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

dan dandenson at gmail.com
Sat Mar 25 18:50:34 EDT 2023

I'm not quite following on this.  It's really not comcast's responsibility
to do maintenance on old cables etc.  Once installed, those are fixtures
and the responsibility of the building owner.    Comcast etc are only
pulling wire in to enable their primary business of selling voice, tv, and
data.  All of these other pieces are clearly the responsibility of the
property owner to install.  Trying to put this sort of thing on an ISP
would dramatically increase the cost of delivering services.

I read the chat log and I would have closed it too.  An HOA is a business
in legal terms. for profit or non-profit, but still a business.  The cost
to bring all products to every home and business would dramatically
increase the average cost of services.  The CSR offered a 2Gbit service and
you replied that you want the lower latencies of the 6Gbit service for your
fire alarm?  Firstly, why would the 2Gbit have lower latency than the
6Gbit, and secondly how much data do you think a fire alarm uses?  As the
CSR I would be telling jokes about you with my co-workers.  I'm not meaning
to be too antagonistic here, but this is a bit over the top don't you
think?  You're getting jostled around because you are demanding a service
they don't offer at the address.  You could have taken the 2Gbit plan offer
and been installed in a few days and still had a product that is literally
1000x more than your fire circuit needs.  The moment you started in on the
Boston fire I'd have been done.   Irrelevant and sensationalist.  Fire
alarms in all 50 states require either a hard wired telephone line or a
redundant data link (ISP+Cell for example) so the who 6Gbit to prevent
everyone from dying line is so over the top it made me switch teams

"I dont have what you are asking for" / "connect me to someone who does" is
the "Karen: I want to talk to your manager" equivalent for an ISP's CSR to

I could continue with how absurd a lot of what has been said is but I don't
want kicked out of the group for being unfriendly so I'll let it be.

On Sat, Mar 25, 2023 at 4:04 PM Robert McMahon <rjmcmahon at rjmcmahon.com>

> Hi Bruce,
> I think you may be the right guy to solve this. I too remember the days of
> dry wire sold by the RBOCs.
> I found a structured wire fire alarm install to cost $100k for our
> building or $20k per unit. The labor and materials is about $25k. The other
> $75k is liability related costs, similar to a bike helmet, $10 in parts,
> $40 in insurance. So it's not labor nor equipment that drives the expenses.
> My opinion is poor people shouldn't have to pay for insurance to insurance
> companies, companies that figure figures for a living.
> A digression: I could do an LMR 600 passive cable system looped with
> Wilkinson power dividers, patch antennas and nests to protect the egress
> escape ladder for about $10 to $15K. Don't need an SLA. We've basically
> priced protecting human lives to only rich people.
> We need to use technology and our cleverness to fix this version of
> "expense bloat."
> Look at Boston public water for an example. Way too expensive to pipe
> water in from 15 miles away in the early days. So people who did it claimed
> alcoholism (and that "immorality") would be eliminated by providing clean
> and pure potable public water.  Alcholics would choose pathogen free water
> over spirits. Rich people got enough water for themselves and even for
> their private fountains so society stopped this initiative.
> It was a motivated doctor who taught rich people that their health was
> tied to public health. And public health was being impacted because
> pathogens being spread to poor people who didn't get potable public water
> would by addressed by ubiquitous potable water supplies. The fire chief was
> put in charge. See Ties That Bind
> https://upittpress.org/books/9780822961475/
> Now, in the U.S, most do get potable water even to flush a toilet. It's
> taken for granted.
> I think it's on us to do similar for digital communication networks.
> They're needed far beyond entertainment, and we need to get public safety
> elements engaged too.
> Bob
> On Mar 25, 2023, at 2:08 PM, Bruce Perens <bruce at perens.com> wrote:
>> 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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