Broadband choices in Europe [telecom]

I've just seen a video at the link below: I recommend it for a good introduction to what is /possible/ vs. what is /happening/ here in the U.S.

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Bill Horne

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Bill Horne
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The problem with the purely commercial provider model is that the company investing in the infrastructure may not see a payback on running a wire to a distant rural customer for hundreds of years, because the only return is the $30 or whatever monthly fee they are getting.

If you instead view the problem from the perspective of the community (town government), you now have much greater opportunity for return on investment. A well wired town attracts more people, people who can telecommute and get higher paying jobs, people who spend money at local businesses, and those conditions also attract employers to the area (premium property tax revenues).

So the answer seems to be some combination of public-private infrastructure.

Some towns in the US have attempted to build their own fiber plants only to be thwarted by telecom lobbyists getting state laws passed prohibiting anyone but the telecoms from doing such a thing.


Reply to
Tom Metro

Some communities have built TV translator stations (e.g. K30BQ) through voluntary contributions to a local club, without which there would be no over-the-air TV in these communities. I suppose this model would not work for broadband Internet because this infrastructure costs much more?


***** Moderator's Note *****

Some communities are able to take advantage of their local terain, and employ WiMax or similar line-of-sight radio technologies to provide Internet service to subscribers. However, in my area, there is no viable location for a central broadcast tower, because there are too many hills in my area.

I don't know if the WiMax costs a lot more than to install than would a TV translater, but there are other costs too: ongoing antenna maintenance, plus rent and power and insurance for a central site WiMax transceiver, servers, and DS-3 or higher speed Internet connection. In addition, members of a co-op would have to pay for their own antenna installations and radio transceivers, and possibly for additional home insurance.

You bring up an interesting idea, though; communities that have good lines of sight to an available tower or mountaintop might benefit from a cooperative WiMax system.

Bill Horne Moderator

Reply to
Lee Choquette

In the Yuba Foothills North East of Sacramento there are a couple of companies that run a Wifi system on old AT&T towers and on other high point, trees are a problem at the end users sometimes, the speed is a little slower the DSL and much better and cheaper then Satellite, ATT has said no DSL, but in the future U-Verse, so they have said. I work in the area and have been able to use my Sprint Overdrive or pickup WiFi at places that offer it free. The problem is still the costs , they need a lot of subscribers to make it pay, at least until the government kicks loose the money they have been collecting in Universal Service Fees.

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The 'capital expense' for an 'Internet repeater service' would likely be smaller than for a relatively low-power broadcast TV "equivalent".

"Operating expense' is a whole different kettle of fish. A, say, 5kw TV repeater has a direct operating cost of around $1/hour for the electric and directly related cost -- this covers the receiver that picks up the 'distant' broadcast signal, the control electronics, and the transmitter. Repair parts, 'if and when' needed, are not included, and this "assumes" that the required 'control engineer' functionality can be provided by appropriately licensed volunteers.

A 'wireless Internet' venture would have recurring expenses roughly an order of magnitude higher, at a _minimum_. The 'monthly recurring cost' of the 'upstream' link' that is big enough to support a mere dozen or or so gamers, plus half-a-dozen people watching streaming video, is well into 4 figures, Left of the decimal point, that is. For 'decent' service to an entire community, you're looking at high 4 figures, and more likely at low- to mid- 5 figures. And you don't get a decent price on that kind of a circuit without signing a circa 3-year commitment, or paying the proverbial 'arm and a leg' in one-time set-up costs.

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