a "CABLE MODEM" =)
  • This won't catch on like wild fire because of 2 reasons, Quality Fiber that an information infrastructure like that requires, costs in the range of $35,000 - $70,000 a mile, and it's NOT ANYWHERE YET, unless it's part of some local loop or local backbone.... Construction companies that build houses also usually NEVER run fiber to them when they are built. So this won't ever really be a truely available (to the masses) fiber to the house topology. Now this may change 10 years from now... but not next year... Also, Bell South doesn't have the support personal for this, nor the IT networking experience either... Plus, no national backbone.. hence, bell south sucks... I live in their service area, and have had nothing but bad experiences with them for everything from POTS, ISDN, and commercial T1's. They price gouge worse than the cable companies... I couldn't imagine calling them for anything non-telco.... p.s. Cisco(What the big Cable companies and most ISP's use) will be out Lucent(what the telcos use) with the IP over Sonet gear ... Much more scalable. My office just signed off for $3 million worth for this city...
  • BTW, u r not customer to me, u r just whiney user using electrons on "my network".
  • ... either that or some pretty mean caching...

    i mean, a 100mb/sec connection is all well and good, but when the backbone is saturated to hell with 400 other 100mb/sec users its kinda pointless....

    still.. assuming they have a decent cache it would rock :P
  • I won't tell you what 256Kbps of bandwidth costs in my city, but here's a hint: It's not $49, and it's not even two digits long. It's more than the average car payment.
  • Well, I reply to this not to comment on your feelings about ISPs and daemons, but becase you bring up the stock libertarian bogeyman, the free market. Because there is no such thing, not in this country.

    Excuse me, but I just _love_ that generalization 'reach every household"


    Cablemodems are available to something like 10% of the population of the US, or less.

    ASDL _may_ be available to a bit more, but those percentages overlap to a great degree.

    Besides, they still don't even get POTS right here in US Pest land (Tucson, AZ)...last week a guy spent hours pinned under a car in a garage because his calls to 911 were being registered as coming from a house two blocks away.

    Irony of ironies...this happened the day _after_ the state Coporation Commision finally dismissed his complaints against US Pest as having been fixed.
  • My money says you won't be able to run Linux [].
  • When I was living in Palo Alto last year they had a fiber to the home trial. Not enough people signed up so the whole thing was scrapped. I see at their web site [] that they are doing it again. Better luck this time. One thing that was promising about the Palo Alto fiber loop [] is that it runs right through the Digital Internet Exchange []. This way the bandwidth could be available to support the 100Mbps data service.
  • At my school (RIT) every dorm room is wired with 10Mbit, every apartment 100Mbit. The entire network is switched and connected to the internet via a multiple T3 (I believe) connection.

    Let's just say, it rocks :)
  • In addition to the revenue streams these people see themselves as "losing" by "allowing" people to run their own services, there's also the "control freak" issue and the "paranoid lawyer" mindset. Either or both are all too common, and stem from a fundamental misunderstanding of issues such as security, identity, reputations, anonymity/pseudonity, and trust. The bandwidth issue is nonexistent; as others have noted, it's the gross bytes that matter, not which direction they're flowing.

    The control freaks seem the most common, with a healthy dash of good old fashioned nosiness rearing its ugly head...the Mrs. Grundys of the world, who make everything their business to the point of having no interests or life of their own. The psychological issues may be interesting to some, but I think a much more practical approach would be for various freedom advocacy groups to compile and exchange lists of "white/black" ISP's, bandwidth providers and the like which compare policies in detail, translate BS-jargon, cut through red tape and show whose policies are clear, well-thought out and sensible, and which are not.

  • THIS could make my life a lot easier. If they deploy this in a way that can be used, I'm going to try to be all over it. I'd be willing to deal with dynamic ips for this kind of speed to my remote locations. I dont really care if I have to do the Win9x bait and switch for a Linux box. It makes the techs feel better, no explaining is needed, and I dont have to yell. I just hope they realize that business offerings like static subnets would be extremely beneficial. The only thing I hate to see is this killing off the local ISPs that have been working extremely hard for many years. I love my ISP, but for 100 megabit, I'm going to have to be unfaithful ;)
  • Yes, they do use NT for a thing or two. They also use FreeBSD for a few things, and Linux for a few other things. I have met their CTO and toured their datacenter. Likening them to MindCraft is uncalledfor.
  • Out in utah there's an outfit called AirSwitch that's been experimentally running 10mbit ethernet across neighborhoods. They are testing 100mbit networks recently, and shouldn't have any trouble running that.

    Their equipment is Not Normal - their hardware is somewhat modified off the shelf equipment, and their cabling is a proprietery design custom manufactured for them. But all you need inside your house is a regular ethernet interface.

    See [] for more info.
  • Don't make me laugh! I live in a suburb NNW of Chicago and we can't get high speed network access in our town; at least not at a price that anyone would want to pay. I'm definitely not holding my breath until 100 Mb/sec access comes to my town.

    DSL? Nope. Not available yet. Well, OK... one supplier tells me that it's available but with a $300 installation charge and $165/month. So, essentially, it's not available.

    ISDN? Nope. Well, OK. It's available too but it costs as much as my previous employer paid for a T1. Then there's fees on top of that!

    These new services only seem to be for those people who already live within the city limits of a major metropolitan city. I don't know anyone living outside the city limits of Chicago or one of a very few surburbs directly West of the Chicago who have access to any of these high-speed access options.

  • Just imagine... They'll probably want to use PPPoE on them.


  • From the Bell South web page []:

    Internet access at super high speeds through a 100 megabit-per-second interface (actual speeds available to customers during the trial will be limited to tariffed BellSouth consumer high-speed data offerings)

    Looks like they will provide Internet access at ADSL prices and rates, not at 100 MBPS.

  • ... that if you were to call them up on the phone, they'll tell you that Linux is "unsupported", and they'll only install this if you are running Windows.

    My question is what can Windows possibly do with a 100mb/s pipe?

  • by UnkyHerb ( 12862 )
    Now thats fast! All I ever wanted is freakin cable modems to be available in my town, which they still aren't. Garden State Cable, if you are reading this you SUCK.
  • When I signed up with my ISP (Shaw) my contract stated "no WWW servers". That was it. So the first thing I did after the technician left my house was to hose Windows on the Pentium, stick up Linux, and set up shell accounts for my friends.

    I'm sure their contract is more harsh now, but they don't seem to be enforcing it. My WWW server has been running on port 80 for months. The worst they've done is to limit me to about 6 or 7 channels of cable (which, considering I'm not a cable TV subscriber, is pretty good) :) luckily, one of those channels is TSN...
  • >My guess is that AT&T and the other long-distance
    >carriers are going to provide some of financial
    >backing required to upgrade the local cable
    >network infrastructure.

    Sure - AT&T bought TCI. That counts as financial backing for a _lot_ of the cable industry.
  • I had heard that Bellsouth was dropping their DSL standard, but I had had no idea that it was for this. Guess I need to use my Bellsouth connect to see if I can be one of the lucky few.
  • I'm a mediaone subscriber. Overall, it's an excellent service. Servers are (or used to be) prohibited in the service contract, but there was no enforcement. A number of subscribers run ftp, http and mail servers. Proxy servers are commonly used to support LANs. Mediaone grudgingly accepts this, but have promised to end your service if you don't run a secure server -- there were a number of breaches that ended up making mediaone look bad.
  • I can. :) Sympatico (Bell Canada's ISP) is selling ADSL for $39.95/month. That's in Canadian dollars, mind you. :) I can't wait for september, when I go back to school in a city with wires.. (I'm out in the middle of the woods now. Yay 28.8!)
  • Not all do. I was looking into getting a cable modem in Montreal last year from Videotron. The license agreement specifically prohibits servers of any kind (I wonder if ICQ fits the bill? Or irc DCCs?). However, I talked to some people from customer support, and they said they didn't really care. It was mainly just so they could be completely absolved of any responsibility considering security, etc... I think that's a REALLY stupid reason, but it's nice that they don't care.

    On the other hand, they have a putrid license agreement that kind of scares me, really.. Sympatico and NBNet's ADSL service both let you do whatever you want, as long as it isn't illegal. They say "don't waste bandwidth, but do what you want", pretty much. Sympatico doesn't even have a bandwidth limit! And with nbtel, you 5 gigs for $40, and for another $15, you get 20. Very nice. Yay Canada again! ;)
  • Some ISPs are linking themseleves with ADSL HW providers, so they're in the revenue stream too.
  • I lived in one where they wired everything with 10BaseT... through hubs with only five segments for about 150-200 ppl. Sniffers, collisions, and teardrops, oh my.

    I remember the admins worried about Quake games. Alas there was no $ to do it the right way with switched ports.

    Still, considering how bad the SJSU phone setup is, it was cool.

  • Looks like you had to make a pretty tough decision there. ;)
  • No brochure for me, but they didn't have to tear up my yard since they installed the cable while the subdivision was being developed.
  • My understanding from one of the BellSouth installers is that MindSpring is also going to act as an ISP for this service. The MindSpring page says that they'll offer ADSL at the end of the summer, so I'm guessing that might be when they come online with the PON as well.
  • Ditto for me on the Win9x plan, although most of the BellSouth installers that I've worked with recently have been very reasonable and informative. I think I'm going to at least ask about Linux when the installer comes.
  • Can't get back to the Bablefish translation to see if the original article promoted this misconception, but the $59/month is for the data service only.

    The cable service itself is actually about $10/month more than normal cable service for this area. The "complete" plan, with every channel they offer, is $77/month+$5 for each additional television on which you want digital. Cablevision in the same area offers about the same channel selection + digital music for $72/month (unlimited TV's). I believe the cable modem for Cablevision is $40/month. So when you total it out, I'm about $30 over what I'd pay with Cablevision (I have two TV's). That being said, I don't mind paying if it's quality service. So far I have been very impressed with the quality of the digital cable service. The clarity is far beyond the signal I was getting with Cablevision. Others in my subdivision that switched from Mediaone to BellSouth mention the same difference.
  • I'm in Gwinnett, Lawrenceville specifically. I do recall the BellSouth Entertainment installer telling me that the only other area he knew of where they had purchased the cable franchise was in Woodstock. He didn't know anything about the expansion plans besides that.

    From what the rep who changed my appointment to July 1 told me, that's when they are turning on the network service. So that's why we are getting the cable service earlier.

    The BellSouth press release says that they have completed fiber to 200,000 homes in the Atlanta and Miami areas, so it's certainly going to be bigger than just 400 real soon. Although 200,000 is still a small fraction of the total homes in those two cities combined.

    I'm a little skeptical that they won't have some serious problems early in the trial, but BellSouth seems to typically work out new technologies over the course of about six months.

    What's amazing to me is that, from the posts, it seems like at least three of us are Slashdot readers. I mean, I know we're bandwidth hungry, but those still seem like long odds to have at least three among the 400.

    Out of curiosity, did they put a "BellSouth Broadband" box in your yard? I have one, and they just put them in a friend's subdivision as well here in Gwinnett, so I'm wondering if this is one of the indicators that your house might be eligible for service.
  • a server at Microsoft.

    No more lost data. Comforting, eh? :-(
  • by KoF ( 33336 )
    Here at SIU where I goto school, they just put 100Mbit eithernet to all the rooms in one of a older dorms. Got to love that. The whole dorm is full of CS and EE majors now. Too bad it not Co-Ed.
  • This is really interesting, for a number of reasons. Most important is this is the first time I've heard of a Baby Bell offering a product remotely competitive with the cable companies. Here in town, we have two high speed options: cable or DSL. Cable is $40, DSL is $60. Cable has a $50 start up cost, DSL has about $250. Why on earth would I want to go with DSL at those prices?
    The traditional argument is that with cable you're using shared bandwidth- but having been a customer of BellSouth Frame Relay service, I can guarantee you that your $60 1.5mbit service won't be that, due to astronomical oversubscription at the headend.
    And the only reason DSL finally made it here is that the cable modems arrived. This is in spite of the fact that we have had an all-fiber POTS backbone for at least 10 years. The only conclusion that can be reached is that BellSouth (and from what I've heard, the other RBOCs) has been reluctant to do any higher speed service in earnest due to reluctance to kill the gravy train of $1000 per month T1 connections.

    But this changes things quite a bit. Even taking into account BellSouth's (probable) tremendous bottleneck at the headend, you're still getting cable out of it, for a price about $10 less than cable + cable internet. Could the sleeping dinosaurs finally be waking up?

    I would not necessarily get your hopes up completely, though- this was tried down in Florida by BellSouth in 1989, for about 3000 homes. I don't believe anything ever came out of that, though, other than cable and phone service.

  • As far as Linux support, who needs support? Its a network device much like a cable modem of ISDN router. It does not
    use any custom log in program, so Linux it is

    Isn't this the same company which refused to install an ASDL line to a customer who was running Linux.?

  • Every high-speed ISP providing residental connections seems to want to bar you from running any kind of server (www, irc, ftp, etc.). Why is this?

    Maybe something about it stopping them selling services, but how many ISP's provide things like MUD server
  • That is not a reason not to allow servers. What you have here is a Gatekeeper problem. If you don't support users running server programs then you shouldn't be getting phone calls, and who ever is transferring them to you needs to be repremanded, or informed that these are unsupported questions.
    What your doing is using it as an excuse, and basically infringing on OUR rights as consumers to use the product as it best fits us! REMEBER WE ARE ALWAYS RIGHT!
  • They had Fiber Trail in Fremont as well too. But the which ever company banned the project because it was too dangerous. Imagine you have to move your equiptments around unplug the FO line. You kid comes and look at what kind of connector is that and blined him self.

    I'm very sure that peoples will look at the Laser by accident or just coruisity.
  • With more people jumping on the cheaper high speed access bandwagon, is it going to get to the point where the Internet crawls under the increased load? What's going to be silver bullet that will solve network backbone congestion?
  • I can't get a cable modem, ADSL, or even ISDN here. We have enough fiber running through this town to light up a hockey rink and I'm still stuck with a 33.6 modem. The next time I move, I'm going to carefully research the connectivity options first!
  • Note that it is a 100mb *interface*.

    So - they put a 10/100 ethernet interface on their box - big deal. What I really want to know is how much up/down bandwidth is available.

    I'm guessing that it is basically a cable modem in
  • True - but most of the bandwidth will be used to access locally-served TV channels & other content (including cached internet pages). If you buy a premium service you might get extra bandwidth, e.g. for VPN working.
  • I have a working 10mbit connection direct to my house via Airswitch. They get "public utility" status with the city and then start stringing cable. I'm surprised more people don't do this. It's not 100 mbit but it beats ISDN, cable modems, and ASDL. []
  • "As cable modems and other fat pipes reach every household"

    Right... can we say Alaska, can we even say rural Alaska?

    Tho even in Anchorage only a few places get cable!
  • Yes, but you have to convince the PHB of that...
  • by Japi ( 57412 )
    Yea, it sucks bigtime that ADSL went online before the cable modems at GSC, even though they have been saying they will be ready "in a few months" for years now.

  • So when is this "broadband dream" going to be a reality for me?
    Now, I live in what is supposedly the most Internet-saavy area in the state, and yet we have no residental broadband options!
    I mean, the lines here, although they don't get very good analog connections, are capable of handling DSL, but the phone company refuses to allow you to use DSL.. the ISPs would like to provide the service. I know the lines are capable of handling DSL because there's one ISP that registered as a DSL provider but they charge numbers way beyond my budget.
    We heralded an upgrade by our cable company as our long-awaited solution, but after 4 years of upgrades and $32 million dollars, about three weeks before they began signing people up, the company announced the service would be halted for possibly one to two years or possibly more due to a buyout. (But of course, their high-priced commercial cable modem service is THRIVING.)
    Satellite service? Hourly fees, bandwith limitations, high lag, and the dishes are prohibited by some local law.. ugh.
    Really, somebody could make a lot of money here if they didn't have their [CENSORED].
  • I guess it's either DirectPC, move, or wait. Reply for you in Japanese: anata no mondai wa wakarimashita Good luck.
  • No, it's not crippled. I have consistent 384K connections now fo about two months. Of course the first 4 months was about 80% up, but now depending on your distance to the CO you can get up to 6.0 mbits downstream and 1.5 upstream, guaranteed! That would cost you $99, more than the $49 they charge (including ISP charges) for 384 guaranteed but up to 1.5 MB (I have approached that on certain NIGHTS).
  • Got 256Kbps with GTE, and have 1.5MBX128 with PacBell. Both more than suffice for my bandwith, even PacBell has stabilized their ADSL system so it's consistently ON and minimum 384 down.
    All for $49, can't beat that.
  • by craw ( 6958 )
    While most the discussion has focused on the internet, what BellSouth is doing has greater implications for the future of cable TV. If you noticed, BellSouth is offering 120 channels of digital TV. If they keep building up their infrastructure, they'll have the capabilities to dominate local phone service, internet access, and cable DTV. Given the size of the "Baby" Bells, their is little reason to doubt that they have the resources to win.

    Traditional cable companies are eventually going to have to upgrade their infrastructure if they hope to survive. The advent of DTV threatens to choke off cable's available transmission bandwidth. Internet connections constitute a trivial amount of the transmission bandwidth that will be needed in a few years. My guess is that AT&T and the other long-distance carriers are going to provide some of financial backing required to upgrade the local cable network infrastructure.

    Ironically, Lucent is providing much of the networking technology that BellSouth is deploying.

    Take a peek at what kind of DTV service is available in some parts of Atlanta. []
  • Everything I'm reading here leads me to believe that this is the service that BellSouth is installing for me July 1. If so, that might just make up for the fact that they canceled my appointment for last Friday because "they hadn't turned on the service yet" (after a three week wait already).

    The equation -- I just moved into a new home where BellSouth Entertainment is my cable provider, giving me ~120 channels digital (excellent quality picture, if you're wondering), ~70 analog channels on the TV's not connected to a digital converter, and ~30 music channels.

    I ordered the "FastAccess" option for $59/month (FastAccess is the "consumer friendly" term BellSouth uses for all of its ADSL and related services). I assumed this was going to be a cable modem, but recent events have made me question this.

    The FastAccess installation date was supposed to be last Friday, but on Thursday, as I was counting down the hours, BellSouth called me and told me that the service wasn't turned on for the area yet. They still had some work to do on the technical side of the "fiber system" before it would be ready. The system would be turned on for the area on July 1, and they could install it on that day.

    Needless to say I was pretty upset. Pushing off the installation another month after my anticipation had built to the level that it had was infuriating. However, in the midst of my complaining about the fact that they waited until the day before to tell me, I did hear the rep say that this service was over the phone line, not the cable line. In fact, it seemed she didn't even realize this order was placed with the cable division of their company.

    Both of the BellSouth installers that worked on my ISDN told me that I have fiber all the way from the CO to my curb, so while I couldn't get ADSL, there was another option coming.

    Could I be one of those lucky few? I think it might just be so. Of course for the short term this doesn't seem much better than a DSL or cable modem solution since it will be locked down to 1.5 Mb/s speeds, but at least the speed won't degrade based on distance from the CO. And the possibility of them opening it up to 100 Mb/s in the future boggles my mind.

    Anyone want an update when and if this actually happens? What's the best place for this info if you do want it? Here as a response to this article? Should I submit a review of it as a story? Another site?
  • It's relatively simple. Most high speed services are shared, such as xDSL, etc. We rolled out DSL 'net access before USWest did here in Arizona and it's been quite a learning experience. We didn't care if you were a business or a regular customer, you got DSL for the same price. As time went by however, we had business hosting 50-150 web sites of their DSL line for $24.95/mo, and thus literally trashing our DSL network and making the DSL experience for regular home users *SUCK*.

    I can see why cable co's are capping uploads too (here in Phoenix all Cox@home customers have recently been capped at 128kbps uploads (i believe)). If someone runs a server, it's very likely it's going to be actively pushing a LOT of data a LOT of the time. A casual user who's downloading a lot of stuff will not be pumping huge amounts ALL of the time =)

    Basically what it comes down to is power-users sometimes get screwed. But you can't rely on 'power-users' for revenue. There's too many regular joe's that use the service without saturating it.
  • Here is BellSouth's PR release on this. /26702.vtml

    Now what are the odds that the trial will be in MY neighborhood? Probably slim.

  • There's no silver bullet but DWDM will help single fibres transmit 100s of Gbps.

    Other useful technologies: massively parallel terabit routers, MPLS, and of course QOS-/ DiffServ to ensure bottleneck bandwidth gets used sensibly. Most local loops & routers will remain bottlenecks for some time - all IMO & I'm probably biased towards Diffserv, which Linux is rather good at in 2.2.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday June 06, 1999 @07:28AM (#1865060)
    For those who want it straight from the source, check out BellSouth's web page. []
  • by Signal 11 ( 7608 ) on Sunday June 06, 1999 @08:00AM (#1865061)
    New marketing slogan:

    Download hot xxx graphics via your new PO(r)N link!

    sorry.. had to say it. :)


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