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Re: [OM] OT: Dialup Internet

Subject: Re: [OM] OT: Dialup Internet
From: Ken Norton <ken@xxxxxxxxxxx>
Date: Wed, 12 Feb 2020 10:34:46 -0900
> What strikes me in your quest for happiness Chris, is that ISPs over there 
> seem to make a difference between landline, internet connection, and TV 
> channels, and charge accordingly.
> We get all of the above, unlimited, for a mighty 39€/mth including tax here … 
> it is even cheaper if you are eligible for optical fiber as they want to get 
> rid of copper altogether …

Television (Cable TV) has zero profit to it. In fact, you'll find a
dramatic change in the entire methodology of what we call "cable tv"
over the next two years. I've been an Alpha and Beta tester for
upcoming delivery technologies for the past two years and it's rather
exciting--as well as necessary. It takes up a lot of bandwidth on the
"last mile" technology to deliver 500-1000 concurrent channels of

Fiber vs, copper is not a matter of preference, but what is "in the
ground" or "in the air" in the neighborhoods. The lifespan of the
"outside plant" is anywhere from 20 to 60 years. Or more! There are
2000-6000 pair cables in downtown areas of cities that have been in
place and are still being used since JFK was president. The copper
telephone wires in the typical neighborhood date back to when that
neighborhood was built! If it was built since 1965 chances are those
cables are still being used. The last time the copper plant has been
substantially changed out was the early 1970s and it hasn't been
touched since.

To replace with fiber means two things: First of all, it requires an
all new overbuild investment that runs over one million dollars per
mile - closer to two million dollars per mile when including the
electronics involved. Secondly, it requires the maturity of technology
demand to determine what is required to light the fiber. Television?
Ten years ago, television was still the primary driver. Now, it's
data--lots of data. Television delivery is changing (as referenced
above), and the entire network design is changing. We can't use one
centralized location to serve a town, but need hundreds of remotes or
nodes that are localized to neighborhoods.

There are four means of delivering services to customers: Copper
pairs, Cable (essentially RF in a tube), Fiber, and Wireless. In most
cities, you have all four represented well and have choices of who to
buy your services from. In rural locations, the choices get much more
limited. The general rule of thumb is that aggregate bandwidth demand
double every 18-24 months. DSL technologies over copper pairs
continues to advance, and it's possible to get in excess of 100 mpbs
over traditional telephone wires. (I've been involved in testing of
1gbps over telephone wires!). Cable, with the next generation of
technology, will provide up to 2 gbps. Fiber essentially has no known
limits, but has a realistic cap of 1gbps for most consumers, with
businesses able to get whatever they are willing to pay for. Wireless
has hard physical limits. You have limited channel widths. Wireless
can take the form of point-to-point, point-to-many point, and
cellular. 5G provides high bandwidths, but only achieves it through
multiple radio channels and shrinking the cells to reduce the shared

Long term, fiber is the technology that we believe will have the most
long-term run, but the cost of overbuild is so massive that you MUST
have key anchor customers that pay the freight. Because the government
is NOT giving us telecommunication companies money to plow cable into
the ground and NOT giving us regulatory protection to avoid getting
screwed by a competitor who undercuts the prices or cherry picks the
anchor customers that would otherwise guarantee a return of

In case anybody wonders why the USA is so very different than other
western countries in regards to consumer prices, product offerings,
and deployment of fiber, look no further than the  Telecommunications
Act of 1996. The overbuild and replacement of the "outside plant" came
to a screeching halt with Telecom 96.

My opinions are my own... The company I currently work for was
instrumental in the passage of this law.

AK Schnozz

AK Schnozz
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