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

rjmcmahon rjmcmahon at rjmcmahon.com
Tue Mar 28 14:46:59 EDT 2023

There are municipal broadband projects. Most are in rural areas 
partially funded by the federal government via the USDA. Glasgow started 
a few decades ago. Similar to LUS in Lafayette, LA. 

Rural areas get a lot of federal money for things, a la the farm bill 
which also pays for food stamps instituted as part of the New Deal after 
the Great Depression.


None of this is really relevant to the vast majority of our urban 
populations that get broadband from investor-owned companies. These 
companies don't receive federal subsidies though sometimes they get 
access to municipal revenue bonds when doing city infrastructures.

> https://www.linkedin.com/in/christopher-mitchell-79078b5 and the like
> are doing a pretty good job (given the circumstances) here in the US.
> At least, that’s my understanding of his work.
> All the best,
> Frank
> Frantisek (Frank) Borsik
> https://www.linkedin.com/in/frantisekborsik
> Signal, Telegram, WhatsApp: +421919416714 [2]
> iMessage, mobile: +420775230885 [3]
> Skype: casioa5302ca
> frantisek.borsik at gmail.com
> On 28 March 2023 at 7:47:33 PM, rjmcmahon (rjmcmahon at rjmcmahon.com)
> wrote:
>> Interesting. I'm skeptical that our cities in the U.S. can get this
>> (structural separation) right.
>> Pre-coaxial cable & contract carriage, the FCC licensed spectrum to
>> the
>> major media companies and placed a news obligation on them for these
>> OTA
>> rights. A society can't run a democracy well without quality and
>> factual
>> information to the constituents. Sadly, contract carriage got rid of
>> that news as a public service obligation as predicted by Eli Noam.
>> http://www.columbia.edu/dlc/wp/citi/citinoam11.html Hence we get
>> January
>> 6th and an insurrection.
>> It takes a staff of 300 to produce 30 minutes of news three times a
>> day.
>> The co-axial franchise agreements per each city traded this
>> obligation
>> for a community access channel and a small studio, and annual
>> franchise
>> fees. History has shown this is insufficient for a city to provide
>> quality news to its citizens. Community access channels failed
>> miserably.
>> Another requirement was two cables so there would be "competition"
>> in
>> the coaxial offerings. This rarely happened because of natural
>> monopoly
>> both in the last mile and in negotiating broadcast rights (mostly
>> for
>> sports.) There is only one broadcast rights winner, e.g. NBC for the
>> Olympics, and only one last mile winner. That's been proven
>> empirically
>> in the U.S.
>> Now cities are dependent on those franchise fees for their budgets.
>> And
>> the cable cos rolled up to a national level. So it's mostly the FCC
>> that
>> regulates all of this where they care more about Janet Jackson's
>> breast
>> than providing accurate news to help a democracy function well.
> https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Super_Bowl_XXXVIII_halftime_show_controversy
>> It gets worse as people are moving to unicast networks for their
>> "news."
>> But we're really not getting news at all, we're gravitating to
>> emotional
>> validations per our dysfunctions. Facebook et al happily provide
>> this
>> because it sells more ads. And then the major equipment providers
>> claim
>> they're doing great engineering because they can carry "AI loads!!"
>> and
>> their stock goes up in value. This means ads & news feeds that
>> trigger
>> dopamine hits for addicts are driving the money flows. Which is a
>> sad
>> theme for undereducated populations.
>> And ChatGPT is not the answer for our lack of education and a public
>> obligation to support those educations, which includes addiction
>> recovery programs, and the ability to think critically for
>> ourselves.
>> Bob
>> Here is an old (2014) post on Stockholm to my class "textbook":
> https://cis471.blogspot.com/2014/06/stockholm-19-years-of-municipal.html
>> [1]
>> Stockholm: 19 years of municipal broadband success [1]
>> The Stokab report should be required reading for all local
>> government
>> officials. Stockholm is one of the top Internet cities in the
>> worl...
>> cis471.blogspot.com [1]
>> -------------------------
>> From: Starlink <starlink-bounces at lists.bufferbloat.net> on behalf of
>> Sebastian Moeller via Starlink <starlink at lists.bufferbloat.net>
>> Sent: Sunday, March 26, 2023 2:11 PM
>> To: David Lang <david at lang.hm>
>> Cc: dan <dandenson at gmail.com>; Frantisek Borsik
>> <frantisek.borsik at gmail.com>; libreqos
>> <libreqos at lists.bufferbloat.net>; Dave Taht via Starlink
>> <starlink at lists.bufferbloat.net>; rjmcmahon
>> <rjmcmahon at rjmcmahon.com>;
>> bloat <bloat at lists.bufferbloat.net>
>> Subject: Re: [Starlink] [Bloat] On fiber as critical infrastructure
>> w/Comcast chat
>> Hi David,
>> On Mar 26, 2023, at 22:57, David Lang <david at lang.hm> wrote:
>> On Sun, 26 Mar 2023, Sebastian Moeller via Bloat wrote:
>> The point of the thread is that we still do not treat digital
>  communications infrastructure as life support critical.
>>> Well, let's keep things in perspective, unlike power, water
>  (fresh and waste), and often gas, communications infrastructure is
> mostly not critical yet. But I agree that we are clearly on a path in
> that direction, so it is time to look at that from a different
> perspective.
>>> Personally, I am a big fan of putting the access network into
>  communal hands, as these guys already do a decent job with other
> critical infrastructure (see list above, plus roads) and I see a PtP
> fiber access network terminating in some CO-like locations a viable
> way to allow ISPs to compete in the internet service field all the
> while using the communally build access network for a few. IIRC this
> is how Amsterdam organized its FTTH roll-out. Just as POTS wiring has
> beed essentially unchanged for decades, I estimate that current fiber
> access lines would also last for decades requiring no active component
> changes in the field, making them candidates for communal management.
> (With all my love for communal ownership and maintenance, these
> typically are not very nimble and hence best when we talk about life
> times of decades).
>> This is happening in some places (the town where I live is doing
>  such a rollout), but the incumbant ISPs are fighting this and in many
> states have gotten laws created that prohibit towns from building such
> systems.
> A resistance that in the current system is understandable*...
> btw, my point is not wanting to get rid of ISPs, I really just think
> that the access network is more of a natural monopoly and if we want
> actual ISP competition, the access network is the wrong place to
> implement it... as it is unlikely that we will see multiple ISPs
> running independent fibers to all/most dwelling units... There are two
> ways I see to address this structural problem:
> a) require ISPs to rent the access links to their competitors for
> "reasonable" prices
> b) as I proposed have some non-ISP entity build and maintain the
> access network
> None of these is terribly attractive to current ISPs, but we already
> see how the economically more attractive PON approach throws a spanner
> into a), on a PON the competitors might get bitstream access, but will
> not be able to "light up" the fiber any way they see fit (as would be
> possible in a PtP deployment, at least in theory). My subjective
> preference is b) as I mentioned before, as I think that would offer a
> level playing field for ISPs to compete doing what they do best, offer
> internet access service while not pushing the cost of the access
> network build-out to all-fiber onto the ISPs. This would allow a
> fairer, less revenue driven approach to select which areas to convert
> to FTTH first....
> However this is pretty much orthogonal to Bob's idea, as I understand
> it, as this subthread really is only about getting houses hooked up to
> the internet and ignores his proposal how to do the in-house network
> design in a future-proof way...
> Regards
> Sebastian
> *) I am not saying such resistance is nice or the right thing, just
> that I can see why it is happening.
>> David Lang
> _______________________________________________
> Starlink mailing list
> Starlink at lists.bufferbloat.net
> https://urldefense.com/v3/__https://lists.bufferbloat.net/listinfo/starlink__;!!P7nkOOY!vFtTwFdYBTFjrJCFqT0rp0o2dtaz2m-dskeRLX2dIW_Pujge6ZU8eOIxtkN_spTDlqyyzClrVbEMFFbvL3NlUgIHOg$
> Links:
> ------
> [1]
> https://cis471.blogspot.com/2014/06/stockholm-19-years-of-municipal.html
> Links:
> ------
> [1] http://cis471.blogspot.com
> [2] tel:+421919416714
> [3] tel:+420775230885

More information about the Bloat mailing list