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Protesters Show Up At the Doorstep of Google Self-driving Car Engineer 692

mpicpp sends this report from Ars Technica: "Protests against tech giants and their impact on the San Francisco Bay Area economy just got personal. According to an anonymous submission on local news site Indybay, an unknown group of protesters targeted a Google engineer best known for helping to develop the company's self-driving car. ... The protest against Levandowski came the same day that the San Francisco Municipal Transit Authority (SFMTA) voted for the first time to take action regulating Google, Facebook, Apple, and a number of other large tech companies that shuttle workers in private, Wi-Fi-enabled buses from the Bay Area to points south in Silicon Valley."

Comment Re:Too quick to dismiss DSL? (Score 2) 324

My home is 18,000 feet from the DSLAM. Using ReADSL I can get 1.5/384 at best, but it usually negotiates around 1.3mbit down and ~300kbit up.

I've been through these hoops with AT&T and they are simply not interested unless the feds are paying for it. They refuse to tell me where they do offer ADSLv2 and ADSL+ Uverse service, so I don't know how close I am to a VRAD where Uverse and bonded DSL are offered.

Almost everyone in the neighborhood has AT&T already. Four of the 22 owners went satellite for everything and are just sucking up and paying for it, but they hate that _almost_ as much as being AT&T customers. You're right that we're small potatoes. We're 22 homes in a part of the county where there isn't a whole lot of income outside of our development to go around paying for premium information services.

Comment Re:Your labor is cheap. (Score 1) 324

We'd probably have to go a little deeper than that, but it's not that simple. There are issues of ownership, maintenance, junction boxes, insurance, easements (if we "gift" the rollout to the ISP and they become responsible for maintenance), and so on. Say everyone owns the portion of the cable that goes through their property. Say Neighbor X has a problem in their section, but refuses to fix it, thereby causing an outage for everyone downstream? They, of course, get mad at the ISP for the outage, which is powerless to fix it. It becomes clear that the ISP must be given ownership of the cable, and with it the necessary easements for access.

We're talking about 7500 feet of cable required to make it around the subdivision if we lay it out to avoid having to trench through concrete driveways and the side street. Good, long-lasting direct-bury RG6Q is probably $1/ft or even more, so figure $10K just in the cable, the cost of junction boxes, and so on. I can see where it starts to look very expensive, which is the crux of the problem.

If it were up to me I'd just go rent a ditch witch and lay it myself, but the legal fees involved with adding the easements are considerable, along with the legalities of giving the ISP a bunch of infrastructure they didn't build but that nevertheless they become responsible for maintaining.

Comment Re:Offer to help pay for it... (Score 2) 324

Long story short (because I've posted it elsewhere in this thread) - there's a state law in SC that may make that criminal. It's illegal to connect a consumer to a network that was subsidized unless all competing network providers were offered the same subsidy. Since we can't afford to offer all competing ISPs (including AT&T) the subsidy, we may not be able to do it.

Comment Re:You don't (Score 1) 324

Paying for it ourselves may actually not be an option here. There is a State law in South Carolina that prohibits connecting any consumer to any subsidized infrastructure unless all competing carriers are offered the same subsidy. It might be construed by that law that our offer to pay for at least part of the installation costs constitutes a "subsidy" that we would have to offer to all other ISPs, which obviously could never afford.

This Law came about because my county got a Federal contract to string Fiber to every residence in the county and offer 100Mbit duplex to every home. AT&T lobbied the state legislature to criminalize hooking consumers to subsidized infrastructure. So, now only county government entities are allowed to connect to it, and the county taxpayer may be on the hook to reimburse the federal government for the money that was granted to build the network.

Comment Re:HOA - aka subdivision covenants (Score 1) 324

Just to clarify, we're not an HOA. In fact the covenants prohibit the formation of an HOA. We have a "neighborhood association" that organizes the annual yard sale and put luck BBQ party, and does other non-binding social things like brainstorm ways the community can act together to make it a nice place to live. There are absolutely no enforcement powers authorized by the covenants, and in fact they specifically state that action must be brought by an individual owner in the county court system.

In any case, this is one of those activities where a few of the owners who care get together to try to get something accomplished - like getting modern services installed. We're willing to foot some of the installation costs up front, but dealing with them is painful at best. They just seem like they're not interested if they have to shoulder ANY of the rollout or maintenance costs.

Comment Re:Yes (Score 1) 324

Our situation is similar. We have large lots and just a preliminary walk of the proposed cable route is nearly 1.5 miles - average lot size here is about 3 acres.

What I did a year ago was put together a survey/petition form for everyone to say who they were using and how much they were paying for the services the cable company provides. I imagine they're looking at about $2-3k/month in revenue if everyone jumps on board with Phone, Internet, and TV, and it seems like everyone will if they can.

I have no idea how much of that is profit for them so I can't begin to guess what the payback would be assuming ~$100k in installation costs.

I've been at them for nearly a year now, but we'll keep pushing. Thanks for the reply.

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