[Bloat] [Starlink] On fiber as critical infrastructure w/Comcast chat

Bruce Perens bruce at perens.com
Sat Mar 25 17:08:19 EDT 2023

On Sat, Mar 25, 2023 at 1:44 PM rjmcmahon via Starlink <
starlink at lists.bufferbloat.net> wrote:

> The point of the thread is that we still do not treat digital
> communications infrastructure as life support critical.

When I was younger there was a standard way to do this. Fire alarms had a
dedicated pair directly to the fire department or a local alarm station.
This wasn't dial-tone, it was a DC pair that would drop a trouble
notification if DC was interrupted, and I think it would reverse polarity
to indicate alarm. If DC was interrupted, that would also turn off the
boiler in the building.

Today my home fire alarms are wireless and have cellular back to their main
Comcast connection, and detect CO, smoke, and temperature. This would not
meet insurance requirements for a commercial building, they still have all
of the sensors wired, with cellular backup.

I don't think you are considering what life-support-critical digital
communications would really cost. Start with metal conduit and
fire-resistant wiring throughout the structure. Provide redundant power for
*every* fan-out box (we just had a 24-hour power interruption here due to
storms). AT&T provides 4 hour power for "Lightspeed" tombstone boxes that
fan out telephone, beyond that a truck has to drive out and plug in a
generator, or you are out of luck if it's a wide-are outage like we just
had. Wire areas in a redundant loop rather than a tree. Supervise every
home so that interruptions are serviced automatically. Provide a 4-hour SLA.

The phone company used to do what you are asking for. The high prices this
required are the main reason that everyone has jumped off of using the
legacy telco for telephony.
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