[SATLUG] Re: Where else is FiOS?

Aaron Hackney techgeeks at aaronhackney.com
Sun Jan 18 14:17:00 CST 2009


benjaminez at gmail.com wrote:
> On Sat, Jan 17, 2009 at 10:20:04PM -0600, Aaron Hackney writ thus:
>   
>> Charles Hogan wrote:
>>     
>>> Grande has their own cable plant.
>>>       
>> Interesting. So, what then would stop AT&T from pulling fiber? I
>> assume they already have telephone pole "rights" throughout the city
>> with their telco services. I am sure there are tariff issues to be
>> worked out, but still, I don't see how TW would have it so sown
>> up. Just curious....
>>     
>
> AT&T is pulling fiber, just not exactly in the same fashion that TW or
> Grande is.
>
> Here's my understanding of the situation: Originally, AT&T had a
> government contract.  The US government gave AT&T a mandate to
> construct a telephone and data network that would maintain 99.999%
> uptime, and AT&T delivered.  In return, AT&T became a regulated
> monopoly.
>
> Recently, though, AT&T's contract terminated, and its regulated
> monopoly status disappeared, so other companies (like TW) started
> designing and rolling out their own networks.  These networks
> generally have far less than 99.999% uptime--which makes sense,
> because the five nines uptime was really only required for defense
> applications (ARPAnet).  The new networks were exponentially cheaper,
> and the new companies were able to develop them much faster.
>
> However, AT&T was (and is) still stuck with a network designed to run
> at five nines uptime, and this network puts a massive drain on AT&T's
> budget.  Even worse for AT&T, a number of corporate customers now
> demand five nines uptime, so AT&T is really stuck: it can't downgrade
> the network, because it would lose corporate customers, but it can't
> quickly upgrade the network, because it would cost too much.
>
> Nonetheless, AT&T is slowly upgrading their network to run on fiber
> rather than copper.  All the new housing developments are receiving
> fiber optic Internet connections, and older housing developments are
> being transitioned to run on fiber as well.
>
> The U-verse model is designed to work around the current issues, too:
> video is efficiently compressed using H.264, and it's piped over fiber
> as far as it can go, at which point it switches to go over the current
> copper wiring.  Unfortunately, nothing can run over copper too far
> without significant signal degradation, so U-verse is available only
> in areas that have been primarily migrated to fiber optics.
>
> So that's where the situation stands, to the best of my knowledge.
> We'll just have to see where AT&T et al. go from here.
>
> Take care,
> Benjamin
>   
Thanks for the excellent information Benjamin.


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