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Wi-Fi Networking News
Sat, 05 Feb 2005 13:46
Palo Alto's fiber network: I admit that fiber-optic networks have little to do with wireless, but we're still playing clean-up from this week's flurry of activity around an astroturf report on municipal broadband. (Scan through the archives for more on that.) One piece of email I received during this week from Jeff Hoel in Palo Alto long and interesting as relates to their fiber network. Palo Alto was one of the first cities to build their own infrastructure. They have not been cited in any of the reports or ancillary material that have disputed the efficacy of municipal networks and I was interesting in finding out more. Jeff has a lot of points to make and, with his permission, I reproduce his email in condensed form below. (Note: Jeff writes about FTTH, which is Fiber To The Home. Many fiber systems are fiber/coax hybrids in which fiber is the backbone and drops to the home use coaxial cable to reduce expense and complexity.) Jeff writes: I'm a Palo Alto resident and an enthusiastic supporter of muni FTTH here. In your 2-1-05 article "Beat the TechBeat on Muni Wireless", you say: The author conveniently ignores Palo Alto, an early fiber-optic deployer, and I have no idea whether that project was vastly successful or a huge failure. Based on what I know about the growth of Internet businesses around Palo Alto that have remained post dotcom bubble, it seems that fiber might actually attract business. Here's what I think is going on in Palo Alto. The city put in a dark fiber infrastructure in 1996. [1 (PDF)] [2] It's doing fine, in that it's making money and paying off its investment. But the service is expensive enough that only businesses can afford it. The city put in a 66-home FTTH Trial system in 2001. It's doing fine, in that participants are happy to pay $85/mo for Internet service. During the first year, phone service was also offered, but after that it was dropped because the point had been proved that you could do it. RF analog TV was also demonstrated to work technically, but was never offered as a service because of the hassle of buying the content. The Trial cost something like $640k; nobody ever thought it would pay for itself eventually. I think the equipment chosen for the Trial is not the equipment we'd want for a citywide system, which...
Palo Alto's Fiber Is Doing Fine
Iowa joins a growing trend of states with large empty stretches: For traffic safety purposes, the more frequently people stop, stretch, and take their eyes off the road, the better. Adding Wi-Fi at rest stops is just one tool in that arsenal, but it's also a nice idea for tourists, truckers, and business travelers. Iowa will equip a total of 40 locations by July; 20 of them by mid-March. A trial set of eight locations had 111,000 access over seven months. Several stops are active on Interstates 35 and 80. Service will be free and operated by I-Spot....
Iowa Unwires Rest Stops