[LibreQoS] starry had such good press

Herbert Wolverson herberticus at gmail.com
Sat Oct 15 09:07:15 EDT 2022

I wish I could say I was surprised. The current round of federal funding
was crafted to avoid repeating
the mistakes from previous funding attempts. So while lots of money is
offered, you have to put up
a portion of matching funds (and the auction price) as a bond - only
released once you can demonstrate
that you provide the promised service. That's overall a good thing, but too
many companies took the
"shoot for the moon" approach of taking way too many areas when interest
rates were low - and banks
were lining up to finance bonds. A lot of companies over-borrowed, often at
adjustable rates - so now
that rates are high, the bond-finance payments are coming home to roost.

It makes sense when I look back over my time in the industry (since 1998).
QWest famously
complied with a huge grant by connecting a single building in Columbia (I
live in Columbia, MO) and
single buildings in a couple of neighboring towns - and never building out
to the rest of town. QWest
over-borrowed, and suddenly are part of Level 3 - in an "asset only"
purchase that left the debt behind.

A while later, CenturyLink buys out Level 3 (in a panic move, they couldn't
fulfill a DoD contract
without their backbone) and goes on a fiber build-out spree (flush with
grant money). They
built out a massive network across town, all hung on city utility poles.
Turns out, they never
paid the usage fee and were just found guilty of breach of contract - owing
the city millions.
It also turns out that they did the exact same thing all over the place.
Boom - they are now
Lumen and Quantum Fiber, in an asset-only purchase. That didn't quite work,
so the
fiber is off to another company now. (In the meantime, our city built an
entire fiber system
going just about everywhere, and can't turn it on because the legislature
banned "chattanooga"
style build-outs)

The upside is that the companies who took a responsible approach are doing
well. A local
ISP (they were 5 guys in a room when I started in town, just after I moved
here from England)
is slowly building out fiber one subdivision at a time, using fixed-rate
(20 year!) mortgages to buy the
infrastructure and only going for grant money for the areas they were going
to build anyway.
They are thriving, and their service is great. So it can be done.

It goes in cycles. Big funding rounds tend to lead to "tulip fever" style
overbuild, and then
it settles down. It keeps the lawyers busy.

On Fri, Oct 14, 2022 at 10:50 PM Dave Taht via LibreQoS <
libreqos at lists.bufferbloat.net> wrote:

> but, apparently, a burn rate that could not be sustained anymore with
> interest rates going up.
> https://www.fiercetelecom.com/broadband/starry-abandons-rdof-bids-pushing-auction-default-tally-above-500m
> --
> This song goes out to all the folk that thought Stadia would work:
> https://www.linkedin.com/posts/dtaht_the-mushroom-song-activity-6981366665607352320-FXtz
> Dave Täht CEO, TekLibre, LLC
> _______________________________________________
> LibreQoS mailing list
> LibreQoS at lists.bufferbloat.net
> https://lists.bufferbloat.net/listinfo/libreqos
-------------- next part --------------
An HTML attachment was scrubbed...
URL: <https://lists.bufferbloat.net/pipermail/libreqos/attachments/20221015/2ab35434/attachment.html>

More information about the LibreQoS mailing list