Posts tagged ‘fiber’

Fiber News from the Telecom Exchange

Major fiber industry players gathered on Wall Street at the Telecom Exchange to do business at the very elegant Cipriani. Wall Street is demanding faster speeds and lower latencies than any other industry in the world as companies build their notorious high frequency trading platforms. If the internet is a railroad, Wall Street is becoming a test bed for the newest and fastest trains.

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David Isenberg’s FCC Fiber Panel

David Isenberg has convened those concerned with infrastructure at meetings called Freedom To Connect for many years. This year, he’s Senior Advisor to the FCC’s National Broadband Taskforce and instead of Freedom to Connect, he convened a group of eminent speakers for a panel called Workshop: Future Fiber Architectures and Local Deployment Choices.

While much FCC policy has been inward looking, refusing to treat the world as a laboratory in which alternate polcies are tested, some failing and some succeeding. Both failures and successes provide useful lessons.

Two representatives of successes were present, Herman Wagter of citynet.nl in Amsterdam and Johan Henæs Norwegian equipment maker INS Communications.

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Michigan Recommends 21 Projects

While Michigan governor Jennifer Granholm (D) recommended 21 projects, one stood out for me: Merit Network’s middle mile project.

Merit Network is the innovative group behind opencalea and other open source projects that have been helpful to ISPs and small businesses. Merit’s $42 million project, $18 million grant, $18 million loan, and the rest contributed (partly in kind), consists of almost one thousand mile of 72-strand fiber. Merit is working with several local partners in different areas of the state. Merit’s application came with 70 letters of support and Merit notes that it has a history of bringing diverse organizations together. I strongly support Merit’s application, one of the projects the governor recommended.

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Maine Makes The Tough Decisions

Maine governor John Baldacci (D) did an excellent job on his letter (available on Baller Herbst here) to the NTIA regarding stimulus fund applications. His office is recommending projects costing only $42 million, a very reasonable amount of money compared to most other states’ recommendations. He even recommended that the NTIA not fund some projects and clearly described how the state lacked data to judge some other projects.

All of this is excellent work, work that some governors have chosen not to undertake.

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Arizona Governor Brewer Recommends In Three Levels

Arizona Governor Jan Brewer (D) divded her 21 recommendations into three levels: Exeptional, Outstanding, and Deserving.

I could not find the letter on a government site but obtained it through the StimuluatingBroadband blog people — Pratt Networkshere.

The only Exceptional middle mile project in the letter in the Navajo Tribal Utility Authority, a roughly $34 million project, half grant and half loan, mixing fiber, microwave, and wireless. No objections to it! Looks like a good project.

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North Carolina’s Governor Chooses MCNC

North Carolina’s governor Bev Purdue (D), with great restraint, recommended only eight stimulus applications and highlighted one, a $40 million project called MCNC to extend a fiber network that was built for universities into rural areas as a middle mile project. The request is for $29 million and is supported by a cash match of $8 million and in-kind infrastructure worth $3 million.

I also like MCNC — and so may ISPs — as this looks like infrastructure that will be truly open for competition.

The governor made some tough choices with regard to public computer center applications — I don’t know the cities involved and cannot really say what should be done here.

In the sustainable broadband adoption area of the stimulus, I’ve seen some very flaky and strange proposals, but the one endorsed by Purdue, McDowell County Schools, looks very good to me.

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Should Missouri’s Jay Nixon Pick Show-Me?

One of the many difficult choices facing those allocating the stimulus funds is choosing between fixed wireless, which deploys faster and to more people, and fiber, which deploys a higher quality service but takes much longer to build and is a great deal more expensive.

In Missouri, governor Jay Nixon (D) has chosen, in his letter to the federal government, one project, Show-Me Technologies, which will partner with the state to deliver fiber to areas that will lower broadband costs for state institutions.

That angers Victoria Proffer. She suspects that the state pretended to have an open request for information process but that Show-Me Technologies had in fact won the race before it was run.

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Illinois Governor’s Stimulus Letter is Nearly Perfect

The broadband stimulus is supposed to be a transparent process, with input from experts and from communities at every step. One key representative is the state’s governor. Illinois governor Pat Quinn (D), Blagojevich’s replacement, released his letter concerning the broadband stimulus here.

The letter recommends some of the most expensive proposals. Central Management Services, which manages a fiber network serving over 8,000 schools, is requesting $120 million to upgrade the network to serve 69 counties with 3,838 anchor institutions. It’s a massive project.

The City of Rockford requested $70 million for another massive fiber middle mile project.

Clearwire asked for $30 million to support a $62 million project. Parts of the summary were redacted.

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Open Cape Shows What The Stimulus Should Be

The OpenCape project has applied for $32 million in funds, with an $8 million match, for a $40 million project to bring reliable service to Cape Cod in Massachusetts through a fiber-based middle mile project with microwave for backup and also for public safety.

Too many people assume that the place is wealthy and well-served, Art Gaylord, vice chairman of the project and director of information services at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, told me. “The Cape suffers from the impression that it’s the summer playground for the rich and that it’s full of tourists with money. The reality is that although those people do come out here, there’s also a year round population of about 250,000 (it rises to three or four times that in the summer).”

The project got its start about three years ago when a tree branch took out phone service on a large portion of the Cape, including 911 service, Gaylord said. The community already had concerns about the reliability and price of phone and internet service.

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Why Aren’t More Fiber Landings Cracking Open the Fiber?

Why aren’t more cities with fiber landings trying to access the fiber that passes through their land? As far as I know, there’s only one city doing this, its application brought to my attention by the Stimulating Broadband blog. Here’s their article.

The fact is that on both coasts there are large cities and also small towns that sit next to the fattest pipes in the world but which have no access to them. The stimulus should help change that.