Beta

Slashdot: News for Nerds

×

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!

Google Fiber Work Hung Up In Kansas City

samzenpus posted more than 2 years ago | from the best-laid-plans dept.

Google 153

alphadogg writes "When Google announced last spring that Kansas City, Kan., had landed the tech company's much-pursued super-speed Internet project, the company gushed about the local utility poles. Now it turns out that differences over where and how to hang wires on those poles, and what fees or installation costs may be required, have created a troublesome bump in plans to launch the project."

cancel ×

153 comments

Organized trolling campaign by GreatBunzinni (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38745704)

GreatBunzinni [slashdot.org] has been posting anonymous accusations [slashdot.org] listing a whole bunch of Slashdot accounts as being part of a marketing campaign for Microsoft, without any evidence. GreatBunzinni has accidentally outed himself [slashdot.org] as this anonymous poster. Half the accounts he attacks don't even post pro-Microsoft rhetoric. The one thing they appear to have in common is that they have been critical of Google in the past. GreatBunzinni has been using multiple accounts to post these "shill" accusations, such as Galestar [slashdot.org] , NicknameOne [slashdot.org] , and flurp [slashdot.org] .

That's not the problem. The problem is that moderators gave him +5 Informative and are now modding down the accused, even for legitimate posts. Metamoderation is supposed to address this by filtering out the bad moderators, but clearly it's not working.

This "shill" crap that has been flying around lately has to stop. It's restricting a variety of viewpoints from participating on the site and creating an echo chamber.

Re:Organized trolling campaign by GreatBunzinni (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38745732)

Bonch, in the petri dish that slashdot is, I can see you evolving from a concern troll to goatse guy. It's an interesting process to you perhaps, but we've seen it so many times before that it's not amusing any more. Give our regards to twitter.

Re:Organized trolling campaign by GreatBunzinni (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38745926)

Holy Guacamole! This is an outrage, won't sombody PLEASE think of the children?

Re:Organized trolling campaign by GreatBunzinni (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38747510)

Man these two and their various nets of accounts would be better off staying invisible regardless of who they're working with, I've reached the point where I pretty much stop reading when I see any of their names or form letter headings

Resistance? What resistance? (5, Interesting)

symbolset (646467) | more than 2 years ago | (#38745708)

We knew there would be resistance bordering on armed rebellion. This is like delivering food aid to Somalia. Google knew going into this they needed a lawyer for every trench digger and fiber hanger to deliver Kansas City from the early 20th Century, and should have budgeted a hundred million dollars to grease the wheels that turn the gears of industry. There's entrenched opposition to this in Kansas City with incumbent warlords defending their turf, as there is in the rest of the nation. This isn't really surprising at all.

Re:Resistance? What resistance? (5, Insightful)

0100010001010011 (652467) | more than 2 years ago | (#38745898)

This is when you say "Ok, our #2 city is ______. If we can't resolve this in the next month we're going to go with them." There are PLENTY of small towns and cities around the country that would jump at the opportunity for Google Fiber (as show in the application turnout).

Let everyone in Kansas City know it's local politics holding stuff up.

Re:Resistance? What resistance? (5, Informative)

symbolset (646467) | more than 2 years ago | (#38745994)

Out where I live there's a little podunk town called Ephrata, Washington. Their power utility thought to get Internet to their customers before it was banned as "anticompetitive". So now out here, hundreds of miles from the big city and miles from your nearest neighbor you can get gigabit internet over fiber for $80 a month, and can have for some seven years and more. It's not a density thing, it's not a money thing - they're actually turning a profit at that fee that they have to get rid of because, of course, they're a nonprofit.

Can I get that here in the city? No. My public utilty failed to get grandfathered in back in the day and now claims "no interest" in doing so - even though they have something like 1000x the population density of Ephrata and it doesn't matter anyway because the governor signed into law protectionist legislation that prevents my power utility from competing "unfairly" with cable companies for Internet access. Thank God she's got my best interests at heart, or I might have gigabit Internet now and may have killed myself with gigabit broadband HD pron.

Re:Resistance? What resistance? (4, Interesting)

symbolset (646467) | more than 2 years ago | (#38746062)

BTW: If you live in Ephrata and have a spare closet, I'd like to work a deal for some hosting where I pay your whole power and Internet bill in return for you ignoring a couple little boxes. People from Grant County with 100Mbps fiber may also apply.

Re:Resistance? What resistance? (2)

Nimey (114278) | more than 2 years ago | (#38747682)

Are you a spammer?

Re:Resistance? What resistance? (4, Interesting)

Nethead (1563) | more than 2 years ago | (#38747148)

Sometimes I think I might want to retire over there, maybe Wenatchee. But then I think of the 20 years I spent in Yakima and come to my senses. But NWI/LocalTel does have some sweet pipe. I'm over there (from Tulalip) about twice a month to turn up circuits. Hell, my T-Mobile phone doesn't have signal in downtown Grand Coullee but the freaking tire store had 50Mb/50Mb service. They could have 100/100 for $5.00 more, but the 50/50 is the lowest plan available. Fuck Me!

Re:Resistance? What resistance? (2)

tverbeek (457094) | more than 2 years ago | (#38747292)

As a matter of fact, Grand Rapids MI [goog616.com] (which was one of the top contenders) is still very much interested and available.

Re:Resistance? What resistance? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38747678)

That would just be further incentive to move over there. It would be very tempting.

Re:Resistance? What resistance? (1)

Baloo Uriza (1582831) | more than 2 years ago | (#38747906)

No doubt. Heck, Google could just get on US 75 South and stay on it until they hit Tulsa, Oklahoma. It's not like they don't already have Cherokee localization on search. And given that it's a tech-saavy market that Verizon, Cox and AT&T treat like rubes, Google would have instant market share as long as they try to be competitive with internet pricing in the rest of north america, and not internet pricing in Tulsa.

Re:Resistance? What resistance? (4, Informative)

George_Ou (849225) | more than 2 years ago | (#38745906)

Did you even read the article? Oh wait, this is slashdot.

The article talks about unequal treatment. One provider offers the same public service as Google, but they're not getting special treatment and free access to the facilities. Then there's the issue of higher costs associated with hanging fiber near electrical wiring. You don't want your workers or customers getting fried, so there will be additional costs.

Re:Resistance? What resistance? (-1, Troll)

symbolset (646467) | more than 2 years ago | (#38746044)

Really the only question I have about your post is how much you got paid for it. Whatever it was, it was too much as your comment is malformed and incoherent.

Re:Resistance? What resistance? (1)

George_Ou (849225) | more than 2 years ago | (#38746080)

Again, did you read the article? I talked about the issues listed in the article and there was nothing conspiratorial against Google, just a hard dose of reality.

Re:Resistance? What resistance? (-1, Flamebait)

symbolset (646467) | more than 2 years ago | (#38746136)

In every discussion here on slashdot there has to be some fucktard who just doesn't "get it". Congratulations. You're it.

Re:Resistance? What resistance? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38746164)

Again, did you read the article? I talked about the issues listed in the article and there was nothing conspiratorial against Google, just a hard dose of reality.

In every discussion here on slashdot there has to be some fucktard who just doesn't "get it". Congratulations. You're it.

As the article clearly stated, Google and the city cut a deal that if Google placed the fiber in the utility space everyone else uses, they would be charged the normal rate. But if Google placed the fiber within the exclusion zone of the power lines, a space in which no other utility is allowed to place lines, Google would not be charged anything. That is quite clearly unequal treatment, preferential to Google.... So I guess we know who really doesn't "get it".

And fibre interferes with powerline HOW? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38746462)

n/t

Re:Resistance? What resistance? (1)

hedwards (940851) | more than 2 years ago | (#38746936)

If there's already a provider in KC that provides the same public service as Google, then why exactly is Google needed there? Here in Seattle we have tons of fiber available for use and internet speeds max out at like 12mbps if you're willing to put up with crappy service and caps from Comcast. In much of the city the limit otherwise is 1.5mbps.

Re:Resistance? What resistance? (2)

somersault (912633) | more than 2 years ago | (#38747100)

If there's already a provider in KC that provides the same public service as Google, then why exactly is Google needed there?

Bubwaaaaah? "We already have McDonalds, why do we need this Burger King/KFC?" "We already have Windows, why do we need any other OS?". "We already have Volkswagen, why do we need any other car manufacturer?". Do I really have to say to a fellow Slashdotter that competition is good for the consumer?

Here in Seattle we have tons of fiber available for use and internet speeds max out at like 12mbps

That's copper speeds, not worth having fiber for..

Re:Resistance? What resistance? (5, Insightful)

Jawnn (445279) | more than 2 years ago | (#38747796)

Did you even read the article? Oh wait, this is slashdot. The article talks about unequal treatment. One provider offers the same public service as Google, but they're not getting special treatment and free access to the facilities. Then there's the issue of higher costs associated with hanging fiber near electrical wiring. You don't want your workers or customers getting fried, so there will be additional costs.

I did read the article. The unequal treatment argument is, in a word, bullshit. The local incumbent utilities, if they had been, you know, competitive, could have attempted to sell the same service to the community for the same terms. But they didn't, for the simple reason that they were doing what they've been doing for decades; sitting on their fat asses because they have never had to actually compete.

Re:Resistance? What resistance? (3, Insightful)

LordLimecat (1103839) | more than 2 years ago | (#38746146)

If you read through the article, the problem isnt resistance, its disagreement about how to run the fiber. Noone wants Google to abandon the project, they just cant agree on how to implement it.

Re:Resistance? What resistance? (3, Insightful)

symbolset (646467) | more than 2 years ago | (#38746192)

There will always be objections about the minor details. That's the last line of defense. I'm glad it's not about saving the habitat of the naked gerbil, or whatever.

Re:Resistance? What resistance? (1)

umghhh (965931) | more than 2 years ago | (#38746408)

Good that you mentioned this - I think naked gerbil and other pr0n industry representatives should leave our country and take their disease with them. let us leave in peace (and vote republican).

Re:Resistance? What resistance? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38746292)

They can't agree on how much the "free right of way" Kansas City bid in the tender can be extorted from Google.

If I was Google I'd ring up the town of Google, Kansas (formerly Topeka, Kansas) just down the road, and ask them how much they want a fiber network.

Re:Resistance? What resistance? (1)

hedwards (940851) | more than 2 years ago | (#38746954)

I do, if they abandon it maybe they'll come here. Knowing some of the details I'm more than a little bit shocked that we got passed over by cheaters. I'm not really sure how it is that they thought this was going to work or that it would be somehow desirable versus using preexisting dark fiber to kickstart the project.

Corruption. (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38745770)

Is there anything it can't screw up?

Google didn't bribe the right people and suck the right dicks. So it's going to be stuck in red tape forever.

Re:Corruption. (3, Interesting)

Z00L00K (682162) | more than 2 years ago | (#38745850)

And why use poles at all? Place everything underground where it's protected from weather. And it looks a lot tidier too.

It's a bit more expensive but the maintenance is a lot lower so the total cost will even out.

Re:Corruption. (4, Insightful)

George_Ou (849225) | more than 2 years ago | (#38745914)

Dude, it's like 4-8 times more expensive to lay fiber underground and this is a well documented fact. It's vastly superior for sure, but at a very steep price.

Re:Corruption. (1)

symbolset (646467) | more than 2 years ago | (#38746122)

I could connect about 150 of my neighbors with a gigabit fenceline network for about $300 total. If I did that 30 times, I'd have a network of 5000 users with money to spend, and the Internet would build a bridge to us.

Re:Corruption. (4, Informative)

George_Ou (849225) | more than 2 years ago | (#38746142)

Sigh. Listen to yourself. You should just stop posting comments on slashdot and just do what you are suggesting. If you're successful, slashdot will link to you. But before you do that, you should read this post on this subject. http://tech.slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=2627934&cid=38745922 [slashdot.org]

Re:Corruption. (1)

modernzombie (1496981) | more than 2 years ago | (#38746976)

+1 Informative

Re:Corruption. (2, Insightful)

umghhh (965931) | more than 2 years ago | (#38746540)

I live in Germany (the big communist country in communist Europe) and the last time I saw these cable guys working they did not dig trenches but made a whole once say 100m and use some funny equipment drilling vertical holes, pulling the cable trough it etc. It all works quite fine for lesser house densities and looking at the debacle in Kansas is probably cheaper then all these fashionable pols. In the cities most of residents have already the cables in their vicinity so it is not a problem.

Now I wonder how ass backward US actually is? I mean can it be that all that bickering and mud throwing and fear of commies eats up so much 'brain' energy that you cannot even think of anything that actually works and is relatively cheap because of economies of scale (for which we need standardized solutions for wide swaths of the country) ? Possibly the economies of scale require communism to work? BTW: we do not apparently need fiber that much here - the good old copper does it for us and I assure you pr0n is as crisp as it should be. I am also pretty sure that if a need arises (for instance we will have our police installing cameras in each corner of our houses to protect our freedoms and feeding this live to a bunker in Berlin) we will have fiber also.

Re:Corruption. (2)

George_Ou (849225) | more than 2 years ago | (#38746666)

Do you honestly think I'm making up the cost of underground fiber? What you're describing isn't even all that clear and it sounds like there is already conduit in place to pull fiber. If there is no conduit, you have to dig and build conduit.

Moreover, your copper is no different than our copper and the same physics applies. The same throughput of VDSL2 applies everywhere in the world. The difference is that in addition to the copper phone wires, we have a lot more cable coax competition in addition to a whole lot more fiber to the home.

Re:Corruption. (1)

hedwards (940851) | more than 2 years ago | (#38746966)

Yes, but we offered to give Google most of that infrastructure and we got passed over.

Re:Corruption. (5, Insightful)

thegarbz (1787294) | more than 2 years ago | (#38746160)

It's a bit more expensive but the maintenance is a lot lower so the total cost will even out.

That's a misnomer. The maintenance of utility poles, pruning branches, and ensuring service lines don't get cut often fall on the power utility provider, not the cable or telecom companies.

Putting fibre on power poles is in every way a far cheaper option even in the long run than burying it. If you had to build your own poles, and do your own maintenance sure the costs would start to rise, but this isn't the case for most telecom / cable companies. It is why they opt to put them on the poles in the first place.

Re:Corruption. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38746506)

Was going to say ... hanging wires from poles ... in urban areas? So quaint.

Is there anything it can't screw up? (1)

symbolset (646467) | more than 2 years ago | (#38746098)

Not really, no.

Re:Corruption. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38746262)

You wouldn't touch a dick from Kansas City Kansas either.

KCK is a low rent city, many cannot afford basics, so google delays are of no consequence to 10% of the adult population

But... its fiber?!? (4, Insightful)

ArcRiley (737114) | more than 2 years ago | (#38745808)

Maybe I'm missing something, but fiberoptics aren't conductive. That's one of the beautiful things about it. Why would they need steel-coated cables to protect them from the electric lines?

Re:But... its fiber?!? (4, Informative)

pryoplasm (809342) | more than 2 years ago | (#38745830)

Somtimes fiber optic cables have a metallic sheath around them, not so much for protection but more to make it easier to detect. If you are doing a site survey, your conductive cables will come up, and you can mark them accordingly. If you have a fiber cable without that jacket, then you run the risk of not knowing where it goes, then snapping through the fiber, and spending some fun time either in a hole or a tent with a fusion splicer.

Accidentally digging up fiber isn't fun...

Re:But... its fiber?!? (5, Funny)

whoever57 (658626) | more than 2 years ago | (#38745846)

Accidentally digging up fiber isn't fun...

Especially when the fiber is on a pole [RTFA].

Re:But... its fiber?!? (1)

thegarbz (1787294) | more than 2 years ago | (#38746162)

OMG now you made me spit beer on my monitor.

*Tips Hat while laughing*

Why you should keep some fiber cablein your pocket (1)

Dareth (47614) | more than 2 years ago | (#38748028)

You should keep some fiber cable in your pocket just in case you get lost. Once you realize you are lost, just bury it in the ground. When the guy with the backhoe comes to cut it, ask for directions.

Re:But... its fiber?!? (1)

davester666 (731373) | more than 2 years ago | (#38745832)

To protect the cables from the competition?

Re:But... its fiber?!? (2)

Maow (620678) | more than 2 years ago | (#38745876)

Maybe I'm missing something, but fiberoptics aren't conductive. That's one of the beautiful things about it. Why would they need steel-coated cables to protect them from the electric lines?

I thought that too, but my guess is that with enough voltage most things will conduct some electricity. So, in case of accidental contact between Google fibre and (say, downed) power wires, the metal coating will ensure the fibre coating will run to ground wire at nearest pole, not start burning / arcing, possibly some distance from contact. Or, run some of that voltage into some establishment, truly "lighting up" the premises.

Re:But... its fiber?!? (2)

thegarbz (1787294) | more than 2 years ago | (#38746170)

Residential powerlines are rarely anywhere near the voltage required for your scenario. The requirement in this case truly is a legacy issue to prevent telecom services coming in contact with conductive power lines. If it's written in an outdated standard somewhere it will still be very hard to argue against.

Re:But... its fiber?!? (4, Interesting)

The_Laughing_God (253693) | more than 2 years ago | (#38745886)

I'd think pole-strung Fiber would need steel strands for structural strength in high winds and other potent weather -- underground fiber has less need of structural strength.

The steel strands, however, happen to be conductors which need to follow proper isolation procedures.

Re:But... its fiber?!? (1)

Lefty2446 (232351) | more than 2 years ago | (#38746072)

Most cable cores are kevlar or similar for weight reasons.

Re:But... its fiber?!? (1)

hedwards (940851) | more than 2 years ago | (#38746978)

Stringing it on poles means that you have to have loops to handle when the poles move and any stretch that might occur due to temperature fluctuations and wind.

You also then have to go to a lot more trouble to fix it if there's a tree that falls across the line. And don't forget about the electronics that are needed to keep the signal going and handle splitting off to the home.

Re:But... its fiber?!? (5, Informative)

choprboy (155926) | more than 2 years ago | (#38746092)

Maybe I'm missing something, but fiberoptics aren't conductive. That's one of the beautiful things about it. Why would they need steel-coated cables to protect them from the electric lines?

The fiber optic cable is not conductive, but the aerial hanger wire and pole supports, to which the fiber optic is wrapped, most certainly are. This is not about protecting the fiber optic cables, this is about protecting the infrastructure (ALL of the utilities on the pole) and the life and safety of those personal working on it. This issue is very clear-cut and Google/Kansas City will lose. They tried to slip in a fast one of defining their own terms for pole placement, but issue of pole line placement is already quite well established

The highest voltage lines are placed at the top of the pole, say 25kV feeder lines. Below that on the power pole, outside the exclusion zone of the upper wire, comes the primary distribution lines, perhaps 7kV or 14.4kV, and below that exclusion zone comes the next highest voltage and so forth... At the mid pole location (and below all the above exclusion zones) comes the secondary distribution lines (120V-480V). Below that level comes the telephone lines (48V), and below that cable distribution. At the very bottom is the lowest power lines, namely being fiber optic cables.

This means that a telephone/etc. service technician never has to be within the exclusion zone of a high voltage, for which they do not have the proper equipment and training. The Google proposal would have the fiber installers working in the same space, and requiring the same training and equipment, as the power company personal who handle live high voltage lines.

Yet another Google Disaster (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38745874)

So is this where Google abandons a project halfway, shrugs its shoulders, and talks about a "learning experience"?

Other cities should counter :) (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38745878)

Hey, ughm Google... so how about you come to my city instead? It'll be less of a hassle for you I swears!

At least that's how I think this should play out...

I'm starting my own ISP and calling it... (1)

mykos (1627575) | more than 2 years ago | (#38745910)

"We Will Be Demonized For No Good Reason By The Existing Telecoms In This Town, You Just Watch Communications". That way, the townspeople will know why my business is portrayed as puppy kickers and municipal water poisoners.

Google underbid through a screwup (5, Interesting)

Animats (122034) | more than 2 years ago | (#38745922)

Normally, everybody who hangs wires on poles pays a share of the pole cost. But Google negotiated a contract where they don't have to pay if the fiber optic cable is close to power lines, instead of further down where telephone and TV cable lines go. Working near power lines is dangerous and slow, and when it's done (which is rare) the work has to be done by people trained to work on power lines. Usually, nobody does that unless there's some spot where there's no good alternative. Google thought they could do a lot of it and save money. Wrong.

Here's a summary of the subject. [pseg.com] Doing this without getting someone killed is not easy. There are major headaches associated with hanging fiber in the power line space. It may be necessary to cut off power on the power lines during installation. While the fiber is non conductive, the messenger wire which supports it is usually steel, so it cannot be pulled into place in the power line space while the power is on. Electricity customers hate having their power cut off for installation work.

Besides, for "last mile" connections it doesn't help much. Any electrical boxes or pole-mounted equipment have to be down in the communication space on the pole, and the drop to the house has to come from down there. Only for long runs without drops is there any win for hanging fiber in the power line space. On rural lines, where long runs are likely, there's usually not that much wire on the poles, so there's no reason to do that.

Somebody at Google had too cute an idea, and they've run into the real world.

Re:Google underbid through a screwup (1)

hedwards (940851) | more than 2 years ago | (#38746986)

I'm surprised that the town thought they could get away with that, I thought that the electric company typically owned the poles and received some money to cover maintenance and replacement by the other utilities that use the poles.

Re:Google underbid through a screwup (1)

alen (225700) | more than 2 years ago | (#38747116)

in a lot of places outside the big cities the electric company is government owned or a cooperative or both

Re:Google underbid through a screwup (1)

hedwards (940851) | more than 2 years ago | (#38747436)

Around here the electricity is provided by a public utility, however that does not mean that the mayor's office or city council get to dictate how they use their infrastructure. Which is how it should be, the people running the utility are often there much longer than a term in office is and are supposed to be making long terms plans so that you get stable service and hopefully affordable service as well.

Why use utility poles at all? (5, Interesting)

Rotaluclac (561178) | more than 2 years ago | (#38745960)

This question may just show that I'm from Europe... But I really wonder: why use utility poles at all? What's the reason? Here, almost all cities and towns got a fibre-optic network during the last three years. I too have a fibre connection in my home, just like the rest of my town. During all of these activities, utility poles weren't even considered. It was clear from the start that the fibres would go underground. Everywhere. So narrow (50cm or narrower - that's about 1 to 1,5 feet for non-/. readers) trenches were dug in every sidewalk. Where roads had to be crossed, a kind of horizontal drill was used. The same for going from the street to my house: a narrow hole was drilled under my front garden, leaving no visible trace of the fibre. (Actually, it may have been more "pushing" than "drilling", but that's a minor technical detail). I'm just saying - im my state of mind, going underground is just sooooo logical, that alternatives weren't even considered. Why is it so different in the USA?

Re:Why use utility poles at all? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38745978)

Our Roads get replaced every ~5 years. Also burial is 5-10x more expensive than paying the fees fer poles.

Re:Why use utility poles at all? (1)

Teun (17872) | more than 2 years ago | (#38746032)

If you count the potholes in a typical US-American road as 'replacing the road' you could be right :)

But when you consider the cost of the frequent power failures typical in the US and hardly known in the parts of Europe where power cables are buried you get a different cost calculation.

Plus the value of your property goes up when there are no ugly utility poles.

Re:Why use utility poles at all? (1)

dkf (304284) | more than 2 years ago | (#38746742)

Our Roads get replaced every ~5 years.

Really? You're doing it wrong then. Either you should be using a stronger base to the road or you should lay it with a different technology altogether. For example, if you're in an area with significant frost-heave, leaving a good thick layer at the top of the road as untarred gravel makes it much easier to get the surface back to drivable in the spring: just run a grader over it. Cheap and effective. (OK, you have to reduce your speed a bit when driving on that stuff but so what? It's costing you less in taxes to maintain.)

Re:Why use utility poles at all? (1)

hedwards (940851) | more than 2 years ago | (#38746998)

I'm guessing he doesn't mean replaced so much as resurfaced. Blacktop typically needs to be replaced every 5 or so years depending upon the weather. Or at least that's what happens in places that are interested in maintaining their infrastructure. Around here we haven't done that in at least 30 years and by the time we do maintain it we mostly have to go to more extreme measures.

Re:Why use utility poles at all? (4, Informative)

Teun (17872) | more than 2 years ago | (#38746006)

It's all about the constitiution you commie.

The ground is of the owner, the air of us all.
Or maybe it is just thoughtless tradition to deface whole neighborhoods and towns with ugly utility poles.

Re:Why use utility poles at all? (3, Informative)

squoozer (730327) | more than 2 years ago | (#38746402)

I'd love to know where in Europe you are because you certainly aren't in the UK. I can only think of a few test sites that have fibre to the home here. Anyway that's beside the point. Where the cables get put is probably more to do with tradition than anything. In Europe it's traditional to put them underground so we don't have many poles. If you want to lay a new cable you have basically no option but to put it under ground. There are plenty of problems with underground cabling though (at least in the UK). Up until fairly recently very poor records were kept about where cables were laid under ground. The utility company might know the cable ran along a particular road and maybe even which side but little more detail was kept. Each company laying cables also used to work completely on it's own installing conduit that was much larger than needed for future proofing. Then there's the upgrade problem, I live along a busy main road that has been in this spot for 200+ years, in the pavement outside our house there are at least three different gas installations and two, maybe three, different water installations of varying ages. Only one of each actually works but it can be really hard to tell which because one muddy pipe looks much like any other and other works have to avoid all of them. Combine that with sewer pipes, electricity, phone and cable and you end up with a right mess. If you are wondering how I know it's a mess we had to get the street dug up when we moved here to have gas fitted, the gas fitting guys hit the electrical cable and took out the power for about 1000 homes - Doh!

Re:Why use utility poles at all? (1)

chrb (1083577) | more than 2 years ago | (#38746530)

I'd love to know where in Europe you are because you certainly aren't in the UK. I can only think of a few test sites that have fibre to the home here.

Virgin Media owns and operates its own fibre-optic cable network [wikipedia.org] , the only national cable network in the United Kingdom. As of 31 December 2010 it had a total of approximately 4.8 million cable customers, out of 25 million households in UK. That's 19% of UK households hooked up with Virgin cable.

Virgin Broadband in cabled areas is marketed as "fibre optic broadband". It is a FTTN network, where fibre optic trunk lines are used to connect the area's headend to cabinets on the street.[citation needed] It is not a fibre to the home service like Verizon FiOS; instead, the link between the cabinet and the customer uses DOCSIS 3.0 over coaxial copper cable.

Okay, so it's FTTN not FTTH, but the copper only goes a few tens of meters from cabinet to household, which means you could easily push 1 gigabit over it. The fastest current service is 100mbit.

Re:Why use utility poles at all? (1)

jo_ham (604554) | more than 2 years ago | (#38747096)

They're bumping the top speed up to 120Mb from February this year, and everyone else is getting a speed doubling for no price increase (triple speed up for those on 20Mb). I've been on their 50/5 Mb service for over a year and it has been fantastic with very little downtime and consistently high speeds. From next month the my package will be 100/10.

10 > 20
20 > 60
30 > 60
50 > 100
100 > 120

Virgin are telling everyone by email etc, but if you're on the 20Mb tier and you want to prepare, you might want to upgrade various hardware to wireless N since you'll soon be getting 60/5 Mb internet (Virgin will give you a "Superhub" router thing if you don't already have a capable home router). I think they'll give you one wireless N adapter for free too.

Re:Why use utility poles at all? (1)

Rotaluclac (561178) | more than 2 years ago | (#38746896)

I'd love to know where in Europe you are because you certainly aren't in the UK

I'm in The Netherlands.

Re:Why use utility poles at all? (1)

Pope (17780) | more than 2 years ago | (#38747358)

So say that instead of "Europe." It's like talking about Africa is if it's one uniform place.

Re:Why use utility poles at all? (1)

Rotaluclac (561178) | more than 2 years ago | (#38747396)

So say that instead of "Europe." It's like talking about Africa is if it's one uniform place.

The situation is the same in other European countries I visited.

I do admit that I haven't yet visited all countries.

Re:Why use utility poles at all? (1)

hedwards (940851) | more than 2 years ago | (#38747014)

Putting them underground is pretty much always better than stringing them along poles. The only reason we string them along poles is that we're too cheap to pay for it to be done right in most parts of the US. There are a few places like Alaska where putting them underground is essentially a non-starter due to the distances and the permafrost, but in general it's because we're too cheap to pay for it to be done right.

Sort of like why our roads are crumbling and our bridges are falling down, but God help any politician that actually wants to raise taxes or cut programs to pay for it.

Re:Why use utility poles at all? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38746824)

So narrow trenches were dug in every sidewalk. Where roads had to be crossed, a kind of horizontal drill was used.

Ah, as ever the pedestrian has to deal with ripped-up pavements whilst the motorists are mollycoddled. Can't possibly require that car to drive around a hole in the road.

Why are pedestrians considered second-class?

Re:Why use utility poles at all? (1)

Rotaluclac (561178) | more than 2 years ago | (#38746916)

Ah, as ever the pedestrian has to deal with ripped-up pavements whilst the motorists are mollycoddled. Can't possibly require that car to drive around a hole in the road.

A trench of 50 cm or narrower doesn't really hurt when the sidewalk is about 2 meters wide. It was only a minor nuisance.

Where people could be expected to want to cross the trench, they made wooden "bridges" every 100 meters or so.

Re:Why use utility poles at all? (1)

Eil (82413) | more than 2 years ago | (#38747326)

Wires on telephone poles are much easier to install and maintain. Assuming ideal conditions, you can string up a mile of new line in an afternoon with very little equipment. Breaks, shorts, and other faults are much easier to find and fix as well. No digging required, just follow the line until you see the broken line or sparks flying and then send up a lineman to fix it.

The downside is that telephone poles are somewhat unsightly. It varies by region, but where I live, you usually only see buried lines in well-to-do areas.

Re:Why use utility poles at all? (1)

greap (1925302) | more than 2 years ago | (#38747520)

Streets are wider, cities are more spread out and the distances are longer; as a result trenching is economical in Europe but not so much here.

Soluble/Insoluble? (1)

GreatM31 (2554304) | more than 2 years ago | (#38745964)

When I saw the post title I thought it was some new Google Project to collect all their employees' sh*t and hang it in some public space in Kansas City.

No biggie (1)

BlueCoder (223005) | more than 2 years ago | (#38745970)

They are basically breaking new ground putting fiber up there. As others have stated fiber optics don't need a conductor. If anything metal in a cable would be for structural strength for standard cables not designed for collocation with power lines. So Google may have to string commission non standard lines that use another material for reinforcement or use a heavier cable and ground it.

I think the regulation rules are reasonable. Homes need reliable electricity. Homes need reliable communication. Lines in inevitably need to be repaired at sometime and everything need to be repairable quickly and efficiently in a standard way. But it shouldn't take more than a month or two to get everyone to approve an acceptable standard.

Give me the fiber instead (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38746110)

I'm currently without water for a few hours due to water pipe upgrades in my city, I would surely "put up" with some disruption for faster internet.

Re:Give me the fiber instead (2)

Sulphur (1548251) | more than 2 years ago | (#38746240)

I'm currently without water for a few hours due to water pipe upgrades in my city, I would surely "put up" with some disruption for faster internet.

Bigger pipes?

Bury (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38746124)

Do it like any other civilized place in the world. Bury the wires. All wires. Europeans get shocked at the amount of wires in US cities. Wires that get cut every single storm.

Re:Bury (1)

GNU(slash)Nickname (761984) | more than 2 years ago | (#38746556)

Europeans get shocked at the amount of wires in US cities.

I see what you did there.

Re:Bury (1)

umghhh (965931) | more than 2 years ago | (#38746682)

obviously you are a communist. I am too as I come from Europe. I mean get serious - the guys that want to become presidential candidates from GOP trhow abuse using the words like Europe, European - I laughed when I heard that they used command of French as an argument AGAINST a candidate. The country is ass backward. I only hope they wake up and get rid of trolls, maniacs and bigots that effectively poison any decision making and any discussion.

Yeah (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38746504)

Enjoy that red state. Hope you bribed the right officials. Think pakistan.

Location Location Location (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38746512)

Please keep the bashing focused on the issue people...the city in question is Kansas City KANSAS...which we refer to as KCK.

This type of project would never even get off the ground in Missouri (KCMO).

Google IS being demonized... (3, Informative)

killfixx (148785) | more than 2 years ago | (#38746678)

1. The city agreed to Google's terms in lieu of tax breaks (usually worth billions over 10-20 years).
2. BPU should have been contacted by the local govt BEFORE approving the Google deal.
3. The incumbent telcos are bitching because Google will be eating their lunch...shit...they'll be eating all their meals...

Remember, taxes paid for the CableCo's to build out most of their infrastructure. Taxes paid for the TelCo's to build out most of their infrastructure.

Of course, I understand that there are safety concerns here, but that should have gone into hour one negotiations, not 11th hour politicking.

Re:Google IS being demonized... (3, Interesting)

H3lldr0p (40304) | more than 2 years ago | (#38747552)

Re #2: The sad fact of the matter is that (as someone living in the county) that it's well known that the BPU is very corrupt. As in former board members have resigned over rigging the pay of friends and family. There's a good reason that the county government ignored them and are trying to ram this through. See this [pitch.com] for further reading.

Re #3: The incumbents did this to themselves. Before it was popular everywhere else, Kansas fucked its own ass by giving the cable and telcos state wide franchises and removing all of the local oversight boards. There might have been a chance to stop Google, but their greed got the best of them years ago.

frost Pist!! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38746684)

the most. Look at opini0n in other backward and said to keep up as goal here? How can

Just to be clear (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38747070)

This is happening in Kansas City, KANSAS. Not the vastly superior Kansas City, MISSOURI. :D
KC,MO negotiated all this out in their original Google agreement.

Re:Just to be clear (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38747374)

Thank you, as a resident of KCMO, I wish this was made clear. Due to the extra negotiation on the front side, Google is on schedule in KCMO. I would love to get this in my house ASAP.

Re:Just to be clear (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38747476)

Yeah. I was gonna say, on the MO side we're basically ready to go. I wish they'd jsut do us first and give KS side time to get their fershluggener act together.

Re:Just to be clear (1)

ks*nut (985334) | more than 2 years ago | (#38747624)

As long as we're being clear could you please inform the congregation about the state of Kansas City, Missouri's public schools. Yeah, that's the term I would use - VASTLY SUPERIOR.

Which Kansas City? (3, Informative)

error 303 (1289340) | more than 2 years ago | (#38747504)

For the record, this is happening with Kansas City, Kansas, the suburban (though arguably much less nice) counterpart to what everyone thinks of as Kansas City in Missouri. KCK opted for a rushed agreement with Google to secure rights. KCMO actually thought about this ahead of time and secured a deal that avoids this, though they could only announce it several months later. The second half of the article goes on to talk about how the Missouri part of the project (the much bigger part) is still on schedule and on budget. So, yeah. Still waiting on getting fiber to my door, but AT&T just laid a bunch more cable and keep hounding me to switch to them, and Time Warner keeps asking me to update my internet plan. So I've gotta think Google has turned some heads in the area and gotten some comapnies a little worried.

This is what they get for hireing PHD's over real (0)

Joe_Dragon (2206452) | more than 2 years ago | (#38747536)

Hiring people with lot's theory based education over real experience leads to stuff like.

As some can hit the books and find a way to save on fees with out knowing what it's realty like to install cable in that way.

It's will be real sad to see a goggle job ad for cable installer that says need BA or higher and pass over people that don't have one BUT years of doing cable install work.

Simpsons did it (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38747570)

Assistant: Oh, here he comes. What is it now, Quimby?
Quimby: Nothing, nothing. Only the, er, city has just passed another tax on puffy directing pants.
Director: But I don't wear puffy pants!
Quimby: I meant a tax on _not_ wearing puffy pants.

Hanging Wires in Kansas? (1)

ks*nut (985334) | more than 2 years ago | (#38747586)

It seems to me that a company as well informed as Google might think twice before stringing miles of its infrastructure from poles in Kansas. They should find Dorothy, or better yet, Professor Marvel and ask if it's a good idea...

Re:Hanging Wires in Kansas? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38747840)

Burying the lines would require spending money, and it is hard to drive everyone out of business by being super-cheap (free!!!) when you have to spend real money.

Heh...they chose Kansas City... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38747764)

They should've went with Longmont, CO. I doubt that the city would've gave them these issues.

Misleading TItle (0)

Bob9113 (14996) | more than 2 years ago | (#38747898)

Google Fiber Work Hung Up In Kansas City

I read this and got really puzzled. I was thinking, OK, I know Google works on some strange things, like that downwind faster than the wind car, but when did they start getting into fine arts? Fiber work? Is it, like, a tapestry, or something more avant garde, like an abstract sculpture made of cloth and individual fibers?

Load More Comments
Slashdot Account

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?

Don't worry, we never post anything without your permission.

Submission Text Formatting Tips

We support a small subset of HTML, namely these tags:

  • b
  • i
  • p
  • br
  • a
  • ol
  • ul
  • li
  • dl
  • dt
  • dd
  • em
  • strong
  • tt
  • blockquote
  • div
  • quote
  • ecode

"ecode" can be used for code snippets, for example:

<ecode>    while(1) { do_something(); } </ecode>
Create a Slashdot Account

Loading...