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Brentwood has Gigabit Internet before Palo Alto

Original post made by PAmoderate, Old Palo Alto, on Jul 15, 2014

This story contains 57 words.

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Comments (27)

12 people like this
Posted by No Surprise
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Jul 15, 2014 at 4:31 pm

This is hardly newsworthy. For being "the Heart of Silicon Valley", PaloALto is always the last on the bandwagon and has the highest number of Luddites.


2 people like this
Posted by Jordan Galbraith
a resident of Downtown North
on Jun 20, 2015 at 9:37 pm

I thought the PA city gov voted the beginning of the year to not wait for google (rightfully so, could be awhile) and to start building out the dark fiber networks internally?


3 people like this
Posted by Curmudgeon
a resident of Downtown North
on Jun 20, 2015 at 10:00 pm

"This is hardly newsworthy. For being "the Heart of Silicon Valley", PaloALto is always the last on the bandwagon and has the highest number of Luddites."

You conflate ludditism with fiscal responsibility.


5 people like this
Posted by Robert
a resident of another community
on Jun 20, 2015 at 10:05 pm

"You conflate ludditism with fiscal responsibility."

Cell towers causing autism and other maladies?


Like this comment
Posted by Sparty
a resident of another community
on Jun 21, 2015 at 12:20 am

Sparty is a registered user.

"areas built since 1999"

" pre-existing conduit"


7 people like this
Posted by Slow Down
a resident of Community Center
on Jun 21, 2015 at 12:55 am

Slow Down is a registered user.

@Jordan Galbraith - The illusion of action, a local specialty. Lots of planning, consultants, presentations, money flowing, but nothing happening.

Meanwhile, while Palo Alto is too impatient for Google, Google is building out 5 more cities.


2 people like this
Posted by Weasals
a resident of East Palo Alto
on Jun 24, 2015 at 10:41 pm

What did you expect?


9 people like this
Posted by AlexDeLarge
a resident of Midtown
on Jun 25, 2015 at 11:13 am

@ No Surprise

Luddites? Hahahahahahahaha! I think you've given the town a new mascot.


2 people like this
Posted by Chuck Thornberry
a resident of Monroe Park
on Jun 25, 2015 at 3:24 pm

"PaloALto is always the last on the bandwagon and has the highest number of Luddites"

Spoken like a true Socialist.

Look, when the market justifies the investment, private enterprise will step up. The fact it hasn't shows the network is a money loser. Only Socialists would push ahead under those circumstances, risking the taxpayers' money of course.


Like this comment
Posted by Engineer
a resident of Downtown North
on Jun 28, 2015 at 5:13 pm

"Brentwood has Gigabit Internet..."

Good for Brentwood. Now, how long until 10 Gigabit becomes the standard, and Brentwood's shiny new toy becomes obsolete.

Palo Alto could have let the way -- to obsolesence. Only a few years ago, leaders of our FTTH (now FTTP) crowd were demanding the city fund and build a 100 Megabit system,
which was then state of the art, but is just one-tenth the speed of Brentwood's baby.

Kudos to the "Luddites" and the fiscal sensibles in city hall for stopping an expensive debacle.


2 people like this
Posted by Anonymous
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jun 29, 2015 at 1:01 pm

Considering all the money the City of Palo Alto has spent on this, I'm surprised it hasn't laid dark fiber at every opportunity, like when sewer lines were replaced or new gas pipelines. If there was already a fiber backbone which covered most of the potential customers, Palo Alto might be more attractive to Google or some other potential ISP.


2 people like this
Posted by Ahem
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jul 1, 2015 at 12:07 am

PAmoderate,

Palo Alto has a dark fiber backbone. If you want gigabyte internet, all you have to do is pay for it.


Like this comment
Posted by baumgrenze
a resident of Triple El
on Jul 14, 2015 at 8:01 pm

baumgrenze is a registered user.

How many of you you posted using electric power provided by our Utility Department? Perhaps some of you are not Luddites and are operating fully off the grid. This 44 year resident is glad that in 1900 the Luddites did not prevail and our Utility Department got its start.

What are our sunk costs in our 'dark fiber' network? Has anyone in City Hall approached an aggressive, forward thinking ISP like Sonic to see if they want to partner with us to expand it to reach all our homes? Horizontal drilling is an alternative to trenching. In the last few months somebody paid to install a conduit and a fiber optic cable along Louis Road (Embarcadero to California Ave for certain), in parallel to the existing network. Somehow this was apparently not newsworthy. Could some of the costs be recouped by connecting smart utility meters with the Utilities billing office?

It is time for Palo Alto Utilities to step into the 21st century with the rest of us. "Be not the first" perhaps, "nor yet the last to lay the old aside." Sage advice, Mr. Pope.

baumgrenze


Like this comment
Posted by Engineer
a resident of Downtown North
on Jul 14, 2015 at 10:44 pm

"It is time for Palo Alto Utilities to step into the 21st century with the rest of us."

They're here, per their charter. Our power, gas, and water distribution are totally adequate and reliably functional. What more do we need?

Power, gas, and water distribution technology has not changed fundamentally in the past century. Broadband communications technology is totally different from utilities distribution and is changing rapidly. So leave PAU out of this fantasy.

Fiber bandwidth is limited by the copper technology that lights the fiber and reads the light. Also, fiber technology has advanced light years beyond the technology that Palo Alto recklessly dug in two decades ago. Our dark fiber is becoming ever more obsolete before most of that fiber ever saw light. So much for dark fiber hubris.

When municipal fiber technology becomes financially viable, private investors will be trampling one another to provide fiber services. The fact that they are not speaks volumes, at loud volume. So don't waste public money on an obvious loser.


13 people like this
Posted by Online Name
a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Jul 15, 2015 at 10:24 am

Go talk to some of the folks who worked on the original attempt to wire PA. They couldn't believe who dumb and poorly managed the project was.

Speaking of poor project management, on 1985 I moved to PA from Princeton, New Jersey. Way back in the Dark Ages of the 20th Century, NJ had synchronized traffic lights everywhere, something PA still finds challenging.

NJ's lights were even engineered to reflect the appearance/absence of cars, something PA might get to in maybe the next century. Instead we get stuck at interminable lights.


9 people like this
Posted by Engineer
a resident of Downtown North
on Jul 15, 2015 at 11:57 am

"Instead we get stuck at interminable lights."

Los Angeles synched all of its lights by developing Silicon Valley technology while this self-alleged Birthplace of Silicon Valley sat on its conjured laurels Web Link= .

Per the article, "Long Beach and Gilroy, Calif., have already adopted the Los Angeles software..."

We're even behind Gilroy, fergodssake!

Eyes are rolling. Heads should likewise.


Like this comment
Posted by jlanders
a resident of Barron Park
on Jul 15, 2015 at 12:53 pm

jlanders is a registered user.

@engineer, you're comments don't make sense.

The City's dark fiber doesn't include optical or networking components for customers. Businesses simply lease a single fiber and are responsible for lighting the fiber. The City's fiber business generates a surplus of over $2 million a year and the City's fiber fund has accumulated nearly $20 million over the years. Business is so good, especially in the Research Park, that the City is pulling new cables here with additional fiber capacity. Businesses pay a flat per mile rate for a fiber strand that can be connected to 60 different ISP's at PAIX in downtown Palo Alto. So it's a great deal for businesses in Palo Alto, too.

You're also wrong about the distribution of water, gas and electric service remaining the same. But, that's an issue for another thread.






Like this comment
Posted by Engineer
a resident of Downtown North
on Jul 15, 2015 at 5:33 pm

"They do if one has the moxie to understand the topic and takes them in context.

Industrial users are ofcourse free to use whatever endpoint apparatus works for them. But the existence of that dark fiber ( a term which very few in this mosh pit understand ) by itself is not the key to a citywide Gigabit network ( or a 100 Megabit network a decade ago, or a 10 Gigabit network a decade hence ). The technology ( including the fiber itself ) has evolved since the dark fiber was installed, and it keeps evolving. Nothing depreciates quicker than an investment in current technology, except maybe a new car.

"You're also wrong about the distribution of water, gas and electric service remaining the same."

That istruly intriguing. You mean utility networks used to distribute water and gas via something other than pipes, and electric power without wires? Tell us about that.


Like this comment
Posted by Jeff Hoel
a resident of Midtown
on Jul 16, 2015 at 12:17 pm

@Engineer, Sure, fiber technology keeps evolving, but slowly. Today's fiber, used for fiber-to-the-premises (FTTP), would last for decades. Optronics might become "obsolete" (still usable but no longer state-of-the-art) in, say, seven years. So the network's optronics might be upgraded, say, at least four times during the life of the fiber infrastructure.

Sure, the intrinsic bandwidth of fiber is orders of magnitude larger than today's FTTP optronics can utilize economically. But that's a good thing. It means that as optronics gets faster, the fiber infrastructure won't have to be replaced to keep up. It's just not correct to attribute the speed limitations of today's FTTP optronics to "copper technology."

The City has recouped its investment in the dark fiber network many times over. So why is it an example of "hubris"?


Like this comment
Posted by Engineer
a resident of Downtown North
on Jul 16, 2015 at 12:41 pm

"The City has recouped its investment in the dark fiber network many times over. So why is it an example of "hubris"? "

A few years ago you urged the city council to install a 100 Mbps FTTH system. As this thread's headline demonstrates, that system would now be obsolete. Civic ego would demand we catch or surpass those upstarts in Brentwood.

Proponents of FTTH--or FTTP, it's a morphing target--invariably invoke Palo Alto's 1990s-era dark fiber as though it held some magical elixir. None demonstrate any real technical ubderstanding of the matter.

So, OK, you're on. Show us the link analysis for a dark-fiber-based 10 Gbps system.


Like this comment
Posted by PAmoderate
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Jul 16, 2015 at 1:09 pm

PAmoderate is a registered user.

"A few years ago you urged the city council to install a 100 Mbps FTTH system. As this thread's headline demonstrates, that system would now be obsolete. Civic ego would demand we catch or surpass those upstarts in Brentwood."

I believe his point is that the dark fiber underground and in the air is the same that can deliver 100Mbps a few years ago to 1-2Gbps today.


Like this comment
Posted by Herb Borock
a resident of Professorville
on Jul 16, 2015 at 2:11 pm

Engineer,

You asked, "Show us the link analysis for a dark-fiber-based 10 Gbps system."

The short answer to your question is that such an analysis is a possibility in the future based on a current evaluation of the feasibility of building a fiber-to-the-premises system in Palo Alto.

At the April 1, 2015, Utilities Advisory Commission meeting, City of Palo Alto Chief Information Officer and Director of the Information Technology Department Dr. Jonathan Reichental said that 10 Gbps is now a practical reality and that it would be considered in the evaluation of a fiber system for Palo Alto.

In response to an email request from me he provided the following response:

"With 10GB Internet speed now a reality, I am suggesting we should be including that in the scope of our evaluation work. The technical specifics would be determined as the evaluation proceeds.

Here are some quick articles:

10GB to roll out in S. Korea: Web Link
10GB service to be offered in Minneapolis: Web Link
Google Fiber working on 10GB: Web Link;

-----------------

The consultant's report on fiber and wireless systems for Palo Alto is currently expected to be before the City Council for action this fall.

If the City Council votes to proceed with development of a fiber system, then a Request for Proposals will be issued to further evaluate and develop a fiber system.


Like this comment
Posted by Engineer
a resident of Downtown North
on Jul 16, 2015 at 4:17 pm

@Herb Borock

My challenge to Mr. Hoel, who is a prominent advocate of a city-provided FTTH/P network, is to show the link analysis proving that the city's installed dark fiber can support 10 Gbps service over that network.

Such an analysis is the necessary first step with any proposed communications system. It is straightforward if one has the required data and the pertinent engineering skills; it is impossible otherwise.

Let's see what we get.


Like this comment
Posted by jlanders
a resident of Barron Park
on Jul 16, 2015 at 6:45 pm

jlanders is a registered user.

No need for a theoretical link analysis or crazy science experiments. Companies in the Research Park, including the one I work for, ran 10 Gbps links over Palo Alto's fiber years ago. Now, 40 and 100 Gbps are possible, although 10 Gbps is more common.

You sound like an ex-telco engineer that's been out of the business for at least 10 years. The world's changed a lot. The "cloud", remote offices, services such as Amazon and Netflix have exploded the internet. This isn't your Ma-Bell's network anymore.


2 people like this
Posted by Jeff Hoel
a resident of Midtown
on Jul 16, 2015 at 8:47 pm

@Engineer,

"A few years ago you urged the city council to install a 100 Mbps FTTH system."

When exactly did I do that? Is this urging posted on the City's website (in a "Letters From Citizens" document)? I Googled the City's website for my email address plus "100 Mbps" and found eight things, but none seemed to match what you claim.

I have been actively advocating for citywide municipal FTTP since 2002. In 2003, I told Council that a system that provided 500 Mbps shared among eight users was not a good idea.

Look, whenever the City finally decides to implement citywide municipal FTTP, it will have to pick optronics that runs at a particular speed. And a few years after that, that speed will no longer be state-of-the-art, and some folks will want to go faster. I have always advocated a point-to-point active Ethernet architecture, so that optronics can be upgraded on a per-premises basis (although some PON links support multiple speeds).

"FTTH -- or FTTP, it's a morphing target"

FTTH means fiber-to-the-home. FTTP means fiber-to-the-premises. It's the same technology, but FTTP emphasizes that the premises could be either a home or a business. In the old days, when the City talked about FTTH, I believe that most folks just assumed that it would serve both homes and businesses.

"invariably invoke Palo Alto's 1990s-era dark fiber as though it held some magical elixir."

I claim I have not done that.

"Show us the link analysis for a dark-fiber-based 10 Gbps system."

I have no idea what this means. First, why is "dark-fiber-based" relevant? An FTTP network uses lit fibers.

Singlemode fiber has a bandwidth-distance product of at least 30,000 GHz x km, so if encodings achieve an efficiency of 1 bit per Hz, and fiber lengths are 10 km or less (not unreasonable for FTTP), then the fiber could in theory support data rates up to 3,000 Gbps.

For a point-to-point architecture that uses two fibers per link, IEEE 802.3ae defines a 10GBASE-LR transceiver that runs at 10 Gbps up to 10 km (and a 10GBASE-ER transceiver that runs at 10 Gbps up to 40 km). Also, IEEE 802.3ba defines a 100GBASE-LR4 transceiver that runs at 100 Gbps up to 10 km (and a 100GBASE-ER transceiver that runs at 100 Gbps up to 40 km), and these could be used for aggregation links. Faster speeds are possible.

For a passive optical network (PON) architecture that uses one fiber per link, IEEE 802.3av defines both 10/10-Gbps transceivers and 10/1-Gbps transceivers.
Web Link

Also, for PON architecture, ITU is working on a NG-PON2, with speeds to 40/10-Gbps.
Web Link

VTEL has introduced 10-Gbps Internet service for $400 per month. (Their 1-Gbps Internet service is $35 per month.)
Web Link

"My challenge to Mr. Hoel, who is a prominent advocate of a city-provided FTTH/P network, is to show the link analysis proving that the city's installed dark fiber can support 10 Gbps service over that network."

I claim that no part of the City's citywide municipal FTTP network should have to be "based" on -- and limited by -- the City's existing dark fiber network.

If you're wondering whether the links from aggregation switches to the central office can be fast enough, that depends on how many fiber strands can be used for these links, how many users an aggregation switch serves, how fast each user wants to be able to go, and what oversubscription factor is acceptable. I'm not an expert. There are a number of municipal networks that seem to work well enough providing 1 Gbps Internet service. I don't know how many are designed to make the leap to 10 Gbps easily.


Like this comment
Posted by Engineer
a resident of Downtown North
on Jul 16, 2015 at 11:35 pm

Nice attempt at deflection, Mr. Hoel. If you know what a link analysis is, present it. Numbers, please, numbers. Else admit you do not know. I'm prepared to believe the latter.


Like this comment
Posted by Jeff Hoel
a resident of Midtown
on Jul 17, 2015 at 3:50 pm

@Engineer, I found something online that used the term "link analysis" to refer to optical power budgets. So maybe that's what you meant.

This document explains the concept of power budgets.
Web Link

Palo Alto provides these specs for its dark fiber network.
Web Link
* Connector -- 0.75 dB
* Splice -- 0.3 dB
* Fiber -- 0.5 dB/km

Any part of a FTTP network could achieve these specs or better.

(Today you can buy singlemode fiber, e.g., Corning SMF-28e+ fiber, with an attenuation of 0.35 dB/km at 1310 nm and 0.2 dB/km at 1550 nm.)

I believe the maximum number of splices proposed in a point-to-point link in the City's 05-07-03 report on FTTP was eight or so. But I think fewer splices is both possible and desirable.

So a 10-km point-to-point link might have, using the Palo Alto dark fiber specs, an attenuation of:
* 5.0 dB -- Fiber, 10 km
* 2.4 dB -- Splices, 8
* 1.5 dB -- Connectors, 2
* 8.9 dB -- TOTAL

This document summarizes the link power budgets of some 10-Gbps transceivers.
Web Link
* 9.4 dB -- 10GBASE-L
* 15.0 dB -- 10GBASE-E

Note that 10GBASE-L ought to be able to handle the point-to-point link described above. But 10GBASE-E can handle it with lots of power to spare. To reduce the attenuation of the "worst case" link, reduce the number of splices and/or use low-attenuation fiber. Note that many links will be shorter than 10 km anyhow.


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