The Mainframe asks: "My town (Hanover, NH, home of Dartmouth College, the Dartmouth Medical School, and Dartmouth-Hitchcock Hospital, non-college population approx. 9K people, double that with the college) is conducting a feasibility study on building a town network. They'd like to deliver fiber to every home within town limits. This fiber will carry (certainly) the internet and (probably) cable-like television programming access. They're estimating that it will cost $40 per month per household. I just filled out and returned my survey (one sent to every Hanover household) in which they asked a number of questions like: 'What would your primary use of this service be?' and 'Would you be willing to pay $40 a month for this service?'. What reasons, other than the obvious benefit of having fiber to one's house, can you think of for making this kind of commitment to the infrastructure?
"I would imagine that there will be an enormous secondary benefit because we will become an attractive town to technically inclined people and businesses.
At the same time, Is this a good idea? I, personally, think it would be wonderful, but (as an IT major) the technical challenges of laying fiber and maintaining a network to serve 9000+ citizens are mind boggling. Policy decisions, network abuse, outages, spam, filtering (god forbid), all nightmares that will require a dedicated, 24/7 network maintenance team. Any network engineers out there have any juicy morsels from their work on large networks?
I know the town manager, so I'd like to feed this discussion to her, after moderation has taken its toll (probably at a level of +3), so she can see what the technical community thinks."