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

dan dandenson at gmail.com
Wed Mar 29 15:37:07 EDT 2023

On Mar 29, 2023 at 1:02:51 PM, rjmcmahon <rjmcmahon at rjmcmahon.com> wrote:

> Hi Sebastian,
> I'm fine with municipal broadband projects. I do think they'll need to
> leverage the economy of scale driven by others. An ASIC tape out, just
> for the design, is ~$80M and a minimum of 18 mos of high-skill,
> engineering work by many specialties, signal integrity, etc. Then, after
> all that, one has to get in line with a foundry that needs to produce in
> volume per their mfg economies of scale. These markets fundamentally
> have to be driven by large orders from providers with millions of
> subscribers. That's just the market & engineering reality of things.
Every ASIC necessary to deploy is already on the market in high volume.  No
additional ~$80M needs spent.  ~$80M that MUST come from the customer at
the end of the day.  Another increase in broadband costs.   Every massive
change you suggest will pull money from actually running mainline fiber to
communities where various technologies can already deliver huge speeds at
low latency.  I’m an operator, my primary limitations logistically speaking
is inability to get 10Gbps+ fiber off the existing fiber footprint.  Even
the lowly DSL footprint could be upgraded with relative ease to get a few
hundred Mbps if, and forgive me for leaning not his so hard, the previously
designed monopoly that owned not only the copper plant but also the fiber
that is already there wasn’t waiting around for the next government hand
out before upgrading.   Fiber to the DSLAM and VSDL would be a nearly
instant upgrade to 100+ x 50+ speeds for easily 80% of rural users.

We don’t need a completely different model (FiWi) when we have all of the
parts and pieces in mass production and available right now, we have a
political system that promotes monopoly and actively encourages them to
wait until either a self funded competitor moves in or government money
shows up with mandates.  There is no reason at all to have 3-7Mbps DSL in
most of America.  This is not a technical limit.

An aspect of the FiWi argument is that these NRE spends today and
> tomorrow are mostly from SERDES & lasers/optics in the data centers and
> the CMOS radios & PHYs in handsets. Let us look here for the thousands
> of engineers needed and for the supply of parts for the next decade+. I
> don't see it coming from anywhere else.
We have 100G hardware routers from multiple vendors, Qualcomm, Broadcom,
Marvell.  We have 1-100G optics on the market today for cheap.  Marvell
makes a line of chips that can do 40Gbps hardware switch or routed for like
$20, get’s put in $200 MikroTik devices today. A grand gets you into a
device that can do 100G today.  Obviously that’s from the cheapest vendor
but 2-10x that price will get you into the ‘good stuff’.  We already have

> Then we need the in-premise fiber installers and the OSP labor forces
> who are critical to our success.
> And finally, it's the operations & management and the reduction of those
> expenses in a manner that scales.
Where exactly are the costs, operations, and management savings here?

Basically this leads me to the question which I’m asking with an attempt to
avoid condescension, do you/have you run an ISP?  My operations and
management costs are primarily customer service and logistic (vehicles,
labor, and so on) and not network management.

Fiber in-premise has a negative value.  It’s more expensive to terminate
and repair, port costs are more, vastly (like 100x) more likely to damage a
fiber patch cable vs cat5e, and the advantages of fiber are lost on short
distances.  1,2.5, 5, and 10G copper is easy, cheap to terminate, cheap to
install, cheap ports in switches, cheap ports on devices, and fast.  The
entire ‘need’ for fiber in this context is the FiWi concept of centralized
networking which again IMO is something ALL IT/MSP will outright reject
killing it off for business uses and will not fare well for consumers who
are concerned more and more about privacy.

Just my opinion here, but the entirety of the FiWi concept will be dead on
arrival with almost all opposing it and only a few supporters.
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