Beta
×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

A New Neutral, Long-Haul Fiber Network

kdawson posted more than 4 years ago | from the shaking-up-the-neighborhood dept.

The Internet 129

techclicker sends word on the ambitious plans of Allied Fiber to disrupt the long-haul business in the US. The company is embarking on the first phase of a planned six-phase build-out of dark fiber, towers, and co-lo facilities ringing the US. The first three phases are budgeted at $670M; the last three are not yet laid out in detail (announcement, PDF). Phase 1 is scheduled for completion in 2010. Allied's business model of selling wholesale bandwidth to all comers is in sharp contrast to that of incumbents such as AT&T, who won't sell backhaul to potential competitors. "Allied is deploying a 432-count, long-haul cable coupled with the 216-count, short-haul cable that will be a composite of Single-Mode and Non-Zero Dispersion Shifted fibers. Allied Fiber has implemented a new, multi-duct design for intermediate access to the long-haul fiber duct through a parallel short-haul fiber duct all along the route. This enables all points between the major cities, including wireless towers and rural networks, to gain access to the dark fiber. In addition, the Allied Fiber neutral colocation facilities, located approximately every 60 miles along the route, accommodate and encourage a multi-tenant interconnection environment integrated with fiber that does not yet exist in the United States on this scale."

cancel ×

129 comments

Sorry! There are no comments related to the filter you selected.

hope it works (1)

X0563511 (793323) | more than 4 years ago | (#32391814)

Watching the network administrator dealing with our peers is very aggravating. I hope this works out, from what is given it might solve a lot of these headaches.

Queue lawsuits in three, two... (2, Insightful)

Lead Butthead (321013) | more than 4 years ago | (#32391838)

I fully expect the cartels to lodge complain of some kind (no matter how absurd) any day now...

Re:Queue lawsuits in three, two... (4, Insightful)

UnderCoverPenguin (1001627) | more than 4 years ago | (#32391950)

Why would do that when they can just buy up all the access to the new bandwidth?

Re:Queue lawsuits in three, two... (1)

maxume (22995) | more than 4 years ago | (#32392370)

I think you might be underestimating Allied Fiber's intent by more than a small amount.

Re:Queue lawsuits in three, two... (1)

UnderCoverPenguin (1001627) | more than 4 years ago | (#32392492)

I doubt Allied cares who leases the bandwidth. And I would be surprised if they managed to build more than the combined purchasing power of the incumbents can afford to lease.

Re:Queue lawsuits in three, two... (4, Interesting)

grcumb (781340) | more than 4 years ago | (#32393224)

I doubt Allied cares who leases the bandwidth. And I would be surprised if they managed to build more than the combined purchasing power of the incumbents can afford to lease.

All true, of course, but here's the cool part:

If the incumbents were to buy out Allied's entire capacity, they'd effectively be funding it to build more.

Given that capitalisation is the hardest part of the roll-out process, having your competitors effectively subsidising the growth of your network as part of a plan to make you fail... surely, that would provide at least a few moments of delightful schadenfreude.

Re:Queue lawsuits in three, two... (3, Informative)

symbolset (646467) | more than 4 years ago | (#32392900)

Because then Allied would have a bunch of profit over and above what it cost them to build it out. Having won good profits that way, don't you think they'd do it again?

Re:Queue lawsuits in three, two... (1)

UnderCoverPenguin (1001627) | more than 4 years ago | (#32393022)

Which is fine. The cable and telcos will still only be paying the cost after the fact - and in installments Eventually, the carriers will need even more bandwidth, so why not let Allied take the risk of building it.. Though I suspect another poster is correct in predicting someone will buy Allied, so will gain control over the new fiber.

Re:Queue lawsuits in three, two... (1)

X0563511 (793323) | more than 4 years ago | (#32393182)

Does Allied -have- to accept a buy offer? That seems odd.

Re:Queue lawsuits in three, two... (1)

cynyr (703126) | more than 4 years ago | (#32393462)

sometimes, if they are a public company they might have to. the shareholders can "revolt"

Re:Queue lawsuits in three, two... (1)

hargrand (1301911) | more than 4 years ago | (#32393842)

I'm not sure they are a publicly traded company. Google Finance has no listing [google.com] for them and I can find nothing on their public website [alliedfiber.com] about becoming an investor. Of course it could be they're held by some other entity that is publicly traded ... left as an exercise for the reader.

Re:Queue lawsuits in three, two... (2)

forkazoo (138186) | more than 4 years ago | (#32393010)

Why would do that when they can just buy up all the access to the new bandwidth?

If the bandwidth is cheaper than a Senator, they'll do exactly that.

Re:Queue lawsuits in three, two... (1)

Opyros (1153335) | more than 4 years ago | (#32393364)

Finally! A case where "queue" really is more apropriate than "cue"!

Hmmmm....Can someone explain...... (2, Interesting)

Immostlyharmless (1311531) | more than 4 years ago | (#32391862)

What this might mean to me as a cable user? Anything at all? Will I be able to buy access to this? or?

Re:Hmmmm....Can someone explain...... (4, Insightful)

UnderCoverPenguin (1001627) | more than 4 years ago | (#32391934)

At the least, more backhaul bandwidth. Ideally, it would allow new ISPs to enter the market and compete with the current conglomerates. However, I suspect the incumbents to buy up all the access to the new bandwidth.

Re:Hmmmm....Can someone explain...... (4, Insightful)

phantomcircuit (938963) | more than 4 years ago | (#32392148)

The incumbents are almost universally public utilities. They are granted a local monopoly as having more than one company digging up the streets to lay cable/phone/fiber would be insanity.

This will have absolutely no effect at all on the consumers situation.

Re:Hmmmm....Can someone explain...... (3, Insightful)

dAzED1 (33635) | more than 4 years ago | (#32392202)

except that the interconnect between the municipalities will be faster. And the consumers have jobs at companies that get high-speed network between offices, and they send their kids to schools that get high-speed interconnect between campuses. And then there's just the raising the bar part.

But other than those things yeah, I suspect no one would notice at all.

Re:Hmmmm....Can someone explain...... (2, Interesting)

UnderCoverPenguin (1001627) | more than 4 years ago | (#32392390)

In my area, the cable and telephone cables are strung on the electric utility's poles. Several years ago, within a month of the one cable operator's exclusive franchise expiring, the 2nd cable operator extended its cables into my neighborhood. As for getting another ISP, the county, in its most recent news letter, claims it is still soliciting bids, but there have been no submissions.

(Not that having 2 (3 including the phone company) ISPs has actually provided competition. The internet (and TV) service rates from both companies (as well as the phone company) are the same - as well as the yearly rate increase. And the switch-over discount is now only for the 1st 3 months - assuming I make a 12 month commitment. The utility board just says there is no hard evidence of collusion.)

Re:Hmmmm....Can someone explain...... (1, Funny)

haruchai (17472) | more than 4 years ago | (#32393130)

We recently found out that our provider, a cable company, has been doing the same when they issued us a report on a recent outage that blamed damage on - i swear this is the truth - "SQUIRREL CHEW".

Perhaps they should not use the peanut-flavored cladding next time.
 

Re:Hmmmm....Can someone explain...... (1)

UnderCoverPenguin (1001627) | more than 4 years ago | (#32393232)

It happens. I've seen it. I recently rescued 15m of usable RG-6 coax from a dumpster after a cable company tech had to replace it because it had been chewed by squirrels. Was more than enough to replace the cheap RG-59 coax the was previously installed in my house.

Re:Hmmmm....Can someone explain...... (1)

EvilSurfinCow (763679) | more than 4 years ago | (#32393938)

This is quite common.. don't know why squirrels like to munch on the stuff.. but they do.....

Re:Hmmmm....Can someone explain...... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32394254)

as a cable installer, i see chewed cable ALL the time. Nearly every pole has some teeth marks on the cable near it. Both the cable lines as well as the phone lines. I have not ever seen the actual copper conductor exposed on trunks, but I have on single RG6 drops to houses.

Re:Hmmmm....Can someone explain...... (2, Informative)

Kirijini (214824) | more than 4 years ago | (#32392870)

The incumbents are almost universally public utilities. They are granted a local monopoly as having more than one company digging up the streets to lay cable/phone/fiber would be insanity.

Incumbents are not granted monopolies. They may have a de facto monopoly, but it is not the result of ongoing government restriction of competition.

See:
47 U.S.C. 253(a) (dealing with telephone operators): "No State or local statute or regulation, or other State or local legal requirement, may prohibit or have the effect of prohibiting the ability of any entity to provide any interstate or intrastate telecommunications service."

47 U.S.C. 541(a)(1) (dealing with cable operators): "A franchising authority may award, in accordance with the provisions of this title, 1 or more franchises within its jurisdiction; except that a franchising authority may not grant an exclusive franchise and may not unreasonably refuse to award an additional competitive franchise."

Re:Hmmmm....Can someone explain...... (1)

Daengbo (523424) | more than 4 years ago | (#32393008)

My cable company (Grande) is the only wired ISP allowed in my area of Austin. It's regulated that way, and it's a de jure monopoly. Clear operates, but I think that's only because the way the monopoly is granted.

Re:Hmmmm....Can someone explain...... (1)

jon3k (691256) | more than 4 years ago | (#32393190)

What about all the DSL providers?

Re:Hmmmm....Can someone explain...... (1)

Daengbo (523424) | more than 4 years ago | (#32393366)

I called all of them. They told me they aren't allowed to provide service here. The landlord told me the same thing when I moved in.

Re:Hmmmm....Can someone explain...... (1)

jon3k (691256) | more than 4 years ago | (#32393566)

Well I can assure you a quick google search provides quite a few options for DSL service in Austin. I don't know if you live in an apartment or what other factors might preclude you from being eligible for DSL service, but it's most definitely available around your area. I even checked the AT&T site for residential DSL using Austin NPA-NXX. It's definitely out there.

Re:Hmmmm....Can someone explain...... (1)

Daengbo (523424) | more than 4 years ago | (#32394748)

It's specifically this neighborhood of Austin, not all of it, and not only my apartment complex. I think I was pretty clear about that in my original post.

Re:Hmmmm....Can someone explain...... (1)

UnderCoverPenguin (1001627) | more than 4 years ago | (#32393256)

The original cable company in my area had an exclusive contract under some law allowed a locally owned business to be granted exclusivity. However, they were later bought by a conglomerate, so lost the exclusivity clause of the franchise.

Re:Hmmmm....Can someone explain...... (1)

tyrione (134248) | more than 4 years ago | (#32393344)

My cable company (Grande) is the only wired ISP allowed in my area of Austin. It's regulated that way, and it's a de jure monopoly. Clear operates, but I think that's only because the way the monopoly is granted.

Then file a lawsuit.

Re:Hmmmm....Can someone explain...... (1)

JackieBrown (987087) | more than 4 years ago | (#32394866)

Same here in San Antonio but we use Time Warner. Grande is supposed to be the better choice in San Antonio (at least that is what the Time Warner sales rep told us) due to having new lines and more current technology.

Version FIOS won't build anywhere in San Antonio.

unreasonably (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 4 years ago | (#32393118)

a franchising authority may not grant an exclusive [cable TV] franchise and may not unreasonably refuse to award an additional competitive franchise.

Things like "unreasonably" tend to be decided in favor of who has the more expensive lawyers.

Re:Hmmmm....Can someone explain...... (1)

phantomcircuit (938963) | more than 4 years ago | (#32393930)

Maybe you should have another look at 47 U.S.C. 253(c). Local utility districts hardly ever allow multiple utilities to do the same job.

Re:Hmmmm....Can someone explain...... (2, Informative)

jon3k (691256) | more than 4 years ago | (#32393174)

That's a little shortsighted, don't you think? It will not have any DIRECT effect (as in consumers won't access these fibers directly) but it will most definitely have an indirect effect. More fiber in the ground means more competition and more available bandwidth which means cheaper and more plentiful transport for ISPs which could increase last mile speeds, reduce prices or both.

Re:Hmmmm....Can someone explain...... (2, Insightful)

Belial6 (794905) | more than 4 years ago | (#32394902)

No, what is insanity is allowing businesses to dig up the streets at all to run data cables. A sane municipality would dig up their streets once to lay pipe in the same manner as their sewer system, and then their residents could have 40 different data lines running into their house and every time a new one showed up, the only disruption to the streets would be pulling up a manhole cover and putting it back down after the cables were run.

I currently have 3 separate conduits run into my house, and one more is out at the street. The one in the street and two of the three running into my house are owned and maintained by the City. Municipalities are very experienced with building and maintaining pipes that reach from central stations to each and every home.

"Natural Monopoly" is only the answer to describe the last mile for data if the wrong question is asked.

Re:Hmmmm....Can someone explain...... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32392576)

I think backhaul relates to wireless Internet towers doesn't it? I'm under the impressiona backhaul joins the tower to the exchange or something similar.

Re:Hmmmm....Can someone explain...... (1)

X0563511 (793323) | more than 4 years ago | (#32393252)

Backhaul -> ISPs -> Things like radio towers, cable modems etc.

Note that backhaul can be done via radio, but that's retarded as a little rain will impair the link (or knock it down outright)

Re:Hmmmm....Can someone explain...... (1)

nurb432 (527695) | more than 4 years ago | (#32392744)

It means they will just oversell what they have, and limit you when you try to use it.

Not much will change for most of us since we are trapped by virtual monopolies..

Re:Hmmmm....Can someone explain...... (1)

Cyberax (705495) | more than 4 years ago | (#32391944)

Directly - nothing. You won't be able to buy the sort of equipment needed to interface with the carrier-grade networks.

However, it might make the business of small ISPs in your town profitable.

Re:Hmmmm....Can someone explain...... (5, Informative)

phyrexianshaw.ca (1265320) | more than 4 years ago | (#32392178)

Why the hell not? you can buy a SA for as little as 10Mbps, and if you're willing to handle the subscription deals with end users, you can put up a small WISP on a 100Mb for under 500K: equipment, small central office (likely home based) and all legal fees in.

in canada, (where the extremely moderate costs for peering are reasonable) we've got hundreds of small WISP's popping up all the time. they provide 756Kb/256Kb wireless connections to most of rural Canada.

most ISP's here won't run a line until there are 1K+ customers willing to sign one year SA's, so the WISP's provide for thousands of people, by peering from canada's (I know. our backbones are still SMALL) backbones.

Hurricane Electric for example, has and maintains hundreds of peer points. it's nothing these days to get a hold of a pair of 3845's for under $15K each, and take a peer point with failover. (it's hard to get a lawyer to ok your contract guaranteeing five nines though, with only one peer :P)

now if you mean the cost associated with installing and maintaining the peer point in the first place, I completely agree. even a CRS1 is WAY out of my price range, and that would only cover a fraction of these fibers bandwidth requirements.

Re:Hmmmm....Can someone explain...... (1)

Miseph (979059) | more than 4 years ago | (#32392606)

I believe that GP was saying it would be out of most people's price range to purchase that equipment for their own personal use. They also stated that it would likely make small, local ISPs economically viable... which is pretty much you said somebody could do. Unless you happen to think $500k is a reasonable amount of money to spend on home networking gear, in which case I'd like to give you my card the next time your home internet connection gets a bit laggy...

Re:Hmmmm....Can someone explain...... (1)

phyrexianshaw.ca (1265320) | more than 4 years ago | (#32392774)

I'm surprised every time I get a call from a friend asking "why doesn't my d-link [model] or linksys [model] or [insert a brand here] router keeps dropping, or the wireless is sketchy: they they will put up with equipment of that grade.

Personally, if I buy a car, I expect that it'll get me from A to B 99.999% of the time. I don't need frills. if it only worked 90% of the time, I'd have called that a bad investment.

I install carrier grade equipment. when small WISP's or private business want to upgrade the gear they own in our center, I offer them what I think it's worth used. I can't tell you how many 3725/45's I've bought and sold over the last year.

whenever a friend buys a house, they end up dropping almost 9K in networking gear with me. and their house does exactly what they want it to do at any given time. (well, the network does. lot's of bad plumbers here in canada. :P)

I was playing with 881's for home's, but they feel slow and sluggish under a decent 25Mb pipe as you get close to 70%. 3825's all the way.

Re:Hmmmm....Can someone explain...... (1)

icebraining (1313345) | more than 4 years ago | (#32393474)

I just run a Cat5e shielded cable through my raised ceiling and I get a completely reliable connection out of my $10 Belkin router, which can keep with 800 open connections and has no problem maxing out my cheap 10 Mbps connection; local transfers run about 11.5 Megabytes/s (92 Megabits/second).

But then I don't have $9000 to spend on home networking equipment.

Re:Hmmmm....Can someone explain...... (2, Interesting)

phyrexianshaw.ca (1265320) | more than 4 years ago | (#32394930)

to what, ONE computer? that's not a network. that's barely even "networking". that an extension cable. :P

I was stupidly going to mention that it's silly that people still run 100MbE in homes.. but if you've only got an extension going to a 10Mb internet connection: why bother, right?

every customer of mine get's an ESXi server with some horsepower, a FXS/FXO, a 15/2Mb shaw pipe, a pair of GbE lines run to each room of the house, a used cisco 3725, a Linksys SRW-2024 (unless they have more than 11 rooms), and each jack finished. (I even hand out a few free hand made and GbE cert'ed patch cables.)

but then again, most of them USE the equipment. it's been a while since I DIDN'T help somebody with the setup afterwards.

people often then bring in a virtual asterisk instance, with an IP trunk and a DID, and I run the pair out to the house phone bix, and teach the basics of how to replace hard drives in the box incase they go.

but I am a nerd. and I guess I hang out with nerds. :P

Re:Hmmmm....Can someone explain...... (2, Informative)

Penguinshit (591885) | more than 4 years ago | (#32393796)

Do you routinely kill flies with a shotgun? Mid-priced consumer grade equipment is _more_ than adequate given the network is properly wired/configured.

Re:Hmmmm....Can someone explain...... (1)

phyrexianshaw.ca (1265320) | more than 4 years ago | (#32394880)

you don't try and maintain seven VPN sessions out with fifteen local clients all taxing the pipe.

try even putting three people on a DLink2300. the things almost melt down when you try and sustain 12Mbps over the wan port while having ONE wireless client connected. tested and reproduced that on SEVEN copies this month alone.

they let you make one decision. limit your WAN connection speed to 10Mbps, or have a handful of wireless clients.

but don't ask them to maintain ONE measly VPN tunnel endpoint. apparently that's WAY too much to handle WHILE dealing with wireless clients.

(at first I assumed it was a power issue, but after feeding the required voltage with over 3 apms available to the thing, they STILL choke CONSTANTLY.)

Re:Hmmmm....Can someone explain...... (1)

troll8901 (1397145) | more than 4 years ago | (#32394810)

whenever a friend buys a house, they end up dropping almost 9K in networking gear with me. and their house does exactly what they want it to do at any given time.

Lucky basket. Enjoying your next-gen-definition TV streaming via your FTTH connections?

In my tiny country, our renovation loans are kept separate from our housing loans (as far as I know), and thus are usually charged a higher interest rate, with a shorter repayment duration (as far as I know). We don't even have FTTH.

Re:Hmmmm....Can someone explain...... (1)

phyrexianshaw.ca (1265320) | more than 4 years ago | (#32394900)

in Canada, we're JUST starting to roll out FTTH. it'll still be a few years before any of the local providers even think to start providing the service.

here we have MTS DSL, (which blows chunks, but works as expected. [unless you have a Cisco. apparently their DSLAM can't handle the Cisco implementation of PPPoE...])
and Shaw. who provide anything from 5/.5Mbps to 100/10Mbps over copper, (and even provide 25/25Mbps to other shaw customers!)

it's always a surprise to people that $50 routers can't handle >10Mb pipes.

Re:Hmmmm....Can someone explain...... (1)

tyrione (134248) | more than 4 years ago | (#32393358)

I believe that GP was saying it would be out of most people's price range to purchase that equipment for their own personal use. They also stated that it would likely make small, local ISPs economically viable... which is pretty much you said somebody could do. Unless you happen to think $500k is a reasonable amount of money to spend on home networking gear, in which case I'd like to give you my card the next time your home internet connection gets a bit laggy...

Most start ups can absorb the $500k if they want to be an ISP.

Re:Hmmmm....Can someone explain...... (2, Informative)

muridae (966931) | more than 4 years ago | (#32391980)

As a cable user, no. Someone will have to provide you the 'last mile' and since you get that through cable you will not be able to use this as is. If they offer last mile service, either as fiber or anything else, then you can use that. You might even find that a local phone company will be able to use their service, and offer DSL or some other connection.

Or it could be that their phase 4 is last mile service. That leaves phase 5 unknown, while phase 6 is obviously PROFIT!

Re:Hmmmm....Can someone explain...... (3, Insightful)

adolf (21054) | more than 4 years ago | (#32392024)

As a cable user, no. Someone will have to provide you the 'last mile' and since you get that through cable you will not be able to use this as is. If they offer last mile service, either as fiber or anything else, then you can use that. You might even find that a local phone company will be able to use their service, and offer DSL or some other connection.

As a cable user, yes. Someone will have to provide the 'backhaul' and since it's traditionally very expensive to [lease|build|maintain] long distance links, it's likely that cable ISPs will jump all over this. Since Allied doesn't offer last mile service, either as fiber or anything else, then the cable company won't be helping their competitors. You might even find that a regional or national phone company will be able to use their service, and offer reduced rates or more bandwidth with DSL or some other connection.

Re:Hmmmm....Can someone explain...... (1)

symbolset (646467) | more than 4 years ago | (#32392056)

Or you can find out where they're going to put the drops, and build your house next to one of them. Then the "Last Mile" turns into the "Last forty feet".

Re:Hmmmm....Can someone explain...... (1)

muridae (966931) | more than 4 years ago | (#32392230)

It will help the cable company reduce cost. That may, or may not, go along to the customer.

Local prejudice, I guess. The phone service here tends to have local co-ops, while the cable company is a national brand.

Re:Hmmmm....Can someone explain...... (1)

cynyr (703126) | more than 4 years ago | (#32393496)

It will help the cable company reduce cost. That will not, go along to the customer. Local prejudice, I guess. The phone service here tends to have local co-ops, while the cable company is a national brand.

/fixed

Re:Hmmmm....Can someone explain...... (1)

adolf (21054) | more than 4 years ago | (#32394992)

Feh.

It may also spur new competition, or a new battle between pre-existing competitors.

Slice it any way you want, but generally speaking: More competition, at any level, is good for the end consumer.

Re:Hmmmm....Can someone explain...... (3, Insightful)

PopeRatzo (965947) | more than 4 years ago | (#32392176)

Will I be able to buy access to this?

Absolutely not.

or?

What it means is that there will be a new powerful player in a game that has seemed to be heading for a huge win for the big telecoms and cable companies and a huge loss for consumers. The consumers will still almost certainly be the big losers, but there will be a more interesting contest for first place.

The shame of it is that "The first three phases are budgeted at $670M; the last three are not yet laid out in detail" which means that for less than a billion dollars the government could have laid the groundwork for insuring a level of true net "neutrality" for decades to come that would have given the broader US economy and probably the entire world economy an excellent shot in the arm while forcing AT&T and company to start working for their customers again instead of the other way around.

By building the internet, and then giving it away, the US government created the widest and deepest increase in worldwide wealth (WWW) that we've seen since WWII. Instead of renewing this legacy with a relatively modest investment, they've allowed to a cartel to seize one of the most important inventions of the 21st century and turn it into another tool with which to funnel wealth from the lower 95% of the population to the top 5%.

Re:Hmmmm....Can someone explain...... (4, Insightful)

hedwards (940851) | more than 4 years ago | (#32392210)

That's the way it works. We could've had proper single payer universal healthcare coverage, but we're paying for two pointless wars instead. We could have proper banking reform, but probably won't since ZOMG teh Soshulists. And we can't have this because a large part of American stubbornly refuses that corporatists don't care about their interests. Even though the ones that are hurt the worse by this are the same rural voters that refuse to recognize what their politicians are doing to the country.

Re:Hmmmm....Can someone explain...... (1)

maxume (22995) | more than 4 years ago | (#32392350)

It's just a little glassy-eyed to imply that the government built the internet. They absolutely created and developed the technology, but they aren't the ones who bought all those routers from Cisco or pulled all the fiber.

Re:Hmmmm....Can someone explain...... (1)

UnderCoverPenguin (1001627) | more than 4 years ago | (#32392682)

Up to a point, the US government did - through grants to universities and such - pay for all the routers and cable. For a long time, connecting to the internet was a privilege reserved for schools and key government contractors. Eventually, others were allowed to connect, opening the way for small, local ISPs. Then, eventually, these local ISPs were bought up by companies that ultimately became today's incumbent carriers.

Re:Hmmmm....Can someone explain...... (1)

maxume (22995) | more than 4 years ago | (#32393614)

And what percentage of data is transferred over that equipment today?

I'm not trying to diminish the role of government in fostering the internet, I'm pointing out that the "giving it away" is, at best, a hilarious over-simplification.

Re:Hmmmm....Can someone explain...... (5, Insightful)

PopeRatzo (965947) | more than 4 years ago | (#32392884)

It's just a little glassy-eyed to imply that the government built the internet.

Do you think, for one second, that the "free market" would have created anything like the free and exuberant place we call the internet?

If it hadn't been for the basic R&D by the DoD and then passing it off to mainly publicly funded universities, there would never, ever have been anything like the openness, the opportunities, the sheer explosion of ideas and energy that became the internet. No "world wide web" for sure. You forget that there were attempts by "private industry" to create something like the internet, and it turned out to be AOL. And if there was anything at all good about AOL, it was because they were trying their best to live up to expectations that the Internet created. Without government, the Internet would be cable television. Do you remember how "interactive" cable television was going to become in the 1980s and 90s?

There's been a lot of noise from know-nothing politicians about how "big government" kills the private sector and takes all the innovation out of it. It's the kind of conventional "wisdom" you read a lot here, and certain segments of the political spectrum have come to take it as gospel. But the Internet is just one example where every single one of us reading Slashdot today can experience the opposite, the fact that government can be the private sector's best friend and not by "getting out of the way" either.

Re:Hmmmm....Can someone explain...... (1)

jon3k (691256) | more than 4 years ago | (#32393226)

You're arguing the same thing. He admitted the government created and developed the technology but the Internet as it exists to do is largely run by corporations.

Re:Hmmmm....Can someone explain...... (1)

maxume (22995) | more than 4 years ago | (#32393684)

I think you are speaking with an awful lot of certainty about what would have happened without the work that DARPA and the universities did, but I'm not sure that a 1985, with all the things going on then, could have existed without universities experimenting with networking technologies, regardless of whether there was a government agency willing to share technology with them. And I'm not sure anybody could have managed to keep the technology in a bottle (we can use AOL as an example here, look at how successful it became, even as shitty as it was).

And as much as the internet explosion is a story of ubiquitous connectivity, it is also a story of the $1000 computer (I remember buying a decent computer in 1997, for $2400. I bought a great one in 2006, for $800.).

Re:Hmmmm....Can someone explain...... (1)

PopeRatzo (965947) | more than 4 years ago | (#32394042)

And I'm not sure anybody could have managed to keep the technology in a bottle

It's done all the time. It's called a "patent".

I agree that this technology was coming anyway. There are always technologies coming, but seldom to they explode in such an open way.

I do believe, though, that the internet took a lot of companies (and patent trolls) by surprise. Of that I am glad.

Re:Hmmmm....Can someone explain...... (1)

mederbil (1756400) | more than 4 years ago | (#32392592)

Similar sort of thing here in Yellowknife, Northwest Territories. I sit on the board that run the Smart Communities Society which administers a fiber network called NTNet. We're going to be increasing our fibre network as soon as a bridge is built across a river to connect fiber from the south.

It is really only effective for businesses who resell our network. Cable users gain infrastructure, I guess because our internet service provider makes money off what they (over)charge for bandwidth.

Re:Hmmmm....Can someone explain...... (1)

AHuxley (892839) | more than 4 years ago | (#32393968)

Say your city, town, hamlet, village, shire, township ect is having a cartel like broadband issue.
One approved roll out in the distant past just reached near the area and your all stuck on modems, wireless ect.
With any new entry into the optical network a small community might just have the option to gather funds and connect to some real backhaul.
Sure its expensive but finally a few communities might join the optical age.

Is this a joke? (0, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32391926)

The guy in charge of it is named "Newby".

Re:Is this a joke? (2, Funny)

zippthorne (748122) | more than 4 years ago | (#32392134)

You're being generous. His form-name is Newby, Hunter...

This is good news. (1)

Antisyzygy (1495469) | more than 4 years ago | (#32391946)

I really hope this works out.

Sounds good... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32392112)

Where can I buy stock?

finally! (1)

llordreefa (246581) | more than 4 years ago | (#32392140)

My first thought was 'Hellz YEAH!' I mean, sod the telcos and cable companies. I was lucky enough to find an independent ISP. I can see them hooking up with this quickly. Last mile questions aside, anything that routes around qw*st, c*mc*st, and v*r*zn is a good thing.

MFNX (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32392184)

Look up Metromedia Fiber Networks and see the past history of this idea.

100Mb/s for pennies (3, Interesting)

viking80 (697716) | more than 4 years ago | (#32392360)

The single mode, Non-Zero Dispersion Shifted fibers is of course optimized for DWDM. That means that a buyer can put at least 128 colors in the fiber, each with 10Gb/s. With 423 fibers in the bundle, that adds up to 0.5Pb/s.

With 10x oversubscription, this will supply 541 million homes with 100Mb/s broadband each.

That should cover all of the americas with 100 million is USA, 46 million in Brazil, and 12 million in Canada.

The cost for each household should be pennies.

Re:100Mb/s for pennies (2, Insightful)

mysidia (191772) | more than 4 years ago | (#32392466)

Except you still need a cable to bring each consumer to the aggregation points where the fiber is, and those are expensive....

Also, what happens when a big carrier like AT&T just buys out all the dark fiber between two places to hold onto it, and doesn't use WDM?

Re:100Mb/s for pennies (1)

BikeHelmet (1437881) | more than 4 years ago | (#32392500)

Interesting analysis. Don't forget that fiber still has to be laid to the home, unless going with technologies like ADSL2.

I suspect the current large ISPs will find a way to use this to their advantage - without giving their customers all the speed they can.

Re:100Mb/s for pennies (1)

jon3k (691256) | more than 4 years ago | (#32393234)

+5 Interesting? How in the world do you people modding this believe that this price includes the cost to deliver last mile to 541 million homes? This is for huge aggregate bundles of fiber laid from point to point. It would cost many orders of magnitude more to deliver it to that many locations. It's not even remotely comparable.

Re:100Mb/s for pennies (1)

viking80 (697716) | more than 4 years ago | (#32393784)

It is remotely comparable. So maybe it will be 100x the cost for the last mile. That makes 100Mb for a few dollars.

The point is that bandwidth is not a limited resource like electricity and water with a natural based scarcity, and an economical model based on that.

The scarcity of bandwidth in the USA is mostly a marketing gimmick to be able to differentiate cost between customers to maximize profit to the detriment of the overall speed of access.

20Mb/s-50Mb/s is common for basic internet in much of the world outside the USA

Re:100Mb/s for pennies (1)

UnderCoverPenguin (1001627) | more than 4 years ago | (#32394666)

There is an actual limit on available bandwidth: The capacity of the equipment and wiring carrying the data. To increase that capacity requires upgrades. Upgrades cost money. Even when the ISPs are willing to spend the money, the upgrades are done in small increments so as to minimize the "right now" costs. Of course, what Allied is doing only directly reduces the cost of backhaul bandwidth. It is possible some new ISPs could be enabled by this, which would be good. Otherwise its likely just more profit margin for the incumbents.

Re:100Mb/s for pennies (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32394720)

You seem to not understand that the fiber itself is the cheapest part. Just sticking the routers at each end will cost millions of dollars per fiber, per endpoint. With an OC-768 (40Gbps) card costing $1M, actually getting the advertised .5Pbps will cost billions of dollars. Getting the full bandwidth at each endpoint, with hundreds of endpoints could total trillions of dollars! And we're not talking the last mile here, we're talking about the glue between the backbone and the last mile.

dom

Very interesting... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32392444)

While this won't give us a whole new group of local ISPs, what it can give us is a handful of Metropolitan Wireless Area Network ISPs for most major and mid sized metro areas that have a reasonable chance of competing against the local monopoly carriers.

For instance, in the metropolitan area where I live, you have two main choices for broadband, Cable and DSL over the telco. There are a few metropolitan wireless providers, but they are paying hefty fees for their backbone links through the local monopoly carriers (I know, I used to temp for one). Assuming that there will be available bandwidth left on this "neutral access" backbone, and assuming that one of the rings comes close enough to here, they could shift over to that and reduce their interconnect costs, being able to compete on a cost basis with the wired, monopoly carriers in the area.

Heard it all before (4, Interesting)

mschuyler (197441) | more than 4 years ago | (#32392480)

Remember Level 3? There's a whole lot of dark fiber already in the ground that is obsolete and will never be lit up. Level 3 has conduit and fiber in place all over the globe. Before "The Fall" it was trading near $100 per share. Now it's $1.25. So no, I wouldn't buy stock in this venture.

I was thinking the same thing. (4, Insightful)

SuperKendall (25149) | more than 4 years ago | (#32392626)

Actually Level 3 is doing OK now (despite the low stock price) but it sure seems like Level3 is already doing what these guys plan to, and in fact I'd be really surprised if new conduits are being laid or if it's just running fiber through Level3 conduits... Level3 even has I think the access points along the cable routes they were describing, since they have to repeat the signal every so often anyway.

Also 675 million sounds REALLY low to put in a nationwide fiber network, I think Level3 spent more like ten billion...

Re:Heard it all before (2, Interesting)

chill (34294) | more than 4 years ago | (#32393104)

Well, the first phase of this project is supposed to connect New York to Chicago and Ashburn, VA. Level 3's headquarters in in Ashburn, VA. So, you might be on to something.

Re:Heard it all before (3, Insightful)

Skal Tura (595728) | more than 4 years ago | (#32393400)

They still do have to peer with someone for rest of the internet access. Fiber in itself has absolutely no use and value, unless you connect it to hundreds of millions to other devices.

Re:Heard it all before (2, Informative)

Tim the Gecko (745081) | more than 4 years ago | (#32394222)

Well, the first phase of this project is supposed to connect New York to Chicago and Ashburn, VA. Level 3's headquarters in in Ashburn, VA. So, you might be on to something.

Level 3 is headquartered in Broomfield, Colorado. The locations (NYC, Chicago, and the Dulles Technology Corridor) are three out of the eight or nine metros where North American internet giants interconnect with each other. Others include Atlanta, Dallas, LA and the Bay Area.

Re:Heard it all before (1)

timeOday (582209) | more than 4 years ago | (#32394328)

Maybe it's like Motorola's Irridium data satellite network, which was incredibly cool, and expensive, and went out of business promptly upon being launched. End the end some other company bought the assets for a few pennies on the dollar and is able to operate at a profit (last I heard), since they got the network almost for free, courtesy of motorola .com investors.

Re:Heard it all before (1)

MiniMike (234881) | more than 4 years ago | (#32394502)

Level 3's headquarters in in Ashburn, VA. So,

So is MAE East [wikipedia.org] , a large Internet Exchange Point.

Re:Heard it all before (1)

NuttyBee (90438) | more than 4 years ago | (#32393900)

You are correct!

Level 3, Qwest, and others have lots of unused fiber (much which may never be used) in conduits that they can light up if they see fit. Right now they may have 160 wavelengths on a pair of fibers, maybe 320 lambdas on the next gen of Infineras. Today the lambdas are OC-192s, tomorrow they will be OC-768s, and then 100G Ethernet. All on the same 2 fibers already in the ground.. And they have lots more than 2 fibers available to expand on.

Who in their right mind would try to compete with that? Their cost to attempt to run you out of buisiness is absurdly low.

Re:Heard it all before (1)

UnderCoverPenguin (1001627) | more than 4 years ago | (#32394708)

The incumbents don't want to spend the money to light those fibers. And they don't want to lease access to them to competitors. Allied is willing to take the risk that it can lease access its fibers. The incumbents might be willing to spend the money to lease from Allied if for no other reason than to deny others access to all that bandwidth. Any that the incumbents don't lease is very likely to be leased by others. I think Allied has made a good bet.

I would buy into them (2, Insightful)

mikeiver1 (1630021) | more than 4 years ago | (#32392770)

Here is the logic. If they are able to roll out as they plan then there will be allot of companies buying back haul from them rather than one of the incumbents. If the CoLo prices are reasonable then even more so. On the other side you would have companies like AT&T looking at them as a target for acquisition since they would be cutting into their high profit customer base and potential future revenue streams as well. They would almost have to or fall under their own weight. Either way the investors will win.

Good for Allied! (2, Interesting)

Jane Q. Public (1010737) | more than 4 years ago | (#32393340)

This could go a long way toward reducing costs and improving performance. The FCC or Congress should long ago have required mandatory "open access" leasing of backhaul. In other countries, open access has been directly correlated with lower prices and better performance.

How it works (1)

Requiem18th (742389) | more than 4 years ago | (#32393472)

1.- Propose ambitious project for ultra high speed for everybody!
2.- Rise public funds over promises of open unregulated connection for the nation
3.- ???
4.- Profit!

For 1000pts, guess what is step 3?

Re:How it works (1)

UnderCoverPenguin (1001627) | more than 4 years ago | (#32393924)

3. Either the incumbent stalls the project in court while it sneaks in and builds its own network to preempt the publicly funded one, or the incumbent some how strong arms the government to give the operating contract to it.

Re:How it works (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32393934)

3.- Secretly develop orbital death rays & an army of killer robots to unleash if the world's leaders don't agree to your demands for...
4.- Profit?

Good (2, Insightful)

hargrand (1301911) | more than 4 years ago | (#32393780)

More competition is always good for the consumer.

Nifty! (1)

blair1q (305137) | more than 4 years ago | (#32394534)

Comcast will still own the last mile for 100 million Americans but now their costs will be lower so they can claim higher bandwidth and charge more and then throttle any non-premium customer who uses more than a GB per month!

No, I am not being funny. Nor is Comcast.

Yes, yes, YES! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32394892)

I nearly blew a load when I read this. Competition in the space where its sorely needed, and fat fat pipes needing data. I have data that I want out. Getting upload bandwidth is freakishly expensive (download bandwidth is cheap and easy). Show me a piece of OC3 fiber, and I will fill it (ok, I may only be able to fill 100Mb/s of it), but given a bit of time, I could fill an OC24 connection. Where I live (Canada), bandwidth is extremely slow and pricey. I pay $40C ($42.10US) for 2.5Mbps down, 512kbps up, per month (60GB cap, with a per GP fee over that). Because the scale slides, they don't worry about net neutrality, go do whatever you like, just pay us at the end. Still, I would rather have fiber for cheaper.

Interesting separation (1)

dave562 (969951) | more than 4 years ago | (#32394984)

Whoever engineered the smaller run alongside the larger one, then decided that anyone who wants access to the system taps into the smaller system, is definitely worth whatever that person makes every year. Keeping the end users off of the backbone itself limits the chance of a misconfiguration taking everything down.

Load More Comments
Slashdot Login

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?