Then Copper prices went up massively for a while and thinner guage twister pair went in at best, and Aluminium was used at worst.
A quarter of the population of the city is below the poverty line. If the intent is to offer them subsidized broadband, let's assume we get no capital recovery from those households. That brings the cost to $4,666 per household, or $9,300 per subscribing household.
This is high, but not out of the ballpark. Verizon spent about $3,500 on average for each paying subscriber for FiOS. Chattanooga's system was about $5,500 per household.
$1,100,000/year, 40,000 households, so $27.50/year mean income per household to service the debt.
If only 50% of households (you said people) subscribe, then $55/year mean income per household to service the debt. If, again, as you state, no capital contribution from households below the poverty line, then, using your math (which, btw, double counts these), we're talking $110/year, or $9.16/sub/month to service the debt.
Here in Austin, there are three providers of 1gbps/1gbps FTTH internet, and all are priced just under $60/mo.
I think someone can probably figure out how to build a similar service in Boulder, paying the City of Boulder $10/mo per subscriber household, and still make fat rolls of cash.
I'll take the FTTH and leave Comcast and Century Link behind, thank you very much.
Would be even better if the City charged you for the fiber link and then let you select your backend provider. E.g., the way consumer choice works in the electric space. Let the city run/own the cable, and let the back-end carriers compete to provide the backbone and value-added services. Give every house a basic connection that lets them interact with city and state services only, for free.
Replace that with a $100/mo. FTTH plan, plus Netflix and you're still saving money. And many people have Netflix + Comcast already.
As to TV, you spread the network costs over both internet AND cable TV and should include a portion of TV/equipment rental revenue when calculating payback periods. Cord cutters are significant, but many people still want cable TV channels and rent DVR's.
The idea that you need to use facebook's/etcs spyware just to share a couple photos with your friends goes against the entire premise of the internet's PtP architecture.
More generally, does a media companies ownership of the infrastructure create a conflict of interest when it comes to providing a symetric communications path so you can stream your kids video's instead of having to involve a 3rd party to "cache" them for you?
Most of the poverty number is due to all the college students - there are 33k of them in a town of 108k.
There's also a ton of kids waiting fir their trust fund to, vest I guess?, and don't really care that they aren't making any money at the moment.
I've also read about studies that show that access to the internet improves health outcomes for poor people, so Boulder may also benefit from fewer emergency room visits and fewer sick days from those low-income households.
I don't know, because I don't possess any expertise in the matter. What I do have is a history of watching public works projects budgets balloon completely out of control. It seems far more likely, given history, that this estimate is low.
Which history do you mean? A lot of people have fiber to their house, that’s part of history.
If the cost has ballooned out of control, why? Costs don’t have to do that, and they haven’t always done that historically.
At least that was the line Google fed us when we got rejected for their fiber, who knows.
That's not going to do anything to stop ice from forming on the lines, which is a far bigger problem in the winter than tree falls.
Students there are all living off parent money so their disposable income is much higher than hard data would suggest.
It isn't just lack of availability of internet that keeps low income out its the lack of devices to make use of the internet and rudimentary training.
I live in Chattanooga.
I know 3 residential users of gigabit fiber. (I'm not 1. 100 is perfect).
Don't get me wrong. The "gig" here has made a major impact. My company is based here and the change in volume/quality of startups from 7 years ago to now is staggering.
But... I'm not sure why Boulder needs this.
NGPON-2 isn't being deployed at scale yet, so prices are still to come down, but GPON OLTs are bulk items. You can buy a GPON OLT for a few grand which ends up being a few bucks per subscriber.
In 2006, Verizon's cost to pass a property was $850 and trending towards $700 in 2010. This includes not only the outside plant, but also the OLTs. The majority of the cost is in the outside plant, so the GPON OLTs are only a fraction of this.
Verizon deploys at scale and does not pay list prices. Furthermore Verizon would not be deploying NG-PON2 if it wasn't profitable and would definitely not be doing it if it was cutting into their margins. Therefore there is no reason to assume their NG-PON2 costs will be higher than their GPON costs.
This also follows Fort Collins from 7 months ago: https://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/2017/11/voters-reject-ca...
Note that Longmont took a couple attempts I believe to get it passed (it failed in 2009 and 2011, then passed in 2013)
Usually my speeds clocked in around the 700-900mbps range (both up/down), and at its slowest, maybe 300mbps. No port blocking, so I could host my own web/game servers. The one time they performed maintenance, they notified customers a week in advance and scheduled the 15-minute down time to be around 3am. Since I was a 'charter' customer, my bill was a flat $50/mo, though I'm pretty certain that new customers don't pay much more than that.
I truly believe if more people understood what _good_ internet is like, there would be a MUCH stronger push for communal broadband services.
Thankfully I was able to work remote 90% of the time in that role.
Because they don't want to is the reason.
As a consequence, people like teachers, firefighters, police, nurses and so on can no longer afford it and must commute in to serve the landed gentry.
I pay $80 a month for my 300 / 20 service. In 16 months, I would be able to pay for my share of this network.
However, I think it should also be considered that a municipal broadband network adds value to a city in much the same way that a road network, electric grid, natural gas, or water/sewer network adds value. For a point of contrast, the city contains ~300 miles of roads at ~$5 million per mile, or a road network value of $1.5 billion dollars. That's about $40,000 per household! Other utilities have huge costs as well.
I believe that Internet access is becoming as important as transportation, water, and electric service for the economic health of a city.
Honestly, I'm not really sure how it's all paid for at the end of the day.
That $40k of road is only $800/year over 50 years. (And I doubt all of it was even originally as expensive as your estimate, especially considering cost of land, which was closer to zero before there was a road there).
Of course, maintenance costs have to be counted, too, and in the case of fiber, it would, instead, be eventual upgrades.
I do not know of any trails you would absolutely need a car to get to. One of the more popular places to start a hike, Chautauqua, actually started a very expensive paid parking program to get people to stop driving there (parking is limited, complaints from residents over noise), and instead take the free shuttle from city center.
Anyways, my home internet is absolute garbage (I'm just west of HW36, so outside of the city by a block). My speed is 5.05 Mbps down, 0.47 up and there's no alternatives to Century Link in my area. I might as well use a cellular network.
It's just whatever the local subnet is for my neighborhood. Across the street, the DSL is much better.
Also, out of the $80 you pay, most of it gets eaten up by operational costs. Charter's EBITDA is about 35% of revenues. So even if the city pays no taxes., it'll take 250 months to pay back your share of the network.
Optical communication is the same way, there is massive bandwidth that isn't being used, so while it might roll out at 1Gbit, it wouldn't' surprise me that in 20 years a x8 stranded fiber network would be well into the Tbit/sec rate.
You don't have to expect breakthroughs to think digging new trenches might be a mistake; all you have to believe is that wireless network performance will continue roughly along the trends it's already been following.
I'd prefer it if us Americans would believe in the former, but unfortunately I think our culture expects the government to do the latter (or nothing at all).
Spending a significant amount of money on something that requires a significant install and maintenance (trenching bedrock, cut lines) when there are potential solutions just around the corner seems to me like bad policy.
I'm sure that there are other, more effective uses the government could put that money towards. Maybe the most efficient and beneficial thing for Boulder would be to not take on more debt, I don't know. Just don't be too quick to assume that all expenses and public works projects are net positives.
Once it’s paid off, what is the maintience cost?
Will the city simply offer it as a competing service? Make it free for everyone and then tax?
Having fiber broadband is a plus to that attraction. So a better broadband means a better economy: more activity, more jobs, more people, more taxes... The cost of that infrastructure makes total sense.
In KC, I live in a 4 story apt, and frequently stopped to talk to the installers when Google fiber was pulling everything into the building. It really is Fiber to a jack in your unit, but the last 5ft is still copper Ethernet. I figure they could have saved themselves a bundle of $ if they ran copper inside the building. The consumer wouldn't notice and it's a lot more practical.
This is assuming the physical glass was rated for that kind of bandwidth. Cat6a can "technically" do 10gbe
Installing fiber is more future proof, resulting in - potentially - less costs down the line.
Yes, it depends on the size and layout of your building (maybe your building has a comms cabinet on each floor, or wing, etc) but its better to have one set of training for all your installers, rather than have every one be different.
It wouldn't surprise me if fiber optic cable was cheaper than cat6 to buy in bulk (Copper is expensive, and the process to manufacture the copper cables is more complex), and if you're doing fiber to the building anyway, you still end up with a media converter - so there is likely no significant cost saving there either.
It may actually be higher cost to have a centralised (within the building) media converter - ports need to be provisioned for the max possible customers up front. The class of hardware will likely be different too - matching enterprise style datacenter hardware, instead of the cheap and easy to replace stuff they send to customers...
Wireless cuts down on the fiber, copper, and individual install costs -- and is therefore cheaper to upgrade in the future; A mesh network with a node near every door and if you need more coverage you add more nodes.
My gut feeling is that it is, but the current monopolies providing alternatives just haven't ruined the experience enough for this to be pursued heavily by people with deep pockets
Finland has been among the ten fastest nations in regards to broadband speeds for a long time. That didn't do much for their economy as it languished in a near ten year recession. It didn't spur an epic tech buildout, it didn't help them keep pace with what Sweden has accomplished for example, with the two nations having similar broadband speeds.
France has lagged extremely far behind in broadband, for two decades. They're among the worst in Europe at it. Does that mean their economy is doomed? They're well below Hungary, Bulgaria, Poland, and Russia in Europe regarding broadband. And yet there's Bulgaria, with a GDP per capita 1/6th that of France, and an economy that hasn't net expanded in ten years (off that much smaller per capita economic base, with far better broadband, you'd expect to see dramatic growth results, and yet there are none).
I think some healthy skepticism is warranted on the top end value proposition. Perhaps if you're down toward the bottom as in the case of France (in Europe), you do indeed suffer a meaningful penalty. Much of Latin America for example has very slow average Internet access speeds, I think that sort of outcome does harm their development potential. While common access to something like 50-100mbps cable may accomplish everything that 1gbps fiber does at this juncture for consumers and general economic development.
Maybe that will change soon, such that FTTH becomes invaluable to get ahead economically, there's practically no evidence that it matters currently or has mattered much the last ten years. I like the idea of muni fiber programs, more competition, and universal access to 1gbps to the home; and yet I've never seen any evidence that the high cost of rapidly building that out is justified (vs gradually over time).
You may be entirely correct that "150mbps is good enough for anyone" - but based on watching capabilities grow with data speeds the past 35 years I'd bet heavily in the opposite direction. If 50% of Internet users in the US had uncapped gige I think you'd see some rather interesting tech start using it once they can rely on it.
and yet nobody ever has the faintest idea what would be done with it, despite the fact that every office building has been internally wired for gigabit ethernet (or faster!) for >10 years. what is anyone doing at work with it? what is anyone doing across large corporate campuses like google's or facebook's with all their internal bandwidth?
Nowadays cable is almost as fast. The same physical cable to my neighborhood that offered plans of up to 10 Mb/s 10 years ago is now giving me 500 Mb/s on my current plan, and it looks like 1000 Mb/s is available if I switch to a bundle that includes Comcast's home security service.
Faster home internet has diminishing returns. With a 150 Mb/s service, you can have two parents and three kids each streaming a different 4k movie at the same time. You can download 67 GB of data in an hour.
For most families the only time they will notice a difference between 150 Mb/s and gigabit is when someone needs to download a large file, such as when someone buys a major new game. An hour download at 150 Mb/s becomes under 10 minutes in gigabit. For most that only happens occasionally.
The last couple of times that Comcast has raised my internet speed without changing my plan or cost, I've seriously considered dropping down to a less expensive plan that has my old speed. The only thing that stops me is that I have an internet/TV/phone bundle, and the bundles with my old speeds have smaller TV packages too, which are missing some of my most watched channels.
Though Longmont residents tell me it is fast. Really fast.
America is vast. My opinion is local FTTH networks will eventually be interconnected wirelessly, either point-to-point or by bouncing off LEO satellites. Sometimes, letting infrastructure roll out organically is the sounder solution.
It routinely blows me away that my Manhattan internet is faster and cheaper than that at my parents' in Cupertino. I suspect common local political dysfunction underwrites the differences in housing supply, public transportation and internet quality.
But yeah, I was surprised to learn that my options in Mountain View were shitty, expensive cable or shitty, slightly less expensive DSL.
Only the true boonies with no “fast” service don’t have fiber interconnects, and they probably aren’t dense enough for a local fiber network to make sense either.
Also, from visiting the Bay Area, it's my opinion there's an overarching complete lack of investment in public infrastructure. It's not due to lack of money in the area; witness the countless exotic cars, bouncing down what I consider some of the worst pavement anywhere.
Although I don’t live in Boulder (anymore), my office is there. I’ll be glad to stop paying Comcast for terrible quality service.
I live in Colorado Springs for family reasons but would happily live in Boulder if things were a bit different.
Been to Colorado Springs. It is a nice area.
property isn't as expensive as SF, but the pay isn't SF either. a sibling comment mentions all the university/government positions, but starting salaries there don't pay to live in boulder. of all my fulltime coworkers at the university, i was the only one with a boulder address, and i still wasn't inside the city. (the students were usually inside the city, since they were paying for it with loans, and living in shithole apartments.)
Google, Amazon and Uber recruiters in the area are all pestering me. Twitter, Intel, Cray and nVidia are here. Microsoft seems to come and go? Lockheed, Ball, Oracle, NetApp, Workday, Workiva, and The Trade Desk always have job openings.
Personally, availability/stability is WAY more important than bandwidth. I don't know what I'd do with over 200mbps. But in some of the places I lived, during peak hours, the internet would just stop working. That was very frustrating.
Edit: seems like it's both: