City Run High Speed Internet: Fiber to the home YET AGAIN??
Original post made
by Chris, Old Palo Alto,
on Mar 6, 2007
Why is it that a few people obsessed with getting the city help them get a hyper-speed internet connection can force their agenda onto an overburdened council year-after-year? (Web Link
The city has studied Fiber to the Home (FTTH) to death for over a decade. Every analysis leads to the same conclusion: FTTH isn't economically viable as the potential subscriber base is unsustainably small, and is at great risk of competition from technological advances.
Most people in town are worried about how the city is going to pay for its ongoing services and upgrade our crumbling infrastructure.
What's the City Council's response? Even when their most recent request for proposals on FTTH yields only one response from a flaky company, they forge ahead. Even when the city manager says doing so will force the city to postpone or eliminate other projects, they forge ahead.
The plain fact is that if FTTH were an economically doable project, we'd have greedy private companies beating down our doors to let them install it. We wouldn't have to coax shady operators into bidding. We wouldn't have to have another committee to "study" FTTH again and again.
As the article in the link points out, no other city has been able to figure out a way to successfully operate a high speed internet service. Why would any sane person think that a city that can't pave its streets, can't keep homeless people from bothering restaurant patrons in its business district and can't maintain a functional library system can run a fiber business???
Like this comment
Posted by Jeff Hoel
a resident of Midtown
on Mar 10, 2007 at 2:52 pm
Chris, a resident of the Old Palo Alto neighborhood,
I'd like to reply to your comments of 3-8-07 on "Council's FTTH-related conflicts of interest" (which I thought were off-topic for that topic). <Web Link>
It's well known that municipal utilities often have a lower return on investment than private enterprises hope to have, because they exist to serve their customers, not to get the highest possible return on investment.
The following municipalities have functioning muni FTTH systems: AL: Sylacauga; CA: Loma Linda; CO: Glenwood Springs; FL: Quincy; GA: Amerifield; GA: Dalton, North Oaks, South Dungapps; IN: Auburn; KY: Jackson, KY: Murray; MI: Cobblestone-Holland; MN: Windom; NC: Asheville; OH: Doylestown;
OK: Sallisaw; OR: Douglas County; OR: Indepencence, Monmouth; PA: Kecksburg, Kutztown; TN: Jackson; TN: Madison County; UT: Provo, UTOPIA (a consortium of 14 cities); VA: Bristol; VT: Burlington; WA: Bainbridge County, Chelan County, Clallam County, Douglas County, Grant County, Kitsap County, Mason County, Okanogan County, Pend Oreille; WI: Berkseth Baldwin, Eau Claire, Baldwin, Reedsburg. Which should we talk about first? My heroes are Provo and UTOPIA.
The following munis are considering muni FTTH: CA: Truckee-Donner, Lompoc, Fontana, Ontario, Palo Alto; FL: Jacksonville; GA: Sylvester; IL: Naperville, Peru, Princeton, Rochelle, Rock Falls, Rockford; IN: Crawfordsville; KY: Bristol, Morristown; LA: Lafayette; MA: Concord; MN: Crosslake; MO: Marshall, North Kansas City; NH: Hanover; NV: Churchill County; NY: Ontario County, Monroe County; OR: Bandon, The Dalles-Minet, Monmouth Independence, Portland; SD: Miller; TN: Bristol, Clarksville, Morristown, Pulaski; VA: Danville, Lenowisco; VT: Burlington; WA: San Juan County, Seattle; WI: Antigo; WV: Parkersburg; WV: Philippi; WY: Rock Springs-Green River.
This source tries to keep an up-to-date list of munis providing and considering FTTH: <Web Link>
From time to time, a "sock puppet" (sponsored by the telecom incumbents) reports that muni FTTH invariably fails. This article cites a recent example by the Reason Foundation and also cites the muni's rebuttal. <Web Link>
In 2004, the American Public Power Association published a report, "Community Broadband: Separating Fact From Fiction," which systematically debunks sock puppet FUD (fear, uncertainty, and doubt). <Web Link>