BB Forum Post 6: Status of Broadband in Region

Tina Nerat – brief history of RTC and telecom issues over the last 4 years. Details later. Too fast.
Runnette Allans from at&t:

Our area articulates its needs as far as broadband more clearly than in any other region.
at&t will continue to evolve and merge and acquire and grow. However, it will never diminish its attention to smaller markets: Our people live here, our CO is here, our network is here.

Gary Mandella, John Thomson, Dave Edmonds from at&t to discusss the network diversity.

Gary Mandella: Since the fiber went in, at&t has diversified using two radio signals out of the area. If the fiber gets cut, we will not be isolated because of the radio signal backup. Those signals will stay in place until there is some fiber redundancy.
CENIC asked at&t looked at redunany over high powered lines. But right of way costs were prohibitive. But if together we (RTC, RCRA, etc.) approach the state to remove roadblocks, extra fees, hard to justify building a redundant fiber to the corporation.

Because of Katrina, at&t has 84 tractor trailers that can be deployed as backup central offices in the light of some catastrophe.

Since it’s been up, there haven’t been any failures on the fiber. (Not what I understood regarding circuit issues that caused the Cox network problems a few weeks ago. Maybe he means a total failure of the fiber as opposed to partial network problems).

Dave Edmonds: Have taken considerable steps to harden the existing fiber route and though there have been a dozen near misses, there have been no failures. I guess that what he meant. The fiber has stayed intact.

John Thoms(?): Covered what positive things have happened recently. Increased bandwidth to the schools. If a corp. moved in and wanted an OC 192, they could do it. Reasserted that at&t is not going anywhere. He is aware that bandwidth needs and technology is going to explode. And planning is underway. Expanding 6 DSL sites. DSlams going in to many rural areas. Hoping we can all work together as a community to keep moving ahead.

Very interrsting. These gentlemen brought up a lot of issues I was unaware of. Good to hear we are not so isolated.

BB Forum Post 5 Joaquin Alvarado

Director of the Institute for Next Generation Internet

Impacts of Telecommunications on Quality of Life and the Economy

Where are we going in the future?

Globalization: Everything we do well in the Bay Area in terms of technology (e-anything) other countries think of as what they do in the global economy. How does that impact us, now? How does that impact the students we are training in these technologies?

In the Bay Area they are playing catch up in trying to bring together stakeholders around global economy and technology. Broadband Forum shows we are already on the road by bringing many of the stakeholders together in this room. (My comment: Of course, we need to keep the momentum going. I talked briefly to Rollin Richmond that RCRA should take the lead in forming multi-agency telecom committees).

What are the risks? Not just the opportunities. In California (forget the dichotomy of rural and urban) infrastructure (water, roads, power, telecommunications) are at risk of becoming sub-standard. Why are research centers investing in other countries? Why are they hedging their bets?

What is broadband? What are its uses?
We can’t be predictive about how the broadband will be used. Most experts were wrong about what has happened in the last 10 years. Trust that it will be used.

Every job is an ejob.

Think of all the different computational environments. Not just laptop computers: cell phones, gaming environments (world of warcraft).

We can’t do telemedicine unless you have reliable 50 Gigabit connection. Liability issues with diagnosis. Hi def imagery crucial.

Tokyo has 10 gb wireless.

Restrictive discussions on broadband are going to limit our ability to innovate.

AARP is trying to get people with gray hair to show up at the right places to say, ‘We need 10 GB to the home, now!”

Pacific rim countries, in spite of economic hard times, have invested in telecom infrastructure and that has begun to pay off. CA needs to focus on this to stay competitive.

Lots of questions:

What can we do in this state to leverage improved broadband? What are the killer apps? What could we do right now if we had an improved network? How can you connect supercharged urban cores with rural areas? Improved infrastructure is peanuts in cost in the overall scheme of things with a tremendous pay off.

Example Hi-Def teleconference between here and some education point in the Bay Area as a demo of what’s possible. Inexpensive to set up. Wow factor. Creating a vision of what’s possible.

‘World is Flat’ (Friedman book): Everything that is happening in that book is the result of infrastructure that was built 10 years ago. What is happening in CA now is what will shape the opportunities of the future.

Assume gigabit to the home.


Are you involved in the wi-fi effort in SF.
A: Yes. What’s important? Can students in the Mission get access to the network? Not if Bif can check his email at Stonestown. (well Bif’s email could be very important too :-))
Google has changed the conversation by offering the wi-fi network for free. So, the telcos now have to scratch their head. Announcement of the network should happen soon.
In New Orleans a guy set up a wi-fi network at 400k down that became a lifeline. Bell South pushed through a bill that made it illegal to have anythinover 128k.

What do you know of Lifelong Learning Institute?
Working with A

Could there be a broadband initiative?
A: Yes. There is a bond on the boards. We need to have people show up and say we need 10gb pop in every community.

Missed the next queston.

What do you know of Google buying up dark fiber?
A: Prediction: If fiber to the home is (first mile) implemented, Google will provide the backbone for free.

Not sure of the question, but the answer was distributed computing for all kinds of apps because the computers are too slow, so using the distributed computing would allow faster rendering over the network while the computers catch up since the network is fast enough.

BB Forum Post 4 Susan Estrada Continues

The Middle Mile Ownership

The Ownersip Model: a carrier’s carrier

– Focuos on selling to the communciation companies, not individuals
– Connect to underserved Communities
– Connect to large national carriers for transit

Characterisitics of a Carrier’s Carrier

Deep understanding of industry
Solid financial resources
In it for the long haul

What is the structure?

For profit, privately-owned company
Possibly with sme unique goals to ensure that the community is served

Middle Mile Operational Model

Provision to carriers (ie to cox, verizon, at&t and other ISPs)

Outsource the Operations and maintentnance
Keep as much staff local as possible

Financials: Still working on details

Buried and aerial routes being determined
East to Redding following 299. I thought we were looking at Hwy 36
this connects to at&t fiber and the Level 3 fiber that runs north south in central California
Build a co-location center in Eureka where all carriers could install equipment

Q & A
What does Del Norte do?
A: Multi-county agency to approach state to cut through the crap: Exactly my suggestion. RCRA (web site coming) could facilitate this.

Is back-up at the same level of existing service realistic?
A: This what users are telling her. Not home users. Industrial level users. Are the willing to pay for it? It appears so.

Has she identified a company that could pull this off?
A: No. But she has sketched the characteristics of such a company.
What is the capitalization required?
A: Initial cost $10-$20 million. Then ongoing cost.

BB Forum Post 3

Susan Estrada Continues:

The North Coast Region

Mergers and Buy Outs
Verizon bought MCI
SBC bought AT&T and changed its name to at&t
Cebridge is buying Cox (and is changing its name)
Level 3 bought WiTel

With the mergers and the companies getting larger, our area appears smaller in their corporate maps. Exception is Cebridge which specializes in rural areas. Humboldt will become a bigger presence. One of their largest areas. This is a good thing.

Our Region is Profoundly impacted by extrnal forces

Especially scenic route fees (PG&E right of ways as alternative also carry exorbitant fees)
Coastal Commission
CPUC/FCC – as fiber crosses regional and state boundaries red tape and fees mount
Federal Lands
State Lands
Geology and weather


Who’s using the single fiber line on the North Coast?

Communications Companies: Cox, Frontier, Verizon, etc.
Education: HSU, CR, Co. Offices of Ed.
County and City Govt.
State Govt.: State Parks, Wildlife, and Fiseries, Forestry, CHP, Caltrans, etc.
Industry: Manufacturing, Services, tourism, Media
Federal Govt.: National Park, National Weather Service, Coast Guard, etc.

What happens when the line fails?


The Middle Mile

(IE what the fiber line connecting to the larger Internet is called)

The Middle Mile ensures the First Mile (your connection at home, business, school):
Entertainment (we don’t like to admit it, but this is a huge economic force. People mag. earns 1billion/year)
E-jobs (live/work anywhere)

“Are you going to risk your life or financial well-being on an extended outage?”

BB Forum Post 2

So, phew! Got past the presentation. Jeff got his check and we are off and running. The first ‘real’ speaker is Susan Estrada. She will be delivering the long awaited findings on her report on Redundant Fiber Optic Business Case. She is President of First Mile USA.

US is 16th in the world in use of broadband. Why?

No U.S. broadband policy.
No understanding of what broadband means
No understanding of how to get 10 GB to every home, school and business
Watch other countries with a polich such as South Korea, Japan, United Kingdom

Who are the Players?

cabel cos
other companies
State and Federal Govt.

Users should be driving this cart.

Government needs to hear from the users and businesses.

Broadband Forum II Live

I am at Fortuna’s River Lodge and the Broadband Forum is about to begin. Wireless appears to be working. Looks like a great turnout. There are folks here from Del Norte, Mendocino and Humboldt County. Unfortunately, it looks like no one from Trinity. (edit: I wrote this before someone from Triinity was identified, so that’s good).
Rollin Richmond will kick off the event. And them ME! I have the distinct honor of presenting RTC’s $1,000 scholarship to an Arcata High School student, Jeff Friedman.