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Chattanooga: The first 10-gigabit internet city


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Every time I talk about Municipal and utility networks as competition for the established ISPs like Comcast, I get a bunch of hooey and misinformation and some out and out rehashed ISP handouts for the press to keep their monopolies.

 

But some folks believe that having municipal broadband as a competitor, allowing the ISPs to compete with them is fine. But ooooohhhh the false stories of every Muni failing and costing the tax payers more, or heaven forbid provide schools and poor neighborhoods with Internet at affordable prices. This is Google's goal with the free 5mbps access on their fiber systems.

 

How does this affect RVrs? Ask Jack who administers networks what he could do with an affordable 10 GB feed into an RV park. Think about citywide hotspots, or affordable guesting on their network.

 

SO the naysayers can chime in but for those who go to the muni websites I provide and read, they will find that the only thing holding us back nationally are state laws against anyone being allowed to compete with the entrenched providers and their monopoly.

 

Excerpt:

 

"While ISPs are struggling to bring 25 Mbps Internet to customers, the Electric Power Board of Chattanooga, a publicly owned utility, is bringing 10-gigabit internet to its customers. If they can have it, why can't we?

 

I'm lucky. While Google didn't bring 1-gigabit internet to Asheville, NC, my local ISP, Charter-Spectrum, guarantees me 100Mbps speeds but I usually see even faster speeds: 125Mbps. That's great. But, off to the West, in Chattanooga Tenn., the Electric Power Board of Chattanooga (EPB), a publicly owned utility, is bringing 10-gigabit internet to its customers.

 

Wow!

 

This builds on EPB's earlier success. The EPB brought gigabit internet to the public in 2012. Google is bringing gigabit internet to more places, but EPB shows that you don't need an ISP or major corporate backing to bring truly high-speed broadband to the last mile.

 

More than 150 communities are building broadband their own way. EPB is leading the charge.

 

What EPB has done is to offer the world's first 10-gigabit internet service across a large community-wide territory. Unlike point-to-point commercial installations, which have been possible for some time, EPB's 10 gig service is now available for access by every home and business in a 600 square mile area through Alcatel-Lucent's TWDM-PON broadband technology.

 

The 10 gig residential service is available everywhere in EPB's service area for $299 per month with free installation, no contracts and no cancellation fees. My feelings about this? "Shut up and take my money!"

 

The rest with links is here: http://www.zdnet.com/article/chattanooga-the-first-10-gigabit-internet-city/?tag=nl.e539&s_cid=e539&ttag=e539&ftag=TRE17cfd61

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Which states have roadblocks in law. dictated by the Cable companies? Here's a map, the states in red are the ones that had theior state legislators put in barriers to any competition for the established ISPs. Ask your state representatives why if you live in one. http://muninetworks.org/communitymap

 

Latest news from Munis: http://muninetworks.org/

 

Municipal Broadband something new to you? Do you think your lack of choice in many communities, freezing out your friends and neighbors from competing, or even your whole community forming their own services is for any reason other than greed on the part of cable companies? Hdre is a primer set of links to get edumacated:

 

What do they mean by competition? http://muninetworks.org/content/competition

 

How do Municipal Networks add value to Economic development? http://muninetworks.org/content/municipal-networks-and-economic-development

 

Why are Institutional Networks important? http://muninetworks.org/content/institutional-networks

 

What constitutes a "Level Playing Field?" http://muninetworks.org/content/level-playing-field-0

 

What kind of accountability should our networks be subject to? http://muninetworks.org/content/public-accountability

 

So why do the seemingly informedpeople insist that there are mostly failures? http://muninetworks.org/content/successes-and-failures

 

Excerpt:

 

"Incumbent telephone and cable companies, as well as a variety of anti-government think tanks, frequently label community broadband networks as failures. The truth is that the vast majority of community broadband networks, particularly fiber-to-the-home networks, have tremendously benefited their community. Telco and cableco slurs against them are predicated on ignorance; they assume that most people will not independently research the supposed failures.

 

Though we have looked into these accusations and debunked them, our position is not that every community has built a flawless network or that every community should immediately invest in fiber-to-the-home. Rather, we recognize that what is right for one community may not be right for another. Ultimately, the community itself must decide what is important and how to proceed."

 

But that is not what is happening in the states that have erected barriers.

 

I consider the RVrs I know to be above average in many ways. But many of us are guilty of just not researching any of the issues in our national broadband coverage because we tend to focus on only wireless and public hotspots. The RV community would reap the most rewards with coast to coast GB Internet access because then many more communities would be able to offer more access, in many more affordable ways. This includes the RV parks and our national/state park systems.

 

I think we need to leave the politics out of it and let competition determine what we want to buy. But first, we need a level playing field, and repeal of barriers that do nothing but maintain monopolies.

 

I hope this has been useful.

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Meh. We're back to disagreeing Derek which somehow feels more natural. Lol

 

I hated Muni WiFi. I love Muni Fibre to the home.

 

But Ten Gig? Seriously? Who dreamed this up to waste taxpayer dollars?

 

Give it a couple or five years, let the costs come down and the demand increase and we'll see.

 

25mbits for UHD times 4 TVs running at the same time and you are barely saturating a 100mbit connection.

 

I turned my 50Mbit Fibre connection back to 25 as we never go over 25. I can't imagine yet what a home will look like that saturates a Gigabit connection let alone a 10Gigabit.

 

Geo

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Geo,

It will take a few years to go down,true, but that will happen, however that wasn't the point I was trying to make.

 

For RVrs in a park, each paying a small fee to stream all they want while there is multiplying 400 TVs streaming videos and the NOC Admin is tickled not outraged.

 

Coast to coast seamless coverage like electricity is doable. Speed is only one byproduct of competition.

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Derek,

 

As I said, I have no problem with government owned fibre. It makes as much sense as government owned water, sewer and electricity. All we're doing is issuing bonds to pay for the buildout, then paying that down gradually later.

 

As I'm sure you are aware, $299/mo is way below cost for 10Gigabit. And the technology is relatively new and VERY expensive still. Remember we're talking drops to customers in the field, not a server room deployment. And unlike Gigabit which is already well along in its life cycle and you can buy the equipment for a reasonable price.

 

It seems to me Munis should be doing Gigabit builds, not 10Giga. The fibre is the same, you just go back later and do upgrades as required when the equipment is cheaper. But hey, its only taxpayer dollars so who cares? lol This is obviously a halo project, I hope the citizens get their money's worth.

 

As far as Jack and an RV park, that's not such a good example. While $299 is the price for a residential connection, commercial premises have "varying rates". But maybe one day?

 

Geo

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My apologies to Jack and the gods of clarity and brevity. Yes that is the point. But to do those gigabit fiber installs, we first have to overcome the legislative barriers that have been lobbied into existence, bought if you will.

 

The 10GB was showing that if that can be done, why aren't we doing gigabit Munis everywhere? Or perhaps better put, why aren't we demanding in every "barrier state" that the state don't force out of state businesses down our throats with virtual monopolies, and allow our local boys and communities the freedom to connect the last mile.

 

Right now, with most of the infrastructure in place, the cable companies can connect the rest and still make money hand over fist. But since they can also pay for state legislation to keep anyone out from gaining traction to compete by connecting the folks on the other side of the digital divide, why do they choose that?. So they get to make excuses instead of making connections to the rest? The cost of the lobbying and campaign contributions would go a long way to connecting the last miles of America.

 

Ten GB was not what I meant as a standard. But for those who have not done the research, or read the links, because their minds are closed to anything new, the real facts are a wake up call. Heck, today the educated are being vilified and some are afraid to speak out even when they know better. Willful ignorance, like claiming Munis are losers, when the person making the claim knows the complete opposite is true, is safe appeasement.

 

Meanwhile, for the rest of us, we are grinning at folks telling us that it can't be done, and point to the people doing it, but doing ten times what they say can't be done. And succeeding in bringing low cost broadband to our communities. And saving money in the end for the community, the community members, and impacting the local economy!

 

I've already cut the cable for TV. Netflix and Amazon are good, but over the air HD is awesome! Those stations are local folks. Not Comcast, or Suddenlink now owned by a foreign corporation. Those are our local folks doing a great job in our communities. We can cut the cable for Internet too, if we ever get a choice with a muni here, there, and everywhere. Or, like we did with Ma Bell, we can legislate line sharing and allow independents to use the lines too. Who can afford the content? The Over The Air Stations (OTA) also go out over the fiber. I have a Channel Master OTA legal DVRv with a great built in TV guide/listings, and since it connects to the Internet too, carries Netflix and a plethora of Internet stations, many which are the same as the cable channels we would never watch, so we feel right at home. But we don't pay monthly for our full featured DVR, just $199.99 once.

 

So Geo, as much as I'd like to make you happy with disagreeing, sorry, it seems we are on the same sheet of music, when taking all the facts into account.

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I've got one you might get a kick out of Derek. Don't know if you've ever been up that way but it's sparsely populated and one of the most isolated regions in the world.

 

Late next year they are going to have some of the best Internet in the world.

 

http://www.submarinecablemap.com/#/submarine-cable/ivaluk-network

 

I came across this as a result of an article showing Russian submarines with an unhealthy interest in submarine cables. Recently.

 

Geo

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.

 

As far as Jack and an RV park, that's not such a good example. While $299 is the price for a residential connection, commercial premises have "varying rates". But maybe one day?

 

Geo

Not sure how *I* got involved in this..... :)

 

I agree with George....1Gbit is really all that is needed right now, and the fiber is the same. In an RV park situation 1Gbit may not be sufficient if you allow streaming across embedded (park) fiber at every site. That would be my dream. But you may quickly saturate a 1Gbit backhaul on a larger park. And that even assumes the 1 gig is available to the park. We are not talking about backhaul price - lets just assume it is "reasonable"....which it may or may not be for a commercial enterprise.

 

Only new parks could afford putting in fiber, of course. But my recommendation to NEW parks is to fiber every site, even if you don't use it now. The incremental cost is not trivial, but it is not all that great either. On old parks it is not a viable strategy, despite what all the "experts" on the Internet claim. Even getting fiber directly to each of (widely) distributed APs is problematic from a cost perspective. Believe me - I've tried to work out the numbers. And remember, a PARK is not in the IT business and has no skills to either design, implement or maintain this stuff. It is bad enough as it is with just simple wifi from a few APs.

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Jack,

I involved you because you are the first to get a bit justifiably miffed when someone complains about not streaming in a park that is lucky to have connectivity for emails and surfing the net. The Muni "voice" is getting stronger and getting out to more folks. We may just get barrier laws repealed in many areas. I am not anti anyone. I am pro competition and if that involves saving on my Internet costs while improving my services I am for it. What is happening is that in every area where the cable companies lost and a muni/s are allowed, they did suddenly find bandwidth and ways to lower their prices to stay competitive. Otherwise they deserve to fail. It is up top the cable companies to provide services competitively. It is up to us to see that they get competition by removing the artificial barriers legislated at state levels.

 

We are talking Gbit services here Jack, were those typos where you said you were fine with 1 Mbit?

 

It is not just a dream in every city on that Muni map any longer.

 

Locally I had 5 Mbit for years, then 10 for a few months, then 30 for six months and Suddenlink, our provider upped us for "no fee" to 50 Mbit. Now just a couple months later, I'm getting 75/8 Mbit and just got a card in the mail offering me 100 Mbit service for 69 bucks! I pay $50 bucks for 75 now.

 

This did not come out of the blue. They are losing the cash cow of TV as I am just one of the millions cutting the cable and going back to OTA digital HD and streaming the rest. Let's bear in mind I am in a village and parallel to Haughton LA which has little cable broadband and almost no DSL. I can't get DSL here at all at any speed. Other than the Cable monopoly here, my only other option for broadband is satellite.

 

We love the actually better HD OTA signal. (Uncompressed, not compressed then expanded as Cable and satellite must do for HD to fit the pipes.) And we are only using the indoor antennas. I have not put up the outside antenna yet as we are waiting for the finish grade to the house pad, and other punch list items to get done after closing.

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I should have said Gbit...not Mbit...not sure why I typed that.

 

I agree that local providers should have the right to provide service and it should not be restricted to cable or phone companies. That is what happened in CO. Once they opened up competition what was previously "impossible" to provide was immediately undertaken by a small local provider, Resulting on our backhaul ability going from a max of 7 mbps on DSL to 1Gig on fiber. A very good thing.

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Yeah buddy. 75 Mbits is not a lot different seeming that 50 was, I am not accepting the offer I will just stay where I am. I am trying to work here with our state senator who I know personally. He is at least listening to my information on Net Neutrality and municipal networks. My state, Louisiana, as well as our neighbors to East and West (Texas and Mississippi) are three of the most bought state legislatures by the cable folks.

 

Correction, they are giving me 100 Mbits at no extra charge so that is 100 Mbit service for 50 bucks. Here is the email I just received:

 

 

Dear Customer,

 

 

At Suddenlink, we are continually looking for ways to improve your services as part of our "We Promise" Guarantee. We are excited to let you know we did it again!! We have increased our internet speeds in your community.

We are excited to let you know we have increased your internet speed for FREE!

 

 

 

To take advantage of this upgrade, simply power cycle your modem.
1. Unplug the power cord from your modem for one minute.
2. Reconnect the power cord.
3. Restart your computer and enjoy!
We hope you enjoy this speed upgrade. Please visit us at suddenlink.com/better or call us toll free at 844-790-7477 if you have any questions.

Suddenlink
More power to you.™

 

Very strange.

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Boy it is coming fast! Today they announced that my home node, Bossier City LA. is now offering gigabit cable connections as well now.

I'll bet you will be happy when you see that fiber trencher coming down your road.....but that begs the question...what would you do with gigabit service? We have 100mbps into the RV park and I have an actual 92 mbps at my computer if I plug in. I simply cannot use it with anything that *I* do.

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It still takes a second for my pages to load with ad blocker on, but the faster the connection the faster they can be swept away.

 

But prices are dropping a bit, and will really drop where there is competition.

 

For example. Centurylink is shocked and rocked in Colorado:

 

Excerpt:

 

"One year ago, a wave started in Colorado as voters in a handful of communitieschose to reclaim the local telecommunications authority revoked by CenturyLink lobbyists in 2005. This year, the wave is even bigger.

Colorado Communities Want the Choice

As 2015 election day approaches, voters in 43 Colorado communities are on track to keep the momentum going across the state. A total of 17 counties, 26 towns, and at least 3 school districts are taking the issue to voters, reports the Colorado Municipal League. Referendums to opt out of restrictive SB 152 will take place across the state, much to the chagrin of big ISPs who spent millions in lobbying dollars to get the bill passed.

In 2014, nine communities overwhelmingly chose to reclaim local authority. Some of those communities, including Boulder and Rio Blanco County, are taking steps forward. The intention of the referendums were primarily to take back a local right hijacked by the state legislature in 2005 and some communities may never take any action. A number of Colorado news outlets, includinglocal KUNC, the Durango Herald, and the Denver Post support the tide of local self-reliance and expect it to swell.

... Colorado is VOTING TODAY! ... More Details and Results on MuniNetworks.org Wed! ..."

 

The rest of the article is here: http://muninetworks.org/content/let-it-be-local-43-colorado-communities-vote-better-broadband

 

And for RVrs, remember we are the target market in the battle between cell and cable/fiber ISPs. The wild card is munis. The faster and cheaper the connections, the easier for RV parks and town areas to have adequate streaming for free or little.

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Derek, the CO thing is EXACTLY what happened to the campground backhaul. Prior to last year there was "no way" to get more than 7 mbps to the campground. We ended up with three 7 mbps DSL lines. Two servicing the public network. Those two lines had to service 138 campsites - mostly full all summer. It was ridiculous, but the phone companies claimed it was "impossible" to provide more bandwidth. Yeah, right. And there is no cable that services the campground. Even though it is across the street.

 

Then a local WISP decided to run fiber through the town. Well, you would have thought that they were closing down the phone and cable companies by the crying and wailing. But they put in the fiber (still working on that) and we were either the first or second commercial hookup. It happened to run right by our office. Now we have reliable 100 mbps and can go up to 1 gig. We still use one DSL line for redundancy.

 

To be fair, the phone company now supplies 20 mbps DSL. And that works well.

 

All because of the laws that changed in CO to allow some competition.

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My point exactly. Suddenlink, the local guys are paying attention perhaps. But they are still refusing to connect the surrounding rural areas. My in laws are on a high value road in the Bossier City limits. They are sandwiched in now by new subdivisions north, south, west, and about to be a new one east of them. But their strip of larger acreage of about two miles has no cable or DSL available. There are two commercial businesses on it in that strip too. Now they are about to be expanded to a 4 lane from a two lane road, perhaps it will happen then? They are getting water and sewage at that time too. They have more people on that road stretch than here on mine! We have cable and all utilities but no DSL, and sewer is going in this year here too. We have a great oxidation pond so hope they don't force the issue requiring us to hook up.

 

Jack, that is all I'm trying to do with my articles about it. Get more folks like you informed and passing along the assurance that Munis are good for local businesses, and force prices down and coverage to increase by doing it in the taxpayer's best interests and that of the city's businesses, not what lines the pockets of out of state corporations who only return a pittance to state legislators to pass barriers to competition laws.

 

Informed folks have to realize not one muni has refused the cable companies from competing with them. Not one. So no one loses except the one/s that refuse to compete/cover all/invest in their business service areas.

 

We need to get with our state reps and change those laws that legalize monopolies against our own business folks, be that the utilities or the municipalities.

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