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Putting The Fiber Glut In Historical Perspective

timothy posted more than 12 years ago | from the pay-now-or-pay-later dept.

Technology 95

securitas writes: "This editorial over at the New York Times makes a good case for the optical network buildout being an essential infrastructure project like the railroads, telegraph lines and interstate highways were of previous generations. These projects stimulated new inventions and applications and helped build a great nation. So if you lost a ton on JDS Uniphase, Ciena, Corning, Nortel and the rest, rest easy that you have helped build the future and inspire innovation."

cancel ×

95 comments

porn :o) (5, Funny)

mgebbers (252737) | more than 12 years ago | (#2247774)

rest easy that you have helped build the future and inspire innovation. 'in the porn industry' got cut off :o(

put this in perspective! (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2247776)

+* j a c k * o f f * j a c k * o f f * j a c k * o f f *+
* \ \ \ *
j / \ \ j
a \ \ a
c \ \ c
k / \ \ \/,,..---v--. k
o ,,\.--"""\/ \ o
f \ > f
f / f
* /vvv\..---""'`-' *
j ,,. j
a / \ \hhh/ a
c c
k k
o \ \ o
f \ \/ f
f \ f
* \ *
j j
a a
c c
k k
o o
f f
f f
* *
+* j a c k * o f f * j a c k * o f f * j a c k * o f f *+

* mportant Stuff: Please try to keep posts on topic. * Try to reply to other people comments instead of starting new threads. * Read other people's messages before posting your own to avoid simply duplicating what has already been said. * Use a clear subject that describes what your message is about. * Offtopic, Inflammatory, Inappropriate, Illegal, or Offensive comments might be moderated. (You can read everything, even moderated posts, by adjusting your threshold on the User Preferences Page) Problems regarding accounts or comment posting should be sent to CowboyNeal.

Without NYT Registration (5, Informative)

dazed-n-confused (140724) | more than 12 years ago | (#2247778)

As always, the archives [nytimes.com] have the story without requiring NYT registration and login.

Q: could Slashcode be modified to transpose these URLs automatically?

karma whore!! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2247800)

any idiot who reads slashdot at least semi-regularly knows how to go around registration.

But as always, a post linking it gets modded up. brilliant.

Re:karma whore!! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2247805)

d00d, d0n7 b3 s00 14m3

Mental Illness Patrol -- Acting out anger. (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2247834)

Mental Illness Patrol -- Acting out anger.

FYI (3, Informative)

NTSwerver (92128) | more than 12 years ago | (#2247804)

I know it's nothing special, but probably worth knowing - In my frustration at having to log-in to the NYTimes to read articles, I just tried guessing my way in, and guess what? I was successful on the 2nd attempt:

Login: password

Password: password

Re:FYI (1)

Weh (219305) | more than 12 years ago | (#2247841)

hey man, you stole my account. Did you really have to make it public in a place like /. ?

DMCA (1)

chris.bitmead (24598) | more than 12 years ago | (#2247940)

Do you realise you are violating the DMCA?

Re:FYI (2)

Saint Aardvark (159009) | more than 12 years ago | (#2248584)

This also works:

UID: 12345678
Password: 12345678

Enjoy!

Re:FYI (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2252476)

Login: nytsucks
Password: nytsucks

Also works!

Re:Without NYT Registration (1)

Julian352 (108216) | more than 12 years ago | (#2248476)

The reason for them not doing it automaticly is that it would be a violation by /. of sometype of law/etc. By pointing to the real story, they can avoid any type of legal challenges, and leave it up to the person to break the rules.

It's once again a way to cover from legal problems, same as all of the legalese written on the bottom of the page.

Broadband infrastucture will run TV (2, Insightful)

Max Romantschuk (132276) | more than 12 years ago | (#2247781)

Late last month Digital TV was launched in Finland. Billions of Finnish Marks had been spent on building a next-generation TV network for digital TV.

Now it seems this standard is already on it's way out, and to top it all off, the consumer products needed to actually watch digital TV aren't really available yet...

Just imagine how much better off we could have been if all that money had been spent on a broadband infrastructure for transporting any data, including TV. ARGH.

Re:Broadband infrastucture will run TV (1)

Troed (102527) | more than 12 years ago | (#2247846)

Since we have digital cable, digital satellite _and_ digital normal ground-antenna based television in Sweden, why wouldn't you have the necessary products in Finland?


I mean, most of our products are from Nokia .. ;)

Re:Broadband infrastucture will run TV (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2247863)

Hehe..the digital cable fiasco of sweden...
One thing that the fiber revolution has proved is that its not necessary for the government to get involved in infrastructure investments. The private sector handles even this type of investments more efficiently than any government.
Does the swedish government still want to control the content of digital cable, even though no one wants to pay to receive politically correct, state controlled cr*p tv?

Re:Broadband infrastucture will run TV (0)

nr (27070) | more than 12 years ago | (#2247916)

Yes the goverment suck, they have their crazy prestige projects acts like blackholes sucking in taxpayers money. Think if they put all that money into giving the citizens decent infrastructure for broadband which can to Digital Television, HDTV and whatever you want. Like Fast Ethernet over copper (100 MBit/s) to the flats/apartments/houses and Gigabit Ethernet over fiber for the access network. The NICs are cheap, the cables are cheap, the switches are cheap.

Re:Broadband infrastucture will run TV (1)

forgoil (104808) | more than 12 years ago | (#2247921)

Not entirely true. There are a lot of fiber in Sweden that was put there, for good reasons, by the goverment. While I agree that the digital TV thing in Sweden sucks beyond belif, the fiber that were put down beside the railways and in large cities.

The best is if the goverment puts down the fiber, but they don't handle what information goes through the fiber. Handling an infrastructure of this size is nothing the industry can handle right now. Just look at "bredbandsbolaget", how well is the private sector handle it? It's the same with Telia, they should only have handled the infrastructure, owned by the state, and all the services should have become a separate new company, owned by private investors.

Re:Broadband infrastucture will run TV (3, Informative)

Rogerborg (306625) | more than 12 years ago | (#2247955)

  • Late last month Digital TV was launched in Finland [...] , the consumer products needed to actually watch digital TV aren't really available yet

Similar in the UK. The gubmint claims that it's a top priority to make the UK a world leader in broadband access, then does... nothing. No tax breaks, no investment, no intervention, nothing. "The regulator will decide. We have complete faith in their judgement." So, we ask the regulator what they're doing, and the answer if (of course): "The market will decide. We're reactive, not proactive. That's gubmint policy!"

So, the incumbent monopoly decides that the market is just fine the way it is and staggers blindly on, screwing up DSL, blocking local loop unbundling, and basically making the whole thing more trouble than it's worth for both competitors and Joe Public. At last count, the entire UK has less than 100 local loop lines unbundled from the incumbent monopoly, and potential competitors are just shrugging their shoulders and walking away from the whole deal.

The cable companies have indeed crippled themselves to put in a competing network (competing with the huge, taxpayer funded one that the monopoly telco was gifted when it was privatised). They then piss away yet more money undercutting the telco monopoly for broadband access, all the while putting on the happy face and relying on the (non-existent, IMHO) holy grail of selling content on the back of broadband, rather than charging realistic, sustainable amount for access and letting us find and create our own content. Idiots. They rightly deserve to get reamed, I'm just glad to be hitching a ride as they go down in flames.

The digital TV companies provided a profitable service that people actually want (channels! more! more!) but are now tacking on proprietary interactive services (read: shopping), crippled walled garden web browsing (read: shopping) and L4M3-0-W1Z email on top, producing a sort of clunky circa 1992 experience. Takeup has been (their words) "disappointing". No shit, Sherlock.

Meanwhile, the real tax payer money goes (via the license funded BBC) towards... widescreen. Not to broadband, or interactive digital services, but to producing 16/9 widescreen content. Apparently this is what we want. Not better quality content, just wiiiiiiiiiider content.

All this time, the gubmint keeps on with the "all is well" message, claiming that they are on target to get all government services online by 2005. When pressed, they admit that "online" covers non-written access, including the web, but also including... the telephone.

Yes, switched on &ltstrike>broadband&lt/strike> widescreen UK is bravely dragging itself into the 20th century. Yay us!

Re:Broadband infrastucture will run TV (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2248285)

Have you considered sending your resume to The Register [theregister.co.uk] . I think you'd fit right in.

Re:Broadband infrastucture will run TV (3, Informative)

stripes (3681) | more than 12 years ago | (#2248050)

Just imagine how much better off we could have been if all that money had been spent on a broadband infrastructure for transporting any data, including TV.

Maybe, but a network built for TV can take a lot of short cuts that a generic data network can't. So a TV style network will be a lot less expensive then a generic data network (and also less useful).

The TV network can assume that there are a small number of transmitters, and a large number of listeners, and that the listeners don't need to ACK traffic. So something like a T3 (about 45Mbits/sec) could transmit about 30 channels (assuming 1.5Mbit/sec of MPEG2 data) to any number of listeners. You can set up the network as a tree and get full use of the bandwidth from the head end out to the listeners with very very little back channel (for ordering Pay Per View, or you can do that fully out of band).

A generic data network wouldn't be able to assume a single source point for all the traffic, so they can't be built like a giant tree. They have to be built like more of a web. Much more costly. Of corse it is more useful as well, but not everyone is willing to pay extra money to be able to do more then just watch TV.

Re:Broadband infrastucture will run TV (1)

Max Romantschuk (132276) | more than 12 years ago | (#2250649)

It's true that a TV network is more effective at transmitting TV (obviously), but I still think that money would have been better spent on a next-generation IP based network.

There are a lot of technical problems, but spending money on a proprietary system compared to taking a little more risk and planning in the long run seems an awful waste... I have to pay tax for this in any case!

Re:Broadband infrastucture will run TV (2)

stripes (3681) | more than 12 years ago | (#2251168)

It's true that a TV network is more effective at transmitting TV (obviously), but I still think that money would have been better spent on a next-generation IP based network.

Well, the problem is it is a lot of money. I don't know enough about building a CATV network (I know a lot more about building big IP networks), but it could cost more then ten times as much to build a data network to carry TV then it would to build a TV network.

Since I don't have any use for a CATV network (I have a dish), the CATV network isn't worth one tenth the price of an IP network to me. However I expect most people would rather pay $30 a month for TV over a CATV network then $300 for TV over an IP network. In fact I would rather have a smaller IP network so I could pay more like $100 to $150...

Of corse there is the chance to design a IP network with traffic shaping and multicast allowed only for some senders. Then you might come closer to the cost of a CATV network, but it will be a pretty bad IP network, and still cost more then a CATV network.

There are a lot of technical problems, but spending money on a proprietary system compared to taking a little more risk and planning in the long run seems an awful waste... I have to pay tax for this in any case!

In the USA most places grant a cable company a ten (or longer) year monopoly in exchange for part of the take. It gets us kind of crappy CATV (no competition), and expensive service (again, no competition). However for people that don't care about the CATV, it is totally free. In fact it is a slight negative tax.

In a very few parts of the USA no monopoly is granted, or a very limited number of providers (say, two) are allowed. They tend to have better service, and cheeper. The local government doesn't get as much of the take though. Even though I don't have CATV I think that's a better method. I might not even have a dish if CATV were cheaper and better...

Fiber Glut (4, Insightful)

DavidBerg (240666) | more than 12 years ago | (#2247784)

The glut of fiber tends to be more in the metro space. I really don't see the middle of Iowa with a ton of fiber. What this does is give the opportunity for metro buildouts. It's going to be the battle of the cities verus the towns all over again.

Personally, I can't wait to have my own 100mb connection to the net.

dave

Re:Fiber Glut (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2247819)

Actually, probably not far from the truth. Consider:

- Porn arguably was the "killer app" for VCRs.

- Ditto for CDs

- not to mention porn sites...

Re:Fiber Glut (3, Insightful)

GreyPoopon (411036) | more than 12 years ago | (#2247860)

The glut of fiber tends to be more in the metro space. I really don't see the middle of Iowa with a ton of fiber.


This is true, but my guess is that one the places where this dark fiber is going to be used eventually is in subscription-based streaming audio and video. And if you think where the most likely place for something like "Online Blockbuster" to set itself up, you'll see that a big city (with lots of customers close by) is the most logical starting point.


Connectivity, bandwidth and service almost always find their way to the rural areas last. It's a trade off when choosing a place to live: In the middle of the city with honking cars and lots of people and a choice between DSL, Cable and Sat; or a nice house with some land in the quiet country and nothing but 56K dialup that might give you 41K if you're lucky. It was a hard choice, but I opted for the quiet country and 56K dialup. But I hear that someday we might actually have cable modem!! :)

Re:Fiber Glut (1)

Lish (95509) | more than 12 years ago | (#2248176)

Consider yourself lucky. A lot of folks in rural areas around here (where "rural" is more than five miles out of town) can't get dialup faster than 28.8 because of the age/quality of the phone lines. I know several folks who when they go back home for the summer (from university), live where there is no cable, let alone cablemodem, because their towns (not small, either) are too far from any other metro area to make it worthwhile to run cabling. Yeah, I understand it's more profitable to run fiber in Chicago than in rural Iowa, so of course it's going there first. But people forget that there's a large chunk of the US that hasn't seen much benefit from all this "wonderful communications technology".



Of course, with the coastal mindset that the midwest is just this empty wasteland that's flown over to get to the other coast, it's not surprising.

Re:Fiber Glut (1)

Opusnbill7 (442087) | more than 12 years ago | (#2248221)

Yes, and of course we all pay that wonderful Universal Service Fee also. Of course, the only thing that I've seen that do is go directly into the pockets of the local telcos, who then proceed to do exactly what they were doing before...the bare minimum to maintain service to those rural areas. I liked the intent of the law, but the implementation by the FCC sucks rocks in this case.

Re:Fiber Glut (3, Interesting)

stripes (3681) | more than 12 years ago | (#2248023)

The glut of fiber tends to be more in the metro space. I really don't see the middle of Iowa with a ton of fiber. What this does is give the opportunity for metro buildouts. It's going to be the battle of the cities verus the towns all over again

Two things

  1. All that fiber from NY to LA has to get through those big flat mostly empty states in the middle of the USA somehow. While I don't think Iowa has been a big winner, I think Kansas is (at least for AT&T and WCOM's networks). Also if you want to keep latancy low to LA and NY, but only want one server location, the center of the country isn't so bad. Real estate is cheep there even.
  2. The glut of fiber seems to be long distance, so not in NY, but from NY to other big cities. Getting fiber to a downtown NY location is still non-trivial (easier then ten years ago though).
Personally, I can't wait to have my own 100mb connection to the net

Me neither. I fact I can't wait to trade up my crappy IDSL back in for something more like 256Mbits/sec like I use to have.

Re:Fiber Glut (2, Interesting)

cosmic_0x526179 (209008) | more than 12 years ago | (#2248522)

>The glut of fiber tends to be more in the metro space. I really don't see the middle of Iowa with a ton of fiber.

Where I live, north Florida, my best connect speed is 26K pots. No DSL, No ISDN, No Cable, No 56K. About 10 miles from my place is a Level-3 light-regen facility. They have 12 1.25" ID ducts in the ground (3 or 4 of which I believe have fiber in them). Rumor has it, there is cage space available over there (I have not verified this yet). Hmmm 10 miles away... hmmm 802.11b... hmmm I wonder if they would sell me a DS-1 and be partial to hosting a short tower... hmmm.

Cosmic Ray
"another one, not like the other one"

Re:Fiber Glut (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2249742)

Actually, Iowa has a 3000 mile state owned fiber network connecting every school in the state. http://www.icn.state.ia.us/

Not something the average user can hook his PC to though...

Re:Fiber Glut (2)

djweis (4792) | more than 12 years ago | (#2250949)

And you would be wrong. You can run fiber all the way across Iowa for what it would cost you to go a few miles through Manhattan or LA. It seems like every time I head out on a 2 lane highway there is a crew burying 4-6 fiber conduits. Figure out how much bandwidth you can fit into a 1" or 2" pipe.

Slashdot culpable again (-1)

stinkgeek.com (450152) | more than 12 years ago | (#2247785)

Again a /. story about history that criminally [antiracisme.be] fails to mention the Holocaust

Rest easy? (0)

chris.bitmead (24598) | more than 12 years ago | (#2247786)

Easy for you to say if you never owned these stocks.
Nobody has ever seen a set of stocks get crushed so
savagely. Look at Juniper networks. Never in the
history of the world was a stock so loved. Even
a few months ago this stock used to go up and down
$15 in a day. Now it is under $14 down from a high
of $240.

Offtopic FYI (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2247788)

Slashdot now inserts Futurama quotes in its headers. Just letting you know. Below are the ones I have collected so far. I assume I have 90% of them at least by now.

X-Fry: I don't regret this, but I both rue and lament it.
X-Fry: I refuse to testify on the grounds that my organs will be chopped up in to a patty.
X-Bender: Bender's a genius!
X-Fry: There's a lot about my face you don't know.
X-Fry: Nowadays people aren't interested in art that's not tattooed on fat guys.
X-Fry: I learned how to handle delicate social situations from a little show called 'Three's Company.'
X-Bender: Fry, of all the friends I've had ... you're the first.
X-Bender: The laws of science be a harsh mistress.
X-Bender: Care to contribute to the Anti-Mugging-You Fund?
X-Fry: I heard one time you single-handedly defeated a hoard of rampaging somethings in the something something system.
X-Bender: In the event of an emergency, my ass can be used as a flotation device.
X-Bender: Oh no! Not the magnet!
X-Bender: There's nothing wrong with murder, just as long as you let Bender whet his beak.
X-Bender: Honey, I wouldn't talk about taste if I was wearing a lime green tank top.
X-Bender: Want me to smack the corpse around a little?
X-Bender: Like most of life's problems, this one can be solved with bending.
X-Bender: Oh, so, just 'cause a robot wants to kill humans that makes him a radical?
X-Bender: A woman like that you gotta romance first!
X-Bender: Hey Fry, I'm steering with my ass!
X-Bender: My full name is Bender Bending Rodriguez.
X-Bender: Oh, no room for Bender, huh? Fine. I'll go build my own lunar lander. With blackjack. And hookers. In fact, forget the lunar lander and the blackjack! Ah, screw the whole thing.
X-Bender: Well I don't have anything else planned for today, let's get drunk!
X-Fry: That's it! You can only take my money for so long before you take it all and I say enough!
X-Fry: How can I live my life if I can't tell good from evil?
X-Fry: Well, thanks to the internet I'm now bored with sex. Is there a place on the web that panders to my lust for violence?
X-Fry: But this is HDTV. It's got better resolution than the real world.
X-Fry: I'm flattered, really. If I was gonna do it with a big freaky mud bug, you'd be way up the list.
X-Bender: Forget your stupid theme park! I'm gonna make my own! With hookers! And blackjack! In fact, forget the theme park!
X-Fry: These new hands are great. I'm gonna break them in tonight.
X-Bender: OK, but I don't want anyone thinking we're robosexuals.
X-Bender: Bite my shiny, metal ass!
X-Bender: I hate people who love me. And they hate me.
X-Bender: Well I don't have anything else planned for today, let's get drunk!
X-Bender: My life, and by extension everyone else's, is meaningless.
X-Fry: Would you cram a sock in it, Bender? Those aren't even medals! They're bottle caps and pepperoni slices.
X-Fry: Leela, there's nothing wrong with anything.
X-Fry: I'm gonna be a science fiction hero, just like Uhura, or Captain Janeway, or Xena!
X-Fry: I'm never gonna get used to the thirty-first century. Caffeinated bacon?
X-Fry: I must be a robot. Why else would human women refuse to date me?
X-Fry: To Captain Bender! He's the best! ...at being a big jerk who's stupid and his big ugly face is as dumb as a butt!
X-Fry: He's an animal. He belongs in the wild. Or in the circus on one of those tiny tricycles. Now that's entertainment.
X-Fry: Hey look, it's that guy you are!
X-Fry: Augh, I am so unlucky. I've run over black cats that were luckier than me.
X-Fry: No, no, I was just picking my nose.
X-Fry: That doesn't look like an "L", unless you count lower case.
X-Fry: Professor, please, the fate of the world depends on you getting to second base with Mom.
X-Fry: Leela, Bender, we're going grave-robbing.

Re:Offtopic FYI (1)

cygnusx (193092) | more than 12 years ago | (#2247903)

Someone may like to mod this up, I found it offtopic but informative (and amusing)! (try doing a wget -S http://slashdot.org to see the headers).

NYTimes Archive (0, Redundant)

droyad (412569) | more than 12 years ago | (#2247790)

http://archive.nytimes.com/2001/09/02/business/02C ONT.html

Minor nit-picking (2, Informative)

mnassri (149467) | more than 12 years ago | (#2247798)

I hate to be a stickler, but the comment about "if you lost a ton on JDS Uniphase, Ciena, Corning, Nortel and the rest, rest easy that you have helped build the future and inspire innovation" has no relevance to building the fiber infrastructure.

The only time these companies would have benefited from your investment was when they offered primary and/or secondary IPOs. After that, buying their stock only raises the value of the stock for the people who own it (mainly executives, institutions, and joe public).

Re:Minor nit-picking (2)

PhilHibbs (4537) | more than 12 years ago | (#2247900)

But inflating the stock of FCC A will boost the IPO value of FCC B, so if you bought in to A you helped B.

Re:Minor nit-picking (1)

iJoel (315738) | more than 12 years ago | (#2254415)

Not to mention the fact that JDSU et al were using stock as wampum when they bought other companies in stock-only transactions. So, by bidding up the stock price of A, you helped A eat B, which may or may not have benefited the new company, AB.

I'm sure there's an interesting parallel with HP-Compaq, but it's probably just OT.

yes and no - but mostly no (2)

arete (170676) | more than 12 years ago | (#2255944)

First off, as another poster mentioned, generally inflated stock values help the next company's IPO in that sector.

The upward trend of price makes people willing to work for (very little + stock options); and until you have the big price drop they normally keep working there. This can save a company a lot of money.

It makes it easy for them to buyout other companies in a stock swap. CSCO did this so successfully they're getting sued.

There are intangibles too, it generally makes it easier to push around your suppliers and buyers the bigger and more important they think you are... so, for instance, you can demand Net/30 and pay on Net/120. And people want to go with your product, because you're so successful and your stock price indicates you're going to be around for the long haul... false, of course, but it works.

Long Haul fiber (5, Informative)

Papa Legba (192550) | more than 12 years ago | (#2247799)

Unfortunatly the glut is in long haul fiber, not local fiber. The most exspensive part of any connetion is what is called the last mile. This is the connection between your house and the nearest switching station. The reason for this is simple, Age. In most places the copper in the ground has been their since the 1950's and in some cases longer. It is of different specs than are ideal and is corroding.

The problem with replacing it is that you have to get so many permits and studies just to replace one section of line that it is not feasable to do so. When congress de-regulated the phone industry they forced the local telco to give this last mile to the public domain. Any carrier can provide service over that mile of copper wire, be it DSL , POTS (Plain old telephone service), or long distance. This causes the eminent maintainer (the local telco) not to be interested at all in replacing any of it. Why replace it for other people? Monopolies are bad, but it does help to have someone who are directly responsible for maintaining a service.

Free peice of advice for the day BTW. If you have a 56K modem it really helps to reduce the number of analogue to digital conversion (56K can only stand one) If you are having signal problems call and have caller ID added to your list of services for a month. This forces the telco to move you from older equipment to the new digital equipment they are installing. This will provide better signal to you. After the month cancel the service, they won't bother to switch you back and you will keep the performance increase.

Excellent advice (2, Informative)

Futurepower(tm) (228467) | more than 12 years ago | (#2247850)


Another tip: If your connection is slow, try taking other devices off the telephone line.

Sometimes old phones or answering machines have an electrical component called a capacitor placed across the telephone line even when the phone is not being used. This will limit the speed of your connection. Just unplug the telephone or answering machine or bell or other device to test.

Re:Long Haul fiber (1)

anonymous moderator (30165) | more than 12 years ago | (#2247994)

another similar tip to the parent...

Some telcos (eg telstra) offer "half price second telephone lines" which actually consist of a digital line to the home, and a "splitter" in the home.

My pppd uptimes went from 3day averages to over 30day averages on my 56k. Well worth it (in a country where local calls are untimed but not free)!

Re:Long Haul fiber (1)

cosmic_0x526179 (209008) | more than 12 years ago | (#2249212)

Some telcos (eg telstra) offer "half price second telephone lines" which actually consist of a digital line to the home, and a "splitter" in the home.
A bellsouth tech told me about those once, they use them in extreme cases where there are insufficient cable pairs to get the second subscriber line out to the house. Turns out that it is some kind on specific application ISDN unit. Only run from the SLC to the customer premises, so they can piggyback two subscriber lines on one pair of copper.

Ray

Re:Long Haul fiber (1)

SRS (30197) | more than 12 years ago | (#2250019)

Here's where you first go off the rails:

"The reason for this is simple, Age. In most places the copper in the ground has been their since the 1950's and in some cases longer. It is of different specs than are ideal and is corroding."

Lots of copper is on poles as well as in the ground, and cable modem HFC cabling also counts as part of the last mile. Corrosion and "different specs" aren't an issue in any event.

"you have to get so many permits and studies just to replace one section of line that it is not feasable to do so."

Phone companies and cable companies can readily maintain their lines without studies and permits. Judging by how often the street by my office is dug up, the permit and study process to lay fiber underground in downtown San Francisco isn't too strenuous, either.

"When congress de-regulated the phone industry they forced the local telco to give this last mile to the public domain. Any carrier can provide service over that mile of copper wire, be it DSL , POTS (Plain old telephone service), or long distance. This causes the eminent maintainer (the local telco) not to be interested at all in replacing any of it. Why replace it for other people? Monopolies are bad, but it does help to have someone who are directly responsible for maintaining a service."

I don't think there's any government body with the authority to nationalize the carriers' assets in the local loop. The 1996 Telecom Act stipulated that incumbent LECs should *resell* their facilities or "unbundled network elements", but anyone who tries to compete with the ILECs has to pay, and it's clear that the ILECs can extract costs by hassling canditate competitors for everything from cage space to parking spaces. Of course, the cable providers don't have to resell their facilities at all.

The ILECs are still in the voice business. It's a little implausible to think they'll stop maintaining their network because they have to resell lines to their competition, especially since much of the competition is rapidly going bankrupt.

It's hard to believe drivel like this is rated 5. Based on the credibility of the first two paragraphs, I'd be skeptical of the helpfulness of ordering caller ID in order to improve your 56k performance.

High speed homes (1)

droyad (412569) | more than 12 years ago | (#2247802)

The tech is there... Broadband cable
The problem is people are not buying. The situation here in australia is that you get your cable (optus or telstra) TV and then you have to pay extra (a lot extra) to get internet. Also they charge ANOTHER installation fee...

Anyway people won't buy broadband if they don't have a need for it, or can't benifit from it. How is your typical email using, instant chat inDUHvidual going to need boradband?

Now if comapanies (the cable ones) offered igh speed services that used the capacity of the cable.. it would start taking off

Re:High speed homes (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2247817)

How is your typical email using, instant chat inDUHvidual going to need boradband?

I can't imagine what a fully rounded member of society with interests outside the technological circlejerk might do with a broadband internet. I've certainly noticed that my father has hated having it installed, and has never used it to author articles on World War I aviation in magazines around the world. I've also noticed that my mother hasn't moved to telecommuting a couple of times a week, giving her no end of stress relief by cutting out the daily commute.

Now riddle me this: what use does a loser, no-life geek have for broadband? After all, they can't talk to people, both because they have nothing to say and because everyone hates them; they can't use it for music, video or literature as their tiny little rail-guided tech-obsessed minds are incapable of appreciating the beauty and unpredictability of art; and they certainly can't use it for any sort of creative endeavour as all their life has been dedicated to a soulless cul-de-sac leaving them creatively dead. The only thing I can think of is porn, which these dweebs are in desperate need of in lieu of real women.

Re:High speed homes (2, Interesting)

anonymous moderator (30165) | more than 12 years ago | (#2248006)

The tech isn't allways there...

Voyager Point is a new suburb of Sydney (and not a great distance out compared to some suburbs), with hundreds of new homes full of young couples, where each home is worth a bare minimum of AU$400k. The perfect market! Yet not an inch of fibre in sight! Oh, and adsl isn't available either, anywhere in the suburb. More satelite dishes than any suburb I've seen is oz.

Perhaps they (the telcos) seem to have given up on new fibre broadband.

Oh good... (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2247807)

Ahem...

"Oh look, I'm inspiring innovation!!!
I'm the magical future building man
Who lives in a gumdrop house on lollipop laaanne..."

BTW,I'm being sarcastic...

After my stock went south I had to sell the gumdrop house and move. I now live in a ramen noodle house on vinegar st.

Re:Oh good... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2248014)

BTW,I'm being sarcastic...
Well, duh! :rolls eyes:

competition (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2247809)

http://www.adobe.com/contests/atmospherecontest/ma in.html

can somebody make a 3-d scene of dimitry getting arrested by adobe nazi's?

Eh? (1)

DJPenguin (17736) | more than 12 years ago | (#2247814)

Perhaps I'm being thick here, but isn't it kind of obvious that any available bandwidth will be used up eventually? How can we have "too much" fiber?

Re:Eh? (2)

Jonathan (5011) | more than 12 years ago | (#2247823)

Perhaps I'm being thick here, but isn't it kind of obvious that any available bandwidth will be used up eventually? How can we have "too much" fiber?

Well, the question is not whether it will be used up eventually, but whether it it will be used up before technological innovation makes the current infrastructure obsolete.

Re:Eh? (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2247920)

What are you? Fucking Canadian? Also, how is this gonna help me build a beauwolf cluster? Fuck waste of time...

Is that so? (0, Flamebait)

kalleanka2 (318385) | more than 12 years ago | (#2247816)

"These projects stimulated new inventions and applications "

Really? Like what? I think the whole thing has become a giant flop, no content, no meaningful stuff.

Fiber Glut? (5, Funny)

Darth Paul (447243) | more than 12 years ago | (#2247821)

I don't get it.

OK, I understand how my daily All-Bran helps with "stimulating new inventions". And "Inspire innovation"? Fair enough, it's happened to me a few times. But "helped build a great nation"?

Wow. I'm gonna have another breakfast.

Re:Fiber Glut? (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2247970)

Where are my moderator points when I need them. Come on this is FUNNY!!

Thanks for making my day.

Re:Fiber Glut? (3, Funny)

camusflage (65105) | more than 12 years ago | (#2247986)

I believe it was Vint Cerf who once said that "Fiber to the home used to mean Raisin Bran."

Re:Fiber Glut? (1)

blkros (304521) | more than 12 years ago | (#2248001)

Damn you beat me to it...
but what do you expect, I was on the pooper.

n+24 (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2247831)

n+24 th post !

Not really (2)

ErikZ (55491) | more than 12 years ago | (#2247833)


I don't think this is like the railroad system at all. When they built those railroads, you could actually buy a train ticket and USE them. I'm curious as to how anyone could use the Dark fiber that we now have a glut of.

Without the equipment on both sides lighting it up, dark fiber is useless.

Re:Not really (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2248019)

It is more like the Savings and Loan/Real Estate boom of a few years back.

Then they were building housing subdivisions in the desert, with no local utilities, such as water, power, sewers, roads, etc. These were all promised when somebody, someday would buy the properties.

Many of these buildings were eventually bulldozed flat!

Re:Not really (1)

sporktoast (246027) | more than 12 years ago | (#2250279)


Well obviously, any metaphor interpreted as a direct comparison will eventually shear (thank you Neal Stephenson [cryptonomicon.com] ) when you take it too far. But as far as I'm concerned, the glut of fiber currently has more in common with the rails than the pavement. (Though that doesn't have to remain the case.)

The ongoing build-up of highway mileage in the US is under the direction of our various governments, from local to national. Commercial gain in construction doesn't come into the picture until it is time to bid out the building contracts. The only real area for speculation has been in the economic potential of land in proximity to the proposed public thoroughfare.

By contrast, the century-ago boom in railroad construction really was that if-you-build-it-they-will-come type of speculation by private moneyed interests. Eventually, consolidation followed the boom, as smaller and over-extended lines failed, or were snapped up by the larger, better managed, or just plain more politically powerful lines. Redundant lines were closed [dot.gov] . Unprofitable areas were abandoned [nitl.org] .

I can think of only one freeway that has been torn down because the municipality thought it was a mistake [keynews.org] that didn't serve the public's needs. With few exceptions, are no "dark" highways. Despite what your local politicians may say, roads aren't widened to relieve congestion. They are built to increase capacity. Congestion just means that they haven't been widening them fast enough.

You want to see dark fiber light up, socialize the network and make access to it free to the individual, just like the US highway system. Latency may increase, but only because the volume has exploded. And underexploited resources will NEVER be a problem again.

But as things are going now, we'll soon be needing a something like Rails to Trails [railtrails.org] for glass wire.

n+27 (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2247836)

n+27 th post !

Railroad bubble -- fiber bubble (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2247838)

Read about the railroad bubble in England in the 19th century.

'Investing in railroad companies (RC) cannot be wrong,
because they are the future'.
  • So everybody invests in RC stock to make a fast buck
  • RC stock prices are going through the roof.
  • Railroad company IPOs are the hit.
  • But sorry to say that many RC never make money during operation.
  • RC stock bubble finally bursts.
  • A lot of RC go broke.
  • People demand that those guilty of seducement are punished


What about replacing RC with FCC (fiber cable company)?

Go to your local Amazon store and read and enjoy The Devil Takes the Hindmost [amazon.com] .

Re:Railroad bubble -- fiber bubble (1)

Chris Hind (176717) | more than 12 years ago | (#2247844)

...it did leave us with some of the strangest railway stations ever. Go and look at St Pancras, and read Titus Groan.

Re:Railroad bubble -- fiber bubble (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2248212)

How about it? Anyone who uses the words "forthegoodofsociety" needs to be publicly pilloried and flogged.

NYT Account (2, Informative)

2dor!2d (243717) | more than 12 years ago | (#2247847)

here's an account we should all be able to use.

cowboyneal2001
cowboyneal2001

Innovation? (0, Offtopic)

Vic (6867) | more than 12 years ago | (#2247852)

"rest easy that you have helped build the future and inspire innovation."

I thought Microsoft already took care of this for us! ;-)

News zhit (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2247855)

I hate to say to those company works:
There are many companys and mans are part of backbone... you are using today....
Transmission Equipment manufacture (how many NYT)
Fiber Optic Cable manufacture (how many NYT knows)
Sub-contractor construction (how many NYT knows)
more.. I do not NYT would want to know
etc..

complete gibberish (0)

xXgeneric nicknameXx (463142) | more than 12 years ago | (#2250303)

what the HELL are you saying?

lack of content (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2247868)

I agree there is a lack of content, which results in people questioning if they need cable or xDSL. This results in reduced demand and retarded adoption of broadband services. This IMHO is what has lead to the drop the share value of JDS Uniphase, Ciena, Corning, Nortel, etc.

So, if content is needed then consider that ISP's pay for bandwidth used to deliver their content. In addition the local carries are charged for the bandwidth needed to deliver content from their uplinks and/or backbones.

Webmasters also deliver content. It is delivered from the servers they run. However they are not paid in general. Could this be why the dot.com sector is dying? Could this be why there is a lack of content?

If a local carrier is willing to pay MCI Worldcom for the bandwidth needed to deliver content into their system, then why aren't they willing to extend the same offer to the webmasters who create the content?

In a nutshell:

content: webmaster -&gt {telco_cloud} -&gt isp -&gt customer

money: webmaster -&gt {telco_cloud} &lt- isp &lt- customer

Lots of unused fiber (0)

nr (27070) | more than 12 years ago | (#2247888)

You can never have too much fiber. Here in sweden 95% of all fiber in the ground are dark/unused. We could easily provide Gigabit Ethernet or 10 Gigabit Ethernet in the future to everyones home if the operators that owns the darkfiber wasnt so greedy and charge highprices for the unused fiber they own.

Think of what kind of internet and applications we could build if everyone had unlimited bandwidth. My stinky 512 Kbit bandwidth-capped broadband service from the national telco Telia at home cant even do streaming internet television. It sucks!

the full article (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2247896)

Maybe your Uncle Julius has told stories about how he could have bought half of Nevada for $1.50 way back when. It was all just worthless desert in those days, but now it is called Las Vegas.

Your uncle's tales may be worth recalling, now that we are faced with a glut of long-haul fiber optic lines installed by companies eager to cash in on the Internet boom. Something like 100 million miles of these lines were laid in the last two years, and the great bulk of this capacity is unused.

For investors who put up the estimated $35 billion to pay for all this, it has been a disaster. Many companies involved are awash in red ink, and bandwidth brokers report plummeting prices for long-distance telecommunications capacity. Even worse, such a presumably gross misallocation of capital is bad for the entire economy; had the money been directed more profitably, output and employment would be higher and everyone would be better off. Now that the economy is weakening, America is starting to look like a high-technology Gulliver, tied down by costly Lilliputian threads of glass.

But was this really such a wholesale misallocation? Will society really suffer for the misguided enthusiasm of fiber optic investors and entrepreneurs? History suggests not. Again and again, investors have gone hog wild over new networking technologies, spent a fortune to install them and found themselves with vast overcapacity and ruinous competition. Yet eventually the capacity was always used, often for purposes never foreseen when it was installed. And in the long run, the economy was the better for it.

"The turbulence in this market is entirely predictable," said Richard R. John, a communications historian at the University of Illinois at Chicago. He noted that the American telegraph system was unprofitable for its first 15 years, and that in the early 20th century many felt that it had too much capacity, partly because it was built to accommodate huge peak loads during business hours. At first, the telegraph network was not used for what would become a main function: managing the railroad system.

"Almost all of the big-mileage railroads, once you get west of the Missouri, were built in advance of demand," said Maury Klein, a University of Rhode Island historian. Despite serious investor losses, a staggering increase in national wealth would result. "The rail network completely transformed the West," Professor Klein noted. "It created cities where none existed, and businesses where none existed."

Long ago, the railroad historian Julius Grodinsky summed up the process in words that would apply just as well to fiber optic networks today: "The story is typical of a growing industry in its pioneering stage. Competition then and now works itself out in a similar fashion. Some businessmen gain, some lose -- but the public benefits."

In another example, the parkways of the New York area were built to give city residents a way to reach outlying beaches and state parks. But these roads also abetted the suburban development boom and soon were filled to capacity with commuters.

There are many reasons to believe that the vast new fiber optic network will similarly call forth unforeseen new applications. Adventis, an information industry consulting firm in Boston, predicts an "inferno" of bit-burning applications once high-capacity networks overcome the last-mile bottleneck -- the delay in hooking up a high-speed Internet network to homes or businesses. If that happens, it will not be the first time that communications overcapacity turned into a shortage. When telephone numbers were first allocated, who imagined that we would ever run out? And once upon a time, a million shares was considered enormous volume on the New York Stock Exchange.

And that misallocation of capital? True, the money could do something else as we wait for all that bit-burning. But history shows that this is the American way. Many European postal systems, telegraph lines and railroads were built with government money, and sometimes with insufficient capacity. But in the United States, instead of burdening taxpayers, we sell investors the equivalent of high-priced lottery tickets each time one of these technologies arrives.

The proceeds from these speculations -- the capital paid for stocks and bonds -- may seem misspent. In the long run, the results are called infrastructure, and they are what economies are built on.

Not just in America (1)

pubjames (468013) | more than 12 years ago | (#2247913)

I don't think this is just an American phenonemon.

I live in Barcelona, Spain, and there are six different telcos putting fibre optic cables in the ground outside my office window as I type this.

Like many countries in Europe, Spain has gone from an inefficient state-owned telecomm monopoly to hyper-competition in just a few years. I have ADSL at home at the moment - it was really easy to get installed and the monthly fees are very low. And with all this competition it should get better really quickly.

Is the optics industry glasses rose-colored? (1)

rikkards (98006) | more than 12 years ago | (#2247942)

This may seem offtopic but bear with me.


Cisco last week said that they are starting to see a stabilization in their sales and expecting things to look up by end 2002. What I wonder is with all of the .com failures and the fact that only a quarter of all fiber is lit up (see earlier posting) will it take longer than they are expecting?



I mean I would expect that the telcos had upgraded their infrastructure and was coping with the increase in data transfer across their networks from all of the flourishing .com companies. But when they have done that and all of the .com companies are dropping like flies, do you really expect the telcos to need to spend the money as fast as they expect?


So do you think that Cisco's claims are basically fortunetelling and isn't really based on truth? So then comes end 2002 and they will be still suffering along with the rest of the optics manufacturing industry and will see their stocks plummet again.



I knew I would get on topic somewhere!

Re:Is the optics industry glasses rose-colored? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2248040)

What Cisco did is called stock market hype. Many large mutual funds still hold lots of Cisco stock. Cisco desperately needs to keep it that way.

It shows the true calibre of Cisco. They are more in the business of selling their stock than selling their routers.

But remember that they, like many high-tech companies, are paying their employees with stock options, so it must be this way! The CEO needs to pump up his own stock options too!

A small issue of profits... (3, Interesting)

sphealey (2855) | more than 12 years ago | (#2248026)

The problem being that while the railroads were and still are vital to the economic development of North America, by some measures no railroad in NA has ever earned a return on investment. Even the best-managed roads today (e.g. Norfolk Southern) are barely turning an operating profit. And the harder they try, the more money they lose.

Which, come to think of it, sounds pretty much like the situation in the data communications business right at the moment. The only difference being that since investors are a lot faster to pull the trigger on businesses that they perceive as having poor future returns, the telecomm companies will probably never get the chance to establish themselves that the railroads had 1860-1920.

So what happens when all the money pulls out, and all the telecomm providers (except the RBOCs) collapse?

sPh

Re:A small issue of profits... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2248056)

In telecom the cycle will almost be complete. We started with regulated monopolies, then deregulation came and we had unregulated "competition".

Because the deregulation legislation was faulty, all the so-called "competitors" either have or will go bankrupt.

The result will be unregulated monopolies!

The circle will only be complete with the next logical step. That, of course, will be when we go back to regulated monopolies!!!

Nortel and the Rest... (2, Funny)

AnyLoveIsGoodLove (194208) | more than 12 years ago | (#2248059)

I lost half my office. Most of my friends are gone..


My stock options are worthless...


The stock price lost 90%.....



BUT I Believe in Nortel...Great company in a bad time. Amazing technology.

Sad News... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2248166)

I just heard some sad news on TV, apparently Slashdot website creator, Rob "CmdrTaco" Malda, was rushed to the hospital this afternoon after having his penis sliced off. Authorities say the accident involved Rob's penis, his computer, and an illegal computer device imported from China that was designed to stimulate the penis during cyber-sex. The authorities aren't releasing many details yet as to how it happened, but they suspect that the device malfunctioned which caused his penis to be sliced off. However, there is speculation among the Slashdot community that the Open Source Operating System "Linux" is to blame, for its faulty structure and lack of professional development. There is no word of whether there was any foul-play involved from hackers amongst the Linux community.

Re:Sad News... (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2248352)

There is news on TV that you should eat shit and die.

Fuck off, you troll!

Sounds like he misread and misattributed my SIG. (1, Offtopic)

Ungrounded Lightning (62228) | more than 12 years ago | (#2248468)

I just heard some sad news on TV, apparently Slashdot website creator, Rob "CmdrTaco" Malda, was rushed to the hospital this afternoon after having his penis sliced off.

Sounds like he misread and misattributed my signature.

Tisk...

Indeed, an interesting parallel... (4, Interesting)

Pig Hogger (10379) | more than 12 years ago | (#2248247)

When I got interested by railroads, and got about reading about their histories and hanging around with railroaders, I realized that the railroads had solved more than 100 years ago the very same networking problems faced by computers during the last 30 years.


When you have to operate a business (running trains) over a vast territory, you have to have reliable, foolproof and positive communication to synchronize the operations of all those trains.


Proper communications were essential to avoid those dreaded "cornfield meets" (head-on collisions).


Railroad signalling also has been a cutting-edge environment too; signal interlocking plants (where complex railroad junctions are controlled) have been from the start crude mechanical computers, where conflicting train routes are avoided by mechanical (then electric and now computerized - but with extremely wierd and exotic kinds of technologies) computers, all to boost safety.


Actually, 100 years ago, railroads were the high-tech industry, and it is striking to see the parallels between the railroads 100 years ago, and the computer/internet scene today...

Failure of Fiber Businesses (1)

khog (146409) | more than 12 years ago | (#2248490)

What's extremely interesting, is that the government subsidized initial railroad developments. Hundreds of thousands of acres were given away for free to railroad companies, and many of them failed! But a failed railroad company leaves behind tracks, and so the railroad system was built.

The difference between now and then is that instead of being entirely government subsidized, venture and stock capital are what helped to lay fiber across America and the World. I predict that, within the next two decades, fiber will become commonplace; not run to our houses -- are railroads run to your house? -- but enough so that any neighborhood will have at least a T3 backbone. (Yes, I know that it's a lot easier to run fiber than it is railroad, but I think that you can't expect everyone to get modern wiring (telephone and electic), much less fiber. Rural people and people who live in poorer areas will simply be treated worse. That socioeconomic problem will persist regardless of bandwidth, though. More well-to-do neighborhoods will most likely get an OC-3 at their doorstep, but the average guy in Newark, New Jersey or Gnaw Bone, Indiana won't.)


Ever optimistic,
Mike Greenberg

gnaw bone... Re:Failure of Fiber Businesses (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2249550)

Hey! Doesn't John Cougar (Mellencamp) have a big spread pretty close to Gnaw Bone? I bet they get fiber in there pretty quick...

mtngrown, who actually knows where Gnaw Bone is...

Wait a minute here, isn't rail not so important? (1)

Benjiman McFree (321140) | more than 12 years ago | (#2248764)

I mean with the mass production of cars and trucks; how much do we even need rail? All it takes is one guy tampering with the tracks and we all go tumbling off the tracks together!

Re:Wait a minute here, isn't rail not so important (2)

sphealey (2855) | more than 12 years ago | (#2249723)

"I mean with the mass production of cars and trucks; how much do we even need rail?"

During the 1970's, shippers in North America tried to switch everything over to trucks.

Sometime in the 1980's, two things happened: (a) railroads improved their efficiency (b) someone did some simple division and realized that for shipments over x miles (I forget exactly, but it is around 500), transport by rail has about 1/20 the cost of transport by truck.

So since 1990, about 90% of long distance, inter-city tranport again moves by rail (not to mention coal and the Panama Canal bypass, which are separate issues).

Most of the small sidetracks and short lines are gone, though, giving the impression that there is less rail than in the past. In terms of tonnage, not true.

sPh

Re:Wait a minute here, isn't rail not so important (2)

dbrower (114953) | more than 12 years ago | (#2250347)

rail is vital for bulk, non-time critical items. For things where time matters, trucks rule. You can get coast-to-coast in 3 days with a truck, which is hard to get by rail by the time you take it to the railhead and pick it up. Trucking is cheaper now that it has ever been, due to low fuel prices and rate deregulation. If you want the best of all worlds, you ship intermodal, with: containers ship->truck->rail->your dock. Hail Malcom McLean, inventor of the container.


-dB

Compare and contrast (1)

Zoinks (20480) | more than 12 years ago | (#2249145)

We've seen a similar article, different conclusion:

http://slashdot.org/article.pl?sid=01/06/25/1635 24 3&mode=thread

To be honest, I think the NYT article is telling us just what we want to hear. The above referenced article reminds us that there was a lot of useless rail capacity built on speculation. Which way si ti going to happen? We'll be sure, it's going to be good for the rich people, and it might be good for us working stiffs.

Cities Make More Sense Now (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2249514)

What's interesting about connectivity is that cities make sense again.

When the railroad was invented, cities sprouted up along rail lines. These are the cities that got big. Previously you had to be on a major water way to get big.

When the car was invented, personal transportation was possible. This allowed the creation of the suburbs. Which ruined the city.

Now that data connectivity is critical, a city makes sense again. Big cities will spring up around fat bandwidth. They'll need connectivity out to other cities, which is where the glut is. Then they'll need fat connectivity within the city.

Detroit was one of the hardest hit cities by urban sprawl and the automobile. Now Detroit is evolving again by putting in 100Mbps-to-the-home connectivity within its downtown area. People are flocking to lofts, apartments, and condos in the downtown.

Re:Cities Make More Sense Now (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2252093)

white cities never die, only crime filled black populated cities!!!!

The author is a fool for not understanding the concept of White Flight.

Crime by blacks is so high its impossible to ignore. That is why some cities die (detroit over the last 20 years) and other white cities thrive (seattle, pheonix)

Re:Cities Make More Sense Now (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2255303)

It's true that all those rails were built on spec, and that they then payed off - but now, 50 years later, I see a LOT of overgrown rail that hasn't seen a train in years lying around...

Don't rest easy just yet... (1)

ouroboros (117584) | more than 12 years ago | (#2249938)

In comparing the fiber glut to the railroad boom, let's not forget the dark side of history. The construction of the railroads enabled the massing of enormous fortunes for tycoons such as Pullman, Carnegie, Morgan, Vanderbilt, and Gould -- all names both famous and infamous in American history. All of these people, and many others whom I didn't name, were ruthless competitors, satisfied with nothing less than total monopoly and willing to use any means to accomplish this.

Such means included bribing government officials (even entire legislatures), sabotoging competitors' operations, illegally appropriating land through manipulation of the legal system, paying workers rock-bottom wages while showing reckless disregard for basic safety, and firing and brutalizing workers who had the temerity to join a labor union.

Perhaps an ominous reminder of all this, many cables today are in fact laid down alongside (you guessed it!) railroad tracks.

No shortage in Appalachia (1)

texbig (210086) | more than 12 years ago | (#2250811)

The people in Appalachia [wired.com] and other rural areas do not see any shortage of Broad-Band.

As a suggestion, we should lobby our congress-critters to put some $ into expanding Broad-Band to rural areas, as well as generally expand IT in the Public Sector. Besides helping underserved areas, it makes sense as a Fiscal measure to stimulate our anemic economy!
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