While I hate to "cross the streams", I feel obliged to point out that America stands at a crossroad that presents a unique opportunity to address both our aging electrical infrastructure and our country's desire, nay need for truly universal broadband.A common fiber-optic based network to every structure with an electric meter could address both a substantial portion of our looming energy issues and our desire for pervasive networking.Building such a network could bring truly broadband networking to every city hall, every hospital, every library, every school, and every home in America. Additionally, it would bring gigabits of backhaul to every cell tower and public safety radio tower.Finally, the energy-based savings alone to the American economy could pay for the entire buildout in well under a decade.See my comment (http://tinyurl.com/6lggmm) at Google's Clean Energy 2030 knol for a slightly longer-winded discussion of the energy savings.I urge Google to coordinate their Smart Grid efforts and their National Broadband efforts so as to help resolve these important national issues sooner rather than later.-- Michael W. Wellman (firstname.lastname@example.org)Vice President EngineeringNeutral Net Inc. (http://Neutral.net)21525 Ridgetop Circle Suite 110Sterling, Virginia 20166
To-date a major barrier to achieving ultra high bandwidth in Rural and Urban America has been the cost of fiber deployment. The main component of the deployment cost is the physical labour to actually run the optical cabling.The best way to keep next generation network deployment costs down is to re-use the existing copper wire infrastructure to provide new high bandwidth services. To understand how bandwidths of up to 400 Mb/s can be achieved in this manner see www.bondeddslrings.comRaw bandwidth is no longer the answer; it has been rendered irrelevant by P2P technologies such as Bit Torrent which are designed to use ALL available bandwidth, no matter how much there is of it. The only reasonable technical solution to this situation is Quality of Service (QoS) whereby all communications traffic is given relative priorities, each of which have different price points. For example: Priority 1 could be voice traffic, Priority 2 could be streaming video, Priority 3 business services, Priority 6 Internet surfing, Bit Torrent, email, etc. which could be provided for free.
Stephen, I concur that a significant component of the fiber build cost is the physical construction; however, I offer that in the current financial environment with the government striving to create jobs - jobs that will, hopefully, add value to this great country of ours - that building a fiber infrastructure is an investment in our future.An appropriately conceived, designed, engineered, and installed fiber plant will last 50+ years (and perhaps even longer). So this is an investment that would yield an economic windfall for the next 3 or 4 generations of Americans. And I, for one, would like to leave something to our grandchildren beyond debt. :-(And, as someone who's worked on Internet technologies since the days of UUCP and who's previously engineered and shipped multiple ISDN, DSL, and wireless (802.11, 802,16, and DARPA XG) products, I'm here to tell you that you can never have too much bandwidth! ;-)Michael W. Wellman
I agree fiber is a great make-work project but Bonded DSL Rings can give America more bandwidth than is needed now and into the foreseeable future for a cost that will be $100’s of billions less than installing fiber country-wide. The savings can be deployed into additional investments in education and other aspects of America’s deteriorating infrastructure or into other key priority funding needs. It also provides a fiber upgrade path for future expansion when the economics make more sense.
I agree with reinharden, that a fiber network to every electric meter is a good idea. It would not only "bring gigabits of backhaul to every cell tower and public safety radio tower." It would eliminate the need for many of the towers, if most of the buildings with electric meters (and fiber!) had open access wi-fi and white-space transmitters.Also the local utilities would be a good candidate for installing the fiber. They own the power poles and are used to operating as a utility, rather than a company that is trying to extract the most money per byte of data transmitted.Although deployment could be costly, the payback would be quick in terms of lower electricity and communications costs.
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