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In NZ, Sharing Ethernet With A Whole CIty

timothy posted more than 12 years ago | from the vpn-clients dept.

News 282

ryuko writes: "Normally LANs are used by a single organization at best, but Wellington's 13-square-mile LAN comprises many of the city's businesses. The city council garnered a UNESCO Digital Access Award in recognition of its achievement in installing the 1,000 Mbps network. The full article is here on ZDNet. Drool ... gigabit internet ..."

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282 comments

Correction (2, Informative)

ergo98 (9391) | more than 12 years ago | (#2924840)

Citylink runs at Fast Ethernet speeds of up to 1,000Mbps, about 65 times faster than a T1 line.

Isn't a T1 1.544Mbps? If so then 1Gbps is 647x faster. However the following sentence is a bit silly:

Considering that many U.S. organizations use T1 lines to connect to faster Internet backbone providers, Citylink is offering speeds generally unmatched here.

The Gbps is extremely nice, but it's silly to presume that everyone in North America is using a T1 : Hell most home users are using cable high speed running at 2Mbps downstream.

Re:Correction (1)

SGDarkKnight (253157) | more than 12 years ago | (#2924857)

Yes but the article says "many U.S. organizations" not "most home users".

Re:Correction (2, Insightful)

ergo98 (9391) | more than 12 years ago | (#2924874)

Yeah but the point is that many US organizations can afford, and do afford, a lot more than a T1. Wiring a city solves the last mile problem, but 9 times out of ten the organizations that a company wants to video or audio teleconference isn't conveniently in the same town.

The article seems to be full of errors. Firstly they say that it's 1,000 Mbps, but then call it Fast Ethernet (which is 100Mbps), and then state that it's 67x faster than a T1 (which would imply 100Mbps). Later in the article they say "With 100 Mbps of capacity, businesses can easily implement video conferencing and voice over IP (VoIP)." 1000, 100, Fast Ethernet, 67x T1...blah.

Re:Correction (1)

nomadic (141991) | more than 12 years ago | (#2924913)

Yeah but the point is that many US organizations can afford, and do afford, a lot more than a T1.

Are T1 lines even remotely cost-effective anymore? I was under the impression that business-class cable or DSL lines could provide similiar speeds at a fraction of the price.

Re:Correction (2, Informative)

djweis (4792) | more than 12 years ago | (#2924950)

If you want it to stay running, a T1 is the way to go. There is no special tag on a cable tv wire or DSL line in the CO that says "this is business class". You can get service level agreements on T1's.

Re:Correction (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2924872)

Considering that many U.S. organizations use T1 lines to connect to faster Internet backbone providers, Citylink is offering speeds generally unmatched here.

The Gbps is extremely nice, but it's silly to presume that everyone in North America is using a T1 : Hell most home users are using cable high speed running at 2Mbps downstream.


erm, organizations != home users, me thinks.

homes users and businesses are different markets.

--
bork

Re:Correction (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2924930)

I'd really like to know how they run electricity *and* IP over fibre, too:


Citylink's genesis dates back to the late 1980s, when Richard Naylor, IT manager for the city council, realized certain areas of Wellington were susceptible to power outages even at times when there was plenty of power in other parts of the city. A plant on one side of the city might suffer a shortage, while another remained at full power.

"We needed to balance the loads by connecting them," Naylor says. So he ran a fiber optic cable between the plants, allowing them to compensate by sharing power when one was hit by a shortage.

Re:Correction (1)

debiansierra (550297) | more than 12 years ago | (#2924982)

Hell, i'd just like to know how to run electricity over fiber (i'm assuming it's fiber-optic).

Re:Correction (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2925309)

Easy. Lasers and solar cells.

Re:Correction (1)

Alan Partridge (516639) | more than 12 years ago | (#2925051)

don't be a dunce, he was clearly talking about linking the control systems of the power stations together - the power grid itself is already connected. What are you, 6 years old?

Re:Correction (1)

exadios (203594) | more than 12 years ago | (#2925149)

I think this should have read "We needed to balance the loads by connecting them with a high voltage link. Since we needed to dig a trench anyway why not drop a fiber in it and then we can have a common control system".

The power utility here (Perth, WA) is starting to lay fiber everywhere that they are kaying power. Fiber is cheap. Digging trenchs and right of way is expensive.

Re:Correction (1)

Alan Partridge (516639) | more than 12 years ago | (#2925030)

I think the article implies (it's not that well written) that each client has 100 Base T access to the 1000Base T network, which makes the sums come out right. Incidentally, our "T1" is exactly 2Mbps - but I'm in the UK (maybe ours is an E1?) - the same might be true in NZ AFAIK.

Re:Correction (1)

Dizzo (443720) | more than 12 years ago | (#2925064)

Most home users are on dialup and not cable. The geek community (of which all members require DSL, cable, or someother high speed alternative) is not the biggest group out there. We are but a small percentage of a bigger group. Just think of the millions of people using AOL...

Re:Correction (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2925141)

but it's silly to presume that everyone in North America is using a T1 : Hell most home users are using cable high speed running at 2Mbps downstream.

It's also silly to presume that your cable (or even DSL) is of the same quality as a telco grade T1.

Re:Correction (1)

ergo98 (9391) | more than 12 years ago | (#2925179)

Telco grade? So when I've downloaded 4GB (as I recently had to with the .NET release) my bits are lesser quality? Somehow the fact that I grabbed it at 200KB/second is not indicative of the real quality? Is there some sort of non-"telco grade" bit rot going on?

Re:Correction (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2925246)

Telco-grade generally means the connection is closer to backbones, and you get free or reduced leases on equipment (routers) among other things. Best part is the provider will generally bend over backwards to help you with whatever you need. As with your cable? Hahahaha. Though, congratulations if you are getting 2Mb/s connections on your cable (that's both ways right?) without any troubles, you obviously have very few neighbors and aren't blessed with a shitty provider, you are a very small minority.

Re:Correction (1)

ergo98 (9391) | more than 12 years ago | (#2925448)

And you think a city run fiber link that appears to be free will bend over backwards to get you up and running? Double bwahahahahaha. Yeah reliability and service levels almost always directly correspond to what you pay (and the old addage comes so true), so at $40 CDN a month I'm not going to cry if I don't get the same service as someone paying $1500 a month. However, my point was merely that it's goofy to disparage North America as being a backwaters, and the point about home users was specifically just an interesting point (Though I did overstate the numbers by saying "most". In Canada broadband is in `just' 20% of homes now).

Re:Correction (2)

Rupert (28001) | more than 12 years ago | (#2925212)

I think you'll find most home users are on dial-up, and most of those don't ever get the full 53k out of their 56k modems.

A Beowulf cluster in every pot! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2924843)

see subject, thanks.

As opposed to Auckland (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2924844)

Where they don't even have electricity most of the time in the CBD!

Am I in charge of my portion of the network? (2)

Em Emalb (452530) | more than 12 years ago | (#2924846)

Are they allowed to freelance on what they want to connect within their little sections of the lan? If I have a business and I wanna run oh, I don't know, OS2 for example, would I be able to? Or would I be stuck running something else? Anyone know?

I dont see why not. (2, Insightful)

jellomizer (103300) | more than 12 years ago | (#2924925)

Acording to the article Everyone is responcible for their own firewall. So with the firewall who really cares what software you are running. Also sience they seem to be running Linux as the main servers I dont think they have a big corperation pushing them to run a perscribed software.

Too much money makes Jack a dull boy (5, Informative)

MosesJones (55544) | more than 12 years ago | (#2924848)

"We never had the luxury of spending lots of money," says Naylor. "We needed to be able to make do with less."

So in other words, all of the people elsewhere with massive budgets have been conned into buying large amounts of expensive kit to get less for their money than these guys.

Brains 1 - Suits 0

The most impressive thing about this is the simplicity of it. This isn't next gen tech or anything this is just someone who had the smarts to think

"Hang on we supply electricity via a distributed network rather than Point 2 Point, why can't we do the same with the internet... hang on its cheaper as well"

Real issue here though is that the City backed up the smart guy rather than getting CorporationX to do it, had then gone for the latter route they would be right where the rest of us are with our T1s to the Telco backbones.

I predict this won't happen in big cities because they have too much money to be sensible.

And here's how it works... (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2924851)

They do the same in my city. [goatse.cx]


[sydney.com.au]

--Please Taco, ban all links to

open source too (4, Insightful)

Alien54 (180860) | more than 12 years ago | (#2924853)

As another cost-cutting measure, Citylink uses a generic computer running Debian Linux and SMTP management software, as well as a number of other open-source tools: NetSaint Network Monitor, NocMonitor, MRTG, and Cricket . And the company builds its own routers, rather than dropping the money on hardware. Naylor says a comparable Cisco router would cost him $25,000 NZ or roughly $11,500 U.S.; Citylink builds its own routers for $2,500.

that is pretty cool. lots of other juicy details in there as well.

Re:open source too (1)

smak (193931) | more than 12 years ago | (#2924887)

if this company can build its own routers for significantly less than the money everybody else pays cisco, why hasn't the rest of the planet caught on ?

Re:open source too (1)

jellomizer (103300) | more than 12 years ago | (#2924996)

Routers come in different costs. I have a LinkSys DSL/CableModem Router/Switch/Firewall for $90 and it works good too. But It dosent have the flexibility as the Cisco Router does. You can also configure a Linux/Unix/Whatever box to run as a router as well for a cost of a box and your time.
This company makes routers That is more powerfull then they LinkSys and not as much as the Cisco. Or mabey it is just as good as Cisco but bosses want a name brand and a company they know and have a lot of stock in.

Re:open source too (1)

RC514 (546181) | more than 12 years ago | (#2925261)

You can't build the equivalent of a high end Cisco router with off-the-shelf PC hardware. PCI (the 33MHz 32Bit variety found in today's PCs) maxes out at 133 MByte/s in theory. Practical values are much lower than that, so there's no way to route a gigabit stream through a standard PC.

BUT: They don't need to. "Because of the local area, unrouted nature of the network, Citylink can use inexpensive Cisco 3524 switches instead of more costly T1 routers". They only use routers at the edges of the network, where speeds are much less than 1 GBit/s. And even if someone needed the full speed there, the router is the customer's hardware, they don't have to go for the 2500$ PC hardware thing if they need more.

The problem with this approach may be scalability: "De Wit says adding quality of service (QoS) features isn't necessary." and "We can fit all the traffic we want onto our Ethernet, so why do we need to worry about prioritizing?" Also, ethernet switching doesn't work beyond a certain network size. Sooner or later, they will have to route. If they're lucky, gigabit router prices have dropped, 10GBit ethernet is ready and everyone accepts the upgrade cost by the time the assumption "The network is all switched and offers all the speed we need, don't worry" is no longer true.

Re:open source too (2)

hardburn (141468) | more than 12 years ago | (#2925171)

In a lot of situations, an old PC with a bunch of ethernet cards, GNU/Linux, and Zebra [zebra.org] would be perfectly fine for a router. Memory is cheeper, and it's probably faster (though a Cisco 2500 is still plenty powerful enough for the task). A PC also is quite a bit more flexible. Further, in the case of Zebra, the syntax used is very similar to Cisco's IOS, so there is a smaller learning curve for those who are used to IOS already.



However, one drawback is security. On a Cisco router, you only have to worry about someone breaking the IOS system; with Zebra, you have to worry about someone breaking the underlieing OS AND Zebra itself. Breaking either gives you access to the router itself. Further, IOS has been around for years and has been throughly debugged. Zebra is not quite in a 1.0 release. Plus there are features; Zebra won't have support for multicast routing protocols until 2.0.



You basically have to decide if the extra expense of a Cisco router is worth whatever reduction in secuiry and stability. And you can't go the Zebra if you need multicast (like for streaming videos, game servers, whatever).

Thank God for Microsoft... (1)

PHAEDRU5 (213667) | more than 12 years ago | (#2924901)

I caught this:

"As another cost-cutting measure, Citylink uses a generic computer..."

Generic? I'm guessing they mean a WinTel box, with the "Win" bit replaced.

If Microsoft hadn't decided to go into the OS commodity business, we wouldn't today have a commodity hardware business.

Eat your heart out, Apple.

Re:Thank God for Microsoft... (1)

Alan Partridge (516639) | more than 12 years ago | (#2925070)

by the same token, if Apple hadn't INVENTED the personal computer, there would never have been a market.

Whoah!!!! (1)

PHAEDRU5 (213667) | more than 12 years ago | (#2925107)

Apple invented the personal computer? What kind of history rewrite is this?!?!?!?!!!!

I mean, the 4004, 8008, 8080 were out there way before the 6502 (if that's where you're going).

In any case, even were I to accept your proposition, Apple dropepd the ball long ago.

Re:Whoah!!!! (1)

Alan Partridge (516639) | more than 12 years ago | (#2925139)

maybe POPULARISED would have been a better word - but he was prokin' me.. anyhow, people don't buy chips, they buy computers. And the Apple II was the computer that they bought. Go talk to WOZ about the personal computer, he did more to make it a reality than almost anyone else.

Re:Whoah!!!! (1)

PHAEDRU5 (213667) | more than 12 years ago | (#2925172)

Sorry dude, the term "Personal Computer" was in use, in print and on peoples' lips, before Apple ever shipped its first order.

Besides, the other point stands. Apple dropped the ball a long time ago. They're now just a fanatic fringe footnote.

Re:Whoah!!!! (1)

Alan Partridge (516639) | more than 12 years ago | (#2925265)

so the Apple I was 1976, the Apple II 1977. Personal Computer was a CONCEPT before the 80's, it was the Apple II that made the concept real. Fanatic fringe footnote, good one. What does that make Sun and SGI, then? Stop trolling, why dontcha?

Hello! Remember IBM? (3, Insightful)

fm6 (162816) | more than 12 years ago | (#2925361)

If Microsoft hadn't decided to go into the OS commodity business, we wouldn't today have a commodity hardware business.
I'm afraid you have your history muddled. The "generic" computer existed before MS got into the OS business, and is the reason why they did so. (The more usual term is "commodity computer", which more accurately describes its origins and role.) Of course it wasn't called "generic" or "commodity" at that time. It was called "The IBM Personal Computer".

Those three letters were magic. At the time, computing was dominated by big expensive mainframes, and IBM had no less than 90% of that market. They were, in other words, the Microsoft of the 60s and 70s. To survive, your product had to be compatible with the IBM PC at every level. IBM itself took a long time to see this, and came out with non-compatible systems like the PCjr and the PS/2. Which is why the "IBM-compatible" market isn't dominated by IBM.

The one way Microsoft helped out was by providing a crappy operating system -- actually more like a glorified program loader. Since MS-DOS did such a lousy job of insulating applications from the hardware, apps had to incorporate a lot of hardware-specific functionality. Which forced IBM's competitors to emulate the PC at a very low level.

Everybody engineering to the same specs created opportunities for commodity manufacturers -- and created the "generic" computer. Which still has basic design features that totally suck -- like that big heat-generating internal power supply.

Perhaps if Microsoft had hired somebody who knew Jack Shit about re-entrant code or how to write a scheduler, we'd all still be using proprietary architectures. Kind of ironic.

Re:Hello! Remember IBM? (2)

gorilla (36491) | more than 12 years ago | (#2925440)

You're forgetting why IBM got into that business. There were Apples, S/100 bus, and CP/M machines (the last two overlap, there were S/100 that ran CP/M). The Apples & S/100 were similar to the IBM clone in that there were multiple OS's available. The owner would choose the OS which they liked best. The CP/M world was similar to the wintel world we see now. CP/M masked a lot of the underlying hardware, so that it didn't matter how your display worked or the type of serial port.

Business people were buying Apples & Kaypros and Osbornes, and IBM wanted to get a piece of that market, though they were as supprised as anyone by the sucess of the IBM PC. They opted for a 8088 based system, and that's when Microsoft got into the OS business.

Scaleable? (2, Insightful)

JJ (29711) | more than 12 years ago | (#2924855)

Is this approach scaleable? Wellington itself is really not a large city and being the capital, an extraordinary portion of the business is governmental. Both of these have to cause problems when trying to extend this system beyond the "Windy City". BTW, Wellington is much windier than Chicago, the other "WC".

Windy Wellington (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2924898)

Wellington: No of windy days = 199 per year ( Any day that has a wind gust over 34 knots or 63km per hour) Average No of very windy days = 64 per year (Over 52 knots or 96km per hour). Also home of parliament.

Windy City: Chicago's nickname, probably derived from the city's status as a frequent host city for political conventions in the 19th Century and from the reputation of its aggressive resident hucksters.

Re:Scaleable? (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2924943)

Actually, the reason that Chicago is called the Windy City is that during the battel for who was going to host the 1900(?) world's fair, Chicago made all kinds of promises for the site that it was goign to be hosted on. In response some mayor said "Don't believe those Windy politicians from Chicago!", windy politicians==Windy city, the name stuck.

Re:Scaleable? (1)

Alan Partridge (516639) | more than 12 years ago | (#2925079)

good question. From what the article tells us, it seems that Wellington has a tram sytem with overhead power, which are easy to string lightweight fibre onto. In a city like London, there are no tram wires to exploit so you'd still have to dig the road - and that costs a fortune.

Re:Scaleable? (2, Interesting)

kiwi_james (512638) | more than 12 years ago | (#2925224)

Just to be a pedant, Wellington doesn't have trams, it has trolley buses. These are electric buses which get their power from overhead wires, but are steered just like a bus (of course they can't stray too far from the wires!). There's also a cable car as well in Wellington, but no trams.

Onto the point I was going to make...I remember a few years ago they were talking about taking out all the trolley buses because the buses were in need of replacement and it would be too expensive to replace them - normal buses were the desired replacement. Bit of a bummer for CityLink if they did tear down all the wires.

I hope they keep the buses, because it would seem that lots of other cities ripped up this kind of network in the 70s and 80s only to start regretting it later.

Kiwi's with a supa fast MAN? (3, Informative)

Eskimo Bob (546493) | more than 12 years ago | (#2924871)

Wouldn't that be a MAN, not a LAN?

It's bloomin' rad is what it is. It's actually nice when a city provides, what's seen as, neccessary infrastructure to the businesses in the city.

But, uhhhh... think of all the sheep porn going over those cables, man! The amount of sick, New Zealand sheep porn you can get on the internet will increase a billion fold once they get all 1000 Kiwi's on the network.

New Zealand - Where men are men and sheep are nervous.

Re:Kiwi's with a supa fast MAN? (2, Funny)

Em Emalb (452530) | more than 12 years ago | (#2924983)

You know, it's really interesting....

Australians say that New Zealanders sleep with sheep.

New Zealanders say Australians sleep with sheep.

Sounds to me like the sheep are the only ones getting any action!

Re:Kiwi's with a supa fast MAN? (0, Offtopic)

Eskimo Bob (546493) | more than 12 years ago | (#2925161)

Everyone sleeps with sheep.
I do, and you do too (don't deny it, I KNOW it's true).

Sheep are just so fluffy and cuddly, how can you NOT sleep with them?

Re:Kiwi's with a supa fast MAN? (0, Offtopic)

billcopc (196330) | more than 12 years ago | (#2925306)

Australians say that New Zealanders sleep with sheep.

New Zealanders say Australians sleep with sheep.


and Canadians say everyone's fucked anyway.

(hey, I hit the Karma cap, what else is there left to do than troll ? Lord Taco, nix the cap please!)

I'm back!!! (-1)

CmderTaco (533794) | more than 12 years ago | (#2924876)

Sorry, I was out sick a couple of days, I know you all missed me...
8 [goatse.cx]
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Very, very nice (2)

hrieke (126185) | more than 12 years ago | (#2924877)

As someone else just pointed out: Brains 1 - Suite 0.
Although I do wonder how much the service costs, and what other costs would the locals need to budget for to get running on the network?
Also, who is in charge of the Linux firewall boxes - someone inside the companies I'd hope, but what if the company doesn't have someone to run the machine?
I'd love to hear more about this system - and see the details in how it was built.

Re:Very, very nice (3, Insightful)

Diabolical (2110) | more than 12 years ago | (#2925083)

As the article points out, the companies hooked up to the Wellington backbone are responsible for their own network.

It states clearly that "It's a normal LAN with client-owned routers at the edge. Clients implement their own firewall protection"

The costs will probably be very low... using opensource and all their overhead will be at a minimum. The costs a company makes is nothing more then they normally would have to pay for materials like a router and firewall.. it can be whatever they want..

What i am interested in is if this scheme would work in rural area's. What would be it's breakeven point....?

good test for Liberman (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2924889)

What a nice test bed for the theory of "voilent games causing violence" since they will all shortly become addicted to Quake 3 etc.

I can hear it now, "wtf 3ms?! These pings suck!!!" rat-tat-tat-tat

"Socialist!" (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2924894)

I don't live in NZ. Nor do I live in Europe. I live in the U.S. If city sewer systems were invented this morning, any town council member in a randomly chosen Midwest U.S. town who suggests that the city maybe ought to connect a network of sewers between all the houses and businesses and then get a system to pay for that (a collective good) out of the collective treasury, surely there would be an uproar. "How dare they take my money for a service whether I want to use it or not!"

Or not????

Better to s**t on everyone else, eh?

If the raw paranoiac/Hobbesian profit motive isn't behind it, most folks areound here would never go for it. Damn the benefits. Who knows? Maybe in 2050, members of Congress will be saying, "If we vote for legislation X, then we might catch up with New Zealand's GDP."

Re:"Socialist!" (corrections) (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2925028)

Dang. Modded down already! I deserved it.

For both of you who read this:

I don't live in NZ. Nor do I live in Europe. I live in the U.S. If city sewer systems were invented this morning, then the following would happen:

Any town council member, in a randomly chosen Midwest U.S. town, who suggests that the city maybe ought to connect a network of sewage piping between all the houses and businesses and then further suggests instituting a system to pay for that (a collective good) out of the collective treasury, would surely encounter a right wing uproar. "How dare they take my money for a service whether I want to use it or not!"

Or not????

Better to s**t on everyone else, eh?

If the raw paranoiac/Hobbesian profit motive isn't behind it, most folks around here would never go for it. Damn the benefits.

Who knows? Maybe in 2050, members of Congress will be saying, "If we vote for legislation X, then we might catch up with New Zealand's GDP."

For the clue impaired (in addition to those who read the grammatically muddled previous cowardly post), the point is this: There is no "whether I use it or not" when you are talking about infrastructure that hastens the flow of commerce.

LAN Party? (2, Funny)

u8nogard (546370) | more than 12 years ago | (#2924895)

With Wellington's population of only 166,000 (excluding the suburbs)...

Hum... out of the percentage of the population here, how many of them are online gamers? In opinion, that is one nice LAN party going on!

Re:LAN Party? (1)

gladbach (527602) | more than 12 years ago | (#2925136)

no joke man.... just imagine the sweet pings people must be getting.... you know the kids (both young and old) around there are eating it up. *incredibly jealous*

runs Debian (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2924910)

With the best dist behind them how could they go wrong

I think the real question is (5, Insightful)

Ionized (170001) | more than 12 years ago | (#2924935)

why hasn't anyone thought of this before? I could certainly see broadband catching on as a public utility type of thing, instead of a luxury thing. Much how telephones and then cable television did in the past. Not only would it allow for cheaper overall costs, but having a citywide intranet @ gig-e speeds would be amazingly useful for telecommuting/VPN, gaming with friends, or any other number of good stuff.

Re:I think the real question is (2)

Tazzy531 (456079) | more than 12 years ago | (#2925086)

This has been done in a lot of small suburbs. There was one in Norway or something (I don't have the link). But I think this is the first time it's been done to this scale. Just so you know, this would not be possible to do in the US. There are far too many regulations preventing this from happening. In addition, telco companies would fight for this to never happen.

Re:I think the real question is (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2925093)

why hasn't anyone thought of this before? I could certainly see broadband catching on as a public utility type of thing, instead of a luxury thing. Much how telephones and then cable television did in the past. Not only would it allow for cheaper overall costs,

Need you say more? Your question is not rhetorical. Plummeting prices frighten powerful people.

Someone could draft the "Digital Millenium Bandwidth Property Protection Act".

Re:I think the real question is (1)

avandesande (143899) | more than 12 years ago | (#2925413)

I think you are correct. For a small outlay, you can add 100 times the value to residents that desire broadband. I think this would contribute greatly to a citys growth.

First world no more... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2924962)

Didn't New Zealand recently lose its' first world status?

Power over Fibre Optics ?? (2)

bartjan (197895) | more than 12 years ago | (#2924968)

Citylink's genesis dates back to the late 1980s, when Richard Naylor, IT manager for the city council, realized certain areas of Wellington were susceptible to power outages even at times when there was plenty of power in other parts of the city. A plant on one side of the city might suffer a shortage, while another remained at full power.

"We needed to balance the loads by connecting them," Naylor says. So he ran a fiber optic cable between the plants, allowing them to compensate by sharing power when one was hit by a shortage.


Distributing power over fibre optics, and already in the eighties ?? That's very advanced.

Re:Power over Fibre Optics ?? (1)

Maran (151221) | more than 12 years ago | (#2925274)

I may be being obtuse here, but how exactly do you transfer power over fibre optics? AFAIK, power transmission needs honking great cables to carry electricity. So how does this work? Shine a very large torch down the line, and get it picked up by a very sensitive photo-electric cell?

Maran

Gigabyte Networks? Not quite yet... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2924985)

"...in recognition of its achievement in installing the 1,000 Mbps network. The full article is here on ZDNet. Drool ... gigabit internet ..."

Actually, we're still 24 megabytes away from gigabyte networks. Soon, so very soon...

Bits vs Bytes (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2925158)

1000MBits+24MBytes=1000+(8*24)=1192Mbps, that's more than a Gigabit, but still 7000Mbps short of a Gigabyte.

Back in your cage troll.

Have no fear! George W is on the case! (1)

zerofoo (262795) | more than 12 years ago | (#2925014)

George Bush and congress are considering Government incentives to build out nation wide high-speed (whatever they think that is) internet access.

So with our Government on the case we should all have 1.5 Mbps in about 30-40 years.

Re:Have no fear! George W is on the case! (2, Insightful)

martyn s (444964) | more than 12 years ago | (#2925121)

Incentives mean that whoever lays the cable gets a monopoly on it. Then Time-Warner/AOL will start prioritizing packets so competitors' sites will perform poorly. After that, they'll realize that streaming video is competition to cable, and they'll limit video streams to a maximum of 10 minutes because "[They] didn't spend $56 billion laying cables just to have the blood sucked out of [them].

And there you have it. The internet will just become an enhancement to cable TV.

What we need is deregulation of the Cable internet access, like there is with DSL.

Re:Have no fear! George W is on the case! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2925362)

Great! his father gave us Noriega (trained under GB's CIA), Husein (same time, same place), Bin Ladin (all of bin ladins trick's taught by 1980's CIA). Now his son will lose a bunch of M$-type companies on america. The ppl doing radios are already putting in a much faster and cheaper system .

runs contrary to the fortune cookie... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2925015)

Never volunteer for anything -- Lackland

WAN, not LAN, and other inconsistencies.... (3, Insightful)

justin_schoeman (203052) | more than 12 years ago | (#2925029)

OK - I think the ZDnet editor should get him/herself a dictionary of computer and networking terms:

Normally LANs are used by a single organization at best true, but for a good reason. LANs that span multiple buildings are technically refferred to as WANs, regardless of the underlying technology.
And the 2.5k$ gigabit router? Not. A commodity PC cannot even reach maximum throughput on a single gigabit NIC, nevermind routing between them. The only way to do this would be to use a decent server-class M/B with 64bit/66MHz PCI bus - which would take the total system cost above 2.5k$. A more moderate PC could indeed be used for residential/small business gateways, but you would not get gigabit throughput.

Just my 2c worth...
-justin

Re:WAN, not LAN, and other inconsistencies.... (2, Funny)

Alan Partridge (516639) | more than 12 years ago | (#2925118)

lucky you're such an expert, Justin. What with all your experience of building city-wide ethernet networks, why not give 'em a call in Wellington and offer some friendly advice you FUCKING TWAT.

Re:WAN, not LAN, and other inconsistencies.... (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2925134)

While I understand the jist of the article
was that businesses had access to 1Gbps,
do you really think that this is actually the
case?

I think it is more probable that each
business is running 100Mbps locally,
so saturating 1Gbps is a problem
they aren't interested in.

They are interested in cheap uplink to a fat
pipe, and that's what they have
for $2.5k instead of a cisco.

I agree that if they get to the point
where a business-to-business connection
actually wants 1Gbps, they are fucked.

Re:WAN, not LAN, and other inconsistencies.... (3, Interesting)

ergo98 (9391) | more than 12 years ago | (#2925163)

Isn't the term for the type of network they're creating a "MAN", or Metropolitan Area Network? There was a big push for these several years ago. Indeed, and I'm not diminishing the accomplishment involved in getting this done in NZ, I know of several towns in Southern Ontario that outfitted their entire town with fiber optics for control systems (because of attenuation problems/distance they couldn't use copper), and they offered businesses internet access at least 3 years ago: I think this is a pretty common thing for `hydro' (which is what we call combo electricity/water companies here) to do. Now they don't sign everyone up for free, nor do I think they should: Why should the city foot a giant bill because a guy is hosting a mega porn server when the next business is using it to check hotmail once a day?

Re:WAN, not LAN, and other inconsistencies.... (3, Informative)

MadMorf (118601) | more than 12 years ago | (#2925189)

The only way to do this would be to use a decent server-class M/B with 64bit/66MHz PCI bus - which would take the total system cost above 2.5k$.

Over $2.5K?

PriceWatch lists motherboards with those specs for $260US...

Re:WAN, not LAN, and other inconsistencies.... (1)

wurp (51446) | more than 12 years ago | (#2925395)

I'm not a network expert in the least, but I had the impression that a WAN was multiple LANs linked by routers. It seems kind of stupid to me to change the name based on how long the cables are... is there really no difference in technology between a LAN and a WAN?

Anymore info? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2925104)

running Debian Linux and SMTP management software

Anyone know about this? I've never heard of it before. Is it for real or is this a typo where they meant SNMP?

.

It has been done before (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2925126)

In Gävle, weden there is a citywide LAN already. A nifty NAT with Gigabitbackbone and 100Mbps to each houshold. Some households even got fiber installed all the way.

Västerås Sweden has built there redundant Gigabit backbone. They are working on connecting the companies and households.

The diffrent between the two city-LANs is that Gävle includes a Internet-connection as standard. Västerås only sells the fiber within the city. I think Gävle made the best, people don't want to buy cabel and Internet. They just want to surf.

Combine this with former article (2)

Diabolical (2110) | more than 12 years ago | (#2925131)

Damn.. combine this with the $5k Terabyte array and you get a kick ass network for less than an average years salary... this should enable us to do some nice things for less fortunate countries with just a small fundraising....

Less fortunate countries. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2925156)

Hey, let's not get carried away. Didn't your mother teach you, charity begins at home?

I want mine first.

Forget this mega-LAN (2, Funny)

davidmb (213267) | more than 12 years ago | (#2925142)

I wan't the revolutionary power over fibre-optic cable that the article mentions. I mean, they had it back in the eighties!

s/SMTP/SNMP/ ? (2)

cperciva (102828) | more than 12 years ago | (#2925175)

Citylink uses a generic computer running Debian Linux and SMTP management software

Somehow I don't think they're sending email messages to their routers in order to alter network behaviour.

Until it gets tot he US (3, Funny)

ruvreve (216004) | more than 12 years ago | (#2925235)

New Zealand has a fiber optic pipe that crosses the Pacific Ocean, which maintains generally high bandwidth along the way

And then when the fiber connection terminates somewhere in the United States we slow it back down so those people down under don't look better then us.

Article inaccuracy? (5, Interesting)

Luminous Coward (445673) | more than 12 years ago | (#2925337)

As another cost-cutting measure, Citylink uses a generic computer running Debian Linux and SMTP management software [...]
Hmmm... Shouldn't that be SNMP as in Simple Network Management Protocol?

Straight from RFC 2962:

There are currently three versions of SNMP. SNMP version 1 (SNMPv1) protocol is defined in STD 15, RFC 1157. The SNMP version 2c (SNMPv2c) protocol is defined in RFC 1901, RFC 1905 and RFC 1906. Finally, the SNMP version 3 (SNMPv3) protocol is defined in RFC 1905, 1906, RFC 2572 and RFC 2574. See RFC 2570 for a more detailed overview over the SNMP standards.

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